First roll of the year

 This Christmas, I was lucky enough to receive an Epson photo scanner, so I can begin scanning my own 35mm negatives. This is sweet in many ways: I can now have more control over how I want my photos to look, it's half the price at the lab for a roll because they don't need to scan, and I'll get my film back in 3 days as opposed to a week. Take a look at my first roll of the year,  scanned by yours truly.

This Christmas, I was lucky enough to receive an Epson photo scanner, so I can begin scanning my own 35mm negatives. This is sweet in many ways: I can now have more control over how I want my photos to look, it's half the price at the lab for a roll because they don't need to scan, and I'll get my film back in 3 days as opposed to a week. Take a look at my first roll of the year,  scanned by yours truly.

 Winter.... Riggghhhttt....

Winter.... Riggghhhttt....

 Sidewalk surfing.

Sidewalk surfing.

 Still trying to figure out a better method for getting the dust off the negatives. If you have a technique, please pass on the wisdom.

Still trying to figure out a better method for getting the dust off the negatives. If you have a technique, please pass on the wisdom.

 Frolicking in the snow, a few days after Christmas.

Frolicking in the snow, a few days after Christmas.

 Scanning my own negatives is quite a lengthy process, and I'm still trying to dial in all of the specifications that goes with it, like finding a good method of getting all the dust off. But I love the process and being able to have more control over my photos. Film is the best.   P.S. If you have any advice, tips, or interesting facts about the scanning process, please shoot me a message. For the time being, YouTube videos will suffice...

Scanning my own negatives is quite a lengthy process, and I'm still trying to dial in all of the specifications that goes with it, like finding a good method of getting all the dust off. But I love the process and being able to have more control over my photos. Film is the best. 

P.S. If you have any advice, tips, or interesting facts about the scanning process, please shoot me a message. For the time being, YouTube videos will suffice...

First Time In The Northwest (Pt. 2)

  "According to this map, the trail seems to be only four miles roundtrip... That's not  too  bad," Caleb told the rest of us as we waited in the vans. His excitement, despite the news of the long haul,  gave us hope that maybe we would be surfing this hidden wave we found on Google Maps. Caleb jogged back to the rest of us with a huge grin on his face.    "Welp, let's park before other hikers get here and gather our gear. We'll lug it all down to the beach. Probably won't take too long." James cranked the wheel as we u-turned and pulled into a spot. Our friends Caleb and Kyle Babcock drove down from Seattle   to join in our surf extravaganza on the Oregon coast. Caleb and his wife Arianna just recently invested in their second adventuremobile, a VW Vanagon. The brothers were eager to get in the water and escape the suburbia bustle of Seattle.    

"According to this map, the trail seems to be only four miles roundtrip... That's not too bad," Caleb told the rest of us as we waited in the vans. His excitement, despite the news of the long haul,  gave us hope that maybe we would be surfing this hidden wave we found on Google Maps. Caleb jogged back to the rest of us with a huge grin on his face.

"Welp, let's park before other hikers get here and gather our gear. We'll lug it all down to the beach. Probably won't take too long." James cranked the wheel as we u-turned and pulled into a spot. Our friends Caleb and Kyle Babcock drove down from Seattle to join in our surf extravaganza on the Oregon coast. Caleb and his wife Arianna just recently invested in their second adventuremobile, a VW Vanagon. The brothers were eager to get in the water and escape the suburbia bustle of Seattle.

 

 The night before, the four of us planned to head south from Cannon beach to a cove we heard about from some locals. We had no idea if there would be any surf, due to a few days of finicky surf reports. But we were ready to try. We arrived at the trailhead around 6 am, and started to gather up surfboards, gear, and a few snacks. We knew we were going to do some hiking, but we did not know what exactly was in store for us. 

The night before, the four of us planned to head south from Cannon beach to a cove we heard about from some locals. We had no idea if there would be any surf, due to a few days of finicky surf reports. But we were ready to try. We arrived at the trailhead around 6 am, and started to gather up surfboards, gear, and a few snacks. We knew we were going to do some hiking, but we did not know what exactly was in store for us. 

 We started on the trail, and after only a few switchbacks, we were starting to feel it.   "Can't be too much farther, I think I can see the water from right here," Kyle said as he led the crew. I wish he was right...

We started on the trail, and after only a few switchbacks, we were starting to feel it. 

"Can't be too much farther, I think I can see the water from right here," Kyle said as he led the crew. I wish he was right...

 Unloading gear.

Unloading gear.

 Manzanita.

Manzanita.

 Caleb's impressively worn in Birkenstocks.

Caleb's impressively worn in Birkenstocks.

 After what seemed way more than two miles in, we finally touched the white sand with our aching feet. This was the first time we were able to check the surf, and we were already pretty committed, which made the moment of truth even more intense. As we descended from the tall pines, we could see small but surfable waves breaking. Maybe 2-3 occasional 4 foot sets. It was small, but we were suiting up. The stoke was high.

After what seemed way more than two miles in, we finally touched the white sand with our aching feet. This was the first time we were able to check the surf, and we were already pretty committed, which made the moment of truth even more intense. As we descended from the tall pines, we could see small but surfable waves breaking. Maybe 2-3 occasional 4 foot sets. It was small, but we were suiting up. The stoke was high.

 Arguably one of the most wildest, scenic spots I've ever surfed in my life.

Arguably one of the most wildest, scenic spots I've ever surfed in my life.

 I could live in the Pacific Northwest someday...

I could live in the Pacific Northwest someday...

    Caleb Babcock    and his new rig. I was so hyped on it.

Caleb Babcock and his new rig. I was so hyped on it.

 Breakfast supplies.

Breakfast supplies.

 The legend himself at the helm, James Barkman.

The legend himself at the helm, James Barkman.

 We shared nonstop waves for two hours, having a blast and cheering each other on in the small conditions. We got out feeling satisfied and threw the frisbee around for a little bit. All was well and joyous, until we started to realize what lied before us. The hike in was constant switchbacks, fortunately all down hill. As that was helpful on the way in, we all realized very quickly that if it was downhill on the way in, it would be entirely uphill on the way out, for two miles. Let's pause for a second and let me remind you something: we were hiking with surfboards, wetsuits, towels, and full backpacks (also let me throw in that I was carrying a longboard). This was not your average hike. We saddled up, said a farewell to the spot, and began the ascent. 

We shared nonstop waves for two hours, having a blast and cheering each other on in the small conditions. We got out feeling satisfied and threw the frisbee around for a little bit. All was well and joyous, until we started to realize what lied before us. The hike in was constant switchbacks, fortunately all down hill. As that was helpful on the way in, we all realized very quickly that if it was downhill on the way in, it would be entirely uphill on the way out, for two miles. Let's pause for a second and let me remind you something: we were hiking with surfboards, wetsuits, towels, and full backpacks (also let me throw in that I was carrying a longboard). This was not your average hike. We saddled up, said a farewell to the spot, and began the ascent. 

 Coffee time.

Coffee time.

 Looking for a spot to have an evening fire.

Looking for a spot to have an evening fire.

 I've always had a special place for cool lighthouses.

I've always had a special place for cool lighthouses.

 Kicking up some sand.

Kicking up some sand.

 Kyle started one of the fastest campfires I've ever seen.

Kyle started one of the fastest campfires I've ever seen.

 Grind.

Grind.

 An Oregon Summer.

An Oregon Summer.

 Room with a view.

Room with a view.

 Another one from Kiwanda.

Another one from Kiwanda.

 Kyle, post-hike.

Kyle, post-hike.

 An hour later, we arrived back at the trail head. I don't think I have sweated more in my life than at this point in time. My toes were blistered after hiking in my Teva's and my shoulders sore from carrying a soaked wetsuit and a longboard. I laid down the board right in the middle of the sidewalk because I just couldn't carry that thing 5 more feet. The guys slowly arrived and didn't even have the energy to share any words about what we had just gone through. We all knew what each other was feeling. We spent the next few hours in Caleb's van drinking delicious coffee, letting our feet heal, and cooking supper. Even though it wasn't too long after we had finished the hike, we were already looking back on it laughing and realizing it was definitely a memorable event. That's something I am really fascinated by about surfing. Some go to the extent of completely tiring themselves out just to find a wave that may or may not exist, a wave that may or may not ever even break. Surfers will travel miles and may not even have the opportunity to get in the water. But that's the way we like it. The effort to get to the surf makes it just that much worth it to catch a few waves.  Sometimes the risk is worth the reward...

An hour later, we arrived back at the trail head. I don't think I have sweated more in my life than at this point in time. My toes were blistered after hiking in my Teva's and my shoulders sore from carrying a soaked wetsuit and a longboard. I laid down the board right in the middle of the sidewalk because I just couldn't carry that thing 5 more feet. The guys slowly arrived and didn't even have the energy to share any words about what we had just gone through. We all knew what each other was feeling. We spent the next few hours in Caleb's van drinking delicious coffee, letting our feet heal, and cooking supper. Even though it wasn't too long after we had finished the hike, we were already looking back on it laughing and realizing it was definitely a memorable event. That's something I am really fascinated by about surfing. Some go to the extent of completely tiring themselves out just to find a wave that may or may not exist, a wave that may or may not ever even break. Surfers will travel miles and may not even have the opportunity to get in the water. But that's the way we like it. The effort to get to the surf makes it just that much worth it to catch a few waves. Sometimes the risk is worth the reward...

This trip I had the pleasure of meeting a very talented and caring guy by the name of Caleb Babcock. I had been following his work for a number of years and had a great time getting to know him and seeing what he does best. He made a short edit of our days spent hounding for waves on the Oregon coast, and it's one of the raddest edits I've seen in a while. You may just see yours truly on a small but fun little wave. Check it out above or by going to his Vimeo page. Thanks for reading about one of the best trips I've ever had.

Here are some more links:

Instagram: @seanrcollier

@cameracaleb

@jamesbarkman

Tumblr: solitudeseeking.tumblr.com

embarkmants.tumblr.com (James' 35mm film from the trip)

First Time In The Northwest (Pt. 1)

 "This is not 5 feet at 11 seconds..." James said as he let out a long exhale.  "That's what the report said. Maybe the swell is delayed and won't fill in 'till tomorrow," I reply, hoping that we would score some sort of waves during the trip. I was itching to get in the water.   "Welp, let's head back to the van and cook up some eggs. Maybe we can wait out the rain and the tide to rise and it'll pick up out there. I can ask my one loc-dog buddy back in the parking lot if it was breaking anywhere else. Our best bet is to head north."

"This is not 5 feet at 11 seconds..." James said as he let out a long exhale.

"That's what the report said. Maybe the swell is delayed and won't fill in 'till tomorrow," I reply, hoping that we would score some sort of waves during the trip. I was itching to get in the water. 

"Welp, let's head back to the van and cook up some eggs. Maybe we can wait out the rain and the tide to rise and it'll pick up out there. I can ask my one loc-dog buddy back in the parking lot if it was breaking anywhere else. Our best bet is to head north."

 After months of scheming plans and getting ideas in line, I booked a flight to Oregon to meet up with my friend James Barkman. Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of visiting the Pacific Northwest. I remember watching cheesy Disney films that took place in Washington and Oregon and always had an appeal to the fog and rain, the change of seasons, and endless coastline with little to no crowd. Since James has been hanging around up there for the better part of the past year, I found a perfect excuse to leave southern California for a week. For seven days, we lived off fried eggs, hiked a little more than we planned, met some rad friends, and most importantly, spent time together. 

After months of scheming plans and getting ideas in line, I booked a flight to Oregon to meet up with my friend James Barkman. Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of visiting the Pacific Northwest. I remember watching cheesy Disney films that took place in Washington and Oregon and always had an appeal to the fog and rain, the change of seasons, and endless coastline with little to no crowd. Since James has been hanging around up there for the better part of the past year, I found a perfect excuse to leave southern California for a week. For seven days, we lived off fried eggs, hiked a little more than we planned, met some rad friends, and most importantly, spent time together. 

 As you may have seen in previous posts, one of my closest friends,    James Barkman   , has been on the road for the past two years living in his van and working on photo projects. The dude has some serious talent. Not only is he one of my favorite photographers, he's a guy I really enjoy talking to and learning from. Get to know James.

As you may have seen in previous posts, one of my closest friends, James Barkman, has been on the road for the past two years living in his van and working on photo projects. The dude has some serious talent. Not only is he one of my favorite photographers, he's a guy I really enjoy talking to and learning from. Get to know James.

 Big Foot spotting. Driving thru rain on the Oregon coast. 

Big Foot spotting. Driving thru rain on the Oregon coast. 

 Our mode of transport: Melody Barkvan. The perfect adventure mobile for hounding waves.

Our mode of transport: Melody Barkvan. The perfect adventure mobile for hounding waves.

 Hiking through the mountains was on my list of to-do's. The possibilities are endless in the Pacific Northwest. Here's a photo of the fog parting perfectly over miles of national forest and logging roads.

Hiking through the mountains was on my list of to-do's. The possibilities are endless in the Pacific Northwest. Here's a photo of the fog parting perfectly over miles of national forest and logging roads.

 Hiking in the rain to get skunked.

Hiking in the rain to get skunked.

 A shot of me on one of my first waves of the trip. Thanks for the shot James.

A shot of me on one of my first waves of the trip. Thanks for the shot James.

 Filling up on mountain spring water.

Filling up on mountain spring water.

 I had the pleasure of meeting a new friend,    Nicole Mason.    Neek is a photographer based in Portland and had met James a while back through mutual friends. She accompanied us on a few hikes and shared some wise words about life. 

I had the pleasure of meeting a new friend, Nicole Mason. Neek is a photographer based in Portland and had met James a while back through mutual friends. She accompanied us on a few hikes and shared some wise words about life. 

 Setting up the solar panels. This is how James powers all of his electronics.

Setting up the solar panels. This is how James powers all of his electronics.

 Cape Disappointment, Washington.

Cape Disappointment, Washington.

 Waking up in the pop-top.

Waking up in the pop-top.

 Re-organizing gear and being able to find stuff in a reasonable time is an essential vanlife skill. James has become quite the master. 

Re-organizing gear and being able to find stuff in a reasonable time is an essential vanlife skill. James has become quite the master. 

 Passing by. 

Passing by. 

 Looking out towards Pacific City.

Looking out towards Pacific City.

 After a mile hike through dense forest, the surf became visible through a clearing in the pines. Our arms were tired from carrying all our boards and wetsuits, and our excitement to suit up was through the roof. It was around noon, and had spent the majority of the morning cleaning the van, driving around, and figuring out what spot would be working the best.  "Hey, look at that right!" James exclaimed after pointing towards a face left untouched by anyone out in the lineup.   "That actually looked kinda fun. Small, but fun. I say we go out there and wait for a few nugs to come through. I'm just looking to get in the water." My eyes lit up as I saw another small set come through. Few guys were out, and I could picture James and I hooting and hollering at each other as we shared some waves. "I just have to throw some duct tape on the log before we go out."  "Sounds good. I'll get my suit on. You can take the 4-3. That reminds me. I'm gonna shoot Caleb a text and tell him we're surfing here and to meet us at Safeway whenever we get out. They should be here soon, then we'll caravan south to the spot we were looking at on Google Maps. The report said that swell should be filling in later this evening. It looks very promising..."  "Fine by me. Let's suit up..."

After a mile hike through dense forest, the surf became visible through a clearing in the pines. Our arms were tired from carrying all our boards and wetsuits, and our excitement to suit up was through the roof. It was around noon, and had spent the majority of the morning cleaning the van, driving around, and figuring out what spot would be working the best.

"Hey, look at that right!" James exclaimed after pointing towards a face left untouched by anyone out in the lineup. 

"That actually looked kinda fun. Small, but fun. I say we go out there and wait for a few nugs to come through. I'm just looking to get in the water." My eyes lit up as I saw another small set come through. Few guys were out, and I could picture James and I hooting and hollering at each other as we shared some waves. "I just have to throw some duct tape on the log before we go out."

"Sounds good. I'll get my suit on. You can take the 4-3. That reminds me. I'm gonna shoot Caleb a text and tell him we're surfing here and to meet us at Safeway whenever we get out. They should be here soon, then we'll caravan south to the spot we were looking at on Google Maps. The report said that swell should be filling in later this evening. It looks very promising..."

"Fine by me. Let's suit up..."

 Stay tuned for the 2nd installment of my  First Time In the Northwest.  I'll have another post up within the next couple days telling a story about the second half of the trip. You're not going to want to miss it. Thanks for reading.

Stay tuned for the 2nd installment of my First Time In the Northwest. I'll have another post up within the next couple days telling a story about the second half of the trip. You're not going to want to miss it. Thanks for reading.

Here are some more links:

Instagram: @seanrcollier

@jamesbarkman