Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What The Duck
Hit one out of the park today...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tis' The Season

Not to sound like a total Scrooge or anything, but I cannot stand this time of year. (so much for not sounding like Ebenezer) I don’t really have a reason or excuses for such an anti-holiday stance. I appreciate what I consider to be the general ideas of the Holiday Season, friends, family, reflection. I genuinely enjoy gift giving. However, I’d rather floss my teeth with barbed wire then set foot in a mall after Thanksgiving. The lights, santas, trees, parades, sales, reindeer, tinsel, giant inflatable snow globes, all of it can stay in the attic 12 out of 12 months as far as I’m concerned. I won’t be happy with the world again until at least after my birthday in the beginning of January. (I have a feeling this year my malaise will probably stick around until the 20th) I can take comfort in the fact that I am not alone in my disdain for (let’s face it) the entire month of December. Millions are afflicted by winter-time depression. They even have a name for it, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Even that seems crass and commercial to me. I’m starting to suspect that this whole thing is a conspiracy between Hallmark and Pfizer to sell greeting cards stuffed with red and green light up Zoloft capsules in them. Bring on the new year!

Monday, November 24, 2008

San Diego Magazine
To counter rumors that all I do is climb mountains and shoot tattoos, I thought I'd show you a couple of portraits I made recently for San Diego Magazine's article on leaders of tomorrow. On the left is Christopher Yanov who works with inner city youth, keeping them out of gangs and helping to send some to college. On the right is Lihini Aluwihare, a Marine chemist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the youngest professor the institution has ever had.
San Diego Magazine has been a client of mine for years. They were one of the first mainstream books to hire me when I was starting out. I've repaid the favor with several awards for photography which my work has won them. Shooting for San Diego Magazine, I've meet some of the most interesting and influential people in the local community.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Analog Fashion

Analog Tattooers have a new ad on their website featuring fashion photography I did while up there last month…

Monday, November 3, 2008

San Jose








I recently spent a week in San Jose. The main reason for the trip was continuing photography on the BloodWork tattoo book with Adrian Lee of Analog Tattoo. The photo shoot was timed to coincide with The San Jose Tattoo Convention. I spent the whole convention locked in a posh loft that we converted into a photo studio. Over the four day convention I shot over forty sleeves for the book. Along with the book shoot, Analog (where I work as the in-house photographer) threw their one year anniversary party. Experimental jazz band, Panthelion, rocked the house. And a good time was had by all. The lion’s share of the photography now complete, the long and complicate post production process begins on the book. The goal is to have the completed tome available by October of next year.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mt. Whitney


I climbed Mount Whitney a few weeks ago. The trek was hands down the most physically demanding hike I have ever undertaken. Mount Whitney is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states with a summit reaching 14565 feet into the clouds. Our group of 11 started the excursion at Whitney Portal, elevation 8000 feet, in the blackness of 3am. After about 3 hours of hiking by moonlight, we were treated to sunrise at Trail Camp around 12,000 feet with the summit in view. The climb gets exponentially more difficult the higher you go. At this point, 1 member of our group had already turned back. The thin air is only half the challenge as the trail gets significantly steeper and more covered with snow and ice. The next 2500 feet demanded 6 hours of climbing a steep slippery, switched-back trail through a treeless, lunar landscape. At times, precipices of many hundreds of feet abutted the trail. Our team had splintered into groups of 2 or 3, each moving at their own pace. Nearing the summit, each step became a trial in endurance. My head throbbed from lack of oxygen. 9 hours after beginning the climb we reached the peak. While the excitement and sense of accomplishment were quite rewarding, and the views spectacular, the knowledge that I had 11 miles of hiking before I was done dampened the thrill a bit. The thin air plays tricks on the mind. I misspelled my own name trying to sign the summit log. After a subdued celebration, it was time to start the long climb down. Having gravity on your side makes the hiking go faster, but the lengthening shadows turned much of the snow covering the upper portion of the trail know as “99 switch backs” to hard, slick ice. A fall at this point could have easily been fatal, so the going was slow. At 7:30 pm, our endeavor ended as it had started, in the dark. We had hiked 22 miles in 17 ½ hours covering 15000 feet in elevation change. 8 of our original 11 made the trip to the summit and back. After dinner and a beer, I slept the whole drive home. The next day, I was off to San Jose to continue photography on the Blood Work tattoo book project.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

Europe






As I write this, I’m on a plane back home from the UK. I’ve spent the past 10 days at the London Tattoo Convention photographing for my next book with Adrian Lee of Analog Tattoo, Blood Work, due out next year. I also flew to Zurich Switzerland and spent a day hanging out with the legendary Mick Tattoo and photographing several of his pieces. Blood Work is a follow up to the Full Coverage Project, where I spent 2 years documenting the creation and completion of 33 full back tattoos by the artists of the now defunct NSKolectiv. The goal of the new book is to document complete sleeves from a broad cross section of the best tattooers, from around the globe. It will be a snap shot of the current state of the art form. For those unfamiliar, a sleeve is a tattoo that covers the arm. In the Japanese boshido style if also includes a chest panel. Next month I’ll be photographing the North American portion of the book at the San Jose Tattoo Convention. As much as I’d love to share some of the images for the book, I’m afraid they’ll have to remain sequestered until the entire project is done. Many thanks to Adrian and the Analog Crew, Tony, Mick Tattoo, Moe and The Family Business, Fraser at Pear Tree, and all the tattooers and their clients for being such gracious subjects.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yellowstone's Thorofare




So… to introduce myself to the blogisphere I thought I’d start with a recent backpacking trip with the Snake River Hiking Club through southeastern Yellowstone Park in Wyoming. We more or less followed a route known as the Thorofare. Our undertaking started out with a quick boat ride across Yellowstone Lake. The ferry dropped our crew off on a deserted beach in the woods. From there we spent 10 days trekking 85 miles through the wilderness. Our route took us into some of the most remote parts of the country. At one point we were the furthest you can get from a paved road anywhere in the lower 48 states. We traversed 10,000 foot ridges, forded several rivers, and crossed the Continental Divide.
Wildlife abounded throughout the adventure. Nights were filled with the howls of wolves, coyotes and elk. Osprey bald eagles, hawks and loons soared overhead. A bison nearly ran us off the trail. Bears were never far from out thoughts. Grizzly and black bears are very common throughout Yellowstone necessitating carrying heavy duty pepper spray. While on the trail we would clap and yell to avoid contact. In camp we hung all our food from trees.
All in all it was an amazing trip. Spending over a week traveling a distance that would take an hour on a Southern California freeway and carrying everything you need on your back really brings things in to focus. Introspection and reassessment are part of the journey. Hugs and thanks to Irene, Cobe, Miles, Nina Jim and Kim. More photos from the trip are posted here: http://www.maxdolberg.com/thorofare/
Now it’s off to London to begin photography for the next tattoo book with Analog/Bloodwork.