Roth and Ramberg present Out of the Woods

Roth and Ramberg present Out of the Woods

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We’re excited to announce that in collaboration with writer Pirjo Raits and the people at Heritage House Publishing we have a launched a book titled Out of the Woods.

A breathtaking art book profiling twenty-six wood carvers, sculptors, and artisans who draw inspiration from the natural beauty of the Salish Sea.

It could be a pile of driftwood on a rock-strewn beach resembling the bleached bones of some ancient creature. It could be the old growth of the lush coastal rain forests, or the winds that blow across the water like a life-affirming force. The Salish Sea inspires artists working in many mediums, but there is no greater representation of the symbiotic relationship between natural environment and creative energy than woodworking.

Out of the Woods profiles twenty-six dynamic artists who use wood to create an amazing range of work. Among them is Pheobe Dunbar, a carver who searches for hidden treasures among logging waste to create one-of-a-kind bowls and vessels. Charles Elliott, a member of the T'sartlip First Nation, is a world-renowned carver and tireless advocate for Coast Salish art. Mike Randall is a west coast modernist who creates furniture and lighting that is minimal in size but large on impact. Carey Newman, Kwakwaka'wakw master carver, mentored by the late Bill Reid, takes a contemporary yet traditional approach to his work.

Although they have diverse backgrounds and practices, these woodworkers place importance on sustainability, preservation of wild places, and respect for natural materials. Featuring exquisite photography of the artists in their studios, and full-colour images of their works, Out of the Woods is a stunning display of skill, creativity, and the depth of artistic talent along the Salish Sea.

You can order copies online at Chapters and Amazon but better yet, check out our Store and get a signed copy or special limited edition box with original print and calendar included.

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Roth and Ramberg wrap it up

It's been a few days since our last post. Since then we've covered a lot of ground and have been busy taking photos as well as having plenty of fun. Just to round out the rest of the crew on the trip, we want to introduce Courtney and Claire.

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Courtney works for our friends at Ray Agency and was instrumental in bringing us on board. Although we had only talked on the phone, we knew we would get along just fine. Courtney has been art directing the entire shoot as well as doing various photo assistant, beer opening, and candy buying duties.

Claire is in charge of the wardrobe, and had a hand in most of the tails we have been using on the trip. Having a background in textiles, Claire and her team have created some beautiful tails and without her the photos would not be the same.

Day 5

We woke up and headed down to the local hardware store/restaurant for breakfast. After a delicious meal, included fried bologna, we were off. With Dan at the wheel, we spun our MerMobile around and we headed down the highway to Arches Provincial Park. Being able to park close, we were able to easily bring the gear down to the ocean, but the wind was blowing hard and the tide was rising quickly. The whole team went into work mode as everyone held onto a light stand and followed our instructions as we hurried to shoot. The models hit it out of the park and we were able to wrap up with photos in hand and no wet photo gear.

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Afterwards we backtracked to Deer Lake and drove up to the Insectarium. It was closed to the public but Mark, one of the employees, was there to meet us. Makeup was applied, the tail donned and photos were taken. Again the crew went to work, this time trying to catch butterflies and hand them to Mark to use as a prop. As with all the photos, good times were had. We wrapped up and headed down the road to our hotel. With all six of us crammed into our hotel room, we shared beers, pizza, and plenty of laughter.

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Day 6

We were up early again as we made our way to the airport to catch a plane to Labrador. After one stop on the milk run, we arrived in Goose Bay. We can guarantee the people in Newfoundland are friendly, but perhaps the folks in Labrador will kick it up even a notch higher? Gabe, one of the Merby's to be photographed, was there to pick us up, along with Sheri from PAL Airlines. We sorted out location options and decided on Gosling Lake with some Labrador Regatta canoes as props (Thanks Myrna!). The models - John, Gabe, Nat and Shaun had all of us in stitches throughout the shoot.  Well, mainly Sean as we had him in quite the contorted positions and he had no trouble pointing it out to us! We wrapped up and all of us headed back to Gabe's house for a BBQ dinner, again a wonderful evening with new friends. Gabe and Sean were kind enough to share their homes with us and as it turned out, we each had our own private bed complete with a door!

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Day 7

With a 5:30 am wake up call, we headed down to the float plane dock with a new set of Merb'ys eager to pose for us. We took some photos as we enjoyed the beautiful views and the conversation with new friends. The shot was successful and we wrapped up what would be our last photoshoot of the project. Right now we're sitting in Gabe's kitchen drinking some delicious coffee, clean after a refreshing shower, ready for our final flight back to St John's.

Tired but happy we're finished, we're also a little sad as we know our team will be spreading apart, but we look forward to seeing them all again some time in the future.

There was a whole lotta love and respect being spread around this project. Here's a shout out written by Dan, after he dropped us off at the airport when we flew to Labrador, so he could do the long drive back to St John's with the empty MerMobile. He said it way better than we could have. Much love to the entire crew and talent!

“After five days, eleven shoots, and 2,132km, the island portion of the #merbys2019 shoot is complete. Who would have thought that you could spend a week trapped in a van with five other people and come out of it liking them even more than when you started? Well that's how MerB'ys roll. Hasan HaiClare Fowler, and Courtney Elliott, you're all the very finest kind of people. Even greater than that, we have come away having made new friends in Dale Roth and Michele Ramberg of roth and ramberg Photography. Not only are they astonishingly talented photographers, they are friendly, warm, kind, and absolutely hilarious.
It was a hectic week, but I saw parts of our beautiful province I had never seen and met more of the beautiful people who live here. Each and every one of the models, make up artists, families, and sponsors reenforced the values which underpin this project, each bringing their own interpretation of how the calendar can help to improve our society in the present and the future.
My back is sore from driving, my feet are blistered from hiking, my sides are stiff from laughing, and my heart is filled with gratitude for being able to participate in this wonderful project in support of ViolencePrevention NL. Be safe in Labrador!

 

 

Roth and Ramberg and the team

The crew had a tiny bit of a sleep in - 8 am, and Dale cooked breakfast for everyone while Michele snuck in a few photos of Hasan in the shower (with tail). We pushed off to the first destination Bonne Bay, located in Gros Morne National Park.

It's a cute little town along the ocean with a tiny main street dotted with cafes, and restaurants and B&B's. We stopped into an awesome cafe located in an old fishing shed. Besides great coffee, the owner Jen has beautiful artwork and ceramics done by local artists, including herself. Jen was our host for the evening as she kindly offered up her house for the crew to stay in.

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Yesterday we talked about Hasan, one of the crew of six including us on the trip. Today we want to mention Dan. Dan owns a high tech security company called Chudworth Technology Solutions. Dan was part of last year's calendar and liked it so much his company has come on board as a sponsor. On this trip he graciously donated his company van, as well being our chauffeur, photo assistant and general all around fun guy. His humour has us all rolling in the aisles and we have certainly found ourselves a new friend.

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The first shot was in a place in the National Park called the Tablelands. Courtney, our designer and art director on the trip promised it was a 1 km hike to the location along a boardwalk. By the 2 kilometre mark, the boardwalk appeared and we began to set up near a river/waterfall. As you can imagine, having big hairy men with mermaid tails tends to gather a crowd. This one especially did as the tail was made out of chain mail (scale mail to be precise), weighing in at over 40 pounds. Dan in his business suit, wrapped the tail around his neck and made the hike to the first location.

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Quite a few of the tourists we met knew all about us as the CBC story has been making the rounds (The story made it on The Weather Network too!) With the first shot under our belt, we headed down the road a few minutes and hiked in to a river to set up for the second shot.

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After a quick picnic in the parking lot, we made the trip down the path to the river. Our second merb'y was a local DJ and a great sport as we had him in many, many uncomfortable positions. Again the crew were a big help and by Day 4 it seems we are a well oiled machine. We made the hike back to the Mermobile and drove back to Jen's house. A few beers and stories later we settles in for a good night's sleep.

Roth and Ramberg explain the details

The morning started with us tiptoeing down the stairs of the bed and breakfast. It was 6 am as we loaded up the Mermobile and headed a short distance around the bay in Twillingate.

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First stop of the day was Twillingate Adventure Tours. Chris, the owner was kind enough to give us access to his boat and dock for whatever we needed. The previous day we had tried in vain to think of a safe way to tie a merb'y to the front of his boat (almost Titanic style) but soon realized it was not possible.

Plan B was to photograph two Merb'ys on the rocks with the bay and town in the background. The morning light cooperated and the shots turned out beautiful. After breakfast, we photographed a clothesline and then we packed up and headed southwest to Springdale.

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After our mandatory car nap we learned more about the Beard and Moustache Club of Newfoundland and Labrador. Hasan Hai is the president and founder of the club. It is open to everyone, including those without facial hair and women. It's basically a social club to meet people and share experiences and to do good things in the community.

Last year Hasan and friends came up with the idea of photographing members of the club in mermaid tails and produce a calendar. They started in September and by Christmas time they had their first ever Merb'y Calendar. The money from the sale of the calendars went to a local charity (Spirit Horse NL). They were hoping to sell 500 copies but ended up selling 14,000 calendars worldwide and raise over $300,000. This year the charity is Violence Prevention Newfoundland and Labrador. The cause was a perfect fit as the goal of the charity is not only to stop violence against women, but all violence, whether against LGBQT or minorities, etc. The idea of big, burly men in mermaid tails helps break down the stereotypes and we are so honoured to be a part of this whole project.

We arrived at Springdale and hiked down to Glassy Beach (a beach where an incredible amount of sea glass has gathered). Jack and Jeff our models were stellar as they were in some pretty uncomfortable positions. Wind whipping and waves crashing made the shoot a bit trickier but we managed to pull it off. Afterwards we headed to Indian Falls Chalet where the owners gave us two beautiful chalets to stay for the night. The rum was opened and drinks flowed as we enjoyed our bbq dinner cooked by Hasan. Tomorrow we get up and head out to Gros Morne, stay tuned.

Roth and Ramberg return to Twillingate

Day two of our adventure began with the sound of the fog horn in the distance as we all rolled out of our various bunk beds. Last night's accommodations were located in a hostel in the small town of Port Rexton, about a three hour drive West of St John's. Besides having a cool hostel, the town boasts a local brewery, appropriately named Port Rexton Brewery Company, and the brewery is where we began our day (taking pictures, not drinking).

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Inside, the taproom looks like it's made for a giant shed party, with a wicked bar, plenty of seating, and a spot to set up and play music. Our three merb'ys arrived and sat down for makeup, while we lit the interior of the taproom, focusing mainly on the bar area. Breakfast was served by Oh My Cheeses (say it with a Newfoundland accent and you will get the pun). The majority ordered the Kevin Bacon grilled cheese sandwich... yum.

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The shoot ended with a few samples of beer before we headed off in the Mermobile for the long drive to Twillingate. Dan, the driver, took over while the rest of us caught up on some much needed rest.

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During the drive/napping, various phones went off in the vehicle. Friends and family were texting that they had seen us on the CBC news, not only in Newfoundland, but nationally. Big Score for the Beard and Moustache Club and their goal to raise money for charity.

https://www.facebook.com/cbcnl/videos/10156691933717174/
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/merbys-calendar-fundraiser-1.4750246

Twillingate is one of our favourite places in Newfoundland. We have been extremely fortunate to have visited this classic fishing village on three other occasions. In fact, we saw our first iceberg very close up in this town, which ended up as little bits of thousand year old ice cubes floating in our whisky.

Our next shot was on the beach were we met up with Crystal. She had organized everything in Twillingate for us. We also met our next Merb'y, Mark, who along with his mother, had custom-made his own tail out of seal skin, with some tartan thrown in for good measure.

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Mark was a bit nervous being a model but he handled it like a pro. The sun beat down on him, and us, but we all managed to plow through to get a killer photo! After a quick stop at the Bed and Breakfast to unload and charge our gear, we headed directly back to the beach where Crystal had a fire going and the best cod chowder a person could ask for, complete with local beer and good conversation, it was again one of many wonderful nights spent in the Canada's friendliest province.

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Roth and Ramberg meet the Merb'ys

So when your friend’s at Ray Agency call and ask if you want to come to Newfoundland for a week-long shoot, you immediately say yes! When they tell you it’s to shoot a Merb'ys calendar for the Beard and Moustache Club of Newfoundland and Labrador, you say F$#k yes! What’s a Merb'y? Well, imagine a mermaid being, big, hairy and, well, a boy (b'y).

We flew into St John’s late last night and today was a 6 am start. Our van, with Uhaul in tow, appropriately named the Mermobile, slowly made its way to Cape Spear. Cape Spear is the Eastern most point in North America. It has a beautiful lighthouse and a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean. The more we drove, the heavier the rain became. As we pulled into the parking lot, it began to ease up a little and the skies started to clear.  

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Like Sherpas, we hiked our way up the steep stairs, gear in tow, to set up our first shot - the cover! Slowly, ten merb'ys, with tails in hand, made their way up, and as if on cue, the sun came out and the lighting turned into magic. The rain stopped long enough and so began our adventure. A few rain soaked portraits later, we loaded up the Uhaul and made the short drive to a beautiful fishing stage located in picturesque Petty Cove.

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Needless to say the sight of merby’s on the dock attracted some curious onlookers. News traveled so fast CBC showed up to do an interview with Hasan Hai the President of NLBMC.

The shoot wrapped up and 6 of us climbed into the Mermobile. Daniel - driver and newly crowned photo assistant, Courtney - production designer at Ray Agency, Claire - wardrobe and glitter queen, Hasan and the two of us. Destination -Goobies Irving Big Stop for dinner and overnighting in Port Rexton.  

Keep checking back for new posts.

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Roth and Ramberg rise above

Our friends at ClearMotive gave us a call and wondered if we would be interested in viewing their ideas for a sports medicine client. We sat down with Dan and Rod as they presented the ideas that were to be shown to the client. To be honest, it was the first time we’ve ever been brought in this early in the process, but we were happy to share our opinions of which concept we liked the most and how to go about achieving the final results.

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Regular people were sought out to be the talent as the idea was to show everyday people, not super athletes, or fashion models. The trick, of course, was to capture the action and in some situations, capture them in mid air.

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Our choices of people couldn’t have been better, as they really gave it their all.

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Roth and Ramberg go spelunking

Recently we had an incredible opportunity to take some photos with the wonderful people at Travel Alberta. Our mission, if we chose to accept it, was to hike up a mountain, gear up in coveralls, harnesses, helmets and head lamps, and go inside a deep pitch-black cave. Adding to the fun, we would also have to carry heavy backpacks with our camera gear and lighting. Oh, and to top it all off, we'd be inside the cave for about 6 hours and there's no bathroom.

Michele was able to scout the location a week prior so she was able to get a game plan in mind. The conversation of tight quarters and physical exertion began to scare even the non-claustrophobic Dale and our assistants.

Heading up early morning, we met Max and Brandon from Canmore Cave Tours and gathered our red coveralls, harnesses, etc. The we drove to the base of Grotto Mountain and parked our cars. From there we proceeded to hike the 40 minute climb up to a makeshift tent and benches where we got suited up and started our journey down the cave.

We descended bit by bit handing over every piece of equipment, one at a time, and climbing over, and under, whatever obstacles got in our way. In the end, we shot in several different locations deep within the cave. An experience we will not soon forget.

Michele loved the experience so much that she went back the week after with some friends to do the complete tour, including the 6 story rappel and the tight squeeze called the 'laundry shoot'. You should go too! 

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