These walrus in Franz Josef Land, Russia hate straws...for real. @zarialynn just challenged me to #stopsucking and I was like, "well, that's kind of a tall order..." But then I figured out she was talking about the @lonelywhale strawlessocean.org campaign to stamp out the needless use of plastic straws. Did you know Americans alone use 500 million plastic straws a day?!?! That's a lot of waste that uses precious resources to create and leaves heaps of plastics and micro-plastics floating in our oceans. Soooo, now I'm gonna challenge @ladzinski to #stopsucking as well. Let's make ourselves heard with this simple little adjustment and thoughtfulness in our day to day and learn more at strawlessocean.org
That one time in Oregon with @eddiebauer and my phone camera....
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@masterblasterg Gabriel Angelo, Pearl St. mall street performer. An unmissable new ICON. Gabriel has so much youthful energy...he'll tell you it's from being vegan, but I think it might have something to do with being 19. Regardless, he's a badass bursting with talent. I wanted to make a portrait representative of what Gabriel sweats out onto the bricks. Two lights synced at 1/1600. #phaseonephoto#mediumformat@angelajpayne
Pearl St Mall contortionist, Ibashi. 61 yrs. old. Boulder ICON. To require virtually no post processing, I had a second plexiglass box supporting the one he is in and blasted a strobe directly through it in order to make it disappear while simultaneously dropping in a backlight with a reflector at full power on a boom. The result was a floating box...kinda fun to figure it all out with @angelajpayne#phaseonephoto#mediumformat
Right now. Mt. Jefferson from Silcox Hut on Mt. Hood. @eddiebauer
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Nancy Smith of Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Boulder ICON
Donnie Mortimer @hawkfather Boulder ICON Lighting study based on @martinschoeller Martin's lighting has long been iconic and immediately recognizable. The simple fact is that it works. Moreover, it's hard make it work 'better'. My goal isn't ever to copy friends and mentors, but to study what they are doing that works and why. Obviously, this light is different and quite frankly, not as good as Martin's. But that's part of understanding the process. Every minute spent tweaking light is another minute in the classroom, another step towards making something truly unique. Thanks @martinschoeller for the inspiration.
Another image from the ICON show I'm working on in Boulder, CO.
On the voyage of faces. Im in Boulder shooting for a project called ICON highlighting the characters of this not so sleepy berg. It's a crash course in portraiture. For my entire career, I've wanted to make pictures of people...and some of my greatest mentors have been profoundly encouraging in the pursuit. I feel deeply privileged to have people like @marcogrob and @nigelparryportrait pushing me along the way. I shamelessly copy and modify signature lighting, trying to learn how to bring individuals to life. But beyond the light and technicality is the art of being present with people and opening a space for all that I want to get from them and what they want to give. It's a constant dynamic exchange. I'm shooting over 100 people in three weeks using every different format from 35mm to 4x5 film to the insanely beautiful #mediumformat digital #phaseonephoto system. It's exhausting and I couldn't be happier doing it. #ICONBoulder Richard Polk sits for the camera...
Thanks @outsidemagazine for the huge honor. Massive thanks to Devon O'Neil for taking this on. Devon worked on this for a year and a half, going deep into my story...well beyond what almost anyone knows. Thanks mom & dad @kitcourt.cr and @instagrom801 for being my family and rock. It wasn't easy, it might not have even been worth some of it...but I'm deeply grateful for where it's brought us. And massive thanks to @nigelparryportrait for the years of inspiration and inviting me to sit in front of your camera. HUGE thanks to @eddiebauer for believing in me at a time where it might have been hard to, and sticking by me as an athlete and photographer #gamechanger Countless partners, a handful of deeply impactful mentors, and friends and community. You guys kick ass. Massive love and respect. @adrianballinger@eddiebauer
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In my happy place with faces. Shooting the ICON Portrait Project in Boulder. More info and images to come.....soon...I promise
Art by @obeygiant and @amplifierfoundation The summit of Everest is arguably one of the most unifying points on the planet. This flag in this place speaks to our ability to overcome divisive ideology and move beyond asinine biases rooted in misinformation. This was not an act of protest, but an appeal to understand that there is nothing to fear in race, gender, sexuality and religion. Action is what defines us, not belief. Bringing this flag to the summit was a plea to our human family to look beyond that which scares, beyond that which we don't understand. Terror can't be banned by locking ourselves away...but only thru extending ourselves with measured compassion. This was not a protest, but an invitation to adhere to our highest nature and the very tenets that are woven into the fabric of the best in American and global culture.
Photo @estebantopomena (follow him!) Me, 'walking' up Everest at 28,980 ft. (Using oxygen and fixed lines after abandoning my second No O's attempt at 28,500 ft) This season has been beautiful and tragic in so many ways. Beautiful in the accomplishments of others, tragic in the the loss of life and the petty nitpicking and destruction of said accomplishments. We are all guilty of picking eachother apart... gossip is built into the fabric of human culture. I have talked shit at times. But what I've learned is it always comes back to me and my insecurities.
The idea that we can cultivate personal happiness thru the willful contribution to another's unhappiness is rooted in our own insecurity, anger, and pain. Deriving happiness from another's misery, be it personal, political, or professional, is a contradiction in terms and an impossibility. However, at the very moment we feel the urge to tear another down, we are given an opportunity to ask ourselves what is it in us that feels overlooked, unseen, harmed, threatened and hurt. If we can search that moment and come back to ourselves with an honest answer, then we begin to evolve and grow.
I want to congratulate every single person who hung it out there this season in the mountains. I don't care how you climbed...I care that you came at all. Your truth is yours and I'll be the first to celebrate that. The more I've tried to find happiness in the deconstruction and judgement of others accomplishments, the more misery I've shoveled onto myself. No more. Well done.
@adrianballinger 27 yrs, two months, four days, and 40 hours of movement into his realized dream of touching the apex of Terra Firma without the use of supplemental oxygen. Last year, he turned around several hundred meters shy of the summit. Yesterday, we stood on top together, fulfilling our two year project. I've never witnessed something so moving as his continued effort to break his own physical and psychological barriers. It was beautiful. I was humbled to stand in his shadow...thanks so much Adrian for showing me how far we can all take it. You are an inspiration forever. #everestnofilter@eddiebauer@khumbuclimbingcenter@stravarun@hiballenergy
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A quiet if not solemn day on Everest. More lives were seemingly needlessly lost on the south side of the mountain last night. High winds and marginal overall forecasts that had been predicted for a week slammed into teams high on both sides of the mountain. At the south col, four individuals, two Sherpa "guides" and their clients were found dead in a tent. Best guesses have the team dying from carbon monoxide poisoning from cooking in their tent... trying to escape the winds. Other teams got away with it. Some retreated. All the details are yet to come in. It's sad. Its needless. For a larger, more articulate discussion about the circumstances that surround accidents like this on Everest, visit @adrianballinger page. Safe climbing everyone. #GoGently. #EverestNoFilter
@kilianjornet takes a much deserved seat after a beautiful 26 hour effort from basecamp to summit, joining the Everest No O's club in typical kilian fashion. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many inspirational individuals. Looking forward to my second No O's climb, I can only hope to channel the fear and uncertainty through the filter of inspiration that people like Kilian offer up. So psyched for everyone on the mountain right now. Safe climbing.
A quiet toast to everyone who makes this life so fucking amazing. Thank you. The first 36 years have been racous and awesome...let's make the next 36 even better.
Surrender is a funny thing. We do it constantly without thinking...when we board planes, get in our cars, or cross the street. We surrender to eachother blindly all the time. Surrender in the mountains however has a unique texture. We stare up, calculate the risk, and surrender to the potential consequence. A decision is made to engage with fear and move with it. Fear is rooted in the future... an idea of something that could occur. In that sense, that which we fear isn't real. The goal then, is to surrender to both the potential consequences and the sensation of fear. Only when I embrace it rather than fight it, am I able to move through it. A good day surrendering and moving through it all with @adrianballinger Follow the climb on EverestNoFilter on snap. @eddiebauer@hiballenergy@stravarun
The waiting game. So much of climbing big mountains is balancing health against weather against risk against desire.... and on down the rabbit hole. Time gives way to introspection which leads to the dance between doubt and confidence. A place that can kill you demands respect. But when does rational fear mandate action? If I wasn't scared, I'd be stupid. But if I let fear control me, I no longer live fully. There are no answers, only more questions. Maybe that's why I come back...to keep learning. Just as my moods oscillate, so does my relationship to the terrain above. Fear is constant, but we all have the choice to move thru it. Last light on the apex of the planet. @adrianballinger@eddiebauer follow this years no O's attempt on Snap at #EverestNoFilter
Norbu, a Tibetan kitchen worker stands for a portrait at 21,000 ft., below a fierce wind plume blowing off the summit Everest. Every year, over a thousand people come to Everest to climb. And every year, the climb is made possible by countless seemingly nameless individuals like Norbu. The infrastructure of Himalayan climbing is built, in this case literally, on the backs of people like him. Standing with a bag of freshly chopped glacial ice over his shoulder, part of Norbu' s job is to collect ice to be melted for water. This is a trip he makes roughly 10 times a day for around six weeks. @adrianballinger and I are on Everest again this season, attempting without oxygen. People like Norbu make our climb possible... without them, there is no climb. Stay tuned for more images of the #unsungheroes here and at @esquire and follow our climb on Snapchat at EverestNoFilter. Shot on S8
@adrianballinger that one time at 22,800 ft descending from the North Col on Everest. .
Follow the trip on snap at EverestNoFilter @eddiebauer
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There is a not so subtle art to sharing tent space...especially at 23,000 ft. The temperature can fluctuate from 20 degrees f outside to 90 degrees f inside. Boredom can be an unkind mistress. There is only so much reading to do. There is only so much conversation, only so many jokes, only so many stories to tell... and retell. It takes a special kind of partnership. Thanks @adrianballinger for making it as easy as it can be. Here's to what it takes to simply be...
Follow this year's no O's attempt on Snap #EverestNoFilter@eddiebauer@stravarun@hiballenergy