Photos from Southeast Asia

Why Sign up for our teen photo camp? Here is one of many reasons:   One evening at Camp this coming summer, Garret will present an exciting evening of fine art photography and commentary from his recent foray into Southeast Asia.   Hopefully someday you too will be able to travel and take marvelous photographs to sell back home or treasure for a lifetime.  Be sure and see Garret’s  attached photos from his recent four month trip  to Thailand, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and even Burma.   Below is a synopsis of his photo-journey to be expanded upon at camp this summer: 

I’ve always been intrigued by Southeast Asia, enamored by photographs I’ve seen since my childhood.  Taking a trip there has always been a dream of mine, so this year I decided to finally make it a reality.  With 60 lbs. of equipment strapped to my back, and a small duffel with a change of clothing slung across my chest, I bought a one way ticket to Bangkok.  I didn’t have an itinerary or a plan, I just knew I wanted to meet some amazing people and capture somewonderful  images, so I set off to make it happen.

As I knew I had an arduous journey ahead, I started my trip off in a relaxing way on the Thai island of Phuket, helping a fellow photographer out on a Television  show he was filming.  After two weeks shooting two dozen models on the most beautiful beach I’ve ever experienced, I was ready to see another side of Asia, a little more off the beaten path.  I flew to Hanoi, where I bought a motorcycle, and set off on the most amazing 4,000km ride  of my life.  My tour began to the north where I wandered China’s southern provinces, spending the evenings wandering the Li River valley and photographing the local fisherman. Unlike most fishermen, these used cormorant birds to catch the fish for them! From there I ventured onward  to China’s Redland, Doungchuen, where the earth and harvest give the land the most amazing pallet.  After then touring through the rice terraced mountains of northern Vietnam, it was another 2,000km through marvelous mountain landscapes and old fishing coastlines to Saigon until I finally made it to Siem Reap, Cambodia.  This is the  home of Angkor Wat in all of its ancient splendor, where my beloved bike and I parted ways.  It was then on to northern Thailand for the infamous lantern festivals, Loy Kathong and Yii Ping.    I was very  fortunate that both landed on the same day, so it was hundreds of thousands of floating lanterns and an entire weekend with fireworks filling every alleyway of the old city.  From there, I rented a motorcycle and headed for the Burmese border, where I spent a week wandering through miles of undeveloped caves and rainforests in Pang Mapha.  After that difficult journey, I was ready to relax a bit, so I began to work my way south.  After a brief stop in the ancient city of Ayutthaya, I took a catamaran to Koh Tao, one of Thailand’s tropical paradises.  I spent a week scuba diving ship wrecks, swimming with turtles and searching for whale sharks.  After 4 months on the road and 4 terabytes of images to go through, I headed back to Los Angeles, happy to see some familiar sights but quickly missing the fascinating land and people  I left behind.

It was odyssey or raw adventure I’ve always dreamt of having, and it  lived up the pedestal I’d placed it on.  It was life-changing  to experience such diverse and beautiful landscapes, and meet such an interesting cross section of people.  This is an intriguing  land where a hundred miles can separate two completely separate ways of life!   Diverse cultures have been developing for 1000′s of years, and there is an infinite number of things to explore and journeys to experience.  It was truly the definition of a trip of a lifetime, and I already can’t wait to have another.  Iceland, here I come!!

Columbia Gorge Teen Camps will be at the Summer Camp Expo in Newton, MA

Attention Parents and Teens: Here is a unique opportunity to meet with nearly 100 summer camps and summer youth programs all under one roof!!!

Summer Camp Expo, Newton, MA   February 3:  5:30 to 8:00p.m.

If you live in the Boston area you will not want to miss this great opportunity to meet with some of the best summer youth programs in the USA.  Check this link for more information:

Be Sure and visit the booth belonging to Columbia Gorge Teen Camps for the best offerings in Outdoor Photography and Action Video, Rock Climbing and Water Sports!

Last Year's Summer Camp Expo

Introducing Scott Forbes – Digital Video Instructor

Scott Forbes Video Camp Instructor

A 20+ year veteran in the video industry, born and raised in Florida, Scott grew up playing music, riding dirt bikes, surfing, scuba diving and water skiing. After College he pursued a music career and toured professionally for many years with his band. After being convinced to “get a real job,” he settled down in Orlando working for Corporate America. After several years and despite much success, he realized something was missing and his creative side was dying. Scott made the decision to relocate to Atlanta to start a new career. He began this endeavor by producing videos of weddings & special events, and over time, began to work on TV commercials, documentary/reality shows, and live music videos. During the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, while shooting ENG video for Panasonic, Scott was introduced to world of high- end corporate video and has since built long successful relationships with clients such as Scientific Games, GA Lottery, Time -Warner, Chick-Fil-A, Delta Airlines, and Mercer. His thirst for knowledge on how everything works and why, have given Scott the opportunity to develop immense hands on experience with top industry standard broadcast and AV equipment. In addition to Executive Producer status, Scott possesses strong video engineering skills that have earned him the prestigious “EIC” (engineer in charge) title in the credits on a recent ESPN College Football Hall of Fame broadcast.

Scott Forbes Summer Camp Hang Gliding

Scott enjoys playing golf, tennis, racquetball, mountain biking, snow skiing, scuba diving and anything else he can get the time to do. Make no mistake, although capable of dawning a pocket protector and hanging with the nerdiest IT guys in the room, he is super passionate about his craft and has the heart of an amazing teacher teens will not soon forget. You are encouraged to be a sponge and soak up everything you possibly can from him, but be warned, it could be like drinking from a fire hose!


Climbing Camp Photos from David Sedlik

Thanks David for these awesome photos from last year’s climbing camp. We’re looking forward to seeing some new faces this year for the 2014 camping season.

All photos are Copyright 2013 David Sedlik

A Big Welcome to Our New Water Sports Director

We’d like to give a big Columbia Gorge welcome to Elizabeth Swindell our new director for the 2014 Water Sports Camp. Liz will be replacing Terry Kimball and Jo Evers whom have retired from the camping life to spend more time travelling.

Liz grew up in coastal Massachusetts and now joins us from Northern New Hampshire where she is an Adventure Teacher and dorm parent at an alternative boarding school for teens. She has spent the last 4 years guiding, teaching and exploring in the Sierra Nevada Mountains smelling the butterscotch of the Jeffery Pines and leading hikes along pine duff trails. Northern California proved to be an excellent base for Liz’s  extensive wanders around Western America.  Her winters have been spent at Alpine Meadows in Tahoe, Sugarbush in Vermont, Alta, Utah and Cannon in New Hampshire teaching beginner skiing and studying the art of play. Liz loves being outdoors and believes that nature is a powerful tool for self-exploration, self-discovery and igniting creativity. She encourages people to discover new things about themselves and their community through the power of laughter, sunshine, relationships and the natural world. Liz loves rock climbing, sliding on snow, riding bikes, swimming, paddling, singing songs, making art and jumping around. She can get a little antsy if cooped up inside too long and she loves sharing the outdoors with everyone!

We’re super excited to have such a great new addition to our staff!

Camper Photos from the Photo Camp

Here are some awesome group and individual shots taken by Sergio Lub during the 2013 Photo Camp. Lookin’ good guys!

2013 Photo Camp Group Pics

Here are some groups pics from the 2013 Columbia Gorge Teen Photography camp.

We’ve uploaded them as high res, so you can print them out. To download a photo click on the link below the gallery, then right click your mouse and select ‘save image.’

 Download Group Photo #1
 Download Group Photo #2
 Download Group Photo #3
 Download Group Photo #4
 Download Group Photo #5