Nature Conservancy: The Clean Cut

crisman ellsworth creek

Hi everyone! We’re super happy to to announce that the story we shot back in February for The Nature Conservancy has finally been released. Usually when we get the call from TNC, we need to prepare ourselves to go to some far off place and this job was no exception (and neither was the one we just got back from… we’ll be talking more about that in a few months!). This job had us go to southeastern Washington to the Ellsworth Creek Preserve to photograph their operation.

I’m sure a lot of people are wondering why TNC would put a logger with a fallen tree on the cover of their magazine… and that’s a good question. I’ll try to explain things as simply as possible. Back in the day (about 100 years ago), logging companies we’re cutting down everything they could get their hands on. They’d just completely clear cut entire forests – sadly, this is still happening as you’ll see in one of the pictures below. After a few decades pass, trees would grow back but the forest would all be the same height. There would be no diversity in the ecosystem. So TNC is thinning out these second growth forests to allow sunlight to get through to the ground and allow a natural diversity in plant life and wildlife to take hold while also creating jobs in the local community. Here’s a link to the story which is more detailed and explains things much better than I could ever do. (http://www.nature.org/magazine/archives/beyond-the-timber-wars.xml).

I’ve gotta say that this was one of the toughest shoots we’ve ever worked on. It rained the whole time we were there.. which makes sense since it’s a rainforest but rain and photo gear don’t get along. The terrain was steep, slippery, and overgrown. Most of the time I was carrying a Profoto 7b pack and a small octabank through the forest and Chris had the camera and tripod. We were falling all over the place even with the spikes our contact had loaned us, all while trying to keep the gear dry. We took a beating but sometimes that’s what it takes to make great pictures. I’ll let the pictures below tell the story.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, walking up a tree he just fell in a second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

 

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell falling a tree in a second growth forest at Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Russell Shippey, timber faller, cutting corridor to pull out trees in second growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kurt Bower, log loader, standing on back of logging truck with full load of trees at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kurt Bower, log loader, standing on back of logging truck with full load of trees at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, overlooking the Ellsworth Creek Preserve , WA on 2/11/15.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, overlooking the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, taking measurments in old growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

Kyle Smith, TNC forest manager, taking measurements of an 11-foot-wide western red cedar at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Aerial views of the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/10/15.

The effects of clear cutting seen from the air neighboring the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Landscape of old growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/12/15.

Landscape of a healthy old growth forest. This is the scene TNC is trying to create by thinning the second growth forests. 

Tom Kollasch in old growth forest and with big cedars at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/12/15.

Tom Kollasch, TNC Willapa Program director, in old growth forest and with big cedars at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Darryl Waddle, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/13/15.

Darryl Waddle, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Rober walls, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve, WA on 2/13/15.

Robert Walls, choker setter, in the logging yard at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

And here’s a few BTS shots from our time in Washington:

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.02.30 AMA clear cut and the border of the Ellsworth Creek Preserve.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.03.15 AMThis is the machine that pulls the thinned trees out of the forest up to the lumber yard. It’s very heavy. The workers specifically said don’t stand under it…. Chris fell directly under it. 

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.03.40 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.03.56 AMWe drove down to Astoria to catch our plane to get aerial shots of the preserve. We had to stop here. 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.04.47 AMLighthawk is a non-profit organization that donates air time to conservancy efforts. Chris is doing business before taking off.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.04.24 AMGetting aerial shots in our Lighthawk flight. Apparently the air is really cold going 100mph and having your hand out there is uncomfortable.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.05.17 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.06.10 AMChris working with the crane operator in the lumber yard.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.02.55 AMAnd lastly, it was oyster season while we were there. These were the largest oysters we’ve ever had. They were the size of our hands. 

Featured In: Communication Arts Photography Annual 56

crisman wild horses

Hey everyone! This years Communication Arts Photography Annual was just delivered here to our studio. We’re always excited when this issue falls on our desk – there’s always so much amazing work included. So we’re equally excited to announce that our “Wild Horses” photo was selected to be included in the Advertising section!

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 We also owe a big congrats to fellow group member, Andy Anderson, for scoring the cover this year with a beautiful shot from his book, SALT. And we can’t forget fellow shooters Richard Schultz, Hunter Freeman, and Leigh Beisch – so proud to be part of such a talent group with Heather Elder Represents.

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Questions? Comments? Let us know at @crismanphoto on Instagram and /crismanphoto on Facebook.

From the Archive: California Coast

chris crisman conceptual personal portrait flower girl

One of the core ideas that we speak to on this blog is that of inspiration – where and how it can strike, what emotions and ideas it may elicit, and how we harness that into making photos. The Crisman team has spent the past few days on an advertising shoot out in California and after a beautiful (and extremely windy) day on set overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, I wrapped the day feeling reminiscent to all of our past adventures in California and the inspiring views we have taken in and capture along the way.

One specific trip comes to mind – a road trip in 2012 that took Chris and I from Los Angeles to San Fransisco, 11 hours up Route 1, the coast highway. Hours and hours of driving, countless stops to shoot, and a handful of incredible views and ultimately the inspiration for our Flower Child portrait that we shot later that year.

chris crisman california landscape travel tourism photography

chris crisman california landscape travel tourism photography

chris crisman california landscape travel tourism photography

When the world around you takes on light and shape like this, it’s hard not to feel inspired and it’s even harder not to feel the need to capture that beauty.

Questions? Comments? let us know your thoughts below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto!

Nature Conservancy: Cutting a Clear Path

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The Escalante is remote, vast, and wild. From the desert floor to well over 10,000 feet, this region follows the course of the Escalante river, a twisted, winding, and beautiful river stretching from southern Utah into Arizona. This unparalleled beauty is under siege though – invasive species threaten the vulnerable ecosystem of the river and pose a threat to all plant and animal life in the area, including those who take it upon themselves to remedy the situation.

In the fall of 2013 we spent a week in the Escalante, shooting stills and motion for The Nature Conservancy. Our goal was not only to document the people involved and their conservation efforts, but to bring the river itself to life, a prominent player in the cast of characters that make up this wildly remote and beautiful landscape.

Our experiences in the Escalante were so diverse that we couldn’t limit the story to one blog post. Over the month of April, we’ll be sharing different parts of our behind the scenes story. Today we’re excited to share some of the images that ran in the story as well as behind the scenes from our adventure. Keep reading for more…

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From The Archive: Italy

chris crisman italy landscape travel tourism

It was just about this time back in 2011 that Chris hopped a flight across the Atlantic ocean and landed in Rome – Headed to Tuscany for a week of shooting and taking in the beautiful sights, he made the most of his time in Italy, by translating the beautiful country into photos for all of us to enjoy.

chris crisman italy landscape travel tourism

chris crisman italy landscape travel tourism

chris crisman italy landscape travel tourism

Rome, Tuscany, Assisi, Chris and his camera covered everything he could, creating beautiful landscape photos along the way.

chris crisman italy landscape travel tourism

chris crisman italy landscape travel tourism

The Italian countryside is absolutely an inspiring landscape to bring before any camera lens. We are lucky to have captured even the smallest portion back in the fall of 2011. Here’s to the hope that we’ll be back in the future to finish the job!

Questions? Comments? Let us know below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto! Also make sure you’re keeping up with us on instagram.com/crismanphoto!

How We Travel.

chris crisman photography how we travel tips and tricks

We travel a lot. So much in fact that you could say we have it down to a science. Before we even arrive at the airport, Chris and our team know that everything is in order – when you’re on the road and up in the air as much as we are, you can’t leave anything to chance. How do we do it? Keep reading for an in-depth look at how we travel…
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Fall Camping Photoshoot

chris crisman lifestyle photography fall lifestyle

What’s better than a camping trip in the woods on a warm and sunny fall day? How about adding nine models, two photographers, a team of stylist, and a crew of assistants? Oh and let’s throw in a 6:00am call time before the sunrises to really make it fun. You might remember back to 2011 when we took off to Florida for our very first self produced, three day lifestyle photoshoot. It’s been almost two years since, and we made so many great photos down in the sunshine state that Chris had the idea to do it again, except out in the woods this time.

chris crisman lifestyle photography fall lifestyle

We showed a sneak-peek of some of the photos earlier this year, but here’s the real deal – keep reading for a ton more photos and behind the scenes from our Fall Lifestyle shoot…

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