Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Lost Coast

The Lost Coast from Matthew Palmer on Vimeo.

At night, the black bears descend from the hills and stalk along the sand. The trail twists and turns, running along ridgelines and dodging the crash of waves on rock. This is no simple stroll along the sea edge, but a wilderness, a hidden trail, a lost coast. My friends and I had a blast, and I hope you enjoy the pictures and please, because life’s a beach, find your own lost coast.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hope Valley

Family Portraits taken in Hope Valley

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Mountaineer's Route

Check out our ascent of the Mountaineer's Route on Mt. Whitney!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We'd been "chewing" on the idea of getting a dog for over a year now, but adding another furry friend to the household was a decision that required a lot of careful thought and consideration. Raising a puppy is no easy task and you MUST have the time and energy to do it properly. We knew this well which is why it took us over a year to finally make it happen.

Tahoe's "Shoulder" season begins just after labor day and goes until the snow starts falling and the winter resorts open up again. Everything slows down and work is scarce so many people go on vacation or catch up on things that didn't get done during the summer. Our season with Big Blue Adventure was winding down so Heather and I thought this would be the perfect time for us to get our new addition.

Deciding on a breed was a difficult task. Heather and I wanted a medium size dog that was smart, affectionate, agile, and able to walk off leash. These characteristics were important to us due to our Tahoe lifestyle. But most importantly, we needed a dog that would get along with Boone, our roommate's dog, and fit in with the pack that we already have in place. In the end, we decided on an Australian Shepherd.

World meet Bodhi. He is an 8 week old Red Tri colored Australian Shepherd of excellent pedigree. He was born on a ranch just outside Reno to a breeder who specializes in Aussies. Her name is Colleen and if you are interested in getting an Australian Shepherd for either work or show (Bodhi's brother is still available), she is definitely the person to contact. Her number is (775) 843-3223. Heather and I went down to visit him last week, and as I'm sure it happens most of the time, we fell in love instantly! He reminded us of a little bear cub running around the house with his brother. We made arrangements to pick him up a few days later and began preparing our home for his arrival.

We are so excited and will post again with more updates and photos soon. He is sure to be the most photographed dog in the world!

-Matt and Heather

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bonzai Rock

I don't usually go out with the intention of trying to capture great landscape photos very often. People and action tend to be my area of interest when it comes to photography, but occasionally, I get an idea to go shoot something artsy. Bonzai rock has been photographed by thousands of photographers and I just wanted see if I could put my own personal touch on it. This photo was taken at around 8:45pm using roughly a 20 second exposure. I painted the rocks and the water with a powerful dive light to bring out some detail and then softened the overall look using photoshop.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Adventure Sports Week

Adventure Sports Week is an annual event that takes place at Farragut State Park, located just 25 miles north of beautiful Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. Farragut State Park is a great venue for this festival and celebration of multi-sport and adventure. Heather and I made it out for the second half and had a wonderful time working this event. I was able to sneak away on my breaks to take a few photos of the amazing athletes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bishop Climbing Anyone?

Wow I've really fallen off the horse when it comes to my blog. Hopefully I can post more regularly from now on. So lets just start where we left off...

Our Tahoe crew met up with some So-Cal'ers for a little climbing rendezvous in Bishop CA over Memorial Day weekend. We packed in three days of aggressive climbing in the Owen's River Gorge and finished it off with a little River Relaxation in Bishop when it was all over. Here are some of my favorite pics from the trip...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Eagle Rock

I was playing disc golf a few days ago with my buddy Julien and he asked me if I could shoot a shotgun wedding the following day for a friend of his who had been seriously injured in a car accident a few months ago. There are a lot of great wedding photographers in the Tahoe area and since I'm not really that good at shooting weddings, I politely declined. But as he told me Kirk's story, I became more interested and open to the idea. Then he told me where the location was and I accepted. The catch was that I was going to shoot it for free. Why? It seemed like a nice thing to do for someone who has had a rough couple months and it was something that just felt good in my heart. So I contacted my good friend and photographer Cody Davis and asked him to join me as a second shooter for this event.

Here are a few of the photos from the wedding. It took place on top of Eagle Rock which is located on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe and offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tahoe Sunset

Driving home from Carnelian Bay yesterday, I could tell the sunset was going to be stellar. I rushed home to grab my camera and found the quickest spot to post up for a good picture. It was late and I was running out of light but I fired off a few frames and got some nice photos.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Yosemite Falls

I recently went on a backpacking trip up Yosemite Falls with my good friend Josh's company,

Although we weren't able to make the complete loop from Yosemite Falls to Mirror Lake, we had a great time and took some really fun photos.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Palisades

Last Friday was the perfect blue bird powder day. I woke up early as usual, and as soon as I peeked out the window, I knew the Palisades were calling my name. I quickly assembled my gear and brewed some coffee before heading out on Highway 89 towards Olympic Valley. The roads were clear and I had plenty of time to get in position before the best skiiers in the world would ascend the Palisades and pick off some of the steepest and most coveted lines at Squaw Valley.

I've never had the chance to photograph the Palisades, mostly because the conditions have to be perfect for it to even be skiiable, and we haven't had too many blue-bird powder days this year. But I had seen incredible photos, taken by other photographers, and I wanted a piece for myself.

My friends in the terrain park crew were boarding the Funitel, and against my good judgement, I decided to try and get a head start up the hill so I didn't miss any of the action. If you have ever been to Squaw Valley, you know that when the snow is good, people get ruthless! Even if I got first chair I would never be able to beat the stampede up the boot pack with all my photo gear unless I got up there before the mountain opened. Going up the hill early is strictly forbidden unless you have permission, but I'd been shooting for Squaw all year and didn't think it was going to be a big deal. This would turn out to be a slight miscalculation.

So I hopped on Siberia chair with a ski patroller and two videographers and tried to act as if I was supposed to be there. Everything was going smooth until I reached the ski patrol shack located at the base of the Palisades.

His hair was grey and his faded red uniform was a sign that this wasn't some gumbie from the Bay Area. He flew out of the shack and started firing questions like bullets. "Who are you?!?! How did you get up here? Do you have permission to be here?" So I responded, "Well sir, my name is Matt Palmer and I shoot for the mountain. I've had permission to shoot on the hill all year." I left out the fact that I was an employee for some reason because he was coming at me pretty strong. My response was inadequate for him and he demanded to know if I had permission to shoot on that specific day and at that specific location. "Well not exactly sir, but...." He erupted and proceeded to tear me apart for not having specific permission.

I couldn't get a word in edgewise before he forced me off the ridge and into Siberia Bowl with my tail between my legs. It was my first real negative encounter with ski patrol, and although I knew I probably should have called ahead first, I really didn't think it was going to get that ugly. Nonetheless, I jammed down the mountain as fast as I could and watched as people began to poor out of the Funitel and race like hungry lions to the base of Siberia Chair. I made a couple quick phone calls, and after a few anxious minutes, I had finally gained permission to head back up.

Just before reaching the final lift tower, I could see all the skittle colored ants, skiis over their shoulders, racing for the summit.

I turbo hiked my ass up the boot pack trying not to slip on the wind polished ice that has built up over the course of an entire season. As I ascended, I could hear hooting and hollering as skiers dropped for the first runs of the day. I picked up the pace and at last, I finally reached the summit.

The wind was steady and people were lined up on every inch of the cliff inspecting the conditions and picking out their lines. They were fearless and it was clear that this was not a place for the weak minded. The view was incredible and I quickly pulled out my camera desperately trying to figure out the best place to shoot from.

I peered over the edge and couldn't believe my eyes. The drop off the cornice on center line was HUGE, 15-20ft in some spots, and it didn't seem possible until I watched it go down. One by one, they clapped their poles and dropped off the edge like lemmings into the abyss. My heart raced as I rapid fired the shutter trying to get that epic frame I had been dreaming of all morning. As the popular lines got played out, people started eyeing and exploring other possibilities on the steep cliff face.

This was the perfect time to switch lenses and try to get a different look. I really wanted the point of view angle looking down from the skiers perspective. Just as I walked up to the edge of the cornice, a confident young fellow pulled up to the lip and announced to me that he was going to drop into "Easy Street." You can judge for yourself but nothing about this line looked easy to me. I could barely get my lens cap off in time before he jumped right in and pointed it down the aggressive chute. I'm pretty sure it wasn't his first day on the Palisades and he made it look pretty easy.

People were dropping everywhere and I was running out of time. I still didn't have the epic shot I was hoping to get so I changed locations and spotted someone eyeing a crazy line with Lake Tahoe in the background. It was just the type of photo I was looking for. He chewed on the idea for what seemed like an eternity, but at last, he buckled his seat belt and pointed it down the steep rock face. I framed it up and got the shot, making everything I went through that morning an afterthought.

Shortly thereafter, as I was heading back to grab my bag, ski patrol showed up and began to close off the massive cliff for safety reasons. Only the early birds get this worm I guess. There were however, a few stragglers still perched on the edge of the cornice trying to muster up the courage to drop the tracked and rutted lines of skiiers past. They convinced the patroller to let them get one more go at it before he stabbed the sign. My bag happened to be in the perfect position so I whipped out my camera and fired off a couple quick frames of a skier strait lining off a cliff. It was a great way to end it!

As I packed my bag and prepared for my decent, I thought to myself, "how the hell am I going to get off this rock?" The hike up was too slippery to go down, and I had a heavy pack full of camera gear with me which would make it pretty dangerous. My snowboard would be prove to be the only way off this mountain, and although I'm a pretty good snowboarder, everything changes when you have 35lbs of photo gear on your back. I hiked to the far end of the ridge where I spotted a traverse that would drop me onto the face above headwall. I would have to cross a large sheet of ice suspended over a cliff band but it was better than trying to drop the center line.

I buckled my straps, took a deep breath, and set my edge, traversing across the steep white face until I reached the soft white powder waiting for me in the valley below.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pier Rail

I've been following the North Shore Ninjas around Tahoe for a few months now. Woodrow (Snowboarder) and Rob (Skier) have been a regular subjects for me during my first year here in Tahoe. These guys kill it on a regular basis and are some of the hardest working athletes I've ever met. They work for the photos just as hard as I do and never complain if the flash doesn't fire or my angle is bunk. They hike these rails and jumps over and over and over again just to get the shot and routinely take hard slams in the process.

Last week they called me up to shoot a flat rail that overlooks Lake Tahoe. These two shots were taken on different days around the same time and with the same lighting setup. I used two SB900's on full power zoomed to 200mm to spotlight the rider on the rail. The scene is underexposed by about a stop and the shutter speed is set at 1/250th of a second. I used a polarizer for Rob's shot but not for Woodrow's.

Jason Powers

A few weeks ago, Heather and I went to see Jason Powers play live music at one of our local watering holes in Squaw Valley. He is a very talented musician and songwriter from the Bay Area and kind of reminds me of Eric Hutchinson mixed with Jason Mraz. His girlfriend, Sara Mancuso (sister of Olympic Silver Medalist Julia Mancuso) performs on occasion with him, and aside from being a radical skiier, she also has an incredible voice. It was a great show and I asked Jason if I could take his portrait. He was stoked about it and here is what we came up with.

If you get a moment, check out his music at


Monday, March 29, 2010


I got a new softbox recently and was itching to take it out and shoot some adventure portraits. My friend Grant was up from San Francisco, so we decided to try to get a few shots in the worst photographic conditions, (Hard sunlight @ 1pm). I used a polarizer so I could get my aperture down to f/5.6 and customized my softbox so I could shoot with two SB900's on full power. We set off from high camp and hiked across the ridge on Broken Arrow at Squaw. Although the conditions were challenging, I was pretty satisfied with what we got... Enjoy!