Oregonian Adventure

Greetings friends! Last month we had the privilege of flying to Oregon to hang out with some of the nicest people in the world and teach at Professional Photographer's of Oregon's "Focus" conference. We took some personal days before and after the conference to find inspiration in the beautiful Northwest. Our trip began in Portland:Shortly before this trip we acquired our first iPhone and discovered Instagram (the most fun camera app ever). You'll see a lot of Instagram's scattered throughout this post. The app captures images in a variety of retro square formats that look like this:That orange Dodge Caliber was our trusty rental car that helped us tear up the coast! Shortly after landing we met up with two of our talented and fun–loving friends from college, Björn and Lia:

After thoroughly exploring Portland, we spent a day driving to the coast and exploring Oregon's beautiful terrain and weather patterns. Over the course of the day we experienced warm sunshine, fluffy snowflakes, rain, more warm sunshine and hail. It was bizarrely fantastic:

And of course no McClanahan vacation would be complete without an awkward jumping self portrait:We brought along 2 Canon 580's with our beloved Radiopopper PX's to turn Cannon Beach into a studio and had fun creating some images for the sheer joy of it:

After parting ways with Björn and Lia, we headed back to Portland for the Focus conference...

Here's a shot of our PPO class! We spent 7 hours with these guys and we can sincerely say that they were a joy to hang out with. Lots of great questions, lots of great insights and I think everybody in attendance was inspired (including us):

We want to give a huge thanks to Millers Lab and Radiopopper for donating sweet prizes to give away to these guys! It's a huge blessing to have the support of vendors that we love! We also want to give special thanks to Chea Barns, a PPO member that agreed to let us photograph her (below) as part of a live demo during our class. We photographed Chea inside using softboxes provided by Larson Enterprises (what we use in our studio) and studio equipment provided by Lisa Dillon (We love Lisa! She organized the conference and did a rockin' job)! To create the image below we composited Chea into a Portland cityscape that we photographed the night before:Once the conference was over, we headed to Mt. Hood for some snowboarding action. Along the way we came across Multnomah Falls and photographed arguably our most extreme "little people/big world" self portrait to date:

It was raining really hard and we had to take the image from a tripod without destroying our camera. We bought a poncho from the gift shop and borrowed an umbrella from the "Friends of Multnomah Falls." The camera still got pretty soaked and it was tough to get a frame with no raindrops on the lens (because the camera had to be angled up into the rain), but we got the shot. To accomplish the image, each of us was photographed separately (Dan shot Alex, Alex shot Dan). We took turns running 1/2 mile up the slippery, wet trail to get to the bridge and combined the images in Photoshop. Here's the setup:

Another noteworthy happening was Dan's new red pants from H&M (trying to pass as an Oregonian hipster). He'll probably get beat up when he tries to wear them in Iowa, but they go wonderfully with beards and strange red cars. We made it to Mt. Hood and enjoyed some of the best snowboarding we've ever had thanks to 19" of fresh powder.

We'll end this post with a few dusk images from our beach adventure with Björn and Lia. We used combination of on-camera-flash and iPhone flashlights to mess with light-painting. If we were an indie band, these would be our awkwardly abstract promo images that adorned the walls of the dorm-dwelling cool kids:

Thanks for reading! We need to go back to Oregon again to hang out with our new friends and see all the great stuff we missed. If you enjoyed this post, do us a favor and leave a comment letting us know you were here!

Sabbatical Part 1: Colorado

Hello! In case you haven't heard, we recently embarked upon 2011 McClanahan Studio Winter Sabbatical. According to definition, a sabbatical is the following: "A period of time when a faculty member is not working , but concentrating on his/her own education or research."

We are taking an epic road trip intertwined with work and play (all educational, of course). We loaded up our 1995 Ford Contour, "Bob," and hit the road immediately following the PPI conference mentioned in the previous blog post. Here's us and Bob, tearing up the asphalt in style:

We started our trip with play...Over the weekend we met up with Alex's brother Josh + his wife Steph + our friend Jess at Copper Mountain in Colorado for some epic snowboarding. Here's the whole crew:

Somehow we got talked into taking a snowcat and hiking to the top of the toughest slope at the resort (where no lifts go, because it's where all the fresh powder was) and somehow managed to avoid death. Here's proof:

And some more random snaps (all taken with our Droid X, which has a surprisingly good camera)

From Colorado we drove to Utah to spend a couple days hiking in the wilderness and photographing landscapes (where we are currently). Tomorrow we drive to Vegas to teach at After Dark: Vegas and hang out at WPPI. You won't want to miss our next Sabbatical post – we've been fortunate to witness some breathtaking stuff the last couple days and we're pumped out of our minds to get some shots edited so we can share them! Gotta give a shout out to Peter and Kathy Holcombe (check out their web site) for helping us map out our route through Utah and letting us spend the night at their place on the first leg of our drive! They'll also be teaching at After Dark :)

More soon...