My name is Ben, one of the guys on the team here. I’m usually behind the camera for our “starry night” images and time lapses. I recently won a photo competition hosted through Land Rover USA to do a week long photo shoot with a Land Rover in any style I want. No surprise- I went with the Rover under the night sky, and so picked SE California mountains/desert where the skies are clear and stars are bright. Kudos to the LR marketing team- they were incredibly supportive for me to be as creative as I wanted, with little restrictions- so I just went on a spontaneous road trip! It was a blend of desert rock spires, funky Joshua Trees, dramatic snow-capped Sierras, and even oasis hot springs way out in the middle of nowhere. Give me a map, wheels with a full tank of gas and a beautiful landscape I’ve never explored before- I’m in heaven. This trip was very much all of that; the Eastern Sierra region is jaw-dropping beautiful and perfect for random exploring.
One funny fact- I could NOT get dirt to stick on the white LR4 model I was driving! I was embarrassed to return it so “clean” as if I didn’t go off the pavement with it. But, I assure you, I put it through the paces of rock crawling, sandy washboards and uphill climbs. I never would have guessed white paint stays so clean….
At some point, the images will end up on Land Rover’s Tumblr page. Here’s a few of the images resulting from the shoot.
Last fall we worked with Crimson Trace, the leading purveyor of laser sights and laser grips for a variety of firearms, and we just released the trailer for the DVD. It cannot be ignored that in the last few months, guns and gun control have become an important part of our national conversation. In producing this content, we were privileged to work closely with some of the leading experts in the firearms industry, and it was impressed upon us that with owning or carrying a firearm, there comes a great responsibility, and appropriate safety and education is of the utmost importance. We continue to support an engaged and informed discussion on the subject.
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At the end of January we’ll be taking part in the second phase of the production of Les Voyageurs Sans Trace. Last September we joined NW Documentary on the Green and Colorado rivers to help tell the story of a team of French adventurers who came to the US in 1938 to explore the route of John Wesley Powell. They were some of the first to kayak the great rivers of the West, and although the central duo of the adventurers, Genviève and Bernard de Colmont, are long passed, their family still has roots in France. We will be in France for two weeks interviewing people related to the family, checking out one of the original kayaks used on the expedition which is today housed in a museum in the Pyrenees and getting b-roll for the film. You can follow along for trip updates on the Les Voyageurs Sans Trace Facebook page.
Do you like the outdoors as much as we do? Then come join us for Oregon Wild’s first Wild Wednesday of the year on January 23 at Rontoms. A free quarterly event open to all ages, we will be presenting a behind-the-scenes look at some of our wildest work, with clips from Finding Oregon, Finding Portland, and a sneak peak at our latest unreleased projects. And it just wouldn’t be an Uncage the Soul presentation without throwing in some time-lapse and having a remote aerial helicopter fly around!
Check out all details and register here.
For the past decade, Uncage the Soul Productions has been hosting Photo of the Year, a photography contest and fundraising benefit for a local Outdoor School program. This is our 11th year, and we need your help to make it the best one yet. Make your way over to Photo of the Year and take part in the online voting process and see this year’s selection of stunning photographs. Vote on your favorite photos in each category – Youth, Professional, Faces and Portland – to help us narrow the top 100 to the top 10. Winners will be announced at the Gallery Opening on February 9th.
Be sure to like Photo of the Year on Facebook too!
Tough as nails, gentle as a poet, and determined as a badger, 90 year-old Frank Moore loves to fish. A World War II veteran, in 1944 he landed along with some 150,000 other troops on the beaches of Normandy, France for the D-Day allied invasion. Despite the cacophony of war around him, the young avid fly fisherman couldn’t help but notice the productive fisheries on the rivers he and his fellow troops crossed as they made their way into occupied France. 70 years later, we will follow Moore as he travels back to Normandy. Once a soldier witnessing the horrors of war, now he will return to these rivers as a fisherman seeking serenity on the water and bringing his life full circle. We’re currently raising the funds to take Moore back to Normandy and tell this beautiful story.
Interested in helping? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And keep an eye out for an upcoming Oregon Field Guide episode and Travel Oregon profile piece on Frank as well.
For 30 days in September we filmed, rafted, and lived on the Green and Colorado Rivers, working on NW Documentary‘s latest documentary project, Les Voyageurs Sans Trace. The story follows a team of French adventurers in 1938 who came to the US to explore the route of John Wesley Powell and they were some of the first to kayak these great rivers of the West. They called themselves “Les voyageurs sans trace” – travelers without a trace – and the project will document this untold story that showcases some of the most beautiful natural places in the world.
Voyageurs, New Extended Trailer (4 mins) from Ian McCluskey on Vimeo.
Follow the project HERE.
CLICK HERE for a gallery of production stills from our month on the river.
A potential project took John and Steve to India, which gave us the chance to pass through Dubai and experience this very different part of the world. Here are some of John’s reflections on the trip.
The landscape below was obscured by a 10,000 foot thick haze as we descended into India’s Delhi Airport. All I had to guide my expectations of India were the raised eyebrows and knowing exclamations from conversations with friends who had been there. I had spent some time traveling in challenging locations such as Congo, Uganda, and Vietnam, and as the wheels of the plane touched down at the intersection between smog and ground, I felt I was reasonably prepared for the experience to come. It would affect me more than I anticipated.
Steve, his father Jeff, and I were traveling to Delhi to meet with some potential investors and video production collaborators in what we described as “opportunity evaluations”. We had long internally discussed expanding the Northwest Wild show, currently airing on Discovery International, to include a more international roster of episodes. We met our driver at the airport and were quickly whisked into the urban chaos that is Delhi. ”Is it always this smoky?” I asked. ”Of course”, laughed our driver. Of course…. An insane response considering it was the kind of eye searing, lung clenching, quarter mile visibility smog that I can only recall having seen at the worst moments of wildland firefighting. A fire red orb of the late morning sun glowed between stark apartment building nests and tangles of power lines. Google would later inform me that indeed, we were marinading in the world’s most polluted air. It was a startling first impression. Continue reading
Childhood memories: we all have them. Some of them playful, some of them embarrassing, some fond and others not, but we can all jog the memory bank to bring them back to the projector of experience playing in our mind. Think of the sights, the sounds, the faces and places, the feelings and thoughts that guided you through youth; now take it away.
From 1991-1997 I spent some of the most formative years of my youth in Dubai, U.A.E., a far cry from my hometown of Durango, Colorado. Splitting my school time in Dubai and my summers back in Colorado added a myriad of challenges to the naturally difficult adolescent years. Eventually American culture became foreign and I felt more normal swimming in the ocean, eating shawarmas and camping in the desert than I did devouring cheeseburgers, riding bikes and fishing in the Colorado streams of my hometown (although there was still plenty of it). Then, suddenly after seven years of this routine, my time in Dubai, my friends, my experiences and my normalcy was taken away without warning. What I thought would be another routine summer in Durango ended up being a new life here in Oregon. No goodbyes, no time for closure, no way to prepare and at the drop of a hat, a new life. It was at this point, whether I knew it or not, that I began a new idea of a haj, to return to the place I used to live.