Extremes: Looking back at 2013

2013 was an amazing year with too many trips to mention in this post (will share more later). As I pack for my last trip of 2013 to Oahu, Hawaii’s famed North I can’t seem to get my mind off the amazing trip I had to Iceland in the Spring shooting for Land Rover.

All the images and video were shot with:
Nikon D4
Nikon D800
Nikon D600
NIKKOR 24 f/1.4
NIKKOR 24-70 f/2.8
NIKKOR AFS 70-200 f/2.8
NIKKOR AFS 400 f/2.8

Land Rover USA Iceland Surfing Expedition from lucas Gilman on Vimeo.

Eric Soderquist somewhere near Jökulsárlón just after a beautiful sunrise.


The trip wasn’t easy (they never are) but battling the natural elements is somehow very rewarding. We had a great cast of characters including: my brother Dave, Chris Burkard, Chad Copeland, McKenzie Barney, Mikey DeTemple & the always rad Eric Soderquist

Soderquist- last light of day, southern Iceland


It never really gets dark at certain times of year in Iceland and although it allows for many hours of shooting (back to back to back 20 hour days) you can get a little slap happy and maybe see a Icelandic gnome (or maybe it’s just a sheep but looks like a gnome with sleep deprivation)

Mikey DeTemple & Eric Soderquist – 4:30 AM and still burning strong near Höffn, Iceland


Mikey DeTemple braves the cold air & warm light


Eric Soderquist checks out the efficiency of the LR4 heater after a chilly Arctic surf session


Off for a session near Vik, Iceland


DeTemple finds his groove near Vik, Iceland


Going inland in search of Icelandic Trout and hot springs


David Gilman wet wades in glacial runoff


Iceland: land of eternal sunshine


Off to pack for Oahu…


Whenever I get a new camera I like to take it out for a test drive and really get under the hood to see what it does well and where it may fall down. This goes for any camera I would think about shooting with – from the high end, like my Nikon D800 & D4 or a new compact camera that I’ll take on vacation or carry when I don’t feel like carrying a large camera.

Let’s face it. We all need a day off every now an again and sometimes I don’t feel like lugging around a full-size camera. I’ve used the last two COOLPIX’s in this series including the P7100 and the P7700. Each has been a notable improvement. I travel 200+ days a year shooting all over the planet and I will say I am super picky with image quality and won’t take something that’s not going to get the job done.

What do I feel is most import in a compact camera?

  • RAW File Capability
  • Fast/Sharp Lens: F2.8 or faster
  • Good Ergonomics
  • Small Size

To test drive the new COOLPIX P7800 I decided to take it to my local aquarium. I chose the aquarium because it is a tough place to shoot. The low light would instantly show the ISO capabilities and if there is noticeable noise. The exotic fish are always on the move and would test the auto focus capabilities.

I set off to the aquarium with the goal of shooting for 45 minutes (basically a walk through) and I wanted to walk away with six solid images, which is lofty goal – even by professional standards.

First I went to the darkest exhibit- the Jellyfish tanks. This would instantly show me what the autofocus and sensor could do in super low light. The COOLPIX P7800 has a F2 NIKKOR lens which did awesome.

Lucas Gilman 2013 004

  • Model: COOLPIX P7800
    Lens (mm): 6
    ISO: 800
    Aperture: 2
    Shutter: 1/30
    Exp. Comp.: -0.7
    Program: Aperture Priority
    Quality: NRW
  • Next up was the Seahorse tank. These little guys never stay still.

    Lucas Gilman 2013 001

  • Model: COOLPIX P7800
    Lens (mm): 11
    ISO: 320
    Aperture: 2.8
    Shutter: 1/50
    Exp. Comp.: -0.7
    Program: Aperture Priority
    Quality: NRW
  • I wanted to see how much Bokeh I could get @ F2 and the Urchins where just the ticket.

    Lucas Gilman 2013 002

  • Model: COOLPIX P7800
    Lens (mm): 6
    ISO: 400
    Aperture: 2
    Shutter: 1/13
    Exp. Comp.: -1.0
    Program: Aperture Priority
    Quality: NRW
  • I wanted to see what the Auto White Balance would so in super mixed light.
    Lucas Gilman 2013 003

  • Model: COOLPIX P7800
    Lens (mm): 6
    ISO: 80
    Aperture: 2
    Shutter: 1/80
    Exp. Comp.: -0.3
    Program: Aperture Priority
    White Balance: Auto
    Quality: NRW
  • Next Test: How sharp is the the lens shooting wide-open (f2)?
    Lucas Gilman 2013 005

  • Model: COOLPIX P7800
    Lens (mm): 6
    ISO: 400
    Aperture: 2
    Shutter: 1/20
    Exp. Comp.: -0.3
    Program: Aperture Priority
    White Balance: Auto
    Quality: NRW
  • Monochrome Mode:

    Lucas Gilman 2013 006

  • Model: COOLPIX P7800
    Lens (mm): 6
    ISO: 400
    Aperture: 2
    Shutter: 1/25
    Exp. Comp.: -0.3
    Program: Aperture Priority
    White Balance: Auto
    Quality: NRW

      • The Camera Performs Great in Low Light
      • The Auto Focus is fast and the lens is SHARP
      • Metering and Auto Modes work Great
      • Rugged Design With Bright LCD Screeen + Electronic Viewfinder
      • Sensor is Clean at Higher ISO’s
      • Great Bokeh
      • Who is this camera good for? Pro’s and Amateurs alike who are sticklers for image quality and don’t want to always carry a DSLR.
        To see all specs you can go to NIKON USA



    Iceland is one of my favorite spots on the planet to shoot. This image is from a Surf Expedition. More images/video to come…

    Anatomy of a Waterfall: First Successful Descent of Abiqua Falls Video

    Thousands of miles of travel – many, many days in the freezing rain, lots of  full G-Tech hard drives  and Jesse Coombs & I finally got it done. Here it is: the behind the scenes: showing what it takes to document and kayak the first successful descent of a waterfall in the 100 foot range.  Shot withNikon D7000, Nikon P7000, Nikon D3S, Nikkor LensesSanDisk Extreme Pro SD & CF Cards, Manfrotto Tripods & HeadsCinevate Atlas 10 SliderPocketWizard MulltiMax’sSmallHd Monitors. Data backed up on G-Tech Raid Mini and G-Tech Mini SSD. Post processing done on Apple computers with Adobe, Apple and Twixtor Software. Apparel: Eddie Bauer First Ascent.

    All Rights Reserved: wwww.lucasgilman.com Athlete: Jesse Coombs www.jessecoombs.com


    Red Bull Waterfall Kayak Shoot with Tao Berman


    SHOOTING DATA: NIKON D700, NIKKOR 24-70, Fired by PocketWizard MultiMAX Tranceivers,  AquaTech Waterproof Housing, lens port & MultiMax Waterproof Housing, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB CF Card, ISO 200, F5.6 @ 2000/sec. Matrix Meaturing, [M] Mode, Vivid, NEF (RAW) Camera Mount: Duct tape (lots), closed cell foam camping  pad, Mammut daisy chain (safety cable).

    I recently got a call from Red Bull to do a shoot with Red Bull Athlete Tao Berman. I’m always excited to shoot for Red Bull as they basically give you carte blanch to go out and make cool images. And, I’ve been looking for an excuse to Duct tape my AquaTech underwater housing to something (since Tao wasn’t down with drilling mounts into his kayak).  After some scouting Tao and I agreed that Frustration Falls in the Salmon River Gorge would be the ticket. There is not much beta on the falls and it quickly became and exploratory mission. The images were shot with Nikon D3S, Nikon D3X, Nikon D700, Nikkor Lenses, SanDisk Extreme Pro CF Cards, Pocket Wizard MultiMAX’s (remote cameras) and a Gitzo tripod/ball head. I used a Lowepro Vertex 300 AW backpack to hall all the gear during the rugged 4 hour hike.

    I used a Petzl harness, Mammut slings, and various locking BlackDiamond Carabiners, to safely clip in on the canyon rim above the waterfall drop. The overhead camera position on the canyon rim was not one for anyone with a fear of heights. The wind gusts ripping down the canyon were a constant reminder of the magnitude of the gorge.


    I used a friction strap to tether my carbon fiber Gitzo tripod to a tree on the canyon rim as there was no space to set up the tripod. Tao and crew rappelled into the gorge and I helped lower the boats in. We were quickly losing or sun as the canyon shadows crept across the falls. Luckily Tao was prepared for a throw and go and once in place needed little time to scout the massive three-tier drop. Todd Wells set up for safety and it was all rapped in about 5 minutes. Tao & Todd both styled the drop.


    SHOOTING DATA: NIKON D3X, NIKKOR 24-70mm, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB CF Card, ISO 200, F5.6 @ 2000/sec. Matrix Meaturing, [M] Mode, Vivid, NEF (RAW) – Remote fired with PocketWizard MultiMAX’s and supported by Gitzo carbon fiber tripod and ball head.

    I was psyched that they both had clean lines and I’d have some great sequences for Red Bull.

    SHOOTING DATA: NIKON D3S, NIKKOR 70-200mm, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB CF Card, ISO 200, F5.6 @ 2000/sec. Matrix Meaturing, [M] Mode, Vivid, NEF (RAW) – Handheld


    SHOOTING DATA: NIKON D3S, NIKKOR 70-200mm, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB CF Card, ISO 200, F4 @ 4000/sec. Matrix Meaturing, [M] Mode, Vivid, NEF (RAW)

    The next day Tao and I spent the day shooting portraits. To see more images from the shoot go to: RED BULL CONTENT POOL























    Big in Sweden!


    Published in Sweden’s acclaimed 365 Magazine.

    I used PocketWizard MultiMAX’s to fire this remote mounted Nikon D3s and to get this angle, as the area was way too sketchy to stand safely. I ran a 20 foot section of webbing tied off to a tree to make sure that a wind gust would not topple the camera over the rim of the cliff. The athlete, Jesse Coombs, styled the drop.

    Shooting Data: Nikon D3s, Nikkor 24-70mm, MODE [M], Nikon image profile: Vivid, RAW+JPEG, White Balance: AUTO, ISO 400, f4 @ 1/2000 sec, fired remotely with PockWizard MultiMAX’s, Support: Gitzo Mountain Series Tripod & G-series Ball head, Bag: Lowepro Dryzone 200.

    Outside Magazine – July 2011 – Exposure: Nikon D3X, Nikkor 24-70mm, SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro CF Card

    ©Lucas Gilman / Red Bull Content Pool

    Big Sur, CA Long Exposure Image

    For this shot in Big Sur, CA I increased the density of my Singh-Ray Vari-ND to stretch the exposure time by an additional 3 stops -from 1/2 second at f22, to 4 seconds- which resulted in the soft, flowing surf. Adding my Singh-Ray Color Intensifier further enriched the sunset lighting and color of the ocean. I fired the Nikon D3X with a set of Pocket Wizard MultiMAX’s to make sure there was no vibration from manually pushing the shutter release button. PocketWizard’s make a great wireless cable release.

    Shooting Data: Nikon D3X, Nikkor 24-70, Singh-Ray 77mm Vari-ND Filter, Singh-Ray 77mm Color Intensifier Filter, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32 GB CF Card, Gitzo Traveler One Tripod & Ball Head, PocketWizard MultiMAX

    Exposure Data: [M] mode, 4 seconds, f/22 • White balance: Color Temp: (6000k) • Sensitivity: ISO 100 •Nikon Picture Control: Vivid


    Big Sur, CA Surf Shoot Upadate Day 1

    After an relatively easy day of travel by modern standards I found myself in beautiful Big Sur, CA. We arrived at Garrapata State Park near PCH 1 and after a short scout found this amazing spot just before sunset. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the trip.

    Shooting Data: Nikon D3X, Nikkor 24-70mm, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32 GB CF card, Lowepro Vortex 300 AW Backpack
    Exposure Info: ISO: 125, F5.6, 1/125 sec, Nikon NEF, Custom Color Profile: Vivid

    Kauai, Hawaii Nikon Mentor Series Photography Workshop November 4 – 10, 2011

    Join me and the Mentor Series as we travel to the photographer’s paradise that is Kauai, a shimmering jewel in Hawaii’s crown of islands, prized for its lush greenery, pristine beaches and lively culture. Once voted the best natural botanical garden in the United States by the American Horticultural Society, Limahui Gardens is a must-see spot for any visitor hoping to capture the allure of this verdant island. Use your macro lens for close-ups of unique plant species, or turn your lens toward a farther subject, the graceful ridge of the Makana Mountains, which loom in the distance. We’ll spend the evening trailing surfers at sunset on nearby Hanalei Beach, a prime opportunity to create graceful action shots against a backdrop of turquoise water.

    More information and to sign up today: http://www.mentorseries.com/treks/2011/hawaii-2011





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    Copyright © lucas gilman 2011 All Rights Reserved.

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