Chris Schulte for Five Ten in Lower Dream Canyon

Last month I got out with Chris Schulte in Boulder Canyon to take some photos on two scenic problems he wanted to feature. Dream Canyon is a beautiful area that branches off from Boulder Canyon and goes up behind Boulder Falls. The rock is higher quality and the remote atmosphere makes you feel like you’re much further from civilization than you actually are. Lower dream canyon has some great boulder problems that are just off of the creek.

Chris climbed an unnamed arete on the backside of the Freedom Boulder that he’d always loved. It’s a bit of a highball that doesn’t have a great landing, but the problem itself is not too hard.

Chris Schulte climbing an arete on the backside of the Freedom Boulder

We continue up the creek and scramble across wet slab to get to the next boulder, Black Hatchet. The flood waters of the Boulder’s great 100 Year Flood had just started to recede, so the creek was running quite high. Black Hatchet is easier to get to when the creek is frozen, but it’s a beautiful problem with great views up into Upper Dream Canyon.

Chris Schulte swinging on Black Hatchet with the high waters after the Boulder Flood roaring beneath him. 

Lighting a Cave & Problem Solving

A few weeks ago Jon Cardwell asked me to come out and shoot with him and Chelsea Rude for a project.

Chelsea Rude climbing Rubble (5.13b)
We went back to Sex Cave in Clear Creek Canyon to get some shots of them sport climbing. It was an ideal location because of the easy access from the road and the ability to shoot from the ground. I hadbroken my back a few weeks before and could not hang from a rope. 
With the help of my girlfriend I set up my lights how I wanted them and prepared to shoot, but I realized I was missing something. I had forgotten to pack the connector wires for the radio slaves. My studio strobes could not be fired remotely, well directly from the slaves. So I quickly figured out a solution. 
I would have just used my Canon Flashes, but they are not powerful enough to get the results I wanted. I connected my Pixel King radio slave to my flash and used the built in optical slave on my White-Lightning strobe to fire into an umbrella that broadly lit the underside of the cave. The spill light from the umbrella hit the optical sensor on my Yongnua YN-560 flash, firing it into the back of my other White-Lightning strobe, giving me the rim light I wanted. It was super complicated and tricky to enact, but the diagram below might help you visual types. 
The diagram is, of course, inexact, but it give you the idea. Using optical slaves to pop your lights remotely is a great, fast and easy approach to lighting. A lot of times in my studio I will just use a speedlite set to 1/128th power to pop all the lights in my set up. But in a less controlled environment using wireless slaves gives you much more control. 

Jon Cardwell on Rubble

After the climbing we used the great afternoon light over the Flatirons to shoot a few portraits using just one Speedlite in an umbrella and the sun as rim light. 

I don’t recommend leaving behind pieces of equipment you need. I definitely need to be better at double checking my gear. 
Till next time,