My paddling adventures with
Just over a year ago, I joined Kokopelli Packrafts as their first-ever photo ambassador. Just over a year ago, I paddled my first stretch of whitewater. Notice the trend? The following images are from my first paddling adventures.
What exactly is a packraft? It's an inflatable one-person whitewater raft. Kokopelli's rafts are rated for class 3 water, so it's possible to paddle many of Canada's classic river descents It also packs relatively small. My Nirvana raft, paddle, dry suit, and life jacket all fit into a 28L bag, which makes it possible to carry along with camping gear in a 66-70L backpack.
This page: hiking setup Next page: paddling setup
To photograph my solo packraft, I typically use two techniques: 1. Handheld GoPro: I would set my GoPro to 10 FPS and hold down the shutter to collect bursts of images. 2. DSLR and Tripod: for flat water, I often setup my camera on a tripod and use Nikon's interval setting to begin shooting photos at a certain time, which gives me the time to paddle out into position for the shot.
Handheld GoPro Waterfowl Lake Banff National Park
DSLR with interval timer Spirit Island, Maligne Lake Jasper National Park
Because I am still new to paddling, I have mostly stuck to class 1-2 whitewater. Since last year, I've spent more time around rivers and lakes than ever before. I'm constantly seeking out ways to include water in my photography, even if I don't end up launching the raft.
I've barely paddled this summer, as I've focused the majority of my energy on training for an upcoming bike race. But each time I have hit the water, it's been well worth my time!
If you are interested in following along on more paddling adventures, follow both @kokopellipackrafts and @photojbartlett on Instagram! And remember to get out on an adventure as soon as you can!