Monday, February 12, 2007

Photo Hold'em ::: The Semifinals Round

So we really enjoyed the all the zesty commenting from you armchair quarterbacks & disgruntled Leuzers. Seriously, that was fun & it's how the bloggins is supposed to go. But to briefly address a couple of the comments.

1. RE "rules changes" & "fairness" -- While the format was intended to be a fun twist on a competitive foundation, the project is really all about giving y'all the opportunity to show yr stuff in front of whatever audience TRL has been able to amass over the years. So, by inviting the Leuzers back into the game, I was giving the Leuzers a fair shot at getting back into the game, & was giving the audience a fair opportunity to see more wallpaper. As for those in the Winners bracket? Well, if you're gripin', (ahem, Dotcom), then you're just skeert. And if our from-the-hip delivery of this comp isn't your cuppa joe, then you can enter that other Photo Hold'em comp.

2. RE adapting the format to your suggestions -- Obviously, we have read through some of yr suggestions, complaints & praises .. but instead of taking them seriously, we've chosen to hire a team of professional gaming consultants to help us assess our strategic & executional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats as they pertain to TRL Photo Holdem. In the future you can count on tighter execution with lots more pointless rules & plenty of new paperwork too!

3. RE nuthin to do with Hold'em -- Just gotta mention that I went WW-paddleboating on Saturday. It was fun & my shoulder's still in tact .. AND .. The 22nd annual Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom was this past weekend too. In addition to checking off one of the "must do" items on my life-list, I got to watch our friend Chris Tretwold claim some booty in the awards ceremony for his 4th place masters division finish -- solid work Chris! The ledges of shred were out in force -- Haakon, J.Lynn, Farmer, Ranquet, Guch, the Cummins clan, Tom Burt, & on & on -- very cool.

OK, 'nuff of my blathering .. let's see some pics.

First Heat: Darin McQuoid v. Erik Boomer



"Paddling is not about what you are doing ... it is more about the place you
are. The paddler is a little soft to bring the focus to the natural surroundings."

Second Heat: Lane Jacobs v. Evan Ross


"Trip Jennings at Metlako Falls, OR."


Third Heat: Atom Crawford v. Evan Stafford




"Mr. McCutchen in the Crux of the Black Boxes, San Rafael River, Utah. Ya'll don't think I got shotz. I got shotz."

Fourth Heat: Kyle McCutchen v. Barbora Hollan


"Definetly not Norway. Fred Zacherl in the 'Ball Check' LZ. Two years ago
I broke my back on the drop below him, 'Wall Check.'"


"Small enough, big enough. The Ringebu Wave 2006."

Dang, this round is the HEAT. Going to be some tuff ones to eliminate & I know we're going to get our teef kicked in on some of the calls .. but I'm looking forward to it.

Please be sure to scroll down & check out the updater Bryan posted about the Vancouver Int'l Mountain Film Festival!


slickhorn said...

Damn some great shots -- best part of being a leuzer is I can now do some armchair judgin!

Darin v Boomer
This one is the toughest of the set, Darin really captures the committment and rewards of exploratory boating, and Boomer's shot is well composed and well exposed. I'm voting for Darin, because the texture of the walls and scale of the shot are just great.

Lane v Evan
Another stellar shot by Lane, having scouted Metlako, I know what goes into getting a clean angle there -- I also really like the moment, not teetering at the lip, but not motion blurred at terminal velocity, it's the perfect moment as the boater rolls off the entry slide.

But Evan's shot takes this one, the walls are just excellent, but what really makes this shot for me is the way you can see the water even though the shadows obscure any detail in the walls. Fantastic shot!

Atom v dotcom
On first glance, I quickly gave this to dotcom, then I looked at Atom's shot more carefully -- I have only seen that light effect once on a river, and it is something I'll never forget. Beautiful shot, but the colors seem just a touch off, and that's all I have to help decide this. Gotta stick with dotcom, but it's close. Ilove the depth of the upcanyon view in this shot. Great piece in AW this issue too -- I hope I can see those canyons someday.

Kyle v Barbora
Going with Kyle here -- though this is my fav of Barbora's shots thus far. Kyle's shot just says more about boating to me, great leading, great moment between big drops, and well exposed to keep detail in the dark walls.

Another great round -- nice work by all the playas!


Anonymous said...

Darin, ooo baby ooo baby, Automatic advance to queen-ship! I'm grinning ear to ear looking at this photo as it reminds me of so many personal stories, but even more I'm daydreaming about the experiences your crew had down stream.

The next best thing is that the photo is not a "running the HFB drop," like 80% of the photos we’ve all played, it's "I'm leaving the life in the HFB's canyon!"

Evan Ross

Kennet Belenky said...

Wow, it's way more fun to flap your gums when your own shots aren't on the line. This way I can get my opinions out before the judging and not be accused of "bitching." Consequence-free shit talking, here I come.

It's unfortunate that Darin's shot went up against Erik's, cause I think they're my 2 favorite shots in the round. Erik, big kudos for finding a new take on the hucking cliche.

Definitely E-Ross's shot over Lane's. Lane's paddler is in soft focus (but not the good kind of soft focus like Erik's). Those tree branches in the lower left bother me. Are they in the picture or out? I'm a big fan of light and dark patches in a picture, and E-Ross's submission definitely has those aplenty.

Atom's shot has a really-neat "wow" factor to it, but once you get over that, the shot doesn't all look that great. The paddler's focus is soft enough to be distracting, the color's not quite right. Really, the thing that gets me is the left and right cropping doesn't seem right. I don't know where it should be cropped, but not there. I don't have anything to say about Dotcom's shot except it's a kickass picture.

Kyle vs. Barbora is a toss up for me. Barbora's shot is visually interesting, but doesn't have much "Makes me want to be there." Kyle's shot makes me want to be there, but isn't as visually interesting.

Hale said...

Wow This is a great round! In order of appearance:
Darin Vs. Boomer I really like how the moss covered alders frame the waterfall and paddeler in Boomers shot, but darins says so much and is on a grand scale with out any action. Darin Moves on!
Lane Vs. E-Ross
To be honest I am getting kind of bored with lanes shots, same perspective everytime. The wow factor is gone. Besides I met some guy this last summer who ran that drop in an innertube. However E-ross's shot does not do much for me I wish I could see further into the canyon. Ill give this one to Lane reluctantly.
Crawford Vs.Stafford
Both really really good shots. Atoms has something I dont think I have seen before, the turqouise water is brillant and the rocks look amazing. Ill give this one to ATOM!
Barbora Vs Kyle
Although very good quality, Barbora I am bored with your photos. Kyles photo is great it has a post waterfall and a pre waterfall great action. Kyle takes this one for me.

Anonymous said...

Darin and Erik's are two of the better pics of the comp. Darin's just takes it for that epic scale.

I too am a little bored with Lane's shots, but that drop is out of control. I can't imagine what it feels like to sit in my boat in that calm pool and look at that horizion line. Give it to lane - Ross's shot is missing a little needed clairity in the paddlers.

Atom's shot is amazing. Seeing things like that is why I kayak. Dotcom's shot is good, but there is just too much going on. Atom moving on.

Kyle's shot is good, but the above-behind angle doesn't do justice to the true nature of Yule. Barboring is still leaving us wondering if she has ever seen a rapid. Give it to Kyle.

Anonymous said...

wow, great photos by all you guys! i don't really think i'm keeping up with you. at least not in the kayaking. started paddling last summer, so right, i've probably never been to what you call rapids.

Darin said...

Darin/Eric: Love both, no comment here because of obvious bias. To poke some fun though, is the paddler being soft planned or after the fact misfocus turned into artistic shot :)


I really prefer Evans shot on this round. As far as capturing a moment I love the canyon walls and unique lighting. This shot has tougher compisition with the mixed lighting and Evan makes the most of it, it's a lot more "one of a kind shot" that Lanes. Lanes shot, although a big drop the tree in the bottom left is a small issue. It also has a feeling that if you went out there today with someone who was brave enough to huck it, you could capture a similar shot pretty easily. The same can't be said for Evans with the lighting.
Evan advances.


I think the white balance on Atoms shot is too warm and I don't like the overcrop, that was perhaps used to crop out some overexposure? I'd like to see the paddler in the light on the drop so they a lit up more too. For sure a unique picture but doesn't capture what kayaking is all about to me.
Dotcoms shot, I like the feeling this one gives, although a little busy, thats part of what running rapids in boxed in cayons is. I like open angle showing the canyon upstream and the friends watching on. Sharpness on the rocks is great but seems a tad soft on the padddler, but it seems a nice compromise of shutter speed and small apeture was met to give the picture the upstream depth it has.
Dotcom advances.


Kyles shot, I love the compisition of this shot. I'd like it even more if the paddler was at the bottom of the first waterfall. That aside, the rock texture is nice, exposure is good, sharpness is on and nice angle work.
Barboras shot, sharpness and compisition is good, but I think this shot is overexposed and was thus converted to b&w so it's not as obvious. The washed out water catches the eye more than the paddler.
Kyle advances.

Anonymous said...

Okay - I'm not going to admit to being skeert. I will say that this comp has been the shit - such a good comp that my seriously over-competitive self comes right out into the spotlight cause I want to win so bad. You know, if you're not first you're last, that kind of thing. Pretty much why I love kayaking - you're part of team but it is not a competitive team and the goal is not to win but to explore and enjoy the river safely with your bros. Anyway, me bitching was my was of just trying to comment on the comp in a funny way. I think some people maybe took it a little too seriously (ehhchm, Carson).
Some F'ing amazing photos this round and I think Darin may take the cake, but alas he must re-enter into the head to head and Boomer's shot is just so good too that I can't call it. If Darin plays anything aside from the Alcseca I'll be surprised cause his shots from that trip are retardedly good.
Everyone else in the comp is going to get some bias from me cuase they my friends but basically I'm going with Ross and Kyle because they really are better shots.
Thanks to everybody whos entered this thing and to TRL for giving us the chance. PS - slickhorn thanks for the comment on the article in AW. when you can definitely go to the black boxes, one of my top five all time runs.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just really want to know where Darin took his shot in:

First Heat: Darin McQuoid v. Erik Boomer

I love to hike to and photograph waterfalls of the pacific northwest so that would be awesome if someone could let me know where I can find the waterfall in Darin's pic.


Shane Robinson said...

Hey Anonymous,

He Took that shot in Mexico ... the river name is slipping my mind right now, but if you are still interested, his contact info can be tracked down from his hyper-linked name above.