Sunday, April 28, 2013

Communities Coming Together

Yesterday a really special event was held in Madison, NH at King Pine Purity Spring Resort.  The Boston Marathon Memorial Run/Walk was organized by the White Mountain Milers as a tribute and fund raiser for people impacted by the bombings at this year's Boston Marathon.  A couple of hundred people turned out to navigate the 2.62 Km course (get it... like 26.2 miles in a marathon).  There were runners, walkers, baby joggers, kids, folks on crutches and dogs.  Over $6,000 was raised by registration feeds, bumper sticker sales and tickets to many many donated raffle prizes... all to be donated to the One Fund.

A community came together to mourn, celebrate and help.  Generosity and good feelings were everywhere and communities were united in the process... co-workers, runners, compassionate souls, the towns surrounding the Mt. Washington Valley,  people from across New England and ultimately, our Country.  It was an inspiring morning and lots of fun.  It makes you wonder why a couple of hundred community members don't get together more on a more beautiful Saturday mornings.

 The happy winner of a Joe Viger Photography framed print!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

You Might Also Like...

Believe it or not, I've been posting to this blog for over five years now.  There's all sorts of stuff sitting back there in the archives and to help you better access it, Joe Blog has one of it's first major formatting changes in looooongggg time!  At the bottom of each post you'll now notice five additional "You might also like" posts that are suggestions from the archive.  I think this is supercool!  And I owe it all to a great blogger widget called LinkWithin!  If you maintain a blog, I encourage you to check out this free blog widget.  Set up was easy and it works like a charm.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Walk, Run and Give Back!

I'm donating this genuine JVGR Photography framed 8x10 to the White Mountain Milers' Boston Marathon Memorial Fun Run Event next weekend!   All proceeds go to The One Fund to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013.  Enter the raffle and you could win.  There will be a fun run/walk, cool music and lots of other great prizes.  Get all the details at the White Mountain Milers Facebook page.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Taking a Stroll?

I'm always in awe of folks who pursue photography like a Sunday stroll.  The camera is casually hanging from their neck as they meander from edge to edge of the path with a circumspect gaze.  They raise the shutter to their eye and squeeze off a few thoughtful frames.  Maybe adjust the zoom ring a tad, make another image and then wander on.

While I definitely find a zen place and am probably most personally at peace when I make photos, my approach has always been a bit different than that the strolling shooter.  I guess you could say it's a little more energized.   My choice of a sling style camera strap hints at that.  It always feels ready to go with the sling across my chest and camera hanging practically already in my hand.   I almost always break as sweat from carrying too much gear.  After all, you never know what you'll find and what you left in the car that could have really made the shot.

I was in Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada last week and there were several other photographers walking the path with me.  While they didn't have tripods (remember that break a sweat thing?), their gear said they weren't "casual shooters"... well outfitted with DSLRS and Canon L series glass.  We leap frogged each other down the trail, alternately stopping at various points to make pictures.  I started to notice that their approach was like they were riding a tour bus... see a sight, raise the camera, make the frame.  Somehow, I tend to be a little more activated when I make pictures and can never seem to keep it that simple.  I move around, don't always stay on the trail and tend to get dirty.

These pictures are a good example of how it works for me.  The first was made from on top of a rock about 6 feet over the trail.  The petroglyph was probably 15 feet up off the trail and I thought the image would be stronger if I could flatten the angle that the lens was pointing up.  I also like to show things like this in the context of their environment vs. just a close of up of a petroglyph, so I was looking for perspective that took in the landscape and showed off the stone art as well.  It's an ok picture... sort of "meh".  I have a nagging "not close enough" about the image.  All of the other folks who were there stopped on the trail six feet below me, craned their neck up and made a frame.  Maybe they were great images... who knows.  But something told me as I hopped off the boulder, none of us had this wrapped.

I continued down the trail and around the corner.  As I turned behind the fin of rock that this panel of petroglyphs was carved on, I saw a stone ramp that climbed up the slope and at the top there was a hole in the rock that seemed to lead though to the other side... exactly where the petroglyphs were.  I had to check it out.  I took my camera off the tripod and started scrambling.    In the image above, you can't see the hole because of the angle of the shot, but in the lower right side of the photograph, you can see a shadow that curves up and down like a small mountain top... the shadow is the space that allowed me a different perspective.  I crawled through and inched forward on the foot wide ledge.  I don't like heights much, but I hung out as far as I dared... about 12 feet in the air, I extending my camera out over the trail and squeezed off a few frames without looking in the viewfinder.  

Here's what I got.  The lack of foreground doesn't show how high it is, but I'm glad I made the effort.  It was a little scary and plenty dusty, but I much prefer this angle and being up close the very cool ancient rock art.  Next time you're on a Sunday stroll, consider getting a little more activated. Get up, get down, try a new perspective.  You never know what you'll capture!!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spaghetti Western

Not far from Rockville, Utah, is a lonely patch of desert and the Grafton Graveyard.  Grafton is a ghost town sited about a half a mile away in a green oasis on the Virgin River.  I don't know what it says about the residents of the forsaken Grafton settlement that they chose this spot to bury their dead when they lived on the river in green and shaded pasture.

Grafton is an easy place to find and is preserved by the Grafton Historic Partnership.  You could even say it's famous as it's been the location of several movies including "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid".  But on this afternoon it was desolate and for some reason the theme to "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" would not leave my head as I roamed around the site making pictures.  I kept listening for the  sound of clinking spurs but they never materialized.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mountain Runner Portrait Project #14

Last summer I started a personal project making portraits of the some of the folks I've come to know in the trail, mountain and snowshoe running community.  I thought it might be fun to see what can be captured when these remarkable athletes stood still in front of the camera.  Some portraits are of elite runners and others are images of every day folks who have passion and commitment to the sport.  I called the work the Mountain Runner Portrait Project.  With race schedules and other competing priorities, it's been a while since I made a new installment,  so I'm happy to share a new addition to the MRPP!

When I was in Bend, Oregon last month to photograph the 2013 US Dion Snowshoe National Championships, I had the good fortune to enjoy the hospitality of Richard Bolt.  Richard lives in Mountain View, California, but has a connection to Bend.  He's a tireless promoter of human powered sports and was in town to help organize the National Championships at Meissner Park.  

Richard isn't just an armchair athlete.  He is constantly biking, trail running, snowshoeing, nordic skiing or riding the rollers.  He's competed in many races through out the country and is a member of the Atlas snowshoe racing team as well as member of the Salomon running team.  Richard is also the Director of Online Marketing at the American Trail Running Association and is Team Leader for the US Mountain Running Team.

While roaming in Bend, Richard and I stopped into the very cool Crows Feet Commons for a cup of coffee... or in Richard's case espresso.  Shortly after sitting down, a great guy, Kevney Duggan, from the amazing Visit Bend organization joined us and we dug in for a while.  As the caffeine got to work, I noticed great light from the table-side window and realized Richard had his two non-athletic passions close at hand... coffee and micro-brew.  He was in his element.  In the middle of our chat, I announced "This is it!".  Richard and Kevney looked at me.  I said "Right here, right now... Richard, you're the next Mountain Runner Portrait".  I seem to recall a "you're kidding right?" look on his face, as I explained the project to Kevney and fiddled with camera settings and a test shot or two.  But, Richard is gracious and two minutes later, the image was made... Mountain Runner Portrait #14.  Thank you Richard Bolt!

You can see all the Mountain Runner Portraits on my website at in the projects gallery!

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