Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Hey everyone!
I am unfortunately going to be away from the internet for the rest of the week. I am about to leave to drive up to Indian Creek, in Utah, to do some climbing/photography. I had two more posts planned before I left for Emma and I have been outdoors too much for that business. So please check back in a week for tons of new photos!

See you all then.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tonto National Forest

This past weekend my friend Tony, from back east, came out for some AZ adventure. He, along with every other geology nerd on Earth, has wanted to see the Petrified Forest National Park for quite some time. So his first day here in Arizona we headed north towards Holbrook, winding through Tonto National Forest land. The road brought us past Bioshphere 2, mesas, mountains, mines, high desert, pine forest, alpine lakes, and the largest saguaros I've ever seen! We also wound our way through Salt River Canyon, probably the highlight of the drive. Along the way I snapped a few shots.

Tyler Gates

Tonto National ForestAn excited Tony at the first vista in the forest on route 77.
Roadside stop.Unknown plant along route 77.
Salt River CanyonSalt River Canyon at night.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Gear Head

Warning: this post is neither photo nor travel related, hah.

So for those of you who don't know me, I'm a huge gear head. I love research and comparisons, and I love knowing as much about a subject as I can. It's definitely part of why I love photography and I'm sure it helps with climbing too. Either way, I've read a few of the write ups from Black Diamond's Quality Assurance guy, Kolin Powick, but my friend Kyle recently introduced me to this page of archived short write ups. None of them are official conclusions, answers, or suggestions, but they definitely cover a lot of questions I've had for awhile about climbing gear. Since most of us don't have a fully stocked lab to test gear, it's cool that Kolin has taken the time to share his findings with the rest of us. His lab is like the Mythbusters of climbing gear, only less explosions, I'm jealous. So thanks Kolin for all your helpful tests and write ups!

Follow this to get there:

Good Life Photography

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Joshua Tree Continued

Alright here are the rest of the photos from my recent trip to Joshua Tree.

-Tyler Gates

Couples gather for the sunset at Key's View, the Salton Sea can be seen in the background.
A couple check out a roadside Ocotillo
Lost Palms Oasis
Hikers gather in the shade in the Lost Palms Oasis
The hike to Lost Palms Oasis passes some great examples of desert wildlife
Sunset from Jumbo Rocks campground

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Joshua Tree National Park

Emma and I decided to take a little trip to California this past week. It started out with a drive across I-8 to San Diego. My sister has lived in North County for 2 years now, and I hadn't been able to visit her till now. San Diego was great, way too many people, but the beach was awesome. Unfortunately I had some serious back pain going on, so I opted not carry a camera around. So it wasn't until we left San Diego to head to Joshua Tree National Park that I pulled the camera out.

Joshua Tree was amazing, even after spending 2 months in the Sonoran desert. We also lucked out by catching the Joshua Trees in full bloom. All over the park there were budding flowers, and it couldn't have been more beautiful. This is just a teaser, there will be more photos from the trip soon.
Living the dream,
-Tyler Gates

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Apparently my posts from cell phones haven't been working! Oh well, here is the update. I've been without my computer for about a week now. Emma and I drove west to the ocean and spent a few days exploring San Diego and North County. It was pretty awesome, but I was suffering from some serious back pain, so I opted not to lug my camera around. (This was when I wish I had a sweet little digi rangefinder! Anyone who wants to donate an M8 or M9 can email me for the address to send it to, in trade I'll offer you a lifetime of photos). Then we drove north along the coast to LA and then out to Joshua Tree National Park. We caught the park at an awesome time when everything, including the Joshua Trees were in bloom. On our way home we spend a few hours in Phoenix(Tempe/Scottsdale to be specific) because picking up my buddy Tony from the airport. Tomorrow we head north to the Petrified Forest National Park, and other points north of Tucson. Tons of photo updates coming next week!

Thanks for checking me out.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chochise Stronghold

Sheepshead Rock, The Stronghold

Here it is, Chochise Stronghold, or at least the Sheepshead section of it. Shortly after moving out here I was in contact with a bona fide mountain climbing and he asked if I had been out to "the Stronghold" yet, that was when I started obsessing over the place. The Stronghold is one of the best places to climb in Arizona. It is part of the Dragoon Mountains in Chochise County, and was where the last Apaches held out against the U.S. government. It is large concentration of exposed rock domes with a tremendous amount of established trad and sport multi-pitch climbs. My dream has been to get a few people together to spend a weekend here, just exploring and climbing, but no one seems to ever have the time. Finally, 3 other climbers and myself decided to day trip and climb the 760 ft Ewephoria(5.8) on Sheepshead rock(the largest dome in the photo above).
We met in an empty food store parking lot at 4 am in Tucson, loaded into one car and drove off into the pitch black desert. After an hour or so of easy highway driving we turned onto a dirt road, wound through the darkness for another half an hour. Our directions told us to turn down an unmarked road that lead to a windmill. Fortunately for us the cloudy skies made it impossible to see anything, we took a chance and got lucky. As we got our gear ready the skies began to get lighter and we could finally see the rock. It was amazing, and an hour long hike away.
We took our time on the climb. Two teams of two yo-yoing up each pitch always slows you down, but we had all day. At the top of the third pitch we got a little lost, with a sport, a mixed, and a trad option, non of which had chains in site, we took our time to figure things out. As we did, we noticed an impending wall of rain coming our way. As it moved closer across the fields the winds picked up until we could barely here each other. By this time Kyle had decided to figure out the trad route, which look the easiest, in order to get us off the rock and on the decent trail. We all expected to get soaked before getting off the rock. We hurried up final pitch, snapped a few shots at the top and started down the trail. Have way down the wind stopped, and the sun came out. We hiked back to our car through an amazing boulder strewn field filled with horses. I wouldn't have believed the place existed if I hadn't seen it myself. I can't wait for the next trip down there.

6 am approach
Kyle on the final pitch(the storm was the other way)
The valley southwest(?) of the Stronghold.

Friday, March 5, 2010

In other news...

I started an Etsy account a long long time ago to try to sell all of my prints left over from college. I never did it. However I have recently started a collection of prints that I have in acetate sleeves with foamcore backing to sell at things like First Friday in Philly and art fairs and the like. So I figured while they are all together why not post them on Etsy.

So here it is, finally my Etsy store:
(someone has goodlifephotography.etsy, if its you, I would like it please)

Thanks for checking it out and spreading it around to everyone you know.


Maybe its the Libra part of me...

But I've spent the past 2 years(about) since graduating trying to weigh out my options for work. I keep going back and forth between continuing to pursue photography full out and as my only means of work, and trying to get a job in the outdoors industry that will allow me to continue to shoot. I'm constantly going back and forth. One day I spend researching jobs, and certificate programs for teaching rock climbing, or guiding back packing trip. The next day I'll spend researching magazines and websites that I could contribute to and emailing photographers for assistant work.

Either way, I'm not sure Tucson is the place. It's infinitely better than Philly for what I want to do, but it's still not all the way there. For all of the amazing outdoor opportunities available here in such a short distance there seems to be a relatively little market for it. There is only one outdoor sports outfitter here! They have two locations, and are pretty good, but that is crazy. There is an REI opening soon too, but still.

I'm not sure what the next step is, but in the mean time I need to start shooting more.