BEHIND THE WORLDWIDE LENS: Chris Doing USA by Chicago Mike Toughill

Chris Doing, aka The Garrulous Sherpa, is a kayaker and freelance photographer whose latest passion is capturing images of America’s decay. He lives and works out of Rolling Meadows, IL but travels and paddles extensively throughout America, in particular the rivers of the upper Midwest and Southeast. He is an Admin on the Dirt Bag Paddlers Facebook page. 

Chris has developed a unique style of capturing images that breathes life into them. He describes the process as “multi-exposure fusions popping colors from nuance into HDR images.”
    He continues, “I think being a boater helps me understand the dynamics of a drop to get the best compositions of action sequences. The ability to dodge-n-burn digitally into High Dynamic Range (HDR) makes the range of colors much greater, the trick, then, is in not overdoing it.”
     When asked about choice in cameras Chris replies, “I’m more and more impressed with my GoPro: film, stills, tiny, waterproof, wearable, etc. but for the best images I’ve got Sony DSLRs with old Minolta lenses.”

1 – Bald River Falls from under the bridge, standing in the Tellico River, TN. “For scenic shots I like to get as close to the water level as possible and try to bring the gradient out for folks who haven’t seen it, and long exposures of fast water are always a hit.”

2 – The Des Plaines River playhole and a forest preserve policeman who hadn’t heard the river was re-opened

3- A drop on the Uppermost Nantahala River, maybe called Jacob’s ladder, above the Cascades put-in as they run it now. 

4 – Mathiesen State Park, IL

5 – Yorkville Whitewater Park, Corps of Engineers joined with state to make the canoe chute more fun, “my cousin working on the set up.”

6 – St. Francis River, MO 

7 – Rainbow Falls, Black River, UP! MI

8 – Chris paddling Horserace Rapid on the Peshtigo River, WI

9 – Brad Klimkowski hitting Piers Gorge, Mishicot Falls, MI/WI border. “I think being a boater helps me understand the dynamics of a drop to get the best compositions of action sequences.”

10 – Mathiesen State Park, IL

11 -Cheat Canyon entrance, Cheat River WV

12 – Eric Jackson cartwheeling in the hole at the NOC.

13 – Cumberland Falls, KY
Chris’ favorite runs include Piers Gorge on the Menominee and the Tellico ledges. “I love to shoot them for the same reasons, the big water up north creates great textures and tosses the rafts around for some good shots; the steep and layered look of the Tellico and the backdrop of the Cherokee forest is the type of place I could make my own Walden Pond. Some really great water, great scenery, and good folks in that valley.”
You can follow Chris’ work on Instagram at amruins. 
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  • Dirt Bag Paddlers

    Correction: the picture credited as Ohiopyle Falls is actually Cumberland Falls. The details regarding Ohiopyle Falls, however , are accurate

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