On February 1st, my assistant and I packed up our gear and drove up I-5 to a familiar location. The Rogue River is an icon here in Southern Oregon and this Oregonian waterway is where we met up with native Oregonian Chris Korbulic. Being a kayaker and river runner myself, I had loosely followed Chris and his good friend Ben Stookesberry’s ridiculously courageous exploits, running not only some of the most difficult rivers in the world but running them in such out of the way and logistically challenging areas of the planet.
1859 Oregon’s Magazine hired us to spotlight a local athlete and we knew just the person to call for the shoot. Chris is from Rogue River, OR and grew up kayaking with his parents. Since his first trip down the Rogue he has been around the world on kayaking expeditions. The 1859 article highlights the local explorer and his incredible experiences from Africa to the Himalayas and back to the Rogue and High Sierra rivers. His African expedition with Ben Stookesberry and Hendri Coetzee was captured in the documentary film, Kadoma. A present-day expedition of a river in Africa that had never been kayaked before these three men took to the water. It’s an incredible story of an unknown experience and tragedy. Check out Chris’ blog for more first-hand experiences from his expeditions.
We spent 2 hours shooting on the bank of the Rogue. Chris told us about all the time he’s spent on the water and how the Rogue would always be special to him. He said after that first Class III experience he was hooked and wanted to run rivers as often as he could. I’ve been lucky to shoot quite a few athletes that I would call world class. Chris definitely fits this category, but he really fits the category of world class inspiration. He’s a perfect blend of humility, focus, skill, and big dreams. It was a blast being able to shoot Chris back in the place where it all started for him. Thanks to 1859 Magazine, our photo editor Aimee and Chris for an awesome story!
Shoot breakdown: We shot this on a cloudy day and wanted to take advantage of the natural “softbox” that was happening for us. However, I wanted to just ever so slightly give Chris a little definition and pop. We shot this with the canon 5dmkiii and the 70-200 IS II, with an 5′ diffused octa on a boom off to camera right . It was pretty wet and the rocks were quite slippery so keeping it simple was part of the plan. Shooting in this environment is about keeping it as simple as you can. I go by the quote of “the most dangerous place on the river is getting in or out of your boat.” Moss, water, sharp, big rocks, sand and a moving river all add up to a good way to take a big digger or break some perfectly good gear.
Creativity is the impetus behind any given act of creation: inventions, compositions, etc. It is a fundamental human compulsion and largely related to notions of what separates human from machine intelligence. – Wikipedia
Thought I would share this video. I think the compelling part about it is that I really can’t classify it – is it commercial, part narrative, fine art. I really think it stands out not only for the cool timelapse / stop motion effects, but that it does have a story. And, that’s what I find so grueling with a lot of the work I see on YouTube and the internet -there is no story. In fact that goes for TV. Perhaps is because the filmmaker is from Europe, where Europeans have an easier time creating great stories first and then applying great filmmaking second. Credit to Filip Piskorzynski @ polaroidface.com. Even his website is different -kinda dark and mysterious to creepy – reminds me of the band Tool.
Anyone have any idea how he did this affect? I’m thinking he shot video and removed all frames that had her touching the ground. I don’t think time lapse would work as the frame rate would not be fast enough. This would seem to be a pretty labor intensive process! My favorite part is where the clothes are flying onto her body while she is in the sand dunes. If any one has a breakdown on how this was done I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Mental Floss magazine asked us if we’d like to shoot a story for them on an “animal crime lab.” It sounded cool and we said “hell yes.” It turned out to be one of the most interesting and possibly bizarre shoots we can remember doing in a while. With a great deal of creative freedom to shoot and a copy of the story, we walked into U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon. We got the royal grand tour (which isn’t open to the public) of the facility with Ken Goddard, the Lab’s Director. (You’ll read more about him in this article.) The tour took us through evidence rooms, necropsies in progress, DNA testing equipment, a machine that can lift finger prints off of things that have been underwater??? And, other fascinating rooms including rooms to fire off guns into a tank of water to do ballistic tests. This lab is the only one of its kind in the nation and they do some crazy cool detective work to solve crimes against wildlife, here in the U.S. and throughout the globe.
The work that these scientists do here is impressive. Plus the stories we were told were freakin crazy and involved worldwide crime syndicates, major busts and of course the real crowd pleaser, CSI where real bad guys get caught by super unreal forensic work! Read this story! We shot the nation’s top veterinary pathologist, Tabitha Viner, do a necropsy (an animal autopsy) on a golden eagle that had been through a wind turbine. We asked if she could fake like wings were attached so we would know it was a bird. (See the picture on the last page of the Golden Eagle’s talons.) In the morphology room we shot alligator purses and ash trays made from elephant feet, monkey hands and of course tiger skulls. Read the story? The story mentions tiger penis’ but we didn’t see one of those and I can’t decide if I’m bummed or relieved by that missed op! Potential testosterone builder?
Thank you to Ken, Tabitha, and all those who take on the job of solving the crimes against our globe’s birds, fishes, and animals! Sort of like an animal Lorax facility. And thanks to Winslow Taft our Art Director and Rob Culpepper for giving us this assignment. Lastly, we’d highly recommend checking out the Mental Floss T-shirt’s for sale and can say they are pretty damned funny!
Here at Jared Cruce studios we’re always looking for things that inspire us. From a great cup of coffee to off the chart artists, inspiration is what keeps us moving and on our toes. If you’re looking for some personal and perhaps visionary inspiration on how to throw your cell phone into the proverbial lake and set out into the wild blue yonder (i.e. radically change your life and do what you’ve always dreamed of.) look no further than the Blog of our friend Christina Ammon – Vanabonds.
Her blog shares her story as she travels the world on a low budget and describes her travel style as “near to the ground, cheap, and [involving] no agendas, no guidebooks, no home base and little money.” Many of us dream of this type of commitment to a pursuit of adventure and exploration but fail follow through with it. As one blog reader once stated: “I’m glad you are doing it so I don’t have to.”
Her adventures were recently written up on Oregonlive at we’re hoping her blog continues to blow up. It’s definitely a fun read and puts the world of facebook updates and never ending tweets sort of in a “what the f@#!” is my life all about perspective. The blog features stories of her travels while living out of her van in various countries (16 thus far).
Chris and I have done some editorial assignments together (her as a writer) and she has hung her hat in Ashland on and off for the past decade. We’re keeping our eyes peeled for her first novel! When’s it coming Chris?
For further information about Christina check out her Q & A at Oregon live here.
May 18-19, 2013
Spend two days with professional photographer Jared Cruce in ths energizining photographic workshop. From our base in Ashland, Oregon we will prepare for and learn the craft and equipment needed to tackle any location portrait. Then we head out into some of the diverse and eclectic environments around the area. On Day 1, students will learn location assessment, portrait lighting, and techniques for bringing out emotion in their images! On Day 2, students will get to take their imagery up another level by working with professional models and receiving one-on-one instruction from Jared.
Early registration is $215 (which includes a $15 modeling fee) until March 31st, 2013. After that the price goes up to $240. Register now to capitalize on the discounted price, and to lock in a weekend in beautiful Ashland!
Ashland, Oregon is an amazing vacation spot with the mountains, Crater Lake, the coast, rivers all right there! The small town is nestled in the mountains, has all qualities of lodging from B&B’s to inexpensive motels, quaint shopping, awesome dining, Lithia Park and the prolific and award winning Shakespeare Festival.
OTHER UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:
AUGUST 1-4, 2013
Jared Cruce studio wrote, produced, directed and edited this commercial spot for Southern Oregon University Football Team. This is the first of a three part series with each spot featuring a different athlete (Running Back, Quarter Back, and Linebacker.) Working with the team’s coaches and media relations department, we sculpted a “brand” message that is the core of the team. It was awesome to work with the team’s new Coach Craig Howard on this. Coach Howard will lead the Raiders into the Frontier Division of the NAIA and we are glad to be a part of this new era.
The production was shot with the Canon 5d MarkII and Canon 7d cameras, Kessler Pocket Dolly and Pocket Jib, Glidecam 4000HD w/ Steadicam Merlin arm and vest. Lighting was a mixture of 1k Incandescents, and Flourescents with softboxes. Sound was recorded with Tascam DR-100, Rode NTG 2, Seinheisser Wireless Lav setup.
Gaffers: Eric Bixler, Errin Connors
First AC: Rocky Garretto
Some of our work in the Fall 2011 issue of Southern Oregon Magazine. Thanks to Heidi Chackel (our editor) and Brian Page ( art director) for the opportunity and the great layout. Big props to Tiffany Trevalant for producing this and to Christine at Troon Winery for creating such a nice space and treating us so well.
My friend and photographer / film maker Carson Garner has been taking HD DSLR filmmaking to the next level in a very short time. Check out his recent timelapse and his work over at www.f9photo.com He’s a really bright guy with a great eye his projects really show it.