Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

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I haven’t been traveling as much lately, which honestly, is sort of nice. But last weekend I headed down to the city beautiful, Orlando, FL. Now usually the reaction to me traveling to Orlando is “why would you do that,” but this time as Hurricane Bill loomed off the coast creating “the sickest waves ever bro,” so at least some people thought it was a good idea to go to Florida. Me? I went no where near the coast. Instead I was there for Surf Expo, which includes no actual surfing.

As you can imagine, a trade show in this economic climate was a somewhat depressing place. Few booths and even fewer big booths than I’ve seen in my years of attending. But hey, having fewer brands in attendance made my job easier as I had to profile each brand for Alliance Wakeskate. In addition to photos and short write ups, I also decided to make little videos with each brand, which would have been way more awesome if I had an appropriate mic, but what can you do? So far I’ve only edited one and with the magic of embeddable videos on the new Alliance site that’s set to launch ANY DAY NOW, it’s after the jump along with the rest of my trip. (more…)

There are certain things I only really do when I am in Florida. Eat at Chipotle. Drink about 3 super sweet Dunkin Donuts Iced coffees a day. Listen to the terrible hip hop station. Get sunburned. Etc. But I think it’s these things that keep me coming back (well that, and it’s my job.) My Florida traditions have almost become guilty pleasures, some sort of alternate universe from my every day life. And as I become less interested in traveling (never thought it would happen, either) I think the fact that I have these routines makes it much less painful to be on the road.

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New for this trip, my friend Jason constructed a mini ramp in his backyard. I saw pictures of it when they first got it, and were yet to fix it up. It looked pretty junky. But I should have known that once Jason got his hands on it, it would be perfect. It is. One of the most fun ramps I’ve ever skated.

There is awesome skateboarding in and around Orlando no doubt, but I come here for the wakeskating. I got to go out and ride with a boatload (literally) of girls including one of my favorite contributors Lacey Menkin, and Canada’s own Ally Boothroyd. The last two days have mainly been spent at Orlando Watersports Complex for the first stop of the 2009 Byerly Toe Jam. It was nearly impossible to find a decent angle of the montrous pool gap, but I got a few decent ones. This shot of Andrew Pastura is probably my favorite.

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Actually no, the shot of Ben Horan I got is my favorite, but you’ll have to wait until Monday to see that one. Check out all my shots on Alliance Wakeskate. Practice session and the big show. Well I am off to get one of those Iced Coffees and spend the day with my favorite haters, James and Silas.

The first night I arrived in lovely Orlando, Florida (Whether you are returning home, here on business, or visiting our world class attractions…) I went straight from the airport to BBQ Bar. Back before I developed my abhorrence towards bars and “going out” I really liked BBQ bar. It reminded me of college, and they always played good music. Now I just go there once per trip to Florida because I feel like a should. But as I was standing outside in the suffocating Orlando humidity, Yueng-Ling in my hand and surrounded with old friends I proclaimed that I wasn’t going to work so hard this trip. I was going to skate, relax, wakeskate for fun, and not stay up late updating websites.

Well, I failed miserably on that regard. Three days of trade show, with nights of editing photos and posting stuff to Alliance and Yobeat. Of course it was the week I was in charge of most of the Yobeat updates.  To make matters worse, the house I always stay at has a new, very loud roommate, who was sort of scary and cut down on my comfort level.

In the days between expo and the Toe Jam I tried to shoot as many photos as possible, since no budget makes it easier just to run my own photos, I figured I better take some. Instead of fun and mellow, this was tiring and hectic, although it did have its moments. And I’d say I got pretty lucky with some good shots. Bill told me at some point I could start calling it skill, but I like luck better.

After I was officially over it, the Toe Jam finals started. Three days of shooting photos, sun burns and fire ant bites. I got some good shots though, and its always good to hang with the riders, get the dirt, etc. Bill told me I could go down in history as the “mother of early wakeskating,” which is a scary, scary thought. Oh man, I was just told one of my internet haters thinks I use Alliance Wakeskate to “promote myself!” I guess he doesn’t know about this site.

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Anyway, enough wakeskating. In other work-related news, I had to take down my page of links to Futuresnowboarding.com, because it now just redirects to snowboard-mag.com and none of the links worked anymore. I searched to see if they’d just moved the content, but no, none of my hard work lives on the internet anymore. Too bad I only downloaded about 3 of those stories like I had intended to before that happened. Oh well.

In better news, I had a shot in the new issue of Alliance Wakeboard that I think is my favorite photo I’ve ever taken. So enjoy.

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I’m at the halfway mark on my trip to Orlando. Actually a little bit past it, but whatever. I’ve worked too much, slept too little and gotten a sunburn on my lower legs only. The first three days of my trip were spent milling about at surf expo, talking about the industry, pretending I care, etc. On Sunday, partially to avoid having to help break down the booth, and partially because I just wanted to get out of there, I spent at least three hours trying to leave. But I didn’t want to just leave alone, because then I knew I would not do anything useful. I was either going wakeskating, or going to shoot photos of wakeskating, and personally I didn’t care which one.

My new AWS intern had offered to take my riding, but as it turned out, her ski is unregistered and so we couldn’t go until after four. There was talk of a winch mission, but like any winch mission, varibles such as not having a winch, or a driver, etc., got in the way. About 30 minutes before the show I ended I finally headed off to some new spot with Ben, Dave and my new friend Justin. It begged for fisheye shots (and was backlit to shoot long lens anyway) so I got to try out of my new toys. It could have worked out better, if some tricks were actually landed, but I got a few cool shots.

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During Expo I did my best to set up photo shoots for every day between then and Thursday when Toe Jam starts. Figured if I had to be here for the whole week, I better make it worth my while. Yesterday I went out to Lake Sheen, which is right next to all the theme parks, and was actually pretty awesome. The weather cooperated and the riders did as well. I got to play with another of my new toys, this time the water housing. Luckily it worked since I managed to get dumped off the tube not once, but twice. I got some really cool shots and I put up a little blog about it here.

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Today the plan was to go shoot with the “movie stars,” a.k.a Brian Grubb, who I am trying to give a feature interview too, and Chris Kallas, the new Aussie sensation who is getting an On Deck. But since we did so well yesterday, and there was more we wanted to shoot, Steve had asked me to come back out to Sheen in the morning. I figured why not and it’s a good thing I did, since Grubb and co. totally blew me off. I am sure they are busy, or whatever, but don’t they know who I think I am! Well, it worked out anyway cause I needed a little break and some time to geek out on the internet.

Tomorrow one more shoot with some riders who will cooperate, and then the Toe Jam madness starts. Sunday I go home and life makes sense again. I miss my kitties. Here are some sweet pictures Jared took of them.

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Oh I almost forgot! After however many visits, and countless jokes about it, Patrick and I finally ate at Red Lobster for dinner tonight.  I am excited about it anyway.

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I was doing so good with the blogging for awhile there. I guess I was busier, which generally leads to increased productivity. Not that I haven’t been busy. In fact I was on the road, so I had no free time. Of course my trip turned out to be less than productive, thanks to crummy weather, and some unmotivated riders. Actually, it inspired me to retire from snowboard photography. Well, I’m not going to entirely retire, but I think I’ll stick to trips where I am getting paid and mostly responsible for the story, not making medicore shredding look good. Reality is so much more subjective in written words.

Now I am back in Portland. It’s so nice to see flowers and green grass, although it’s a bit chilly and today it’s raining and the vegans downstairs are listening to Death Cab, which makes things even more depressing. I just booked a ticket for my first wake trip of the year though– Toe Jam in Orlando mid April.  Aside from working on my tan and being warm, the thing I am most excited about is I got a direct flight on Alaska Airlines from PDX to MCO. Seriously, the world makes sense again.