The Californians

Check out this trailer for Jamie Budge's classic surf flick, "The Californians." Makes me miss Malibu...

Twelve Hundred in Twenty - Part One

I've been thinking about ratios a lot recently. Work versus reward and whatnot. I was born at the end of an era; when film was still how people took pictures. My mother had this old Kodak 110 camera that I remember using when I was a kid. It flipped open and made a very distinct sound when you pushed the little plastic square to take a photograph. And the rolls of film themselves looked rather weird, if I remember correctly. It was an entry point, but also an end. I think I owned one other film camera that wasn't disposable - an old Olympus that my father gave me for Christmas. After that it all went to hell.

My first digital camera was bright yellow, cost $99 and shot only eight images at a time. A few years later I upgraded to a point-and-shoot with single digit megapixels, followed by another with even more megapixels (!), and then my first DSLR sometime in the early 2000's. The ability to take hundreds of photos with no consequence - to shoot, adjust, and then shoot some more was appealing. And easy.

So for the last decade I have shot almost exclusively with some kind of digital image capturing device. A few years ago, however, my uncle gave me a 35mm Pentax K1000 camera that had belonged to my grandmother. It looked cool. The way I'd imagined cameras in my mind - hanging around some photo journalists neck in a war-torn country on the other side of the earth. So it sat on my bookshelf as an ornament of sorts, something that made me feel like a photographer. What a bunch of bullshit. But then maybe a month ago I picked it up, processed the roll of film that had sat inside for seven years, loaded a fresh one and turned down a road I may never return from.

All of that to say, when Kyra and I decided to depart on a three week motorcycle adventure which took us from Seattle to Portland, Pacific City to Astoria, Neah Bay to Lummi Island and then back to Seattle, the only thing I brought with me was five rolls of film. The fist half of the photos I managed to shoot while we were away can be seen below.


Beautiful bit of film shot by Mike Bromley featuring Dean Petty. Brought to you by Bing Surfboards.

Spring Sessions

Worm, also know as Erin Ashley, is a Seal Beach surfer with a style and grace few can compose. She's funny, full of life, and one of the most interesting people Chris and I met on our #peelgrimage from Seattle to Southern California. While parked at Camp Pendelton for the better part of two weeks, Chris and I surfed with Worm more times than I can count. When the winds blew offshore and the high school kids crowded the lineup for a few hours after school. When Church was choppy. When it wasn't. When everyone else was surfing the easy rolling right, Worm went left. When we suggested she surf a pig, she did. When we went north, and Malibu was empty in the morning. When we went south, and surfed near the sand cliffs of Cardiff. She was always good to go. Always up for it. And so when we started looking through the footage we'd shot during our two month adventure, Erin was ever present. So this short bit of film, produced by Pursuit of the Arbitrary, is the first of many from our #peelgrimage project.

Out of Office

Well, hello! What's that? You're wondering what the fuck happened here? Where have we been, why aren't we surfing water waves and whatnot? Well, here's a little 'Out of Office' reply: Justin and Kyra have been traveling by motorbike for the last few weeks, exploring the Pacific Northwest from Cape Lookout to Lummi Island. They will be unreachable by phone, fax and electronic mail for the next few days. If you'd like to leave them a message, please click here. Otherwise, stay tuned for additional images and words of wisdom upon their return to some sort of city.

In Search of Dean Petty

Dean Petty surfing Cow Bay, Nova Scotia. Shot by Kealan Shilling on Kodak Tri-X Super 8.

Extending the Economy

About two weeks ago, Kyra and I installed an assortment of stuff on the two Yamaha XT225's we'll explore Baja aboard at the end of October. With the help of my friend and former co-worker, Eric, we removed the 2.3 gallon factory fuel tank and installed a 4.1 gallon Clarke Racing unit in its place. We then upgraded the skid plate to something a bit thicker, installed stainless-steel rear racks and a pair of hand guards on each XT. We also changed the oil and filters, having added 800+ miles to our odometers the week prior. Aside from luggage, which we'll install a little later, our bikes are ready for anything Baja will throw our way... or so we hope. Follow the link for a few photos.


Lola Mignot sliding some smooth stuff in mainland Mexico. Brought to you by Bing Surfboards.

Baja Bound

Before we leave for Baja at the end of October, Kyra and I have a lot of logistics, equipment and other shit to sort out. A month in Mexico aboard small dual-sports is no easy feat, and so in an effort to organize our accessories I put together a different sort of duds - one absent of surfing stuff. I'm sure some of you would love to give me shit since I haven't been surfing this summer, but all this Baja business is taking up a lot of my time and energy, and to be honest, it's been rather nice not worrying about waves. Because dirt bikes are always awesome, and they certainly won't skunk you on a Sunday. It's a different addiction, no doubt - petrol replacing peelers - but it's been beneficial, not spending my weekends searching for surf, allowing other activities to occupy a similar space. So with that said, take a look at some of the stuff we'll be taking with us on our #WESTx1000 adventure.

Salty Habit

James, Lola and Mick surfing a south swell near San Diego. Brought to you by Bing Surfboards.

Fresh Film

Maybe five or six years ago, my uncle gave me a Pentax K1000 35mm film camera that belonged to my grandmother. Entirely unaware of how to use the thing, I took it to a friend who showed me how to load (and unload) film, adjust aperture, shutter speed, etc. The first seven or eight frames were shot in and around my father's apartment, when I still drove a Mustang and managed a motorsport blog. The next few frames were taken at my apartment on Alki, when famed automotive photographer, Linhbergh, was staying with us for the weekend. The remaining frames were shot within the last few months, somewhere near Seattle. Honestly, there's nothing special about any of these images, aside from the fact that they prove film is far more interesting than any other photographic medium, especially the prosumer products you see in the hands of just about every housewife.

South Swell

Alex Knost surfing an early summer swell in Southern California. Shot and edited by Matt Grote.