Chasing China’s Silver Dragon…the Return!


Back in 2008, Matt Wybenga was part of the first of several crews that went behind the red curtain of China to see the mythical Qiantang River Tidal Bore, or soon to be called “The Silver Dragon”. Well he was invited back by the Chinese government with a new crew of surfers, Endless Summer II star, Robert “Wingnut” Weaver, Mary Osbourne, phenom skater Curren Caples and a few others riding the solid 25mph tide push. Until surfers realized the potential of the tidal bore, it was just a navigational nightmare, but with the tight grip loosening with China’s Communism, I’m sure there will be some great images when it gets up to 15ft…As for now, sit back and enjoy the Silver Dragon doing it’s thing!

Matt Wybenga’s “Sour Grapes” FREE DOWNLOAD

Do you remember the madness in old surf videos like Runman and Lost Across American? Well check out Sour Grapes by Matt Wybenga. This isn’t some moody travel film, it’s something that’ll get you pumped to go out and trash it up!

If you missed the premiere, you can now get the movie as a for FREE DOWNLOAD!!!

FREE DOWNLOAD (right click and choose the location to save to)

That’s right, a sick surf movie you can download and watch for FREE if you didn’t make it to the premiere, who does that?!?! Matt Wybenga does, that’s who…BAM! This isn’t some moody travel film, it’s something that’ll get you pumped to go out and trash it up!

“Not since …Lost Across America has a movie looked as punky as Sour Grapes.” – Waves Magazine

Go and “Like” the Sour Grapes Facebook page.

 

 

Brendan Hearne Carving Top Turn Sequence 5

Brendan Hearne wins the session

Brendan Hearne Carving Top Turn Sequence

Brendan Hearne Carving Top Turn Sequence

Any time that I go shoot with more than one surfer, an underlying competition is felt amongst everyone. It’s a friendly competition of course, but no one wants to be the worst guy in the water. The fun part (other than getting to shoot surfing), is getting to be the judge in these little contest. This day while I was shooting a Drainpipes session of mostly closeouts and credit card air reverses, Brendan Hearne an amazing director and also ruling surfer paddled into this perfect little hook and won the session with this carving top turn. Power and style always a winner.

FlyCam Nano+ Canon 7d + Sigma 10-20mm

FlyCam Nano 1st impressions

FlyCam Nano+ Canon 7d + Sigma 10-20mm

FlyCam Nano+ Canon 7d + Sigma 10-20mm + Hoya ND Filter + Gitzo MH621 QR

So over the weekend we received a FlyCam Nano to try out. First impression, love the size! It’s small enough to fit in my camera backpack along with all my other gear. This is a big deal as most of the time with larger stabilizers you’ll need to check with your bags when travelling, this can go into my carry on bag. It’s well made with mostly metal and a few plastics parts. Note that this is my first stabilizer, I wanted to get something that would last a few years so I can get practice using it before I make a larger financial commitment if need be. No need to jump into the deep end of the “gear” pool right away. So the FlyCam was the perfect solution and so far I see it looks like a great step.

Although it states that the little stabilizer can only handle small (and light) consumer video cameras like the Canon HG and HV series and the max weight it can handle is 700grams, we’ve also heard it can handle a little more weight than that. So we loaded it up with a Canon 7D DSLR (900 grams with battery) plus a Sigma 10-20 EX HSM wide angle (480 grams with lens hood), a Hoya ND filter (45 grams) and a Gitzo MH621 quick release plate (100 grams) which adds up to roughly 1525 grams easily doubling the estimated max weight it can handle. Will it still work?

Well after loading it all up I’m happy to say it DOES! Well with a little noodling to balance and adding all the 16 weights (8 weights per side), to the sled I went to tried it out down at the beach. Hoping to get a full day to try it out, I carry all my lenses and equipment as well as my normal beach gear (wetsuit, towel, boardshorts etc…) down to the beach but, I was bumped off the beach by a heavy marine layer (wet fog) that swallowed up everything within minutes with a grey haze. So capturing ‘pretty’ footage was gonna be out of the question, but while I was looking for something to try the stabilizer out, I noticed my close friend Jay Lightburne loading up his arms with all his girlfriends beach gear as well as his own. Well even though I was also loaded up with all my own gear, I decided to try out the stabilizer just to see if I can follow him up to his car while walking through a few different types of surfaces include soft beach sand, gravel, hard packed trail dirt, a wooden bridge and concrete. Now this wasn’t the best test to see if the FlyCam would stay stable as I was pretty worn out from carrying more than just the stabilizer and use of both hands was sometimes not in the cards, I was still able to get an impression of how it would work. There are a few times that the camera would bobble but I was able to later figure out the balancing to get it just right for a real test with both my hands free. A very important point about balancing the camera on the platform is to adjust everything by millimeters. This is the only way to get the stabilizer perfectly balanced. I’m not gonna get into how I balanced the sled right now but there’s nothing more important than to balance the stabilizer with millimeter adjustments, there’s really no other way to get it right…and be patient.

Here’s a little clip I put together while walking the 3rd point trail back up to the parking lot with the FlyCam Nano. I would normally not put a clip like this for all to see, but I got a little sentimental with Valentine’s Day, I figured that this clip shows true love…When your girl calls to tell you that she left her stuff on the beach and you gotta bring it back up to the car I call this clip, “I Left My Stuff”

I’ll post a real test but here’s my initial impression and I can see using it for added production value on some clips in the future. I want to thank Cheesycam.com, if it wasn’t for them, I’d probably wouldn’t even bother trying out the FlyCam Nano, but after their different reviews, I felt safe to try it myself.

Authority Figures Art Show

Authority Figures Art Show

The PoP Studio gallery

The PoP Studio gallery

On Feb 4, 2011 at The PoP Studio Gallery had the opening of Authority Figures an exhibition of dioramas by British artist Neil M. Perry (Portland, OR) and craft artist Sarah Christoph (Los Angeles, California). I generally don’t shoot art show openings as it’s not really my bag but since it was at The PoP Studio Gallery I figure why not?! The gallery is the “fun” part of Pencil on Paper Studio, a Brand Engineering studio with a focus on fashion and consumer goods. They are the creative brains behind brands like Quiksilver Womens, Roxy, and Modern Amusement to name a few.

I like trying things different all the time. Check out the opening night photos at The PoP Studio. I had a lot of fun and met some great creative peeps. I was lucky I got the opportunity.

Authority Figures Art Show

Authority Figures Art Show

Vogue.com featuring DANGVU photo

Vogue.com uses photo for feature article

Vogue.com featuring DANGVU photo

Vogue.com features DANGVU photo

Vogue.com uses one of our photos on their “Pigskin and Prada: The Best Bars for the Fashion Set on Superbowl Sunday” article. Featuring GOAL Sports Cafe an amazing sports bar located right by the Beverly Center in Los Angeles. This place has the best vibe, great food and 13 TVs to watch any sporting event, but make reservations for a table as this place gets packed really fast!

deeper_thumb

A Deeper Shade of Blue

A Deeper Shade of Blue

A Deeper Shade of Blue

Some great dudes, The Brother Marshalls are featured in the latest film “A Deeper Shade of Blue” by Legendary surf filmmaker Jack McCoy. Jack has been the largest influencer here when it comes to getting in the water and shooting surfing. He’s filmed everyone but was instrumental in the 80s Billabong Movies staring Mark Occhilupo. Most recently he released the critically acclaimed  Blue Horizon. The film will be debuting at the Santa Barbara Film Festival this upcoming Tuesday the 1st of Feb. Go get your tickets! You won’t be let down.