Pacific Northwest Fiber Web

Over the last six weeks, Spirit Vision Films has been engaged in creating a short documentary film for the Pacific Northwest Fiber Web, highlighting the niche wool industry in the Pacific Northwest.

We were commissioned by the Northwest Cooperative Development Center from Olympia, Washington to film and interview various people and businesses engaged in this industry including sheep farmers, wool processors, yarn shop owners, and artisans.

The PNW Fiber Web had been given a grant through the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Community Development fund to pay for the film. Only there was a slight catch; it had to be used by the end of December, 2015!

Spirit Vision Films signed a contract to produce the film on December 10th, 2015. Only two weeks before Christmas! Fortunately for the participants of this endeavor, the grant was extended through January 31st, 2016. But that still left only about six weeks at the beginning of the holiday season and in the middle of very poor winter conditions for shooting outdoor activities to film and edit this 12 minute documentary.

Working with Marcia Adams as a liaison to the businesses and folks associated with the wool industry and co-producer from the PNW Fiber Web and Makayla DeScala my assistant and second camera operator we raced around western Washington doing interviews in Quilcene, Port Gamble, Port Ludlow, Whidbey Island, Carnation, and on the Key Peninsula near Longbranch, Washington. We wrapped up filming in the second week of January and handed the PNW Fiber Web their finished film on January 26th, five days before our deadline! To say they were pleased was an understatement.

Spirit Vision Films would like to thank Diane Gasaway, Executive Director of NW Cooperative Development Center for all her help, as well as Marcia Adams of PNW Fiber Web for working tirelessly to see this film become a reality. We would also like to express our gratitude to all those who took part in this documentary and all their help with its creation.

Here is our production of Pacific Northwest Fiber Web: Enjoy!





Peninsula College Flyover

When you own a UAV for commercial use it’s important that you have the latest firmware and upgrades to your bird, radio controller, even the smart batteries that power the craft. So today I took Spirit One to Port Angeles, WA and the Peninsula College campus to do some testing after the latest firmware upgrade. It was a great place to fly because there was not a soul anywhere on campus.

It was the day after Christmas. The previous night was clear and very cold, a great sign that this day might be clear instead of the continual soggy weather we have been experiencing here in the Pacific Northwest. Which by the way is very normal as anyone who has lived here for any length of time will attest to. But it is nice to have a good day, even if it is a bit cold thrown in there to keep the reflexes sharp.

The dawn was breaking as I got the bird in the air. Unfortunately when I left home in Carlsborg, about 25 minutes east of Port Angeles, the clouds were already starting to drift in from the west. But they made for a glorious sunrise with scorching reds and pinks arriving with the sun coming up in the east to shoot its rising rays under the approaching clouds. The clouds quickly drowned out the cold sun though and an even overcast took its place. Ok for a photographer not shooting the sky, but not so much if you wanted to capture a blue sky contrasted with the Olympic range covered with fresh snow.

Spirit One made three trips into the air to test out the GPS waypoint mode which allows me to set way points and speed manually and then starting at the first waypoint let the bird do its thing as I work the camera controls.

That feature worked flawlessly. The bird flew itself with me working the camera controls. I normally use a HD 1080p 60fps setting with the camera. With the new firmware upgrade I was given another option …. 2.5K but only at a 30fps setting. It maybe that I need more practice with that setting, but I wasn’t happy with the results. It’s ok, but not what I like to see in post. I probably will still use HD because of results I have been getting.

All told, I am more than happy with the results of the first test flights using the waypoints mode. Very cool! It will help me with the current film I am working on. Until next time ……


2014 Madeleine Angevine Crush

Today Spirit Vision Films was finally able to finish the Olympic Cellars Winery’s 2014 Madeleine Angevine Crush video for them.

Although shot last year, Olympic Cellars Winery changed hands and the project was put on the shelf for a while. Lisa Martin, OCW’s new owner had her hands full getting up to speed into the realm of new ownership. After the Fall wine harvest and bottling she found time to move forward on the project and now the video is complete!

The 2014 Madeleine Angevine Crush is about the process from the Dungeness Valley Vineyard’s Madeleine Angevine grape harvest, how the grapes are turned into wine at Olympic Cellars Winery, and the finished award winning Madeleine Angevine wine. Hope you enjoy the ride! Check out all the great wines and events at Olympic Cellars Winery:

FAA Section 333 Exemption Granted!

Today is a great day for Spirit Vision Films!

I received word from the FAA today they have granted Spirit Vision Films an exemption to fly UAVs commercially through their Section 333 exemption process. It now gives us the ability to fly our DJI Phantom UAV for hire and in full compliance with the FAA regulations governing the use of UAVs in  US airspace.

Many people do not realize how difficult it is to acquire an exemption. It took four months to receive. There are many rules and restrictions in flying them in US airspace. Because many UAV owners flaunt these rules and restrictions, it has given a bad name to all UAV owners. That is a shame. For us who have put in the time to comply with the FAA and fly in a responsible manner it is imperative that we educate the public on the importance of not hiring a non-exempt UAV pilot to do commercial work.

Let me elaborate. Does your pilot obey the height restrictions of flying no higher than 200 feet when filming? Do they hold back 500 feet from any people below while filming? Does the UAV have a serial number and registered with the FAA and have an ID number (N-Number)? And probably one of the most important features when considering hiring a UAV to film: Is the UAV insured? Liability insurance to fly commercially is next to impossible to acquire if you do not have an exemption number. Yet, if that pilot is flying irresponsibly and causes property damage or worse; personal injury, not only will the pilot be held responsible – you will too. Having liability insurance is essential. These are only a few of the things to consider when hiring a UAV to film from the air.

If you have questions concerning the legal use of UAVs for your commercial needs, please give us a call or email us by using our contact information. We love talking UAVs!

Here is a portion of Spirit Vision Films exemption sent to us today by the FAA:

October 16, 2015

Exemption No. 13215

Regulatory Docket No. FAA–2015–3200

Mr. Christopher Enges

Spirit Vision Films LLC

302 East Runnion Road

Sequim, WA 98382

Dear Mr. Enges:

This letter is to inform you that we have granted your request for exemption.  It transmits our decision, explains its basis, and gives you the conditions and limitations of the exemption, including the date it ends.

By letter dated June 17, 2015, you petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on behalf of Spirit Vision Films LLC (hereinafter petitioner or operator) for an exemption.  The petitioner requested to operate an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to conduct aerial videography and photography.

See the docket, at, for the petition submitted to the FAA describing the proposed operations and the regulations that the petitioner seeks an exemption.

The FAA has determined that good cause exists for not publishing a summary of the petition in the Federal Register because the requested exemption would not set a precedent, and any delay in acting on this petition would be detrimental to the petitioner.

Airworthiness Certification

The UAS proposed by the petitioner are the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+, DJI Phantom 3 Pro, and DJI Inspire 1.

First Flight

Working as a crew member and videographer for Captain-Crystal Stout’s Morning Star Balloon Company has given me a lot of photo and video opportunities since signing on.

The latest was filming a wedding proposal. But I didn’t know that I would be doing it at 2500 feet! Crystal let me know the night before to be ready to fly and film this wedding proposal by a young man in the Coast Guard assigned to the Port Angeles base and his soon to be fiancé. Very cool!

So I decided to make a short film, not only highlighting the proposal, but what it takes from start to finish to fly the balloon, chase it across country, land it and pack it away. Of course being my first flight as well, I couldn’t resist including a few images of myself!

So enjoy my first trip aloft and also the wedding proposal which is what the whole balloon ride was about.

The Fat Chance Band at Olympic Cellars Winery

Fat Chance has been hammering out Rock and Roll for over 30 years on the North Olympic Peninsula and they are a great dance band. The concert series benefits local non-profit organizations like the Olympic Medical Center Foundation, Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County, The Captain Joseph House, Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts, and others. And you know, we are all about helping out here at Spirit Vision Films. So with camera in hand, I not only enjoyed the venue, but took video and stills while there. I love mixing business with pleasure! Lisa Martin owner of Olympic Cellars, while talking about another video that I am working on for Olympic Cellars decided to use the footage I captured last Saturday to do an info video highlighting the concert series. I wanted to get right on it so I spent last night putting it together for them to be inserted into their website to highlight upcoming events as well as what took place last Saturday. So check out the video and at the same time check out the upcoming events scheduled at Olympic Cellars Winery this summer.

Casey’s Kettle Corn Shoot

Got a call early this morning. Could I come and do a product shoot for Casey’s Kettle Corn here in Sequim? It was Captain-Crystal Stout who works for them. I work on her ground crew for Morning Star Balloon company and she knows that I do not only video work but product photography as well. Sure, I said, when do you need me? Now, she said! It was nine o’clock and Casey had to leave for Seattle at 9:30. Oh, I said. Yeah, I can make that happen as I threw my camera gear into the bag and headed for the door.

We aim to please here at Spirit Vision Films! I was there in about 15 minutes after I hung up. It was really convenient that Casey’s was only about a mile from my house!

So I got to meet Casey and the crew. Shot about a 130 images in about 20 minutes and let Casey get on his way to Seattle. Just uploaded their images to Crystal. I hope they like them!

Casey’s Kettle Corn is a great organization. They do a lot of benefit work for folks around the Sequim – Port Angeles area and we like that around here at Spirit Vision Films! So when you see their product on your local store’s shelves, pick up a bag. Not only do they help folks out, but darn if their kettle corn is some of the best I’ve tasted!

Check the gallery out of their operation here in Sequim. Here is their contact information if you want to get hooked up with their great kettle corn:

Casey’s Kettle Corn

160 Harrison Rd. #4, PO Box 280, Sequim WA 98382 – Toll free 866-388-0000 – 360-582-1138

Contact Captain-Crystal Stout at or go to their website at

2015 Lavender Festival

I managed to hit three of the many lavender farms this last weekend during the 2015 Sequim Lavender Weekend held on July 17-19. The weather was exceptionally hot all three days, hitting the low 90’s and making the festival more like it was being held in Southern California then on the North Olympic Peninsula.

The hot weather we have been having the last couple of months really turned the lavender on and the farms were in great shape with the lavender in full bloom along with various flowers and accompanying crops that contrast that lovely purple color.

I started at the Purple Haze lavender farm, the original and one of the best in the valley in my opinion. When I worked for Clallam County road department back in the early ’90’s I first met Mike Reichner. Back then he worked as a Washington State Park Ranger at the Sequim Bay State Park east of Sequim. He decided to do something different at the time. Mike and his wife Roz opened the Purple Haze lavender farm off Sequim Bay road in 1996. It was a risky proposition at the time that paid dividends over the last 19 years. He was followed by several other lavender farmers who put together the annual Sequim Lavender Festival. Along with the Sequim Irrigation Festival, the oldest continuous festival in Washington State, the two festivals put little Sequim on the map for tourist designations on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Purple Haze is 12 acres of color and aroma! Its rolling hills with its gift shop at the top of the hill and the lavender fields spread out below, showcasing 15,000 English, French, Spanish lavender plants, boasting 50 varieties. Mike and Roz have done it right from the very beginning. That is why I like to start my photo quest at their farm.

During the festival many different vendors find their way to Purple Haze to entice visitors with all manner of food, beverages, arts and crafts. My videography professor Renne Brock-Richmond takes off her college professor hat and dons the art teacher one and shares her multicolored, hand-painted (and invites you to participate and paint your own) linen and silk fabrics (see photos).

Mike and Roz have built a bandstand that different musicians take turns performing in during the festival. Our friends, the Straight Shots band from the Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County benefit Wine Festival were there when I visited. They were cranking out that great old rock and roll in the early afternoon. They were as hot as the weather. Great local band!

I spent about two hours checking out the lavender, flowers, vendors and friends I ran into there before moving on to the Jardin du Soleil lavender farm.

Jardin du Soleil lavender farm is currently owned by Paul and Jordan Schiefen. It has changed hands at least a couple of times since the first lavender was planted on its 10 acres of rolling hills back in 1999. It is a certified organic lavender farm and one that I like to shoot each year.

I ran into one of my old friend’s two daughters, Becky and Stephanie Reed manning a booth on the grounds. Again, different vendors from food and beverage, to arts and crafts find their way to various lavender farms to sell their products during this festival. It is all part of the festival and it’s great to see so many coming from all over the state to participate.

I had another engagement in the early evening at Olympic Cellars Winery to see Fat Chance, so I only spent about an hour checking out the farm before moving on to the last one of the day …. George Washington Inn lavender.

I was unaware of the events scheduled for the day, but was pleasantly surprised that my timing visiting George Washington Inn was right on! They had a re-enactment of the battle of Lexington Green with period costumes, both Colonial and British, along with real muskets and cannons firing volley after volley at each other! Great entertainment! The smoke and sulfur smell of gun powder hung in the air for quite some time after the battle.

George Washington Inn is an actual replica of Mount Vernon, George Washington’s house. It is a top notch Bed and Breakfast, sitting atop a bluff over-looking the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It also is situated on 10 acres, which part is a lavender farm. It has a long, long driveway lined with wildflowers and lavender. They had an encampment of both the Colonial armies, as well as the British that allowed visitors to see up close and personal how these armies lived during the Revolutionary war in the late 1700’s. I wish I could have spent more time there but had to make my way back home to get ready for the benefit at Olympic Cellars. But it was a great day! Scorching hot, but I had a great time visiting these three fields. It would have been easy to spend all three days to see all the fields that are out there. And I didn’t think about trying to go the Street Fair! Well maybe next year!

Check out some of the images I shot in the galleries at the right. Hope you enjoy! I did!

Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County’s Benefit Wine Festival at the Cedars at Dungeness

On July 11th, 2015, Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County held their second annual Wine Festival at the Cedars at Dungeness in the Dungeness Valley near Sequim, Washington.

I was invited to shoot both stills and video of the event for them. Partly to document the event and partly for an upcoming video we are working on for their website. So I took my assistant Jenna Rose along to help with the shoot. Not only did we get some great footage and images, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at this great benefit for the under-housed of Clallam County.

The Habitat folks know how to put a benefit together and this one really shined, in spite of an occasional passing rain shower that did not dampen the enthusiasm of the several hundred folks who attended from all over the state. Seventeen wine vendors representing dozens of various vintages from local to across the globe were out in force pouring wine for the attendees. Also representing two mini breweries for those more inclined to have a designer brew were making a hit with the crowds.

The food was absolutely first class! Fresh local fruit and veggies, various types of cheeses and salamis, grilled oysters with bacon and melted blue chees, smoked salmon, and different breads! I ate way too much of …. everything! Great stuff.

Meanwhile two local bands, Locals Only and the Straight Shots belted out that good old rock and roll! Jenna, my assistant even got me on the dance floor for a few dances! We had a great time in between shots. We met a ton of people, some local folks I hadn’t seen in a while and everyone had a great time. Most of all the benefit raised a fair amount of money for the Habitat vision here in Clallam County.

Check out the sidebar for some of the images I shot at the event!