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Fun: A Powerful Advocate for Conservation

Check out my first guest blog post on the Art's Cyclery blog here, or read below.


A view across the San Mateo Wilderness, one of my favorite local haunts.

When your passion revolves around the outdoors, when it possesses an obligatory relationship with nature, it becomes almost impossible to ignore the beauty of your natural surroundings. For me, this realization was facilitated by a man named Roy when I was fourteen years old.

My father and I met Roy while riding throughout southwestern Utah; it was insanely beautiful country, littered with seemingly infinite ribbons of swoopy, loamy, yet tacky, singletrack that swerved through aspen groves, coniferous forest, and alpine meadows.

Roy possessed a knowledge of that landscape that was more astounding than the scenery. He readily identified each different species of pine when we would stop riding to absorb the views. He described the geological processes that created the varied colors and morphologies of sandstone formations, he even knew countless bird species by their songs alone. Through his seemingly endless knowledge, and through my own cherished two-wheeled experiences in the outdoors, an insatiable desire to learn was kindled. It was then I had decided I would devote my college education, and my life, to studying and protecting the natural environment.

Some time after meeting Roy, I wrapped up my education and (luckily) built a career out of it. Through my studies and through my work, I began noticing that other fun was to be had outside, and my once solitary desire to protect access to trails on my bike, quickly spread to concerns about maintaining and protecting my local trout fisheries, ensuring the longevity of my favorite world-class surf break, and supporting the establishment of ecologically effective open space areas and biological preserves.

The south fork of the Santa Ana River was once only a favorite trail of mine, now it's a favorite local fishing hole as well.

Through my endless quest for fun, pioneered by my love for bikes, I had established an ever-growing, life-long collection of hobbies centered on the outdoors. In a sense, I had become an advocate for nearly all things conservation through my own selfish pursuit of recreation. In some regard, my life has led me to believe that the quest for fun in the outdoors is almost paramount to conservation efforts. Fun-seekers can come in so many shapes and sizes, and they often make for highly motivated interest groups that are willing to fight tooth and nail to ensure the long-term protection of their open spaces.

While fun alone may provide many with enough to fight for, a deep understanding and respect for the natural places in which we harvest our fun should only provide further motivation. In that regard, I urge you to learn more about the place you ride, and perhaps even try to enjoy it through something completely new. There’s a good chance it will only augment your appreciation of the place, and better arm you for battle should you need to fight to protect it some day.

Engagement Shoot

This was my first official engagement shoot. I'm fairly happy with the outcome, and very grateful to these two for allowing me the learning experience. It was very humbling to realize how much I have yet to learn when shooting people in place of nature, or people within nature, for that matter. 

If for some reason you may fancy having me take some pictures of you as well, please shoot me an email through the contact page on this site and we'll discuss the details.


Shoot location: O'neill Regional Park, Orange County, California.

San Mateo Wilderness

The wife, dog, and I all went out for a local hike the other day to play around with a new lens; the Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f/2.0. So far, I'm very happy with it. It's compact, very well built, and pretty damn crisp wide open.


AnnieSanMateo_FujiSuperia400.jpg

VSCO Film

A few photos edited using VSCO Film, a film emulation software I just purchased. I absolutely love it, it really expedites my post-processing.


Autumn

Fall is here in SoCal, and that doesn't mean we've got brisk weather, changing leaves, and holiday spirit. It just means we're potentially heading into a stretch of "less hot" weather, characterized by diminished crowds, shorter days, and pumpkin-flavored drinks at Starbucks. Now that we've officially left 2013's hottest months behind us, I figured it was a good time to get back on my bike and shred some brown pow.


Swell

This weekend was a long time in coming. Southern California has been severely lacking in the swell department for sometime now, so much so that I have returned home from quite a few drives to the beach without even paddling out. And I don't really mind smaller waves...there just weren't any at all.

Apparently as a gift from the god of autumn, we were blessed with three glorious days of a peaky, swell combo this past weekend. I paddled around for as long as my shoulders could handle it, and managed to come away with a very memorable stand-up barrel on Saturday, and myriad long-ass, shreddy rides on Sunday. I am satiated. Well, for a day or two at least.

One of the biggest bummers for me regarding surfing, is not having a water housing. Another is not being able to safely leave my camera gear on the sand while I paddle out to snag a few peaks. Needless to say, my camera rarely accompanies me on trips to the beach, because I have yet been unable to convince myself to photograph in lieu of catching waves. Hopefully some day that will change. Until then here are a couple of photos taken with my iPhone 5. One photo depicts activities prior to surfing, the other, after. I'll let you guess which is which.


Transient

Getting Going

Hello everyone. Well it turns out I not only put together a photography website for myself, but somehow ended up with a blog as well. I am guessing that the majority of this blog will entail the trips I take, and the photos that they produce. I will attempt to provide new content on as steady a basis as possible, and hopefully manage to keep it somewhat entertaining. For now, here's a photo of a badass peak from Iceland.


Iceland's tallest peak, Hvannadalshnukur.