Posts

Fall in Montana and Wyoming has been exceptionally pretty this year. Perhaps it’s the small number of rainstorms that have allowed the colors to linger on the trees longer. It might just be my favorite time of year. I’ve been venturing over into Yellowstone National Park on my days off with intentions of finding spawning brown trout. While landing browns has been minimal, we did get into some sizeable rainbow trout. It’s been a while since I’ve brought my camera on a river trip and this time managed to snap a few picks in between my own casts. Hanging out with my buddy Mike and his college amigos gave me an opportunity to vicariously fish through my camera lens watching other anglers again. A familiar post. It was good to get back in the saddle but I must admit, I felt rusty. Still, I liked some photos that I got. Here are a few that stood out to me. I see more rivers on the horizon. Thanks for looking. Tight lines. -Mike

Last week I photographed some of the activities around town that were giving appreciation for Native American Heritage Day. It was a chance to recognized all of the diverse tribal nations both here in Montana and throughout the country and that unified idea to uphold their native cultures was shown in the multi tribal dancing outfits and teachings to the public. You couldn’t ask for a better weather day. I hung around Montana State University watching fancy dancers, listening to speakers, listening to native music and then ventured over to Chief  Joseph Middle School to watch kids learn to put up teepees. Ingredients that made for a fun day in Bozeman and for a festive Sunday Viewfinder photo page in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. -M

I have always been jealous of my photographer buddies in Portland, Oregon who get to photograph the muddy, up-and-coming sport of cyclocross. It looks like such a wonderfully goofy social sport event and the photos they would bring back from it made it look like just a blast to photograph. Last weekend I finally got the chance to photograph it when my roommate clued me in on a race that was happening here in Bozeman. It was awesome. For some reason I decided to pack light and use just a 35mm lens to photograph the event. Using such a small lens can be very limiting on what I can do with it but it forced me to think more in layers and/or force me to use my feet to get closer to the action. It was a fun photo exercise on my day off. The rest of the images are some favorites that I made from this week at the newspaper. Thanks for looking, -M

A week or two ago, I had an opportunity to photograph some Montana State University football. It’s been a while since I’ve photographed any sports and I was looking forward to getting back into the saddle. The home game was against Eastern Washington University and according to all the buzz in the newsroom sports department, it would be a game that would likely determine the Big Sky Conference champs for the 2013 season. I always like photographing sporting events that matter. You can feel the added intensity from the players and crowd which ultimately make for a more exciting game to photograph. I decided to go early to the tailgates so I could document the tailgating scene here in Bozeman. It ended up being a long day (working 11 hours straight) but it was a fun one. I was pleased to wake up the following morning to see a big photo spread in the Sunday paper. I still geek out seeing all my images displayed big in newsprint. Love it! -M

Here are some of my more successful images from the last couple of weeks working at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The battle continues. Thanks for looking. -M

Holy moly! I’m a bit backed up with my blog posts. I’ve been meaning to post this one for a while now.  A couple months back I got an invite from my friend Allison to join her on a trip up to Alaska for a week of fly fishing for the coho salmon run on Kodiak Island. Allison is an aquatic biogeochemistry and community dynamics grad student in the Ecology Department at UC Davis and was headed up to Fairbanks, Alaska for a science conference. She decided to make a vacation out of it by going up early to have a go at the coho salmon. I have been trying to get to Alaska for years and her invite just happened to coincide with a time break in my wedding photography season. I didn’t hesitate for a second and agreed right there to treat myself to a well deserved mini vacation. Neither of us had ever been up to Alaska let alone the mostly remote Kodiak Island so we started doing some research. There are two ways to fish Kodiak Island – either by staying at a remote fancy/expensive fishing lodge or to fish along the road system. We went with the latter and ended up staying with some friends of hers who lived in the town of Kodiak. Our gracious hosts Matt and Mari lent us their old pickup truck for the week – a blessing and a curse where we had to constantly be monitoring the engine temperature due to it’s frequent overheating. They say it isn’t an adventure until something goes wrong. Kodiak is an island about 250 miles southwest of Anchorage with over 3,500 square miles of rugged wild terrain which makes it the second largest island in the United States behind Hawaii. The place is notorious for it’s lousy, rainy weather but is legendary for it’s salmon runs and large brown bears. We spent the week exploring the river systems of the Buskin River, the American, the Pasagshak and Russian Creek in search of coho salmon. It’s harder than it looks. We caught plenty of pink salmon, a few Dolly Vardens and “luckily” Allison hooked into and landed three silver salmon. I suppose it’s hard to catch a silver salmon with a camera in hand. Alas, I was skunked in the coho department. I redeemed myself later in the week when Matt took Allison and I out on his 60 foot boat for two afternoons of deep sea fishing. I’d never done it before and had a great time catching my first Halibut and a copious amount of rock fish. All in all it was an incredible trip. Alaska is too damn big to conquer in a mere week but I must say that I am in love with it. I will definitely be back soon. -M

Special thanks to my sponsors Patagonia, Glacier Glove and Echo Rod Company for all of their assistance and their fantastic gear.

Upon my return to work recently after my bout with pneumonia, I was given a fun, but hasty assignment by my photo editor. Often times planned scheduled stories won’t work out for some reason or another which leaves the management to scramble to fill the void. Such a time came a week or two ago, when our planned photo package for our Sunday Living section of the newspaper fell through. My boss turned to me to come up with a filler story. We’ve had an exceptional extended fall here in Northern California and my assignment was to go out and document the fall colors through a photo essay within three days. I must say I really enjoyed doing it. Although it was a rushed story, I took the opportunity to slow down and really study the scenery I was photographing. I was pleased with the results. Crazy to think we are just a couple weeks away until Christmas. These warmer California “winters” are messing with this midwesterner’s head. Is it weird that I want to see everything covered in snow for the holidays? Thanks for looking. -M