In November while hiking in Zion National Park I received an unusual phone call. It was someone I’d never met asking me if I would be one of Casio’s outdoor adventurers as part of a Backpacker Magazine and Casio project for their ProTrek watches. I initially wondered if this was a prank, scam or a wrong number. Sure, I spent a lot of time out in the mountains but I’ve never climbed Everest or wrestled a grizzly. I’m simply a landscape photographer. After they sent me a link to one of their previous adventurers, I started to realize that they were serious. Apparently, Casio was given a list of outdoor people in the Boulder, Colorado area. They went through it and for some reason felt like I was the person they wanted.
As soon as I returned from Arizona plans began to come together. Like many such projects there was a real rush to do this as quickly as possible in order to meet a print deadline for an advertorial with Backpacker Magazine. They wanted to do a full page article about me while advertising Casio’s ProTrek watch at the same time. They first had me come down to Boulder where they purchased a couple of outfits for me from the Eddie Bauer store. It was clear that my ragged outdoor gear wouldn’t fit the bill for a glossy ad.
Then a couple of days later the first big snow storm of the year moved in. It was decided that we should do the shoot in the storm. We originally wanted to film in Rocky Mountain National Park, but it is difficult/time consuming to get filming permits and we needed them right away. I joined photographer David Camera and his assistant at 7am near Berthod Pass. The roads were terrible and it was pretty chilly, but the setting with the heavy snow was fantastic. Dave knew just what he was doing, having done of lot of winter sports photography such as the X-Games. We took a lot of photos in different outfits and poses, but this what came out of it. It was printed as a full page ad in the March 2016 edition of Backpacker Magazine.
Then, just after the start of the year, I was told that it was time to do a video to accompany the ad. They wanted it to blend in with the first shoot, so as soon as it started snowing I met videographer Alton Richardson. We again had the same issue of not having permits to photograph Rocky Mountain National Park, so we did our first shoot in the trees on the side of Lily Mountain as it gently snowed. As we hiked up the trail, I found myself getting very winded and feeling very old and out of shape as Alton turned out to be a real mountain goat. He’s in his early 20s and fit as can be. He primarily makes climbing videos, but it was clear that he knew what he was doing even in this situation.
We both felt we needed a scene with me photographing sunrise as I so often do and that it would be nice to include as much of Rocky Mountain National Park as possible without photographing on park property. I found a spot near Lily Mountain where we were not in the national park, but which gave us great views of the park. I also put together a little script that expressed my thoughts about photography. On the morning we met to film this segment it was dark and very windy. The winds must have been gusting up to 35 or 40mph. When we climbed to the top of the ridge, we were nearly swept off of our feet several times. Alton was a pro and got the footage he needed despite the challenging conditions. The end result of our labor was this video which I hope gives a little glimpse into who I am and what I do.