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Lazy Sundays and Falling In Love

…..with the 35mm f/2 Canon SSC “Radioactive” thorium coated lens. It is entirely possible to fall in love with a chunk of glass and metal. Running this lens on my Sony’s with a Metabones FD/E speedbooster has made this my total go to lens for just about everything. Environmental portraits, perfect! Interiors and detail architecture, perfect! Semi-wide skies where you need some speed, perfect!

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Decent resolving power on the text for a 35+ year old lens ; )

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Shot at f/2. Super creamy bokeh that to me is still under control.

 

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Some pretty interesting warm light from the right thanks to some of the fall aspens reflecting the sunlight back through the window. Left side is just straight daylight. Defintely a high contrast lens with a bit of warmth thanks to the yellowing of the glass  by the thorium coatings.

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Scouting in the Zirkel Wilderness: Part 2

After our last scouting trip up to the Zirkels ended with finding the perfect location we decided to go back with some surveying gear to confirm that all of the angles and headings were correct. As always we brought some friends to be sherpas and did a little bit of shooting for Mika Yoga Wear along the way.

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Morning grinds to power some climbing.

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Chalk up and go.

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That bokeh on the Canon 35mm SSC is just ridiculous.

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When your adventure partner is really unhappy that your out in the middle of the lake.

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These feet have seen a few miles this year.

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Always bring the dogs along.

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Rangefinding……1800m. And some serious farmers tan!

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Doing and math and stuff.

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Top of Little Agnes just in time for Sunset

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Dancing In A Fantasy

Every year for our anniversary we try to go somewhere “new”. That can be close to home or it can be far but it has to be somewhere neither of us have experienced. Kaydee wasn’t very happy when I told her we were going to Vernal, Utah this year! But a little bit of alpine caving, some desert sun and a landscape straight from the set of Mars quickly changed her mind.

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Sometimes you just gotta dance…..45sec exposure with a color changing Luci light.

 

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Scouting Big Agnes Peak

 

We routinely drag our friends into the wilderness in search of new locations for upcoming shoots or when we could use some sherpas to carry extra gear. Sometime things work out and we find amazing things, sometimes it really doesn’t and we end up soaked but stoked to be out anyhow. In looking for a new location to shoot some mountain Aerial Dance stuff we went back to a place that has some special meaning to me as it was my extended back yard growing up.

The Zirkel Wilderness area is 159,935 acres of pristine wilderness just outside of Steamboat Springs, CO. It’s the site of the high point of Routt County (Mt. Zirkel) and one of my favaorite places in the lower 48.

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Standing on top of Big Agnes peak scouting the ridge.

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One of my favorite things about the Zirkel Widlerness is the amount of water (and fish). Creeks and lakes everywhere!

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Happy trail dog.

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Unhappy trail dog.

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Cupping With Queen City Coffee Collective

After spending 3 months shooting Siglo: A Century In The Soil and months before that, visiting roasters and learning more about coffee, it’s so rewarding to see Tito Sujuy’s name on the side of a coffee bag. Tito is a young farmer in Yepocapa Guatemala who we filmed and ultimately was a key guide and companion during our entire stay. Thanks to Scott at Queen City Coffee Collective for applying your skills to make this happen and Yepocapa Coffee for getting the beans here in the first place!

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This one is for you Tito!

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Devon Barker Stills & Motion - Catamaran Sailing - Carribean

On The High Seas – Guatemala to Florida

We didn’t have much of a plan on how to actually get back from Guatemala. We had three months on our Visas and knew we’d have to get back to the states via bus, plane or as it turns out…sail! We had a few days to kill before meeting up with our friends who own the catamaran “Adonai” so we jumped on the bus from Yepo to the Caribbean coast and did some exploring.

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The best turtle hunters in all of Rio Dulce! The water taxis in the background run up and down the lake all day running expats to their homes and boats.

 

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We’ve been to many hot springs in our travels but this is the first hot waterfall we’ve ever been too. This one is going to be hard to top!

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In search of Topado in Livingston, Guatemala. Topado is a sea food dish that usually consists of salt water fish, mussels, prawns and plaintain stewed in a coconut based broth. After passing an older gentleman on the street who handed us a paper menu, we had to give his restaurant a try. Turns out it was a just a couple tables and when we were told we could eat outside we found that we had our own little private wharf to enjoy sunset and a Gallo : )

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Never know what you’ll find creeping around in the jungle. #freelensing

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Beautiful morning to be setting sail.

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Navigating downt the Rio Dulce towards the Carribean.

 

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As we made out way down Rio Dulce, all I can imagine is the Spanish trying to bring galleons up this narrow river with nothing but oars for power.

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The days activities have always got to include fishing! Mahi for everyone!

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Kaydee and I took the early morning shift (my favorite) which means we always got to catch the sun coming up over the horizon.

 

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Sails up and calm seas.

 

Devon Barker Stills & Motion - Catamaran Sailing - Carribean

When you have an abundance of beautiful purples reflecting off the atmosphere and in turn the texture of the ocean you just can’t help but ask the wife to model for a moment ; )

 

Devon Barker Stills & Motion - Petate Weaving - Yepocapa, Guatemala

The Art of Petate Weaving

Petate weaving is a craft that extends back to the early Mayan period and is a staple in the Yepocapa economy. Tul is harvested once a year and is then dried, sorted by length and split before being woven into bedrolls, mats, baskets and other everyday utensils.

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Tul, the wetland grass used for Petate weaving is harvested once a year so that the individual blades are similar in height. But, before the Tul can be cut and stripped for weaving it must be dried and sorted by hand. Time for a Tul sorting party!

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Tul sorting consists of a few things: sorting by height, sorting by diameter and lastly tying everything into organized bundles. The height difference is only a matter of inches so each person must choose pieces that match perfectly with everyone else.

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The Tul is bound into bundles of similar length and size to make transport easier, but also to get an idea of what size Petate Mats can be woven from this harvest.

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The dried, sorted, and split Tul is woven into Petate sleeping mats, baskets, rugs or wall hangings that start life as a pattern in shades of green.

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It’s only takes a couple days to weave an average size Petate mat, but it’s taken generations to refine the skills to pull it all together.

Devon Barker Stills & Motion -  Yepocapa, Guatemala

Life in a Guatemalan Village

Yepocapa, Chimaltenango – Guatemala is a bustling little town. With one major road running through it that connects the western side of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas mountain range with the pacific coast. I called Yepocapa home for three months as  I worked on Siglo: A Century in The Soil alongside Director of Photography, Sarah Schwab and our crew. While “Yepo” hosts families from the entire region for it’s daily street market, we spent the majority of our time out in the fields with local small-plot coffee farmers (Campesinos/sinas) who are part of the San Pedrana Cooperativa. The coffee trade is a changing industry in Guatemala, and while I won’t go into detail (you can watch the film for that!), suffice to say it’s  a complicated situation. Blessed with high altitude, cool temps, and an endless supply of fresh volcanic soil thanks to Volcan De Fuego, the farmers here enjoy perfect coffee growing conditions. Here’s just a few of my favorites of day to day life.

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Our day wouldn’t be complete without at least one visit to the Tortilleria on our street. Just look for the kids running around out front, the tin window sign “tres tiempos” and the sweet smell of maiz tortillas!

 

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Just never know how the day will shape up. We made a trip with the leaders of the Co-op to Antigua to visit a dry mill. These raised dry beds are full of honey processed Geisha.

 

 

 

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One of the local farmers measuring the distance between rows during a visit to one of the larger Fincas near Antigua. Gotta take notes!

 

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No sunday is complete without a visit with Papa Leon and Mama Lipa

 

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Literally a truck full of goats.

 

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Nothing says “you’re at the mercy of the volcano” more than pummice falling out of the sky.

 

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Sarah Schwab takes a moment to enjoy the view of town from El Pilar

 

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Taking a break after a hard day of cutting coffee. The large Fincas of Antigua draw workers from miles around, many of them using bicycles for their daily commute.

 

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Looking down from the slopes of Volcan De Acatenango. Yepocapa and the town of Acatenango can be seen down in the valley with Lago Atitlan and it’s surrounding Volcanoes in the distance.

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“How do you spell your name?” Constantly working on our spanish alphabet!

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We can always use another assistant.

 

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We brought an old Polaroid Land camera and a few boxes of Fuji FP-100C with us to take portraits of the farmers and their families to leave behind as mementos. Here Don Pedro poses with his son and grandsons.

 

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Gearing up to shoot Don Evaristo and his honey bees.

 

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The Toyota pickup or chicken bus are the standard modes of transportation around rural Guatemala. We spent plenty of time bouncing down jungle roads on our way to the farms and running around Antigua.

 

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Kaydee taught PE at Collegio Berea (a locally founded non-profit school) and the last of our time in Yepo we were invited to photograph and film as well.

 

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Catuai micro-lot dries and getting ready to head out!

 

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Since most of the coffee grown in Yepo gets shipped out, I had to go in search of another morning planning beverage. Dried Cacao tea it is.

 

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It is such an honor to be welcomed into a family regardless of what country you are in.

 

Devon Barker Stills & Motion - Volcan De Fuego Rescue - Acatenango, Guatemala

Third trip (and possibly final) trip up Volcan De Acatenango – Guatemala

We had a sobering reminder of the power of weather over the weekend. Climbing Volcan De Acatenango for the second time this trip, we got an afternoon start with the intention of camping near the saddle and summiting before sunrise to shoot timelapses. When we hit the saddle the wind was whipping and there were tents everywhere out in the open and full of people trying to stay warm to summit the next morning. After being invited to join a group around their small fire for a minute of warming up and some instant coffee, we went in search of a place to setup for the night that had a little more shelter. The saddle was full so we found a small patch of dry mountainside between a couple tress to provide at least a little bit of wind protection and started to try and level a spot in the volcanic soil using machetes and our hands. We built a platform roughly big enough for our two small tents and small fire to warm up some dinner. We crawled into our already soaked tent to try and get some sleep for the next morning.

 

4am rolls around and the alarm goes off and instantly I realize that we’re all soaked. The temperature dropped in the night and condensation has soaked everything in the tent on top of the rain/sleet that started sometime around 1am. I strap on my soaked shoes and wrap my soaked sleeping bag around some equally soaked cameras in the hopes that it might help somehow and we set out to investigate the summit. We quickly realize it’s still sleeting and visibility is 5-10ft at most as we pass through the camp at the saddle. A few minutes up the trail and where there used to be a camp, there’s now just flattened tents and make shift tarps. What was a tolerable wind five minutes back down, is now a force we’re barely able to walk against on the ridge. The wind is whipping rain/sleet sideways and anything we had managed to keep dry in dry bags is now soaked through as well. The summit definitely isn’t happening and if it is, we’re definitely not going to see anything. We call it quits and head back to our camp and are on the trail back down by 5am to try and get out of the wind and warm up.

 

Fast forward to the morning after we get back…and we’re told 7 people died on the mountain that night, 3 are confirmed and the other 4 are unreleased.

 

All my mountaineering friends, stay safe out there…this weekend was a reminder that there’s just a few millimeters of nylon separating you from the elements and the power of the mountain.

Devon Barker Stills & Motion - Aerialist In The Wild  Farwell Mountain - Clark, Colorado

Mt Farwell Silks and Some Snow

I’m guilty of looking at the weather, the clouds, the light and calling it quits if things don’t look like they are working out. But sometimes we push through, rig up anyways and it just kind of all comes together somehow. We waited until an hour before sunset and watched the rain and snow rolling up the valley towards us. The wind was whipping across the slope but since we could see the back of the storm we decided to go for it anyhow. Moral of the story…get out and shoot regardless of what you think may or may not materialize!

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Clouds broke up and we got a 270 degree rainbow.

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Hurry up and RIG!

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Little rain on the lens.

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Devon Barker Stills & Motion - Zirkle Wilderness Startrails - Clark, Colorado

Seedhouse Colors Fall 2016

The last of fall is fading here in the rockies but we managed to catch the last of it for a shoot with the Zirkels providing the perfect backdrop. Mix in some coffee from our friends over at Backporch Coffee Roasters to keep the droopy eyes open and you end up seeing some scenery like this!

 

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Fresh Pacamara from El Salvador : )

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Watching the alpenglow settle on the Zirkel Wilderness.

PNW Coffee Education

Some of you know that we’re coffee addicts. But what most of you don’t know is that we’re working on a documentary that has coffee as a key ingredient. So of course when my buddy Ryan asked if I wanted to join him on a whirlwind coffee your of the Pacific Northwest, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity! A couple weeks and a couple thousand miles (ish) later and I had acquired a slightly more refined palate, a serious caffeine buzz, and a completely new beverage to craft and appreciate.

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Somewhere on the Eastern Plains of  Oregon after a night in Idaho.

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V60 Goodness

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A New Ride – Ropes – And Rain, Colorado

What do you do when there’s a new 4runner in the family and you have people visting that have never seen Colorado? Take them on a four day whirlwind of hiking, off-roading, waterfalls, a via ferrata and some of the best breakfast food around you can find!

 

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First stop, Sunrise on Immogene Pass. Aspen, CO

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Travelling with some of you favorite humans is great, but having a 10 week old travel partner is the best! Where’s the coffee!?

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A quick breakfast at 12,095ft before rolling towards Ouray.

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Breakfast views.

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First time in CO for one, first road trip for the puppy.

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Breakfast views.

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Looking back towards Ouray and the thunderstorm we just passed through driving down from McClure Pass.

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Clouds breaking on Imogene Pass.

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Getting the feet wet.

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After an hour of looking for a level, semi-dry spot and dodging rusty nails left over from the mine, we found home sweet home up at tree line.

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A little car camping dinner.

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Nothing like the San Juans! Bone stock 4runner up on top of Imogene Pass.

 

_Devon Barker Stills & Motion - Natalie Keller Lyra - Colorado Springs, Colorado

Ute Park Lyra – Colorado Springs, CO

I’m not sure why but I always end up shooting in the dark. In the dark 2 miles underground in a mine, in the dark underwater, or in the dark up on a glacier in the middle of nowhere, the sun has a way of setting long before I want it to. We set out to shoot and rig at Rainbow Falls Bridge up near Manitou but construction shut that down pretty quickly. So we grabbed the lyra and improvised a quick rock rig up in Ute Park. Nothing like a last minute location change to challenge the photog ; )

Models: Natalie Keller, Kaydee Barker

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Devon Barker Stills & Motion - Aerialist In The Wild Kaydee Barker - Clark, Colorado

Silks At King Solomon Falls, Clark CO

We’ve wanted to rig here for a few months now. Ever since we went up and did some free diving and scouting the rock faces that surround the falls, we knew that it was going to be doable but complicated. I rigged up a horizontal sliding pulley to keep the aerialists (Kaydee Barker and Natalie Keller) high and dry and used every bit of our 200ft long static ropes to span the falls and the pool with a highline.

 

Rigging (affiliate links – thanks for supporting us!):

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Just about all set. Just need to flip the main pulley and pull the knot on the horizontal pulley.

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Getting cinematic as the sun goes down. Time to gel the lights! It always amazes me what a little extra light from some small strobes can do for the mood of the image.

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Bare strobe to the right with a 1/2 CTB gel. 48″ Octobox to the left with a 1/4CTO gel.

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2016 All Arts Festival, Steamboat Springs

It was a weekend of climbing trees, some rope burn, and a little teaching some fellow photogs the frustration of photographing aerialists. When I was asked to teach a sunrise workshop in the Steamboat Botanical Gardens there was no way I could pass it up! We got a half dozen photographers and four incredible talented aerialists to model including Rebekah Leach, Kaydee Barker, Jocelynn Rudig and local Heidi Miller.

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