District 37 Dual-Sport has made LA-Barstow-to-Vegas one of the most famous and longest two-day dual-sport rides in the world. 2018 marks the 35th year for the 400 mile+ dual-sport ride. The tour starts the day after Thanksgiving, using creative routes chosen to Barstow and Las Vegas. Gear bags are transported from point-to-point each day. Adventure bikes, vintage bikes, side-hacks and small displacement bikes are all encouraged to join the fun with the regular dual-sport bikes as long as they are street legal.
My good friend was getting married in Ireland and my desire to capture this led me to a camera quandary. I have more cameras than most people but I didn’t want to lug a huge case of gear and feel like I was working, so the C300 mkII was out. I have a 5D but I’d need to bring more gear to make that work and it would still be a big case. I have a tiny GoPro but it’s too wide angle. My iPhone fits right in my pocket… but the sensor is too small.
I did some research and the RX-100 mkV seemed like the best travel camera so I added it to my cart on B&H… but didn’t check out right away. Then the price suddenly dropped by $100 (yay!). A few days later the mark VI was announced but wasn’t shipping yet (boo!). I was stuck between release cycles and the wedding was right around the corner.
As I was foraging for sustenance in my refrigerator one day when I noticed I had several rolls of super 8mm film languishing in the vegetable drawer. Home movies were much cooler shot on film. I found an old Super 8 camera somebody had given me in a box upstairs. Holy crap there is a roll of film in it! How many years has that been in there? Well no matter I’m taking it to Ireland and pointing it at my friends.
In the end I brought two super 8 cameras and seven 50 foot rolls of film. I got it developed and scanned at Pro8mm in Burbank and was pleasantly surprised that most of it turned out. I practically had an in camera edit going as well but they scanned it out of order so I dropped it into FCPX, scaled it to fit 1920×1080, and brought it some good old Irish songs. I’m really happy with it and so were the bride and groom.
Here is the first episode of a five part series I recently shot with award-winning boxing writer Lance Pugmire for The Los Angeles Times. Canelo Alvarez is the young superstar and pride of Mexican boxing, versus Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, the unified middleweight world champion who hails from Kazakhstan.
It was an exciting fight, expected to end with a K.O. but it turned out to be a draw. Fortunately for me that was the bet I had placed at the sports book and it paid 25 to 1…
The new CNN Original Series “The Nineties” premieres Sunday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Following in the success of the decade series “The Eighties”, I served as director of photography and camera operator for most of the interview shoots for this series.
My friend Janet Sollod likes dancing, hiking, and rock climbing. Janet has purple hair, a degree from MIT, and metastatic cancer. STAT recently published a really thoughtful and inspirational article about Janet and her cancer support group that you should read.
“No lifetime is enough to experience everything… I will see, do, taste, smell, feel everything that I can in my lifetime, however long or short that it may be. And it will be enough.” – Dr. Janet Sollod
Janet’s college roommate Dr. Pardis Sabeti recently lost her uncle Mike to cancer while she was hospitalized from an accident. Pardis wrote this song for Mike after he passed while she was still recovering in the hospital. Aside from being named one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People for her work on the Ebola epidemic, Pardis is also in a band called Thousand Days. They recorded the song and reached out to me to create a video featuring Janet. Subsequently I packed my truck full of camera gear and drove North to San Francisco to film for about a week. I brought a hard drive full of footage back to Jessica Locke at Cutters Editorial and she got editor TJ Lasure to start assembling it into a music video.
Please click the play button above at any time to watch Janet dancing through the graveyard, laughing, smiling, not regretting a moment spent here in this world.
I served as second unit director of photography and camera operator for the majority of production for this CNN documentary series following the crucial events of the 1980’s decade. It’s now available streaming on Netflix if you are interested in watching.
LAB2V is an epic enduro motorcycle rally, this was my second year. I did a lot better this year on a KTM690 than last year on the big Honda XR650L. The 2 expert guys I rode with didn’t have to wait for me as much. I still managed to get completely lost for several hours on day 1 with no GPS or cel service, and low fuel. I finally got my bearings and made Barstow at dusk an hour before my friends who had to plug a flat on the trail.
We started day 2 at 5:30am in 30 degree temperatures. My Klim gear helped a lot (last year I rode it in jeans, bad idea) but within 30 minutes of leaving I could not feel any of my fingers. I melted one pair of gloves trying to warm my hands on the exhaust. We skipped some of the more boring gravel roads just outside Barstow and hauled ass down the 15 to Baker, our objective being to do the whole route via the “hard way” and there is never really enough daylight for that.
By noon it was close to 70 degrees and I was soaked in sweat and the trails were getting tough. I dropped it quite a few times but without any major consequences. I broke the tip of my shifter off which was annoying but I just threw a wad of tape on it and kept going. My small tail bag started to disintegrate (never buy Bilt brand) I taped and zip tied it. Also my license plate got caught up in my rear wheel and now looks like a sardine can lid rolled up tight.
Somewhere along the way we lost our GPS rider that had been leading us and two of us finished via roll chart and memory. The most difficult/fun section is Red Rock Canyon right before you get to Vegas, it’s not really that hard but the fatigue of getting there makes it harder and there are usually piles of bikes. Last year I had to bail out because the sun had set so I was happy to make that part. There were a couple more crashes for the video then we hit the pavement into Vegas. I finished about 4 hours earlier than I did last year so I was very proud of myself.
I put together our groups’ GoPro footage and I hope you find this edit entertaining. Likes, comments, and shares are appreciated.
I captured these images today on my Canon 5D mark II with a cheap ProOptic 14mm lens at f/8 or f/11 doing 20-30 second exposures. The pyrotechnics are from steel wool on fire. The location is a sketchy secret underground tunnel near Temescal Canyon.
Check out my girlfriend Jen climbing Mt. Everest to raise money for her disabled nephew Nathaniel. I gave her my GoPro and a brief lesson on how to use it. I finally found the time to edit it together and I think it turned out really good.
Here’s a dusty post for my dusty blog.
LA-B-to-V is the most famous and longest two-day dual sport ride in the world. This was the 32nd year for the best 400 mile-plus dual sport ride.
Music: Old Man Gloom – The Ape of God (I) “Eden’s Gates”