27 March 2012

Profile: Jill Remme_outdoor photographer

I stumbled across Jill's work when she became a follower of GnarlyDog News.
Her profile linked me to her blog site (jillremme.blogspot.com) and I was immediately taken by her images.
I have checked her blog on a regular basis for a while and every time I was really impressed with her work.
Jill possesses an incredible talent that allows her to view the world through the lens of a camera like very few other photographers can: to me, her images convey passion, happiness and love.
I finally approached Jill and asked her a few questions; I wanted to know how she developed that photographic view.
("amber" is GD, "light blue" is Jill)


1) Jill, you photographic work is outstanding. So, how long have you been photographing and what sparked the passion?

I guess all my beautiful tours in nature spark the passion further and further. The love for nature and the movement in a picture to capture the moment….I love coming home and see what is the catch of the day on my camera; it is one of my favorite thing to do. I had my first camera when I was 17, and I still have that old Canon. I think I spent a small fortune to capture images before digital came along.

2) Your work has a very friendly and lovable feeling. Your portraits depict very relaxed faces and the subjects are really pretty. Are they professional models or just friends?

It is mostly friends and family. I really enjoy taking pictures of my children. I have three daughters and one son, two of them are stepchildren :) It's always fun to be with them; so that's perhaps why they look so relaxed.  And now I also have a grandchild;  lucky me!
Occasionally people ask me if I can take their pictures, but I more often say no than yes :)

3) Do you spend some time planning the photographs that you are going to take or is it just candid capturing of moments as they happen in front of the camera? With the portraits, do you have any special technique to put your models at ease or are you just good friends and they feel relaxed?

I have no other technique than: I try to think of the light and movement: I try to catch people as they are in that moment, but it is not always so easy. I rarely or never plan. I get inspired by others and the pictures I see on the Internet and other places. What inspires me most is just being in nature and enjoying it. I also use Photoshop when images aren't captured they way I saw them.
I spend some time trying to think up new ideas and angles but I often feel that I repeat myself. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not.


4) Your images are taken often in very cold places and you seem to love the outdoors a lot. Do you prepare or protect your digital cameras in any special way to make the battery last?

My camera is well tested in bad weather. I use my Canon D 30 mostly indoors and in dry weather, but my Canon G 12 stands up to the weather in the outdoors. There is a lots of rough weather where I live and I've already worn out a Canon G 12. When I bought a new I also bought a waterproof housing since I paddle a lot and I always have a camera ready with me.
I clean my camera almost always after a trip. When the weather is too wet, I use a plastic cover around the camera. If its really shitty weather, I have a bag that I use. If I am in extreme cold as -20C, I hang the camera away from me in the hallway so the lens does not fog up. The contrast from the outside and inside temperature is not good for the lens. I always have with me two camera batteries. The batteries run out quickly when exposed to such cold temperatures, but a little heat from my pocket revitalizes them again.


5) Have you exhibited your work apart from your blog? Do you sell your images?

I have a photo bank called www.moments.no but it is not in use. Have been planning to add my photos there. Where I stored them before was not to sell them but only for safekeeping.
If occasionally somebody wants to purchase pictures of course I say yes. I have no need to display my photos publicly, but if anyone likes them, I'm incredibly happy.
It's always great that someone appreciates what you do, but mostly I do it because I like it so much. It is a fantastic relaxation in my life. Just being in the moment and 100% alive it is something that we should do much more often. If there is too much stress in your life it makes you forget why we are here; Nature is there for a reason :))


6) Lastly: do you travel around the world or do you concentrate to your local environment opportunities?

 I traveled a lot before but after that we got our Samoyed Nansen (big white dog), we have not traveled that much the last 2 years. Now, Nansen is an adult and it is easier to get someone to watch him. So we look forward to being able to travel again more in the future. I love to explore the nature around me. The light out here by the sea change so often that it feels like I see the place for the first time, every time, if you know what I mean.

As a formal professional photographer with academic training I am humbled by Jill's skills and passion.
I appreciate her imagery for the candid representation of her life and environment, love for the outdoors and happiness of being outside. I wish one day to travel to Norway to experience the beauty of that incredible land and possibly meet Jill.


All images: Copyright Jill Remme 2012_used with permission

20 March 2012

Outfitting a sea kayak

Here is a summary of the outfitting and modifications that I do to my kayaks.
Not all kayaks have the same amount of work done and some outfitting is not shown here.
Some kayaks have more work than this one but those modifications (camera mounts) are not relevant to general paddling.
Most of the work depicted here is only possible on a composite lay-up and I use exclusively West System for my fiberglassing.
I currently don't have any ruddered kayaks in my fleet so there are not details of previous modification done to rudders.
Here is on overview of outfitting of a recently acquired British style kayak.

Kadtzait on Lego_1

The numbers are referring to modification or additions that I have permanently attached to the kayak. Other items that are added for a particular outing are not depicted.
Each item that is light-blue has a hot-link pointing to the relevant article in GnarlyDog News.

Kadtzait bow
1) retractable grab handle, replacing factory looped ones
2) pulley (block) for Flat Earth sail. Attached to deck anchor via Dyneema line
3) short tether line for quick anchor to piers (no article)
4) mast base for Flat Earth sail;  under-deck is reinforced
5) recessed anchor for side stays (sail). Dyneema loops
6) protective tape for mast/boom joiner (possibly scraping deck when sail lowered_no article).
7) 3M Dual-Lock fastener for removable compass (often removed when surfing).
8) pulley (block) for boom of Flat Earth sail. Secured with recess anchor and Dyneema loop

Kadtzait midship
9) bungee loop for stowing lowered sail
10) cam-cleat for trimming boom
11) slim profile tow-line
12) cleat for up-haul on sail
13) paddle leash (anchor point)
14) magnetic switch for bilge pump
15) replacement DIY fiberglass seat
16) replacement back-band: Immersion Research (no article)
17) electric bilge pump
18) bilge pump outlet, away from the cockpit to prevent water being pumped back in
19) drinking system (below deck)

Kadtzait stern
20)  protective "deck thread" tape for spare paddle (prevent scuffing)
21)  retractable grab handle
22) clip-on flag for car topping transport (removed before launch_no article)

19 March 2012

13 March 2012

VIDEO: "Pointy both ends"

First and foremost my kayaks are recreational fun vessels.
I have one larger kayak that can swallow a ton of gear and is a bit loose on me (at around 6'1" 240#, that must be one large kayak!) used exclusively for longer trips (a week or more), the other kayaks are intended for having fun: rolling, surfing and playing.
I never speed paddle to reach a destination fast; it just does not interest me.
Therefore I don't really need kayaks that excel in hull speed; I look for maneuverability.
Often I just play with my kayak, going nowhere, and play sometimes involves going backwards.

My kayaks are "pointy" at both ends that at first glance makes you ask the question: which way is forward?
Some call them "elf shoes", some call them "old school" but I am not sure if I could play like this in a ruddered kayak.

sequel video of playing in larger waves coming soon


11 March 2012

Photo: Sidesurfing fun

Trying hard to break that Northern Light paddle :-)

Side surfing with NLP_GP

video coming soon

09 March 2012

VIDEO: paddling into the sunset

I am rarely motivated enough to be still paddling when the sun hits the horizon. After a day of kayaking, by mid afternoon I usually pull my boat above high water mark and call it a day.
This time it was different: the clouds were promising a pretty sunset and the waters were calm; I headed out again to soak in the magic light while on the water.

select 720P if you have fast Internet connection
Stika was my company as we visually savored the dramatic sunset that the camera could not fully capture.

PS I have been asked if I am mellowing out in my "old age". I think it's more of a matter of mixing it up and lately I am producing footage for a new series of short videos:
 the "Soft Puppy collection" :-)


06 March 2012

Kayaker's Ear - L'orecchio del Kayaker

A first for Gnarlydog News, here is a bilingual guest post from Marco Ferrario, a Gnarlydog News reader.
The English text is in YELLOW, the Italian text (original) is in GREEN.
Questa e` la prima pubblicazione di Gnarlydog News bilingue, cortesia di Marco Ferrario.
Il testo in VERDE e` in Italiano

Rolling and tinnitus - Eskimo ed acufene

Il kayaker appassionato di rolling (eskimo) è un soggetto a rischio di acufene (tinnitus)?
Forse molti kayakers si chiederanno cosa centrano gli acufeni con il kayak da mare, ebbene ...

Eschimo - KayArt - quadro
Image of KayArt - di Carlo Pezzana (http:/www.kayart.it)
Nel 1996 feci il mio primo corso di eskimo (rolling) in piscina.
Dopo le prime lezioni iniziai ad eseguire stentatamente i primi miei eskimo senza l’aiuto dell’istruttore.
Con soddisfazione avevo compiuto i primi passi verso questa divertente tecnica di auto-salvataggio.
Negli anni seguenti, provai più volte ad eseguire l’eschimo in mare, ma non sempre con successo , la mia esecuzione era ancora scadente.
Così, nell’inverno 2001-2002, per migliorarmi, tornai in piscina, che era a disposizione dei kayakers per una sera a settimana, per un paio d’ore.
Il divertimento e la soddisfazione nell'eseguire la manovra dell'eskimo, mi spingeva a provare e riprovare molte volte, continuativamente.
Per eseguire l’eskimo (rolling), dalla posizione seduta in kayak, si entra in acqua su un fianco, eseguendo un “piccolo tuffo” laterale, impattando contro la superficie dell’acqua.
Sequenza continua eskimo
Image of KayArt - di Carlo Pezzana  (http://www.kayart.it)
 The kayaker keen on rolling (Eskimo) is a subject at risk of tinnitus?
Perhaps many will wonder what kayakers and tinnitus have in common with  sea kayaking; well ...
In 1996 I took my first kayak rolling course in the pool.
After the first lessons I started to run my first haltingly roll without the help of the instructor.
With satisfaction I had taken the first steps towards this fun technique of self-rescue.
In the following years
I tried several times to roll at sea but not always successfully, my
performance was still poor.
Thus, in the winter of 2001-2002, to improve myself, I returned to the pool, which was available to kayakers one night a week, for a couple of hoursThe fun and satisfaction in performing a roll pushed me to try again and again many times, continuouslyTo perform a roll, while sitting in a kayak, you enter the water on one side, performing a "little side dive", impacting against the surface of the water.

Il mio corpo entrava ed usciva dall'acqua e, una volta sott’acqua, rimanevo per alcuni secondi a testa
capovolta, prima di completare l’eskimo. Il fastidio dell’acqua nelle orecchie e nel naso era sopportabile, perciò non utilizzavo tappi per le orecchie e alcune volte non mettevo neanche la molletta per chiudere il naso. All’uscita dalla piscina, con la testa forse ancora un poco umida, percepivo tutto il gelo della serata invernale con temperature inferiori agli 0° centigradi e spesso avevo la sensazione di avere le orecchie chiuse e piene d'acqua. A volte l’udito, per i primi minuti, era ovattato e rimbombante, poi le orecchie si stappavano e il problema si risolveva, perciò non ho mai dato molta importanza a questo disturbo passeggero. 
Una sera, tornato a casa, non riuscii più a liberarmi della sensazione di acqua nelle orecchie.
Scuotevo la testa e mi schiaffeggiavo le tempie, ma nulla, le orecchie rimanevano tappate e persisteva la sensazione di avere ancora acqua nel loro interno.
In questa condizione rimasi per alcuni giorni, passati i quali, iniziai a percepire un miglioramento, l'orecchio si stava finalmente liberando dall'acqua, ma, alla sensazione di essersi liberati, si sostitui presto un costante piccolo fruscio. Inizialmente la sensazione fu che il fruscio provenisse dall’ambiente, ma presto mi resi conto che proveniva dalle mie orecchie.
Avevo l’impressione che un insetto sia entrato nel mio condotto uditivo e, sbattendo disperatamente le ali, non riusciva più ad uscire.
Da allora, l'alta tonalità dell'acufene non mi ha più lasciato, lo sento sempre, costantemente e, nel tempo,
è aumentata l'intensità del rumore percepito.
Lo sento nelle orecchie ma sembra che si estenda anche nella parte alta del cervello.

My body would enter and exit from the water, and once under water, woudl remaini for a few seconds head
upside downbefore completing the roll. The discomfort of the water in the ears and nose was bearable, so I did not use ear plugs and sometimes would not even put on the clip to close the nose.
Walking away from the pool, my head maybe a little wetI felt every chill of winter evening with temperatures below 0 ° Celsius often feeling my ears closed and full of water. Sometimes the hearing, for the first few minuteswas muffled, rumbling, then the ears uncorked, and the problem was solved; so I never gave much importance to this passing discomfortOne evening, returning home, I could no longer get rid of the feeling of water in the earsI shook my head and tapped the sidesbut nothing: the ears remained plugged and the persisting feeling of having more water in them.
I remained for several days in this condition, after which I began to feel an improvement: the ear
was finally releasing the water. But the feeling of getting rid of it was soon replaced by a constant
small noisesensing that initially the noise came from the environmentinstead I soon realized
it came from my earsI had the impression that an insect has entered into my ear canal and, flapping frantically its wings, could not get out.
Since thenthe high-pitched tinnitus hast never left me, I always hear itconstantly, and over time has increased in the intensity of perceived noise.
I feel it in my ears but it seems that it also extends into the upper part of the brain

Mi sottoposi ad una sequenza di visite in centri specialistici otorinolaringoiatrici e audiologici, i medici mi prescrissero diversi esami, che feci regolarmente, ma che non mi permisero di capire come intervenire per risolvere il mio disturbo. Gli esami esclusero determinate patologie.
Più specialisti contattavo e più mi convincevo che nessuno poteva offrirmi una soluzione certa.
La risonanza magnetica e la Tac esclusero problematiche ancora più serie.
Feci anche qualche tentativo di cura, ma senza successo, perciò mi rassegnai, sforzandomi di convivere con questo fastidioso rumore.
.Quadro Eschimo - KayArt
Image of KayArt - di Carlo Pezzana  (http://www.kayart.it)
Sono trascorsi ormai molti anni, il suono dell'acufene è aumentato rispetto al periodo iniziale e si è anche
differenziato arricchendosi di nuove tonalità, sempre molto acute.
A volte assomiglia ad uno scroscio d'acqua, come fosse un rubinetto aperto, altre volte è un suono a metà strada tra una sirena e un fischio e l’impressione è che il timpano stia vibrando in continuazione.
L'udito ne risente sempre più (ipoacusia), come anche lo stress conseguente.
In questi anni mi sono informato e ho avuto modo di constatare che tra i soggetti più frequentemente a rischio d’acufene, c'è chi pratica sport acquatici o li ha praticati in passato, perciò i surfisti, i nuotatori, i tuffatori, chi pratica bodybording, kitesurf e chi, facendo immersioni, ha accusato problemi di compensazione.
Kayakers fluviali, hanno iniziato a soffrire di acufeni dopo un bagno in acque fredde, anche se indossavano il casco, che attutisce l'impatto con l'acqua. 
A chi gli acufeni sono passati, ho l'impressione che sia stata più una casualità, piuttosto che una specifica cura. La maggioranza di chi ne soffre, ha imparato, necessariamente, a convivere con questi rumori persistenti.

Eskimo KayArt Quadro
Imagee of KayArt - di Carlo Pezzana  (http://www.kayart.it)
I started a sequence of visits to specialist centers and ENT doctors prescribed me different
examswhich I did regularly, but that did not allow me to understand how to intervene to solve my trouble. exams
ruled out certain diseases.
The more specialist I contacted the more I was convinced  that no one could offer a reliable solution.
MRI and CAT scan ruled out more serious problems.
I also made some attempts to cure, but without successso I resigned myselftrying to live with
this annoying noise.
It has been many years; the sound of tinnitus has increased compared to the initial period and it is also
differentiated enriched with new shades, always very acute.
At times resembling a roar of water, like a tap running, other times it sounds somewhere between a siren and a whistle, and the impression is like that the eardrum is vibrating constantly.
My hearing is affected (hearing loss), as well as the resulting stress.
All these years that I have gathered information and my observations have lead that among those most frequently at risk of tinnitus are those who practice water sports or practiced them in the past. So surfers, swimmers, divers, bodyboarders and kitesurfers, scuba diviners, lament Compensation Issues.
River kayakers began to suffer from tinnitus after a dunk in cold water, even if they wore a helmet, which dampens the impact with the water.
In those cases where the tinnitus is goneI feel that it's been more of  chancerather than a specific care.
The majority of sufferers have learned, by necessity, to live with these persistent noises.

C'è poi chi afferma di aver eliminato l'acufene dopo una terapia intensiva, durata diversi mesi, con un potente antiossidante ad azione neurotrofica. Altri dicono che si può provare con l'agopuntura. Alcuni hanno provato ad utilizzare, come palliativo, apparecchi acustici che rilasciano un suono mascheratore, che dovrebbe essere l'eguale-contrario al suono dell'acufene percepito e pertanto dovrebbe annullarne il rumore originario, ma tra chi ha adottato questi apparecchi, non conosco nessuno che ha veramente risolto definitivamente il problema. Un medico mi ha detto che in America è possibile intervenire chirurgicamente, ma l’intervento è molto costoso e rischioso, in quanto può provocare facilmente la perdita totale dell'udito. Una volta verificato che l'acufene non è un problema di cerume nell'orecchio e dopo e dopo aver fatto gli esami che escludono le cause extraotogene (cioè malattie che non dipendono dall'orecchio), i medici pensano che la causa del mio acufene sia dovuta a una deformazione o inspessimento o spostamento di un ossicino dell’orecchio, problema causato molto probabilmente da una esposizione all'acqua e, contemporaneamente, al freddo. Sta di fatto che nessun medico è in grado di garantirmi la guarigione, al punto che sono ormai dell'idea che non mi libererò mai più dall'acufene e credo che presto sarò costretto a cercare una soluzione per migliorare il mio udito, che nel tempo si è decisamente ridotto.

eskimo roll
Tatiana Cappucci rolling- (photo Duska Martina Minorello)
There are some who claim to have eliminated the tinnitus after an intensive period of several months, with a powerful neurotrophic with antioxidant action.
Others say to try acupunctureSome have tried to use, as palliative care, hearing aids that emit a masking soundwhich would be exact contrary to the perceived tinnitus sound, and therefore should cancel the original noise. Between those who adopted these devices, I do not know of anyone who has really solved definitely the problemA doctor told me that in America you can perform surgery, but surgery is very expensive and risky as it can easily lead to total hearing loss.
Once I have verified that tinnitus was not a problem of earwax in the ear and after carring out many tests that would excluded external factors (ie diseases that do not depend on the ear), the doctors think that the cause of my tinnitus is due to a thickening, deformation or displacement of an ear bone, a problem most likely caused by the exposure to water and at the same time to cold.
The fact is that no doctor is able to guarantee me the healing, to the point that they are now of the idea that I will never rid myself from tinnitus and I think that soon I will be forced to seek a solution to improve my hearing, that over time has significantly reduced.

Che dire ancora?
Ecco qualche suggerimento, dettato dalla mia esperienza, nella speranza possa essere utile a prevenire
l'acufene negli appassionati di kayak e di eskimo (rolling).
Certezze non ne ho e non ho una cultura medica, ma, da kayaker, consiglierei di non eseguire l'eskimo senza dei buoni tappi nelle orecchie e una molletta stringi naso, per ottenere un sigillo totale. Orecchio e naso sono collegati e perciò l'acqua che entra dal naso raggiunge il timpano e l'orecchio medio, credo sia opportuno tappare entrambi.
Queste precauzioni sono tanto più importanti, quanto l’acqua e/o la temperatura esterna è fredda.
Le orecchie vanno protette anche in caso di forte vento e in particolare in caso di vento gelido.
Conoscere e confrontare le esperienze potrebbe essere molto utile.
E’ necessario sapere quali sono i rischi per le orecchie del kayaker, per prevenire l’acufene; e conoscere i rimedi efficaci, se esistono, per chi ne è affetto.
N.B. - quando pagaio, come quando sono molto concentrato a svolgere con passione qualche lavoro, pur essendo l'acufene sempre presente, non ci penso e lo percepisco meno, mentre ora che ne sto parlando, anzi scrivendo, raccontandolo, il tinnitus è fortissimo.

Un saluto con pagaia.
(Eko) http://ekokayak.wordpress.com

What else can I say?
Here are some suggestions, derived from my experience in hope they will be useful to prevent
tinnitus in kayakers and rollers.
I don't have certainties or medical knowledge, however, as kayaker, I recommend not to roll without some good earplugs and a tight nose clip , to obtain a total seal. Ear and nose are connected and therefore the water that comes from the nose reaches the eardrum and middle ear, I believe both.must be stopped.
These precautions are even more important when water and /or the outisde temperature is cold.
The ears should be protected even in windy conditions, especially in freezing wind. To know and compare the experiences could be very useful. And 'need to know what are the risks to the ears of the kayaker to prevent tinnitus; and know the effective remedies, if any, for those affected.
NB - When I paddle, as when I am very passionately focused with a job, while the tinnitus being always present, and I do not think about it and I feel it less, but now that I'm talking about, even writing, describing it, tinnitus is very strong.


photo by Marco Ferrario, publisher of Ekokayak on a trip in Sardegna

This article was translated with Google Translate with additional corrections.