Monday, May 16, 2011

The Wild Mile ~ Montana Documentary Photography

Got a call a few Saturday nights ago from an editor asking me to shoot a story on the kayakers that do the Wild Mile of the Swan River here in Bigfork. I was very familiar with this section of untamed water as I walk Sugar everyday on the Nature Trail that runs right along it. So no problem until he tells me he wants me to shoot the guys from the water as I go down in a cataraft along with them in order to capture what these guys are really feeling. I did the first run without camera holding on for dear life (that's the cataraft I was in pictured below) and then the next three runs with my gear. By the third run down I was so confident in the raft and the editor's navigation abilities that we turned the front seat around and I went down backwards, standing up so that I could shoot over him when he couldn't get the raft perpendicular soon enough after going over a drop. It was a crazy scene but so beautiful riding that water through some of the most spectacular scenery around, and a confidence booster that I could survive it intact (as well as my camera) and get some great shots. Look for the story in the premier sample issue of Montana Elements which will be available and distributed at the Bigfork Whitewater Festival Memorial Day weekend.

View of the Swan River from the Nature Trail

Sign on the bank warning about fast-rising waters

My ride

Falling waters over the dam

My view

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