Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One Piece at a Time

The Tree is Topped
Let me introduce one of the craziest, albeit friendliest, people I have had the honor of getting to know. In the tree is Brian Villanueva, one part man, one part primate. His is truly a sight to see when he heads up a tree.

He does a whole lot more than just tree removal as well. He also performs the following:

- Tree Pruning and Removal
- Lot Clearing - berry vines, ivy and poison oak
- Pressure Washing
- Sheet Rock and Painting
- Deck Repair and Sealing
- Roofing and Patching - moss removal
- Landscape Architecture/Maintenance
- Most other labor type tasks

Buzz of the Saw

Kind of looks like Vin Diesel from Pitch Black

Cut and Drop, Cut and Drop
The tree in these photographs was the last of four trees Brian climbed that day. He removed an entire dead tree from our back yard, then climbed two others in our yard to remove dead branches that would likely come down on us this winter, then climbed this last tree for our neighbor and removed it completely.

Even after all of that climbing, cutting and tossing Brian had the energy to run over to me, literally, to talk to me about the photos I had taken of him. His energy seems limitless, though I expect he has little trouble sleeping at night.

20' Remaining
One of the main challenges of photographing this man at work was timing. He moves fast. Just how fast? From him standing on the ground lashing his harness to the tree to the forty-feet of tree being down and stacked, he finished the job in about thirty minutes with the help of person on the ground stacking the wood for him as he dropped it.

It was important to have fast shutter speed first and foremost. So my ISO was at 400 and my Aperture was at f/3.5.

I had to have a high vantage point so I wasn't shooting up at him like so many bird photos are taken. So I was about a hundred feet away from the tree on my porch which is about 15' above the road.

I had to put my camera in burst mode to allow multiple frames to run to capture the action. It is a lot like sports photography. Blast a series off and then keep the one that captures what you were going for.

I had to use a 200mm lens to reach out far enough to capture him. If I would have used a 50mm lens Brian would have been but an element in the scene rather than the subject.

Brian was grateful for the photos, which I provided to him free of charge. He handed me his business card and went on his merry way, I think to climb more trees. I have a great deal of respect for men that work that hard and seem to absolutely love it.

Thanks Brian for being a good sport and putting on a great show, even though you had no idea at the time that I was photographing you.

If you are needing some work done around the house, you can contact Brian at IWMDKU@gmail.com and in case you are wondering, I have no kickback agreement with Brian. I simply value his kick-ass work ethic!

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