Vivid Series Vol.1

As an outdoor lifestyle videographer / photographer I find myself constantly with a camera in reach, ready to capture those fleeting moments of perfect natural light, encounters with wild inhabitants, and highlights of action. I find myself building a larger library of clips than I can use. In an attempt to waste little I am starting a series, one that highlights some of these better moments I've filmed in short videos to come out quarterly. Enjoy!

Roots

Something many might not know about me is I come from Portugese decent. My last name lays claim to that. Beyond that fact I can't say much more about my heritage. We don't celebrate our backgrounds that much in my family, being we are a mixed bag of different ethnic nationalities, but the Portugese stands out to me as an important part of me anyways. I've always considered visiting Portugal, although it was never more than a passing thought. When Jen one day brought up her idea to visit the lesser visited southwestern coastal country it perked my curiosity. Then she mentioned the strong surf culture and I was more than convinced. With tickets booked, places to stay lined up, and a smattering of portugese phrases learned we took off over the arctic circle towards warmer, dryer climates.

We lined up a good overall experience staying a few days in a small coastal fishing town of Peniche, a few days at the surf mecca Ericeira, home of the world surf reserve, and a few days in the bustling capital of Lisbon. With some day trips to other cultural hubs like Porto and Cintra we took in a lot of what Portugal had to offer up, each unique to the areas and people that called them home. A glimpse into life in portugal can be seen in these images, but nothing less than making the pilgrimage yourself can really show you just how enticing Portugal really is. Getting back to our roots is a journey we should all take at least once in our lives.

 

Branching Out

There have been a few moments on here where I have seemed MIA. This is not for lack of effort. Recently I have had some exciting opportunities to work together with some incredible people promoting some great causes with videos. Both of the projects, The Watershed Research Cooperative and Driftwood Magazine were successful in bringing their messages to the public.  For instance, the Watershed Research Cooperative video was used to highlight one of the most extensive research projects in existence, discussing the impacts of timber harvest on headwater streams and the life within them. Frank Creative, the people behind the scenes on this project were some of the best people to work with.

Driftwood magazine came to me asking for help with their Kickstarter video, which is key to running a successful campaign. With the video and rewards offered Driftwood magazine was able to receive enough support and as you read this the first printed edition is in the works. You can see the video and read more about their campaign at Driftwood Magazine.

Working with both of these groups was such an amazing experience for me and allowed me to bringing my creativity to causes I believe in. Lets see if we can keep projects like these coming to the blog more often.

Mark

Collective: Nic & Preston

Collective: Nic & Preston

One of my motivations for first picking up a camera was to share with the rest of the world all the interesting people who have been an inspiration to me in one form or another. My latests project involved two perfect examples of this. Collaborating with Pusher Bmx Shop, rider owned and ran with the concept of giving back to the local scenes, I was given the chance to film two good friends, Nic Bonner and Preston Levi Solis. Originally the plan was to film with Preston, but after finding out Nic had recently moved back to town and getting some daily sessions in with Preston like days long past I couldn't pass up the chance to involve him in the project. One thing I learn repeatedly is to let the story develop itself organically. The addition of Nic meant some hilarious antics and some badass colorado sessions. From the variety of clips and b reel we filmed together over a long weekend in May putting together a compelling story seemed to work out better than could be expected. Projects like this are ones that motivate me to grow and learn more, to further tell a more inspiring story.

Year of the Hammock: Part One

UpperFalls_SideCreek2_web I'm laying claim to it right now, declaring this the year of the hammock. This is a simple concept, but maybe not such a simple task to conquer. Any of my time spent overnight in the elements will be spent stretched out in a hammock, at least whenever possible. The benefits are pretty clear to me already; comfort, light weight, quick to set up, second use as a hanging seat. But, there are lots of possible problems and obstacles in the way including weather, and terrain. Here is a good video of one setback on the first overnight of the year.

[video_lightbox_youtube video_id="hLDOz7VVRKk&rel=0" width="640" height="480" auto_thumb="1"] But I won't be deterred so easily. Like any other time we fail at something, we pick ourselves up an try again. Perseverance is necessary when you take on a task with as many obstacles as this. The Lewis river hike brought out this fact. An incredibly scenic hike on the southeast side of Mount St helens, the Lewis river offers several iconic northwest waterfalls, as well as some enormous old growth forests. Anthony Buglio, Ben Lyons and myself made the 2.5 hour trip out to the Lower Lewis River Falls, where the trail begins. Many people may question why anyone would go backpacking during some of the coldest and definitely most wet months of the year. That is exactly why we went backpacking. The three of us decided we needed a night out braving the elements and attempting to blindly ignore the cold, wet climate. It was a Worst Day of the Year kind of hike.

UpperFalls_Portrait2_web

Its was a chilly and damp start as we headed up river away from the lower falls and campground. The trail was clear of snow and ice for the first portion, but what it lacked in winter elements it made up by ways of washouts and fallen widow makers (large, heavy limbs). Before we reached the middle falls we were detoured out towards a fire road and around back to the trail. We didn't catch site of it, but the signs along the trail mentioned a large mudslide that wiped out the trail. The hike around added about a mile, but brought us past some side falls and dense forests of massive Doug Firs. We found our way back to our original path just in time to catch a glimpse of middle falls.

Soon after enjoying a break at the bottom of middle falls we started back up the switchbacks heading further up the river. This was the area we began to see sites of winter. Areas of the trail had patches of snow or piles of fist size chunks of ice. The overcast never cleared up that day but our spirits remained high as we continued up the trail in search of a good spot for camp. Soon we came to a couple areas where the trees thinned out and the ground leveled close to the river. Old growth stands that survived the last timber boom up in this area stand as monuments of the strength of nature if left to flourish on its own.

BigTrees_LittlePeople1-web

A couple inspections later and we found our home base for the night. No time for the weary though as we dropped off our bags and finished the hike up to the Upper Lewis River falls, which remained visible from our camp site, through the bare limbs of the brush on the river bed.

Buglio_CampViewFalls_web

The volume of water cascading over the rocky edge of the falls everyday is staggering. This makes for some amazing scenery, but as we learned later that night it also creates a big obstacle for our campsite not far down stream. With the temperatures getting down into the high 20s, low 30s we knew a fire would be an essential element to make tis trip a comfortable one. Ben brought some fire starters with this very idea in mind. It was hard to determine why exactly our failed attempts at creating fire were happening until the following day when breaking down the camp. The weather was clear the night before, yet anything out in the elements collected a layer of moisture we didn't have the day before. Apparently the power of the waterfall created a thin mist of water that constantly blanketed everything down river.

UpperFalls_Lexp2_web

We persevered though, waking up the next day to pockets of sunlight breaking through the clouds. We made one last exploration up to the top of the falls and down to the base of it before packing up and heading home. The area around the Upper falls is a just reward for the short 4 miles each way, giving way to several sites of the Lewis River, waterfalls of varying sizes, and trees large enough to transport you to the land of the lost. During the more comfortable summer months this trail is known to be busy with day hikers and backpackers alike, but our trip only a few weeks into the new year meant we had more room for enjoyment outside the normal encroachment of human society. It was well worth the cold, damp night. And to be honest, I feel I had a comfortable sleep during the night, laying dry, suspended above the wet, cold ground. Chalk up the first trip of the year, the year of the hammock. I imagine its only going to get better.

 

 

National Justice For Animals Week

http://youtu.be/jZmdLn_C1g8?list=UUNlYdrIaEC2c2H9r5Lbc3qg Recently I had the opportunity to help out an incredible cause by filming and editing a piece on Gracie, a beautiful Alpaca who draws your attention the very moment you lay eyes on her. As the organization behind the rescue of Gracie and the prosecution against her abuser, ALDF (Animal Legal Defense Fund) raised funds and provided various resources to help with the case. All in all Gracie was rescued with over 150 other Alpacas, but with Gracie's gentle demeanor and fascinating markings she was chosen to stand as an ambassador for all animals neglected and abused during National Justice For Animals week, and show how a battered beautiful being such as her can be given a second chance at a life of comfort and happiness. The project was filmed over the course of a month, in locations such as Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue and Portland ALDF offices. The video helps to bring awareness to the ALDF organization, the work they do for animals, and the need for people to stand up for these animals that lack a voice to express their pain and horror. Take a moment to visit these organizations online and understand more about who they are and how you can help.

Blythe & Bennett Presents: THE SLUTTY HEARTS

SluttyHeartsCrowd1-web

It is an incredible experience to witness an idea come to fruition; a vision contemplated by two friends. For many of us in Portland we got to see this happen with our friends Patrick Dennehy and Matt Roveto in their creation of Blythe and Bennett Records, a small but influential record shop in the heart of the Belmont neighborhood. The transition from an empty store front to a completely functioning shop with bins stacked deep with records and posters blanketing the wall solidified their vision into a reality.

Almost a year later and Blythe and Bennett has found themselves at another milestone. The shops first big in store show with local band The Slutty Hearts recently happened, with a good size crowd coming out for the show.

http://www.sluttyhearts.com/

Yobeat's Mogul Mayhem

Yobeat's Mogul Mayhem at Timberline from YoBeat

This past year I was able to be on location of some of the most creative snowboard contests I have seen in a long time. Starting the season off right with a banked slalom contest at Mount Bachelor and ending with the latest Yobeat creation, Mogul Mayhem, in collaboration with Timberline Lodge. I haven't even seen a mogul run since my teenage years in the icy states of New England. The jam format, playlist of some 80's and 90's hits, and some of  the Timberline park builder's skills created a good atmosphere and course for some mogul slashing. I am always psyched when I get a chance to capture one of these contests so when I had the chance to edit this video of the day to go along with the photography of Jared Souney and camera work of Danny Kern I didn't pass it up. Really excited to see more contests like these in the future.

Eagle Creek

SilhouetteHiker-web

One of the reasons I was drawn to the northwest is the infinite amount of natural landscape; each one different than the next. Even in a lifetime a person would be hard pressed to see it all. 

Eagle Creek lies 42 miles from Downtown Portland. It has been one of the staple locations to bring anyone coming to visit the area. Within the first 2 miles the hike offers some great vantage points over the river leading into the Columbia River Gorge and at least 3 waterfalls that deserve some time to appreciate.

 

punchbowl1Punchbowl is the most infamous waterfall on this hike. Cascading around 2 miles in it becomes a great destination for a short hike. For some years this has been as far as I have explored. When Ben talked about hiking eagle creek I saw the opportunity to venture further up river to Tunnel Falls.

TunnelFalls1

After passing several other waterfalls, a few bridge crossings and what looks to be some promising camping spots for the near future we came to Tunnel Falls. At 165 ft. the water cascades from the forest above, streaming over an 8' by 6' tunnel which travels behind the falls. The trail continues on from here up to Wahtum lake. At almost 13 miles this would be an adventure for another day. 

FallsUpRiver2-web

Eagle Creek trail to Tunnel Falls made for a good days hike, with several points of interest along the way.

SmokeyMountains1

The weather was cold at times, but remained dry and sunny for much of the day. After being further up river I know there will be more days spent up here exploring.

LightThroughDark1