I've moved!  

Thursday, March 4, 2010

So, if for whatever reason you're patiently waiting for a new blog post to pop up on my blogspot site... well, I've moved my stuff over to wordpess, and this guy isn't getting updated anymore.

Update your subscriptions and pop on over to the new site!

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In Print: SBC Resort Guide  

Monday, November 9, 2009

Got word last week that I had a photo run in this seasons SBC Resort Guide. After much searching, I finally found a copy and flipped straight to page 58:


Nick Antle, handplant, Cypress Mtn superpipe.

Check the full post for the original photo and a couple more of Nick:

This was yet another late-season Cypress shot, so this post doubles as "Cypress Sesssions pt 3". Here's the original shot and another Antle handplant from a different angle:



This shot is my first published in SBC and, remarkably, the first time a photo of Nick has found its way into a magazine. I say remarkably because I shot this photo of him back in 2007 at the Quicksilver Showdown Over the City - hard to believe this method hasn't been published before:


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NuuLife Cinema "Sixes and Sevens" Vancouver Premiere  

Monday, October 26, 2009

Circle the date on your calender, NuuLife Cinema is bringing their "Sixes and Sevens" premiere tour to Vancouver on Thursday, October 29. 8pm @ the Bourbon - check the facebook event page for details. I'm in the video, which makes it pretty much the best snowboard video of all time, so I expect to see everyone I know there.

Still not convinced? Watch the teaser a couple more times:

"Sixes and Sevens" - Teaser #2 from NuuLife Cinema on Vimeo.

Still not convinced? read about the mayhem of the Whistler premiere on push.ca


See you there!

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Cypress Sessions (pt 2)  

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another photo from late last season up at Cypress - Eric Poulin drops a goalpost stepdown, bolstering Cypress' claim to the best terrain on the north shore:


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Love is in the air  

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One fine day this summer, after running out of gas while cutting a helipad into the swampy permafrost near the confluence of the White and Yukon Rivers, I looked skyward from the pages of Dr Zhivago and instantly lunged for my bright yellow pelican case. I'm not usually one to see shapes in the clouds, but this particular formation was too perfect to not photograph.


I wasn't planning on posting this shot but someone saw it on my iphone the other day and insisted that I make a postcard out of it. A blog post is close enough, I guess - call me in February for Valentines Day gifts...

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Cypress Sessions (pt 1)  

Monday, October 5, 2009

I did some shooting up at Cypress Mountain late last season, and was pleasantly surprised to sneak in a pow day shortly before the lifts came to a halt for the year. Another surprise was the quality of the tree shredding in the Cypress sidecountry - reminded me of my favorite zones off Whistler's peak.

Eliel Hindert (now complete with poles!) gets a taste of Cypress spring pow:

Looking to stay connected during the next time that I forget to update my blog for 6 weeks? Become a fan of the Andrew Strain Photography Facebook page, or follow me on twitter!

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Tis the season...  

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Every fall as the leaves turn colour and the days get shorter and longer, those of us who are addicted to the pursuit of the perfect line start getting restless. The first dusting of snow on the local mountains serves notice that winter is indeed just around the corner, and that restlessness boils over into full on night-before-christmas ADHD. The anxious daily routine of checking snow reports and forecasts and opening day updates begins, and doesn't end until the lifts are turning and the base is deep.

For the determined few, these early sprinklings of snow offer more than just anticipation. The rock boards, gore tex and avy gear come out of the closet and the backcountry addicts ascend into the alpine for the chance to sneak a few turns before fall reclaims its brilliant colours with a dousing of October rain.

For photographers, that first snowfall is a reminder that many of the photos we took last season failed to pique the interest of a buyer, particularly in times when money is tight. I'm stoked to say that my list of photos that are slated for publication is higher than last year, but I still have an extensive list of shots that didn't make the cut anywhere. As I wait for the opportunity to get to work this season, I'm going to post up some of my favorites from last year that have yet to find a home in print somewhere.

I'll start it off with a strobist-style photo of Taylor Pfaff on Whistler mountain. This log jib is usually a lot smaller, but the lack of snow last season made for a fun session.


Dream about snow! Stay tuned for further updates...

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It's been a summer...  

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I've been gone from Vancouver for 2 and a half months now, and its time to go home. I've had some great adventures working in the Yukon - bears, helicopters, swamps and snowstorms. But, you can only be gone for so long before home comes calling... I'll be in Vancouver on Monday night.





More photos and words to come when I have a little more time... also looking forward to getting back to a calibrated monitor back in the city. A few other photos are on my flickr.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

I am currently working in a remote location and will be unable to receive or reply to any communication until approximately August 1st. In case of emergencies, I can be reached via canoe down the Yukon River.

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NuuLife Cinema "Sixes and Sevens" Teaser 2  

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Watch it now. Then share the love with everyone. Dropping this fall.

"Sixes and Sevens" - Teaser #2 from NuuLife Cinema on Vimeo.

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Atlin Arts and Music Festival  

Monday, July 13, 2009

The chaos is over and the crowds are gone, so I've hunkered down to edit the photos I shot during the 2009 Atlin Arts and Music Festival. I wasn't shooting on assignment for anyone so that left me with lots of time to spend in the beer gardens... here's a few photos that I nabbed when I ventured out into the world of no beer.

Headwater concludes their Saturday night set:

Mamaguroove put on a killer midnight show on Saturday. I was really feelin' the music, so I shot all my photos from the pit with my trusty 50 1.4.

You can see the rest of my photos here... I'll post some more as I edit them.

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Monarch Mtn  

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My spot in Atlin may be a little out of town, but it gives me a convenient head-start on the Monarch Mtn trail. I hauled up the trail last night, grouse grind style, to shoot some photos from the alpine at sunset. There's no tram down to ease the knees, but there's plenty of light to navigate by well after the sun finally disappears. Besides, you don't get views like this from Grouse...

Looking south to Warm Bay and Teresa Island:

The town of Atlin:

The distinctive Mt Minto can be seen in the distance, rising above the north end of a glistening Atlin Lake...

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Long Summer Days  

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A quick post of some photos from the last week or so... still lots of daylight to shoot/fish/hike (and work, of course)

Some more ND filter fun, as well as practice with another technique I rarely use, exposure blending (it'll have to do til I pitch for a grad ND) - Atlin Mountain at [a very late PM] sunset:

Teresa Island gets hit by a mix of rain and sun as a storm tracks west:

A couple more photos after the jump:

The M.V. Tarahne sits on Atlin's waterfront. Used to ferry tourists around the lake in her prime, these days she has been relegated to hosting the occasional afternoon tea:

Como Lake sunset:

Earlier that evening, we took my cousin to the lake and he caught his first fish, a nice little rainbow in a convenient single serving breakfast size:

I caught one too. Veronica Strain photo:

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Lakes and Rainbows  

Friday, June 19, 2009

I finally bought my fishing license yesterday, so naturally, I spent all evening on the lake trying to catch some supper. I even managed to find the time to play with my new neutral density filter and make some longer exposures in between casts. There's plenty of daylight to do both up here (tomorrow is the longest day of the year, with nearly 18 hours of theoretical sun): the alpenglow shot was taken just after 11pm.

This is Como lake, a couple km's north of Atlin. My current address is at the base of Monarch Mountain, in the background - haven't hiked it since I've been here, but I've flown over a couple times on the way to/from work... close enough, right?


In the full post, you can see what happens to tasty rainbow trout when they die...

My sister caught the first fish of the day... I evened the score later.

Back at home, ready for gutting:

It'd been a while since I cleaned a fish, but I think I did alright.

Trout with a side of salmon? Yes please.

Picked clean:

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Places I like to see bears:  

Saturday, June 13, 2009

1) From the helicopter
2) Planet Earth / National Geographic (or some other nature documentary film/photo)
3) From the truck on the side of the highway nowhere near where I'm working
4) The zoo
5) Never

This Grizzly was having a late night snack with her cubs along the side of the Carcross Hwy near Tagish, Yukon. I stayed in the truck, don't worry.


Hopefully that's the only sow and cubs I'll see this year...

A couple more photos from the Carcross area in the full post:


The Carcross Desert, apparently the smallest in the world. Can you see my shadow?

Taken from the desert - mountain name, anyone?

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Down to work (and the wood).  

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm finally settling into the routine of fieldwork again after a week in Atlin, but the hot weather has sapped my energy really fast - there's still a lot of snow on northern aspects, so we've been sticking to south faces up high in the alpine, where the sun beats down on us all day long. I'm not complaining - just tired.

The town of Atlin, from the morning helicopter trip to work:

The view from my "office" - Surprise Lake:

More words and photos in the full post:

We went out to the Globe Theatre last night to check out a performance by the Edmonton based bluegrass group Down to the Wood, passing through town on their way to the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival this week in Haines Junction, YT. I'm not big into bluegrass so I can't give much of an informed review, but the guys were funny, played some killer music, and were well received by the crowd - I might have to start taking my dad's advice and listen to more bluegrass... Me and the family headed out to a little jam sesh after the show, where we stayed up til the wee hours of the morning jamming with a group of extremely talented musicians (I definitely don't include myself in that category), and even got a free lesson on upright bass from the band; much appreciated, thanks guys! I used to play quite a bit of bass, but haven't in years - the upright makes me want to get back into it asap. Just what I needed, another expensive hobby...

Atlin Mountain at sunrise from the Monarch Mtn trail. I was wondering how I would ever bring myself to wake up at 4am to get a sunrise shot... problem solved last night - go to bed at 530am...

A woodpecker hangs from a homemade feeder:

Decades of living off the land has led to quite the impressive collection of antlers above my grandparents woodshed:

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South America Trip - The Photos  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I've been postponing this for a while cause theres still a couple photos I wanted to edit, but I'm away from a calibrated monitor for the rest of the summer, so its now or never. Here's my six favorite photos from my trip through Argentina and Chile, along with a gallery link to 40 or so others. Hope you like em...

One of the spires of Cerro Catedral stands tall with Volcan Tronador in the distance:

A double rainbow followed along side our bus as we drove through the craggy peaks of northern Patagonia. Argentinian buses are all luxury.

See the rest in the full post:


Big sky in the Argentine lake district:

I spy, the Bariloche waterfront:

Dinner for one, somewhere on the outskirts of Buenos Aires:

Descending Volcan Villarrica, Pucon, Chile:

And here's a slideshow of the whole gallery:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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Atlin, BC - my summer home.  

Monday, June 1, 2009

I've spent the two weeks since returning from Chile job hunting for mineral exploration work, and with seemingly every inquiry I made resulting in a reply of "sorry, we don't have financing for a field program this season", I was about to give up looking and start a summer job in the city when the call came in to send me north. I was on a plane for Whitehorse 3 days later - gotta love the go-go-go nature of this industry. I should be here til August, but there's really no telling for sure, and I'll likely be on the road on just a few short days notice, as usual.

I was pleasantly surprised on the flight up to make a flyby of my final destination, the small town of Atlin, BC. I lived here when I was a little kid, and the last time I visited was in 1998. I snapped a photo of the town, the lake, Atlin Mountain and Teresa Island from the plane:


Many photos to come over the next few months, as I roam the hills looking for gold (and photo-ops, of course). I still need to post some of my RAW edits from South America - maybe tomorrow.

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Volcan Villarrica **Full TR**  

Monday, May 11, 2009

The weather came through today and we were able to make an attempt at climbing Volcan Villarrica, near Pucon, Chile. I don´t have enough time for a full post right now, but I wanted to throw up a summit photo before I jump on a night bus for Santiago.

Me with a bottle of Chilean Carmenère for the top of a Chilean volcano:
(Photo credit: Reid Irwin)

**Full trip report with photos now up in the full post**

Well, I didn't have much time in Santiago so I'm finishing this one off back home in Vancouver. Climbing Villarrica was definitely one of the highlights of my trip, but it almost didn't happen - a high ceiling and no rain are requirements of travel on the volcano, and we had anything but for the first couple days of our stay in Pucon. It felt like I was back home in Vancouver during the October/November pineapple express season... constant downpour. The weather report for our last day in town was looking bleak as well, calling for overcast skies and a reasonable chance of rain. I went to bed expecting wake up to the sound of pouring rain.

I dragged myself out of bed at 6am the next morning, heard nothing, and poked my head out the window to a view of wood-stove smoke plumes rising lazily above Pucon, basked in the glow from the early morning light cast by the full moon. Shit, that was poetic. Game on.

I knew it hadn't exactly been warm over the past few days, but I was slightly surprised when we encountered the first fresh snow on the drive up to our start point, the base of Ski Pucon. There was a good 5cm in the parking lot, which had me wondering what the conditions would be like near the summit, 1400m above. Our guides were unconcerned by the snow, so we began the trek to the top.


The ascent was slow and steady, with the group soon separating into 2 packs as those not accustomed to alpine hiking began to tire. Personally, I felt it was a pretty relaxing pace, which was a pleasant change from the sweat-soaked deathmarch uphills that I usually subject myself to. It had been a few years since I'd hiked above 2300 metres, anyways, and I wasn't sure how I'd feel at the 2847m summit. The slow climb made it a non issue for me, and I reached the top remarkably dry (those who know me, know I'm a sweaty beast) and breathing easy.


I have to admit, I was a little disappointed upon reaching the top; there was no lava too be seen, and the fumes from the crater were so strong that we couldn't walk around the rim of the crater to catch a better view into the throat of the volcano. Just had time for a few photos and a victory swill from the bottle of caramere I lugged to the top before retreating down to an area of lower SO2 concentration for lunch.

A summit pano:

Volcanic gasses:

Our path up had been mainly crampon climbing over windblasted glacial ice, but the descent took us through a fairly sizeable area of 50cm deep windslab, which had me substantially more concerned than the volcanic activity above. Stepping above the track had 2m long blocks, 50cm deep popping out from under me... Our guide assured me that the slope, being only about 40 degrees, wasn't really steep enough to slide (umm, what?). The slope had been traversed by 20 or so hikers already, so I quickly glissaded my way down to the relative safety of exposed ice, without incident (I almost ripped my knee off on a rock while demonstrating my graceful glissade skillz further down the mountain, but I didn't take any photos so as soon as the scab heals, it never happened).

A view during the descent:

When we got back down to the ski area base, my stoke was doubled when we saw some local shreds busting out the boards for the first snowfall of the season:


There's a bunch more photos (camera jpegs) from the trip on my flickr photostream, but I'm feeling a little reluctant to post them here now that I'm back home and working on the RAW files. I don't usually shoot RAW+jpeg, but it was handy for the trip to be able to quickly upload the jpgs for my blog, and its really interesting to be able to see a side-by-side comparison of the camera jpegs and my Lightroom edits.

Stay tuned for a trip summary with RAW edits, a RAW vs jpeg comparison, and a note on the gear I took with me.

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