Waves on Mars??

As soon as Trevor Gordon moved onto a sailboat in 2014,  we started scheming about sailing to Baja.  These loose plans turned into hard dates in the summer of 2015 for a month long trip that fall.  In order to take a long trip to a remote area, Trevor and his wife's 36-foot Catalina, the Brisa,  needed some upgrades and maintenance.  Working throughout the summer, he redid the rigging, ordered new sails, rewired the electronics and spit-shined the engine.

Other than a few jaunts out from Santa Barbara to the Channel Islands, I hadn't really spent much time on the boat and I had no real idea what to expect. My only hope was that I didn't get food poisoning. With four guys on a thirty-five foot Catalina, space was limited.  I packed a minimal amount of camera gear,  Sony A7s II, Sony A7 II, Sony Rx100 IV and two Blackmagic Pocket Cameras,  three changes of clothes,  some sunglasses and a bunch of downloaded audio books.  

On October 10th, I flew down from Portland on a one way ticket with the loose plan of being home before Thanksgiving.  After a week of prep we set sail headed for Central Baja.   From the onset,  I planned on making a short film about the trip but had no real idea about structure or story.   As the trip developed and the landscape became increasingly more foreign,  we jokingly started calling the video Waves on Mars as an ode to the Bowie song.  

The trip was certainly one of a lifetime.  Here is a collection of some of my favorite photos from the trip.

Spencer reading anchored at the San Benitos Islands.  

A fisherman's art in Central Baja. 

Erin Fienblatt and his dog Kai watching for waves and checking out the Brisa.  For a week of the trip, I followed along with Erin filming surf and the Brisa from shore. 

Making landfall on Isla De Cedros after a 90 mile crossing. 

Traveling under sail at 5-7 knots, fishing is one of the only ways to keep sanity.  It was also our main source of protein on the trip. 

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Getting underway before sunrise.

I was so pumped on the painting for the poster that Adam Burke did,  that I decided to do a run of 100 shirts.  They're available here on my webstore for $30 shipped in the US.

Found these stacked on the beach on an island off the coast of Central Baja.  I had just finished reading No Country for Old Men.   No we did not take any.  PS I was too sketched out to take this photo so Lando did.

After a month at sea and just over 1000 nautical miles, we pulled back into customs in the San Diego harbor.  I was eager to get back to the treehouses and start editing the video with Jess Gibson.   From early on in the trip I knew I wanted to use the Future Islands song Lighthouse in the video, and immediately started trying to get ahold of the band.  If you haven't listened to their music before, check them out.  The are amazing.   I knew I wanted the video to feel like a science fiction film and started working in December with the multitalented Matthew Emmons on tracks.   I'm super happy with how it turned out and hope you enjoy it!

Here are some more links,

Waves on Mars?? (Vimeo),

Waves on Mars?? Limited T-Shirts.



Books and Such

Sorry for the lack of updates, I've been preparing for my next project, working on getting this book finished and shipping and just returned from a month long sailing trip to Mexico.  In a blink of an eyes, and August was December.  Anyways,  here's the first run of The Cinder Cone Book. 

"We'll do it live, FUCK IT," is a reference to one of my favorite youtube clips of dickhead talk show host,  Bill O'Reilly.  If you have watched, it its well worth it.  Through out the build,  we joking referred to this video when unsure of what we were doing. 

Tucker sketching ideas and scheming for the build.  At this point,  the project was 5 months away from starting.  My aim for the book was to document a process with hope of giving people that read the book ideas and inspiration to take on a project of their own. 

The book follows the arc of the project from musings and ideas to more focused drawings, lists and photos of specific parts of the project.    As a kid,  I ordered plans from Popular Mechanic Magazines and studied sketches in the American Boys Handy Book.  I always felt that theses books and plans fell short of removing some of the intimidation of the building process.   

Friends like Ian Durkin, Java Fernandez and Alex Yoder stopped by and contributed photos of the process and the time spent hanging out on top of the hill. 

Parts list for the wood burning hot tub we built.   It's one of my favorite things I've ever used and I highly recommend building one,  you won't regret it. 

I'm really pleased with how the book turned out and flattered with how it's being received.  The Kickstarter books shipped out in early November and since then we've (my mom handles the shipping) been sending out wholesale orders and direct sales from my webstore.   Roughly 1/3 of the first editions are left, order a copy here before they are gone.  For reference, Here's the The Cinder Cone next to Home Is Where You Park It (PS the 3rd Edition of Home Is Where You Park It is back in stock and I'm doing a combo deal on both books for 80$ + shipping).  Thanks so much supporting the book and making things like this possible!

Here are some more links,

The Cinder Cone Book,

The Cinder Cone Video,

The Cinder Cone and Home Is Where You Park It Combo. 

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The west wind hissed through the countless branches of the Old Growth Douglas Firs above me.  Laying in a hammock connecting two of the six firs on top of the hill,  I rocked slowly.  A subtle cloak of haze obscured the horizon in every direction,  giving the otherwise eventless sky a pink cast.  It was hot by Pacific North West standards, but compared to an early summer run of weeks of triple digit temperatures, the mid 70s evening felt fall like. 

Glancing west,  I closed one eye, held my arm out, forming a line of a protractor with suns trajectory towards the hills behind Portland.  The Suns path was an entire valley to the south of its solstice high-water mark behind the foothills of the Cascades.  The area's long summer days were careening towards the fall equinox, shedding three minutes per day.  Like watching a gas tank shrink towards empty on a remote highway, these slight differences in length of day,  indistinguishable when viewed day to day, but substantial when observed weekly instilled a sense of scarcity.

The unescapable smell carried by the summers wind and conceived by the blossoms and subsequent blackberries, that for a few weeks each year excuse the existence of the brambles that cover so much of the West Coast, had given way to the dull smell of drought and dust.   With a sense of urgency, an hours work and a healthy thorn tolerance,  enough cups of the black fruit to make a cobbler could be appropriated.  

"Shit,"  I announced to anyone that would answer,  breaking the silence observed in that half an hour before sunset spent laying in a hammock. "We kinda blew it on not making a blackberry cobbler."

"Fuck,"  Tim responded after a distracted pause from a nearby hammock, humoring my disappointment and concern about the cobbler, but by no means indicating enough enthusiasm to suggest  breaking the bonds of a hammock in favor of picking blackberries. 

Accepting defeat on my cobbler pipe dream, I extended my leg down so that the back of my knee rested on the edge of the hammock. With a kick of my barefoot, set the hammock into motion.  

Here are some more links,

Fosterhunting (Instagram),

Out of Reception (Tumblr).


The Cinder Cone Book and Video

In February of 2014, long time friend Tucker Gorman and I started day dreaming about building a tree house.  I wanted to set up a home base and build a space to work on projects.  These day dreams quickly developed into loose plans to build a two tree houses and a skate bowl.  After months of preparation and planning,  we broke ground in the beginning of June. 

Friends old and new stopped by to work and stay on the property. Some of us worked as carpenters professionally, others learned on the go. Over the course of build, I took thousands of photos and kept sketches, models and notes from the design process. 

 Since finishing the tree houses, I’ve been organizing these images, drawings and notes into a book. This book will be different than my last two photo books.  Think of it as one part instructional book, one part photo book, and one part tiny homes book. My goal is to make something that shows the process from dreaming up a seemingly outlandish idea to the final result after thousands of hours of hard work and the moments that happened in between.  I hope that result ignites the imagination of people’s inner kid and gets ideas going for their own projects.  To make the book happen,  I'm funding it through Kickstarter here

I'm working with Farm League on the production of the book. They produced films like 180 Degrees South and The Fisherman's Son and do print projects for companies like Patagonia.  They also produced the video.  I'm really excited about the progress we've made and can't wait to finish it. Here are some examples of the page layouts and what the front and back covers will look like. 

The Cinder Cone will be 10 inches by 7.5 inches, about 135 pages and with a hardcover. During this campaign, the book will be $30 for a signed copy, if the campaign is successful,  the book will retail for $35.

Material lists, build notes and process photos are organized into sections, like this wood burning hot tub.

Full color and printed on matte art paper,  sections of the book document the steps and process of building large and small projects.

In addition to my photos, shots by Ian Durkin, Trevor Gordon, Java Fernandez and Alex Yoder will be in the book.  The majority of the photos in the book were shot on medium format film. 

 Daily schedule. 

The design and building of the tree house.

Tucker Gorman's (the tree houses designer) sketches from the build were scanned and included in book to show how ideas evolved.

 The building of the skate bowl. 

Lando DOWN!!!

I'm really excited about this book and the video.  Its been a ton of work,  more than I've put into any other project.  The video was a first for me and was an opportunity to work with,  Jess Gibson.  As a kid,  I loved the Robot Food Snowboarding movies and it was a treat to work with him on them this video.  The book is an ode to my favorite childhood books about woodcraft and primitive skills.  Thanks for the support.  

 Here are some more links,

The Cinder Cone (Vimeo),

The Cinder Cone Build Book (Kickstarter),

The Cinder Cone (Tumblr),

@farmleague (Instagram).