DANO Pendygrasse

odds and ends from an unusual life

South for the holidays.

Hi Friends,

It's been a minute or two since a blog post, largely because it's been a minute since I've had time to take a photo! However, eventually holidays are taken and this time they took us to Mexico. It's been a couple years since my old friend Mikee and his (now) wife Katy moved to Playa del Carmen and we've been threatening to visit ever since. We missed the wedding due to one of us becoming a Doctor (hint: it wasn't me) and it's taken us this long to finally get down.

Despite our rather shortsighted planning (people are really busy the week before Christmas, even when they live in Mexico!) Mikee and Katy welcomed us with open arms and cold beer. After a couple days of Playa del Carmen it became pretty clear that what we were looking for was slightly further south so we booked a last-minute room and hit the bus station.

Tulum is the kind of beach town I like, although you can tell by the cost of a room there that it's a bit of a victim of its own popularity. Nevertheless, we spent two lovely days and nights there capped off by a spectacular dinner at the Hartwood with Mikee and Katy.

So we're back to Canada in time for Christmas day with families and already planning the next trip. Thanks for all the hospitality M & K and Merry Christmas to all my friends. Here are some photos from the trip.


Tulum 2013 - Images by dano pendygrasse

Back from Maui, on to the real world.

Back from my trip to Maui to celebrate my one year anniversary. We had a great 10 days in the sun and spent most of it underwater with our friends Gabe and Sarah. The highlight of the week, aside from the obvious milestone of the first year of marriage, was spending 15 minutes around 85 feet underwater with 30 foot long whale shark. This is the biggest fish in the ocean and for most of us, a once in a lifetime experience. Having spent a bunch of time in Utila, my wife T had snorkeled with Whale Sharks on numerous occasions, but to be deep underwater with one, and have it hang around, is rare and we are still amazed by our luck. I didn't have an underwater camera rig on this trip so you'll have to settle for the flickr group that was taken by our divemaster Joe. Thanks to Ed Robinson's dive operation, this is the second year we've done our boat dives with them and they are a solid operation with great people. We did around a dozen shore dives over the course of the week too, and we rented our tanks from B & B scuba in Kihei. They're a really great shop and nice people who took care of us last year and again this year.

For my scuba geek friends, you'll be stoked that we saw over a dozen different nudibranchs, some of which are unnamed and still unknown, eagle rays, more turtles than you could count, huge and tiny scorpionish, devil, leaf, and more, tons of frogfish, one of them even freeswimming, lots of whitetip sharks and some grey reef sharks, that I missed but everyone else saw, tons of different eels including dwarf, whitemouth, yellow margin, zebra and tiger moray, and just about every tropical fish you can imagine.

Here are some shots from the trip.


The "Sea Spirit", our trusty ride.

Kits on board.

Sunset from Wailea

Part of a beautiful drive on our way to a remote shore dive.

On our way to the Mala ramp shore dive.

Rays over the water, rays under the water.


Legendary Hawaiian diver Ed Robinson.

Lessons learned in Chamonix

I've never taken a vacation in the winter before. Winter is shooting season and shooting takes priority over everything else. That is all good and fine, but one day you wake up and that priority just seems, well, a little bit delusional. Or compulsive. Or maybe just misguided.

I just took a family vacation to France. My wife's family, that is. When the idea of going on this trip came up I looked at the dates and without even thinking decided I wouldn't be able to do it. Second week of March? Seriously? What snowboard photographer could take that week off to just, go snowboarding? In the Alps.

Well as it turns out, I could. And it was easy, all I did was say "yes" and then not book anything that week. The world kept turning. I didn't miss out on anything life changing. And I got to ride Cham with my wife and brother-in-law, in super deep powder and sunny skies to boot.

My priorities have changed a lot over the years, and never more than they have in the last 18 months. Photography is a really tricky lifestyle in that it is on one hand really needy, to show off, to put your work out into the world, and on the other hand very time consuming and often not particularly social. There is a reason that when photographers get together, you can't shut them up. It's because they have already used up the "photo talk" patience of their wives, girlfriends, and family and are just dying to talk shop with someone whose eyes don't roll back into their heads when you start talking about the minute details of a hyperfocal distance or photoshop actions. We go through the often solitary act of making photos, we often have nobody left to bore with our excitement for the things we make, and we compulsively consume information about anything that has anything even remotely to do with our job.

It could be worse. We could be proctologists.

So ya, I'm learning to take a deep breath a little more often. to not get lost in the chaos of winter and to keep my level of passion high. As a result I'm less consumed and more into photography than I have been in years. I've stopped being influenced by the machine of the industry I work in and I'm concentrating on fostering the elements of my work that are true to my vision and not commercially corrupt. They're honest. I spent a bit of time taking pictures last week, no time talking about taking pictures, and a lot of time thinking about taking pictures.

Ok, so here are some shots from europe that have nothing to do with any of that.

Things you find in 400 year old houses

Vines near Hilary's house, Geneva.


Blue house number.

No Dachshunds?!?! Get Draplin on the case!

Cham is huge

Uh, lady, I think you've had enough sun.


sausages as far as the eye can see.

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps. These black birds aren't crows.

The Aiguille de Midi. I'll have some shots from the top in the next couple days. Stay tuned.