DANO Pendygrasse

odds and ends from an unusual life

Deep Winter is back

Right now there are five photographers that are totally exhausted. They are competing this week, in the Deep Winter photo contest that Arc’Teryx and Whistler/Blackcomb have been putting on for the last several years. The idea behind this contest was to highlight the fact that some of the best riding that ever takes place in Whistler is during storm season, and the first week of January is a fairly safe bet for storms.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow the photographers head up the mountain and shoot enough photos to present a 3 to 5 minute slide show on Thursday night in front of 700 or so people. The rules state that you have to shoot in bounds and during regular operating hours. That essentially gives you less than 24 hours of total shooting time. Having done this contest twice, I can tell you that it is the most exhausting and exhilarating week of the season.

This week I’ll be judging the slideshows, so come out to the
Fairmont Whistler on Thursday night and watch the work of some of the best photographers in the business. Jordan Manley has won it twice, Paul Morrison has won it and I’m really looking forward to first time competitors Colin Adair and Nicholas Teichrob.

Here are some of my favourite shots from my two efforts and you can watch my second slideshow
here.

Good luck out there guys.

-Dano





















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Deep Winter 2009

So tonight is the Deep Winter contest in Whistler. For the last three days, 6 photographers have been shooting their asses off in terrible conditions with the aim of putting together an award winning slideshow tonight. I've done this contest for the last two years and it is easily one of the most exhausting photographic experiences I've ever endured. Considering the conditions, I'm more than glad to not be doing it again this season, but I am very much looking forward to seeing the results. And this year I will sit on the panel of judges.

I think that judging photography is stupid. I said "no" to the request half a dozen times before finally being convinced to participate. In the end, someone will win, but I know that just the experience of shooting for those three days and making a slideshow to present on the night of the fourth provides a huge sense of accomplishment to the contestants.

Here is a link to my show from last year and a couple shots from the contest. Good luck to all this years contestants.

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the show

Jordan Manley won the Deep Winter photo contest tonight. His show was truly awesome and it was really great to see. I would have voted for him too. The judges didn't like my show. By the reaction I got from the audience, maybe they were in the minority. I'm really proud of what we did.

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Preparation is half the battle

Anyone who has followed my career at all knows all about my slideshow curse. In short, I've never done a slideshow that I didn't fuck up.

It all started with the Pro Photographer Showdown way back in 1800 or something. We were still using slide projectors, so that gives you an idea. I had literally never done a slideshow before and I spent days and days going through my stock to come up with 80 shots. It had to be 80, because that is two trays of slides. The slides alternate from one projector to the other. It all seems very logical, however, I was nervous and I set the order of slides to go from one tray and then the next. The result was the second half of my slideshow was intermingled with the first. It was chaos and it looked like shit. Did I mention that there were 500 people there including my family? Uh huh.

Fast forward to last year and the first ever Deep Winter contest. I did a ton of research and test slideshows and was pretty confident that I had the curse licked. At 4 PM I marched into MY place, where the show was taking place, to do my dry run. As soon as I saw the first shot I knew I was screwed. The resolution was way too low and the photos were totally pixelated. I tried to re-export the show at a higher resolution with no luck at all. At about 5 PM we decided we had to rebuild the whole show from scratch, in a program I had never used. The show was at 8.

Even though we managed to throw something together, when we tried to play it there were some technical problems and the sound would cut out after the first slide. The audience was very patient...

Anyway, I'm doing the Deep Winter contest again in a week and I have been stressing about everything. I have done dry runs a dozen times, made slideshows from scratch in an hour, run into a ton of little problems and fixed them so now I am ready. Right? We'll see. The thing about having a curse is that you can never predict how it will screw you...

Here is a shot from sledding on boxing day. My brother-in-law Paul took it with my camera. I like sledding.

Dano

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House Cleaning

Well here is a little blog entry just to talk about the updates to the site. It's mostly cosmetic, but there are some additions. New bio page, new link page. Other than that there is just better organization than before.

I've been riding a lot and my legs are sore. That's a good thing. Christmas week means I have to finish off shopping stuff, which I've never been good at, but this year I am a little ahead of the curve compared to past seasons.

I'm picking photos for the upcoming Gallery show. It's a huge process but it's cool to sort through old stock. I also have to choose images for a photo contest and teach myself how to use this new slideshow software that I bought. The "deep winter" photo contest is coming up in a couple weeks and I have to be able to make a slideshow on the fly.

Oh ya, and I decided to start adding pictures to my blog posts too, because Owen's blog is way more interesting than mine. This one is from the deep winter contest last year. It's me riding down lower insanity (!!!) on Whistler:

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