Saturday, July 30, 2011

Indy the Fish Hunter

Doggie Paddle 
So today while doing my normal photography duties I had a chance to go to the pond and photograph the guests having play time.  Well I thought why not take the dog and work on our duck retrieving skills.  So Indy ran along side the ATV all the way to the pond, which is about a 1/4 mile.  He is really learning not to run away while off leash.  At the pond he ran around, played with the kids, and worked on fetching his duck bouy.  Well after awhile the fish start to pay attention to Indy.  So much so that some fish swam up to him.  He greeted them with a friendly love bite and tried to toss one on shore, luckily the fish escaped with his life as he flopped back into the water before Indy could eat him.  The dog was hooked.  He is not usually a swimming dog, in fact he hates the water.  But chasing fish he will give even Michael Phelps a run for his money in the doggie paddle.  The dog is obsessed with fish.  The kids loved to watch Indy chase the fish and he was a big hit.  They even loaded him into a paddle boat so he could get a better view of the fish.  He jumped out of the boat a few times, after a whole lot of whining, but he did learn a valuable lesson that dogs cant breath under water.  Each time he went for a kill shot on the fish he would come up snorting for air.  The dog practically swam around the entire pond twice on two fish hunts.  Got to love dogs, they are great!

Fish Taste Good!!!!! oh soooo Good!!!!!  Can't believe this fish escaped!

On the ATV ride home however the steer caught his attention once again.  The dog lost his fool mind and went bonkers this time. The steer were wearing horn braces to protect there horns.  They are kind of like chin straps for steer.  Well I was in the steer pen faster that you could believe chasing that damn dog, who is going to get me killed one day.  I finally caught him as he latched on to a steer's harness and wouldn't let go.  Then Indy received some corporal punishment and was banished back to the greenhouse.  Not entirely back to square one on the off leash biz; but he is still learning.  Here is to hoping he doesn't ever get me or himself trampled in the steer pen.

Mine all Mine...... Tastes  like duck!

Happy Saturday!

Its the Killer Rainbow Trout!  Its stalking Indy just to the left.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Things that go BOOM

So its been awhile.  Well its been real busy.  What can I say.  The last two weeks we have been doing guest prep and entertaining guests.  Here are a few highlights of what has gone over the last two weeks.  I have been working on a 5 year history book for the ranch including photos of construction that has been done here on the ranch such as additions to the lodge and main buildings, also the construction of several new building around the ranch including my cabin!  The book is also filled with guests visits, old staff members and of course tons of family photos.  Not too complicated you would think but this thing is massive - 240 pages of Jason hunting through 100,000 photos.  I'm an optimist and this is no big deal its my job its what I'm paid for.  Well I was about 10 pages away from completing the book so i saved it and thought i would start on the final ten in the morning fresh and with new perspective.  Boy was that a mistake!  I reopen my book this morning to find out the file had some how become corrupted over night and Indesign will not open it any more.  Back to square one, OH SHIT!  Well its not nearly as bad as I thought I was able to bang out almost 200 pages today and will finish in the morning and don't worry I saved two copies this time.

On other fun topics this week we had some cool guests visiting who like to not sit around and drink all day they actually did stuff. Yay!  So lets see - I played paintball this week and shot a whole bunch of people - it was a lot of fun.  We also went to shoot skeet a few times this week.  I went 20 for 20 one round! Go me!  Also I went on 1 of the 5 most deadly horse trails rides in America this week with the guests.  It was awesome - it compares closely to Grand canyon with all the switch backs and sheer drop offs.  The ride was great and we ended our ride with a spectacular 3 tiered waterfall.  Sorry I could only photograph one tier.  This is also the place that is world renown  for its ice climbing.  Anyways it was cool.

Also this week I am now officially a co-owner of a Handgun ....  Thanks Tom!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Its not all about the camera

Hey all time for some quick updates.  Erin and I got to spend time with her sister Kelli and her brother in law Jeff this weekend along with her parents in west yellowstone.  We had a great time just spending time together as a family.  It was great to visit and have fun outside.  Erin's dad is addicted to fishing so naturally we spent alot of time out by the madison river.  I took the dogs for a short hike up a hillside to check out some cool looking flowers (pictured below).

 Also I wanted to document all the guys fishing.  However i did not have the appropriate footwear and feared that my camera gear would take a plunge.  So I grabbed Erin's little point and shoot and went to town shooting in the river, waist deep in some pretty strong moving water.  I was really surprised when at the end of the day i began to look at the photos and noticed I had actually gotten some really good shots with a $100 camera.

 I guess I really shouldn't be surprised, it has always been about the photographer and not the equipment.  While it is extremely helpful to have the latest and greatest camera gear it is not essential to taking a good picture.  Point and shoots have there limits and are unable to take some of the editing that the DSLR's that shoot raw can handle.  But lets face when in a pickle if you really know how to use a camera and have a good eye it doesn't matter what you use.

 I think as photographers, both professional and enthusiasts, we lose sight of what makes a great image and put and extreme emphasis on $2,000 lenses and $5,000 cameras thinking that some how they will magically make those great images appear with each click of the shutter.  Im not saying that you shouldn't buy nice equipment, if you can afford it and you know how to use it by all means use it, but as for me I am returning to the basic's of just shooting with the key elements of design at the forefront of every photograph ( Elements of Design : Line, Shape, Direction, Size, Texture, Color, Value)                 ( Principals of Design : Balance, Gradation, Repetition, Contrast, Dominance, Unity, Harmony).   That should be the first thing we think about when take pictures is framing no matter how much photoshop you know you cant really turn chicken shit into chicken salad.  Lets focus more on the subject, take more time an analyze what make a good photo before we get all technical with our settings, lenses and custom functions.

FYI :  I have added more pictures to my Imagekind Gallery which are available for purchase here : .  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You Can't Drown in your own Sweat

Well the saying says it all.  You can't drown in your own sweat and you can't achieve anything without a good amount of sweat.  This week has been full of sweat for me.  I have made 5 complete ground up revisions of a book for the boss.  On the 5th time it was perfect.  Thank you Jesus!!!  I did however become very proficient in Indesign a program that I had not used since college.  I was a lot rusty as there have been like 4 newer version released since I graduated.  And the even better thing is I can put those skills to work for my own book some time here in the short future.  Ill be taking pre-orders via comments on this blog.  Also if you have an idea for the title of the book let me know.  Currently I'm stewing on "North South East and West " by Jason Speer.  Any thoughts?

Anyway we had a great time with Erin's Parents who visited the Ranch last weekend.  Tom and I had a lot of man time - we shot skeet, went fishing, threw tomahawks, and shot his very, very nice compound bow that left a nice scar on my forearm because I'm too long for his bow at this point in time.  Erin and Sheril had a good time too I'm sure.  We did all get to go for a really nice horse ride while they were here and had lots of quality time.  It was great for them to get to see the ranch.

DONT HAVE ANY AUTOMOTIVE WORK DONE AT WALMART.  I know I've said it before in a few posts about the townie-dumbasses who work in the automotive center at the cody walmart.  But this time Tom got to experience it with me and vouch for me that i am not an unreasonable california driver.  We got a flat tire again on the way to town on sunday.  A few ranch vehicles also got flats this week too - they come in 3's.  So its sunday and the only automotive center open is walmart.  Well this time they tried to screw me really hard.  They would not let me replace one tire - they insisted that i buy 4 new tires. To which i scoffed and said hell no, politely of course.  I reasoned with the gentleman after he had told me it wasn't walmart policy to replace only one tire and then went off on this rant about uneven tread wear saftey and was going to refuse me service again (remember the oil change).  So i talked him into fixing my tire but the catch was I had to put it on myself as a spare.  My supposed 1 hour service turned into 2 hours of hell.  We were able to leave Walmart.  We went to lunch and enjoyed the town of cody wyoming.  But right before lunch something didn't look right about my new spare tire.  Well it was 3 sizes too small - those jackasses mounted a 235 instead of a 265.  I was unhappy as you can imagine and called walmart and talked to the gentleman who had been helping me and he said well, we didn't have your size tire...... LIAR.........  He was trying to cover his ass.  I told him I had seen at least 6 tires in there that would have fit the car.  He told me all he could do was refund my money.  So after lunch i went back to Walmart to show the man his mistake and then began negotiations for a new tire that was top of the line.  End result Jason 1, Walmart 2.  Walmart however did give me 80$ off my new top of the line tire.  All I'm saying is don't go to walmart for automotive repair.

Enjoy the photos. Im going to West Yellowstone this weekend so we should have some cool night shots.