This is just one clip from the summer fly fishing trip A.J. and I took to New Mexico and Colorado last year. A.J. got his grand slam while we were there and out fished the other adults that went with us. Unfortunately I had an disagreement with a lawnmower prior to going on this trip and could not fish or get in the water. At some point I’ll edit a full movie of the trip and upload it but for now here’s A.J. with his first Brookie. If you look carefully at the water you’ll see A.J.’s dry fly and the fish as he takes it. I was a very proud dad !
Some of you know that I’ve been a fly fishing guide for about nine years now and although I don’t have much opportunity to guide at the moment I was an Orvis Endorsed guide with Elktrout Lodge in Colorado and have guided around the Texas Hill Country for years. Fly fishing is my passion and I fish every chance I get. Luckily for me I now have a fly fishing partner in my eight, soon to be nine, year old son A.J.. A.J. and I are both members of TU (Trout Unlimited) and we’ve fished together for Trout in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. Here’s a few photos from my days as a guide in Colorado. The first one is of me at Pass Creek just outside Kremmling Colorado, the others are of some of my clients with fish we caught.
These images sort of date me to those of you who know me. They are from assignments long ago but are still very dear to me. Some images always hold a special place in your heart and some seem timeless. Sometimes images that may not be great in terms of composition or lighting are the ones we remember most as they have other significant value, a personal connection with the photographer.
As I sit here in the office, waiting on a Final Cut Pro project to render, I thought now would be a good time to catch up on the blog and since I can’t work on the big computer, it’s the one doing the rendering, I’m looking through images from past photo assignments on the iMac. I’ve come across many that I remember fondly and some not so fondly. These images were from a series of ads that I shot for Motorola a few years ago.
One of Green Dogs assignments last year was to camp out for three days with a Boy Scout Troop on a remote island off the Texas coast. Of course it was summer time and HOT, but that’s pretty normal for Texas. The call came from an old friend and design director at Boy’s Life Magazine, Scott Feaster. Many years ago when Scott was the design director at American Way Magazine he assigned many wonderful stories to me, snorkeling in the Florida Keys, 24 hours around the clock in Baltimore, Profiles and many others. I’m so very thankful and appreciative to Scott for trusting me with each of those great assignments. This time the assignment was to photograph a Boy Scout troop kayaking, camping and fishing outside Rockport Texas for a story on Scouts and fishing. The schedule worked out perfect as I would already be in Corpus Christi shooting an assignment for Creative Noggin and could just drive over to Rockport from there. This assignment would also be special because it would be the first time Scott would actually be able to join me on an assignment and since we hadn’t seen one another in at least 15 years it would be like seeing a family member who’d been away for a long time. I picked Scott up at the Corpus airport, got caught up on all the twist and turns in our lives over the last few years and then we were on our way to Rockport in the “man van”. We met up with the Scouts at Crab Man’s and launched the kayaks. We would have to paddle 2.5 miles across open water with the wind in our faces most of the way to reach the tiny and deserted island we’d be camping on for the next three days. It was a struggle as my kayak was loaded to the gills with camping and camera gear. At times, due to the excess weight on board, the small white caps from the bay would lap over the side on the kayak drenching me with the warm salt water. During the mind numbing paddle across the bay, I had imagined this little island to resemble that of Gilligans Island with white sand beaches and palm trees. But as we neared the mangroves of the shallow flats and pointed our kayaks into a channel that snaked through these mangroves I soon realized that the “fantasy” island I had imagined was actually a baron sand dune covered three feet deep in dried out mussel, clam and oyster shells that has washed ashore during years and years of costal storms and there was not a tree in sight, nothing, nada. We were totally exposed and open to the weather, the hot sun, rain storms, wind, whatever mother nature wanted to throw our way. The scouts quickly gathered up some lumber and tarps that had been dropped off earlier by a supply boat, and proceeded to build a palapa. Now if you’re wondering what the heck a palapa is, well so was I… It’s a structure that has open sides but a covered roof, it keeps the sun off during the heat of the day and the rain out during a storm but also allows the ocean breeze to flow through keeping one cool during the day. We finished setting up camp, had a bite of lunch, staked our tents down on top of extremely sharp and protruding oyster and clam shells, and set out in the kayaks to catch some fish for dinner. Attempt to catch some fish would be a better description of what we were actually doing because you see, none of these Scouts had the slightest bit of fishing experience. I soon realized that although I’ve spent nine years as a fly fishing guide in Colorado and Texas, I would be of no help at all as it’s dang near impossible to shoot photos, paddle a kayak and fish at the same time. As a flame red sun set on the bay we quietly paddled back through the channel to our camp, empty handed, hungry and defeated. Fortunately the supply boat that had been to the island earlier that morning left behind a couple of ice chests filled with emergency goodies, just in case. A roaring fire was built from drift wood collected around the tiny island and a “gourmet” dinner was prepared. Sleep was a welcome friend to a tired soldier. The next days activities were much the same as the first, wake, brush teeth, shoot some photos, cook breakfast, shoot some photos, gather gear, shoot some photos, load the kayaks for a morning of fishing, shoot some photos, paddle, shoot some photos, paddle some more, shoot some photos, paddle back to camp as the day begins to heat up, shoot some photos, nap in the shade under the palapa, shoot some photos, make lunch, shoot some photos, load the gear on the kayaks, shoot some photos, paddle, shoot some photos, back to camp as the sun sets, shoot some photos, build a fire, shoot some photos, you get the idea. The third morning was a repeat of the previous day, and I was starting to think more and more of that Bill Murray movie,”Ground Hog Day”. No shower for three days and sleeping on a bed of oyster and clam shells each night will certainly help one to appreciate the modern conveniences of home. The supply boat arrived and transported Scott and I back to the mainland where the “man van” was waiting for us in a parking lot at Crab Man’s restaurant and dock. It was a great trip by all accounts and we came away with some really nice photos. Thanks for calling me for another assignment Scott, it was loads of fun. Now let’s shoot a story in Hawaii next time !
Carey, who really should be the Green Dog business manager as well as the host with the most, received a call in October from Becky Williams of the little town of Camp Wood. Even though Camp Wood is slightly over a two hour drive from Fredericksburg, Becky had been to Rock Box many times to see Carey perform. One afternoon, while waiting for the show to open, she and her kids stopped in at Clear River to grab some ice cream. While sitting and enjoying the fresh, homemade ice cream that Clear River sells, Becky noticed the televison that sits above a counter and loops the pod cast video we produced there. Becky works for the Nueces Canyon Chamber of Commerce and prior to driving to Fredericksburg that day, had been in discussion with other chamber members about how to increase tourism to the area. They talked about creating a pod cast but didn’t really know how or where to start. She watched the video and knew that what we had produced as a test for the Fredericksburg CVB would be exactly what their CVB needed and wanted. A couple of days after the Rock Box show she contacted Carey about producing something for them. Now with it being near the end of October and the scenery beginning to change, we would have very limited time to pull this together and give them a nice video. Carey was now living in Amarillo, a seven hour drive from Freericksburg, but was still returning to Fredericksburg once every three weeks to perform with Rock Box. We needed to time this shoot so that Carey would already be around and not have to make a special trip down here to shoot. This unfortunately meant that we had only one day to shoot before the scenery and the temperatures changed to the winter drab. It was a frantic day, trying to shoot everything we could and running constantly all day long but in the end the client was happy and they’re getting great reviews from both townsfolk and the tourists who visit Camp Wood.
Hey guys, we’re all busy with our daily activities, kids, work, chores, etc. and sometimes we just don’t get around to completing all the things we’d like to so it took us awhile to get this finished up. Scott and I had talked about this for the better part of 2010 but never seemed to find the time to actually sit down and get this thing done. Finally, after lots of discussion, we realized that it wasn’t just going to do itself and if we wanted a demo reel we’d have to make some time to get it finished. Scott pulled some clips, some music and probably some hair from his head and created a demo reel near the end of 2010. Now, I have to say, he held his end of the bargain while I, on the other hand, still haven’t gotten around to actually color grading it. Soon, very soon… I hope. So it still looks pretty raw but I plan to get the grading done before the 2011 demo reel is complete.
And for your viewing pleasure, here’s the second pod cast we produced as a test to show the Fredericksburg CVB. Although I really do like the one we did at Clear River, I believe this one is my favorite. You decide…
I’d been doing some still work for the Fredericksburg CVB when I happened upon a little video project they were having produced each week. It was a pod cast about the town, the businesses and the people who make up this wonderful little town we live in. Scott and I watched a few of these pod casts and found ourselves less than impressed with the quality of the video and the fact that something just seemed to be missing. We couldn’t quite put our finger on what it was but there was definitely something other than the quality that just seemed, well, boring. A few days passed and I put the pod cast thoughts in the back of my mind as I had more current issues to deal with. Friday night came, Trish I were attending an art walk when we happened to run into a friend who mentioned a show that was airing on the local PBS station. He said it was a Texas travel show and was just halarious. He said the show had a host that was a incredible and that’s when it hit me. The pod casts we had watched needed a host but not just any host, it needed a funny host, a host that was multi talented, a host that could keep the audiences attention and a host that would be likable enough that the viewers would wait anxiously for the next episode. Who could I find in this town that could fit the description ? I asked Trish and she immediately, without hesitation, said,”Carey Dyer”. Now you have to know Carey to understand how talented this guy really is. He’s been a performer with Rock Box, a live music performance venue, for about eleven years and is truly multi-talented. I called Carey knowing full well that he would likely say no. I figured his schedule wouldn’t allow for such crazy antics as shooting a pod cast once a week for fifty two weeks out of the year. But to my surprise he jumped at the chance to do something different. So Carey, Scott and I met in the editing suite and went over some ideas for where we might shoot a couple of quick pod casts that we could in turn show to the CVB in hopes of getting the contract to shoot all the pod casts for the next year. We came up with two locations, created a script and set out to shoot and edit these as quickly as possible. Now long story short, we produced two very nice pieces and presented them to the CVB but in the end we were too expensive and didn’t get the project. But the bright side to the story is we had a great time working together, produced a couple of fun videos and ended up using those videos to get other projects. So here’s the first pod cast we produced.
Been real busy folks ! Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the blog but things at Green Dog Pictures were cooking last year. We shot several videos, purchased several different cameras and even moved our offices. It was definitely a fun year. Scott and Tricia finished construction on their new home, moved in and promptly had a baby boy. They of course have been busy keeping up with a new addition to their family but Scott still managed to find time to edit some projects. Here’s one we produced for our friend Brian Heath, the owner of Grape Creek Vineyards. We hope you enjoy it.