ColoRADo from Don Karle Photography on Vimeo.
For the past year I've spent most of my free time on the road photographing time-lapses around Colorado. Loading up the truck with gear and my dogs, sometimes with a spot in mind, sometimes just following my nose. It wasn't uncommon to return to locations multiple times trying to capture the landscape in its best conditions. The record for retuning to a spot is 6 times, never did capture the shot I wanted there. Logging over 10,000 miles on the truck's clock and over 40 nights tripping around out in the woods. It's a year that will be remembered.
I feel fortunate to live in such a magnificent place. I had never been to Colorado when I decided to move here 20 something years ago. An old cycling teammate going to university out here needed a roommate and I need to move onward and outward. I traveled to Colorado with two bicycles, a garbage bag full of clothes, my toolbox and $200 in my pocket. Half of a lifetime later, I still feel super stoked to live here. ColoRADo is a personal tribute to my favorite place that happens to be my back yard.
Shooting this film was a blast. There were times I'd have up to three cameras shooting, hoping to get "the shot". I encountered disagreeable weather, intense rain, fierce mosquitoes and smelly wet dogs. I fell into a frozen river, was shot at or at least shot near (tomato tamato, really), got kicked out of locations, broke gear, forgot the whisky and got lost more than once. I had clouds when I didn't want them and clear skies when I did. I ate some meals that was debatably edible, drove till I was numb, then drove some more. I weathered cold windy nights only to be woken up by listless dogs at the crack of dawn. But regardless of the trials and tribulations, the journey was magical, pure and a testament to one of the best decisions I've made; to call Colorado my home.
Below are a handful of photos from the past year on the road. Enjoy the journey!
Behind the scenes iPhone photos
It started when I was a kid; taking things apart and sometimes managing to get them back together. The result was a closet cluttered with broken toys that I couldn’t get back together. As I got older, bicycles and motorcycles became my focus with a new caveat; they had to go back together or I wouldn’t have anything to ride. So it was only natural for me to take apart photography gear; always holding a camera and always curious about what was happening inside. It started innocently enough, dissembling old broken lenses to make bracelets. But, after finding a junked Canon FTB online, suddenly I was a kid again disassembling the object of my affection. Once I figured out how to take the top off and saw the inside, I knew I had to capture macro video of the gear mechanisms. The inside reminded me of the clockworks in an old watch. (Yep, I’ve taken one of those apart as well.) I setup some hot lights and stacked all of the extension tubes I had on my camera to capture some cool footage of the camera’s inner workings. Along with the macro video I shot a fun stop-action zoom from 17mm to 400mm. Also capturing the entire shoot with a behind-the-scenes multi-angle time-lapse. Take a look at this project about a project and the making of said project. It’s a journey that takes you into a mechanical microcosm and then lets you become the spectator of the entire event.
Video and photos shot with a Canon 5dMIII and Canon lenses. Edited in Photoshop and Final Cut Pro.
* note: Camera hidden in closet and currently still disassembled.
Recently I had the opportunity to photograph professional Ironman triathlete Tim Don for the UK magazine 220. I did my first cover shoot for 220 magazine 13 years ago and it's always fun working with them. I recently met Tim Don on a previous photoshoot and was excited to work with him again. He’s an amazing athlete, an awesome guy and easy to work with. I knew this was going to be a fun photo shoot. Matt, the editor of 220 magazine, was looking for cycling photos for the cover and also needed a handful of run images. After photographing Tim running at his favorite track we headed out on the country roads north of Boulder, CO. I’ve shot photos of cyclists from the back of my truck before but this time I wanted to incorporate off camera lighting. With a ton of gaffer's tape, I taped a light stand to each end of my roof racks and then extend those a couple feet and attached speed lights to the ends with radio slaves. With my assistant Carol driving and me laying down in the back of the truck, I photographed Tim as he chased the truck down the road. We had essentially created a 20mph rolling studio. One of the flashes did smack a bush or two but it never fell off and kept working. The lighting set up made for some fun photos with some great shadows and Tim did a terrific job of following behind the truck while battling a nasty side wind. I think we had a successful photo shoot and captured some really beautiful images. Everyone at the magazine loved the images and the issue turned out great.