Sunday, October 23, 2011

California: An Old School Moto Journey

California native and photographer Brett Holman explores the Golden State on his classic 1980 Suzuki DR400. An off road motorcycle is the most efficient way to travel in this type of terrain. The Highway 395 corridor offers up some of the most scenic land in the world. I explore these locations several times per year and am always amazed at what I get to see and experience.

Filmed by Greg Stahl
Music: "Motion Sickness" by New Mexico

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Behind the Lens: Keeping my eye out

The fact that I get to be in so many spectacular locations makes me want to take care of the places that I frequent. I get to see first hand how the location is being treated by it's visitors. I spent this morning checking the condition of every dispersed campsite at the Buttermilks. After a quick evaluation on my motorcycle I went back and cleaned up nearly 20 lbs of other people's trash. It was the least I could do for a place that has given me so much.

Today's Shot 370

Following the path of least resistance - California

Photographer Note: I love looking at a mountain peak and figuring out how to get there without a trail. It puts you into a different state of mind when you're making the route up as you go along. It's also a lot more fun!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Behind the Lens: " Yard Sale "

Before I go on any trip I "yard sale" my gear for the task at hand. I had been camping in my van, fishing, riding my dirt bike and now was headed into the backcountry for a quick one-nighter high in the snow. After years of travel my system is getting dialed in to where I'm prepared to photograph almost any type of scenario.

Today's Shot 369

Ryan Campagna cooking up a backcountry feast below Matterhorn Peak - California

Photographer Note: The crunch of ice axes and crampons echoed amongst the granite amphitheater as we climbed to basecamp. This is a spectacular place to explore and find solitude. There's nothing better than unzipping your tent door to this kind of backcountry in the morning.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Today's Shot 368

Another day at the ranch.

Photographer Note: Angles matter especially when light quality is lacking. I always try to work extra hard on finding creative angles when golden light, a key component to successful outdoor photography is unavailable.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Today's Shot 367

On Any Sunday star and legendary motorcycle racer Malcolm Smith.

Photographer Note: Malcolm is one of my childhood heroes. He was gracious enough to invite me over to his shop and his home. Very few people get to spend a day with Malcolm Smith and it was one of those experiences that I will never forget.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Today's Shot 366

Food rations for big trips is a delicate balance between calories and weight.

Photographer Note: Planning for the big trips is all about laying out the food and gear and looking to make sure you have everything. If you can't see what you have, it makes it that much harder to see what you're forgetting.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Today's Shot 365

Greg Stahl after a crash - Santa Barbara, Calif.

Photographer Note: I've captured some great moments of motorcycles and the situations they put us in over the past couple of years. I'm currently in the process of pulling 100 images of motorcycle trips and lifestyle moments that I've personally been involved with. Many of the images are in Baja and California and include my family and friends. I will continue to shoot on this project but I finally have enough imagery to produce a first go around at this story.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Today's Shot 364

I always check over my bike while I'm out riding. I looked down this time to see my that my chain guide was bent in half and partially missing. It's back to the van to make the repair before going out on the day's big desert mission.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Today's Shot 363

Vagabonds and their vehicles always continue to inspire me for the simple fact that I see someone going for it - Ocean Beach, California

Photographer Note: I spent today watching films of adventure and am totally inspired to get out and maintain the travel lifestyle. During a break in videos I headed out to the Ocean Beach to appreciate the incoming storm. In the parking lot I found this converted school bus fully rigged out to pursue the lifestyle. I never saw the owner of the vehicle but I have a pretty good idea that I would agree with 95% of what they were about. To me this image symbolizes the spirit and freedom of living like this.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Old Bikes

When I ride these old bikes I feel like I'm actually connected to the machines. I just rode 65 miles today on the 1980 Suzuki DR400 in the foreground. Everybody I met on the trail was into my old school thumper. Today was all about full throttle and 5th gear preloads. Gotta say that I'm still rollin on the throttle early and slidin' the corners late.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Behind the Lens: Getting Around

I really appreciate having a motorcycle as my primary mode of transportation in the dirt. I can often go check several locations in a matter of minutes in order to see how the sun is illuminating certain natural features. It's the most efficient way to get around when time is limited and you need to see a lot of locations.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Today's Shot 362

Skydiving plane headed out for a mission - Ocotillo Wells, California

Photographer Note: I watched this plane come in for a landing after I saw a couple skydivers jump out. When it landed the second time I knew I could get an image of it taking off for the next jump. Way too much fun flying around on the motorcycle trying to get a shot.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's Shot 361

It's not too often you look behind you and see 6-time Baja 1000 winner Malcolm Smith hot on your tail.

Photographer Note: Greg Stahl and myself spent the day with Malcolm Smith yesterday. It was a classic adventure of old bikes and great stories. The guy still rips after all these years and has the same enthusiasm for Baja that he had 40 years ago in the Bruce Brown film On Any Sunday.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Motos: Behind the Lens

The motorcycles are always keeping me busy. I have three 1980 Suzuki DR400's and one 1979 DR370 project bike. It's a full time deal maintaining all of these bikes. I gotta admit that rolling up to "The Shop" at night, plugging in the iPod and wrenching on old motorcycles makes me grin for some reason. Greg Stahl is the welder in the second photo working out of his garage in Carpinteria, California.

Working on carbs

Welding peg mounts

A day of tuning

Back in business

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today's Shot 360

Eastern Sierra peaks showing off their edge during the end of the day - California

Photographer Note: This is my front yard several times per year. It's one of those places that I keep going back to because of it's ruggedness. It could be a remote mountain range in Pakistan but it's not. It's a drive, a playlist, a hike and a backcountry night away from where I live.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Behind the Lens: Plan and Execute

Here I am on the execution phase of a Baja motorcycle trip. (Photo: Greg Stahl)

Photographer Note: I'm always planning two to three trips at a time. When I'm on a trip I try to figure out how to make the next one better and more efficient during all stages. Everything from obtaining equipment, to clearing the schedule, and of course, funding the project has to be accomplished on every outing. It's a constant cycle of generating a plan and then being crafty enough to execute these trips on a regular basis.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Today's Shot 359

When life is simple you begin to realize what is important and what isn't.

Photographer Note: As I plan another classic journey of 1800 miles on a bicycle I have to follow my own personal guidelines for travel. We have to have style, we have to have more fun than everybody else, and money doesn't matter. The lower the budget, the better the images tend to be.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Today's Shot 358

Boris Grogg (left) and Colin Nederkoorn in the moment after a long day on the traverse of America aboard bicycles - Utah.

Photographer Note: My motivation comes from the people in my pictures. When I documented a small portion of this horizontal mission across the country I knew I would take on a similar journey. My friend Natasha Mitchell and I are riding our bicycles from Canada to Mexico just because we thought it would be fun. My personal bucket list is running out of things to do at this point....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Today's Shot 357

"Mad Mike" out for a stroll in Anza Borrego State Park

Photographer Note: I plan my activities based on the seasons. When the weather is "cold" in San Diego I head out to clear skies in the Anza Borrego Desert. Driving to perfect sunshine is something that I will always appreciate about my home.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Today's Shot 356

Greg Stahl filmin' Kasey Hofer in the Eastern Sierra

Photographer Note: I never thought we were doing anything special until I realized that there isn't a photographer who sticks up for the people who work real jobs, have lives and grind to be in these situations. I take pride in having great friends who live the lifestyle without endless phone calls, emails and workloads.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Today's Shot 355

Shane Fryer emerging from an underground cave system at Lava Beds National Momument.

Photographer Note: I've been fortunate to have access to many styles of adventure. Fryer is the physical scientist at the park and he spent three days showing me things that very few people get to see, experience or photograph. It was one of those times where I looked at my camera and said, "look where you brought me today."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Behind the Lens: The Power of the Strobes

Photographer Note: I've been carrying strobes for years but as I begin to work on more and more of my personal projects it's evident that it has evolved into a crucial weapon for my style of photography. Dragging this system around and capturing adventure as it happens adds another element to documenting trips.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Top 20 Baja Shots

Baja has been very good to me over the years. It's a special place for those who choose to discover one of the few remaining primitive areas in the western world. Our tight knit group of Baja travelers consists of people who appreciate Baja's freedom and rugged beauty. Together we have designed and accomplished numerous trips utilizing, trucks, vans, boats, motorcycles, bicycles and mini bikes. The images below make me smile the most when I look back on the unbelievable trips we've created and documented. Here are my 20 favorite photographs in no particular order.

Note: This is a tribute to Baja's freedom as a destination and to my friends who have given me some of the best times of my life. Cheers gents!

"Juan" stopped us as we drove by on a remote dirt road. We gave him some Top Ramen and some beans for dinner that night.

Greg Stahl waxin' his board from his beachfront campsite.

Nobody for miles... A Baja reality!

Greg Stahl riding his Honda trail CT70 to his secret surf spot.

Baja is known for it's remote fishing villages.

Abe Hammond and Greg Stahl enjoying the Baja backroads.

Curtis Major airing down tires at 2am.

Greg Stahl motorcycle backpacking with an 80 lb pack as the sun sets.

Paul Lang stoked on big wind at San Quintin.

Greg Stahl on the slackline attached to my 4x4 high in the Baja mountains.

Riding on untouched beaches is a perfect example of Baja freedom.

Getting there is half the fun and the roads are always changing.

A "typical" Baja moto camp.

Nothings more entertaining than watching your buddies take on the ocean in the world's smallest inflatable boat.

Abe Hammond relaxed and loving life.

Greg Stahl checking out the surf.

Locals are always curious and it's fun to practice your Spanish in the middle of nowhere.

Goats in the middle of the road.

Curtis Major checking the surf at Shipwrecks.

Navigating with rolls of topographic maps in the Baja backcountry.

I'm always grateful to be living in beautiful Southern California and enjoying adventure south of the border! (Photo: Greg Stahl)