Poster Sale for Shane McConkey Fundraiser

Shane McConkey has always been one of my skiing heroes. He seemed larger than life, yet seemed approachable, personable and modest in a “guy next door” sort of way. Sadly, I never had opportunity to meet or ski with Shane in life. Perhaps this can be my way/our way of honoring him in death.

I have a wife and son, with another arriving in 4 weeks. My heart aches for the McConkey family. While a check in the mail certainly won’t make everything better, a gesture of kindness and caring certainly can change the way one sees life in such challenging tragic times.

Many of you have already purchased my fine art ski poster, but I imagine there are many out there who haven’t. I would like to sell as many posters as possible and donate the full proceeds to the McConkey family. Whether they are in need of financial help or not doesn’t matter to me. It is a gesture of kindness that will hopefully help to ease the pain. While the funds can be used however the family sees fit, I would love for it to be put in a college fund for Shane’s daughter, Ayla. I realize this is not a poster or anything tangible of Shane, but it is already produced, and we can be quicker to provide a moral and financial buoy to the McConkey family.

You can purchase the poster here. Please leave a note in the paypal transaction stating it is for the McConkey fundraiser. I hope to be able to update this post with a significant amount of funds raised some time soon. Thanks for your help in supporting the family of one of our ski heroes.

Update: As of 9:00 am, Thursday Apr. 2, 104 posters have been ordered, totaling $2,600.00 raised for the McConkey family. I am absolutely blown away by the level of support and kindness shown. Keep giving!

Note: The last day for this fundraiser will be Friday, April 3. You can certainly purchase posters after that, but the funds will go to me. You can still consider it a fundraiser if you want…

lcc-poster

Featured Photographer: Midcurrent.com

I’m pleased to be the featured photographer on www.midcurrent.com this week. Midcurrent is definitely one of the best sites out there for all things fly fishing. Plenty of great reading, tips, video, imagery and basically anything else you could ask for to satisfy the fishing jones. I am in good company, as there are some awesome other photographers featured as well. Check it out!

The Big Picture = The Small Picture

This is the time of year that can really be a challenge for photographers. As the snow recedes, it reveals matted, ugly “brownery” (as opposed to greenery) that has weeks before it begins to look even remotely attractive. It seems everywhere I point my lens, there’s something ugly and distracting in the background.

I was perusing my own galleries the other day and recognized a distinct lack of intimate accent shots. I’m always looking for the grandiose, sweeping vista. Even when shooting active imagery like fly fishing, it seems I’m always looking for that drop dead scenic style shot with a human element in it. I’m always looking at the sky, waiting for that exquisite light that will separate that image from all the others out there. Honestly, it’s not a bad MO, as that drive is what will ultimately allow you to separate yourself from the pack.

Fisherman Clay Beck casting on the Middle Provo River, UT

Fisherman Clay Beck casting on the Middle Provo River, UT

It doesn’t mean, however, that clear skies or uninteresting surroundings mean there’s no photographic opportunity out there. I often preach to my workshop students to see the big picture and then isolate what it is that holds interest in a scene. This is certainly something I’ve been focusing on myself lately, but I also think seeing the big picture means seeing what is possible. Seeing the big picture means finding opportunity when opportunity is seemingly sparse.

Fisherman Clay Beck browses his fly collection on the Middle Provo River, UT

Fisherman Clay Beck browses his fly collection on the Middle Provo River, UT

Last night was a perfect evening to practice what I preach on the Middle Provo. Skies were clear, surroundings were dull. But I had a good buddy fishing with me and the sun was beginning to set. As the light grew softer, I searched for opportunities to shoot the small stuff. I found a big stump on the side of the river that offered a great angle from above for lifestyle stuff. I threw on my Singh Ray Vari N Duo and the polarizer brought the riverbed to life while the ND filter allowed me to slow my shutter speed enough to separate the sharp fisherman from the smooth water. I had Clay cast to a perfectly back lit slick, lighting up every last drop of water as it came off his line. Despite the dearth of tugs on the end of the rod, it was an enjoyable evening by all accounts.

Fisherman Clay Beck browses his fly collection on the Middle Provo River, UT

Fisherman Clay Beck browses his fly collection on the Middle Provo River, UT

Search for opportunity. You will be rewarded.

Oh–and I need fly fishing product. If you’re out there, send me product. I’ll shoot it and submit it. Thanks.

ABP Private Photography Workshops

I try not to make a habit of meeting people for the first time at 5 am in the local K-mart parking lot, but such was the case last Friday morning as I embarked on a private workshop with local resident Steve Schaefer. The day looked promising as faint grey streaks interrupted the otherwise crystal clear sky. I was hopeful we would have enough clouds to catch some early color, but not enough to squelch the sun as it rose over the horizon.

Workshop student Steve Schaefer works a Grad ND filter during a morning shoot along the Middle Provo River

Workshop student Steve Schaefer works a Grad ND filter during a morning shoot along the Middle Provo River

We headed to one of my preferred spots in the Heber Valley alongside the Middle Provo River. Our hike in was noisy to say the least, as waders and snowshoes combined to crunch and crackle, drowning out conversation at times. At our destination, we were greeted by the towering peaks of the Wasatch Back, and it was evident we were about to be treated to a spectacular sunrise. Cyan snow turned pink. Pink turned orange. And orange ultimately turned white. Although fleeting, we were there to capture the magic.

Workshop student Steve Schaeffer captures the magic on Utah's Middle Provo River

Workshop student Steve Schaefer captures the magic on Utah's Middle Provo River

If you’re passionate about taking your photography to the next level, consider the value in a private workshop. I am able to customize the day’s events and instruction to suit your specific requests, and we’ll travel to some of my favorite spots to capture Mother Nature at her best. Check out one of Steve’s keepers from our morning shoot below!

Image captured during private photography workshop by Steve Schaefer, ©2009 Steve Schaeffer

Image captured during AdamBarkerPhotography private photography workshop by Steve Schaefer, ©2009 Steve Schaefer

2009 Ski Salt Lake Shootout

This year marked the second year of a photography competition I created last year called the Ski Salt Lake Shootout. I was hired by Ski Salt Lake to once again put on this competition that yielded amazing imagery last year.

Ben Wheeler waits for the right moment in the Alta Backcountry

Ben Wheeler waits for the right moment in the Alta Backcountry

In a nutshell, the Shootout is a competition between eight photographers shooting in the Cottonwood Canyons (Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude) over a period of four days. Their are five image categories: Powder, Air, Big Mountain, Mtn. Lifestyle and City Lifestyle. The photographers are paired with local pro athletes and are essentially given free reign to click away and capture anything and everything possible during the competition period.

Alexa Miller shoots Daryn Edmunds at Alta Ski Area

Alexa Miller shoots Daryn Edmunds at Alta Ski Area

Last year’s competition produced several magazine covers and a load of published gallery images, advertising images and more.

Cody Barnhill and Grant Gunderson review an image at Solitude Mtn. Resort

Cody Barnhill and Grant Gunderson review an image at Solitude Mtn. Resort

This year was a battle in terms of weather and snow conditions. Rarely does one ski in Utah for more than several days at a time without a serious dump, or at least a generous dusting of new snow. Mother Nature had different plans in mind for this year’s competition. Unseasonably warm temps, gusty winds, and not a flake of “The Greatest Snow on Earth” fell during the competition. Regardless, the show went on, and the photographers produced some amazing imagery, especially given the less than ideal conditions.

Bryce Phillips and Cody Barnhill scope their lines at Solitude Mtn. Resort

Bryce Phillips and Cody Barnhill scope their lines at Solitude Mtn. Resort

I spent each day at a different resort with a different set of athlete/photographer teams, trying to document the happenings of the Shootout, and also shooting for myself a bit without getting in the way. I have a great amount of respect for the hard work and sacrifice made by both athletes and photographers during this competition. It’s not easy hucking your meat off a 30-footer to firm snow, and it’s equally miserable to lug around a 30+ lb. pack under cloudy skies with less than ideal light.

Jared Allen puts down the landing gear at Solitude Mtn. Resort

Jared Allen puts down the landing gear at Solitude Mtn. Resort

I can say confidently that their hard work paid off. It was obvious in the end which photographers wanted to win the most. Creative vision was pushed to the limit, and the photographers that were able to bend without breaking this week came out victorious. You can check out the winning images and video from the Shootout here.

Ben Wheeler turns this white canvas into an instant classic in the Alta Backcountry

Ben Wheeler turns this white canvas into an instant classic in the Alta Backcountry