LMFAO in New York City

A few weeks ago I ran into the LMFAO guys in New York. 500+ screaming fans were waiting anxiously in line to get an autograph at a packed mall outside of town.

Jen and I haven’t had a TV at home for years so I haven’t seen many music video clips lately. When I came home I Youtubed some of their stuff. Their last video clip ‘SEXY AND I KNOW IT’ is pretty hilarious. Balls out!


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Blisss Magazine Article Flotography Show

Stoked to see my first Flotography art show featured in Blisss Magazine. Here is a copy of the cover and article, you can read the text below the image. More photos from the show here and here.

SOMETHING WENT TERRIBLY WRONG. WORDS BY WILLIE MARSHALL – PHOTOS BY ROSALIE TORRES.

On October 14th, we ventured out into the dark night, all the way up PCH to the Seal Beach ghetto to check out the Flotography Show, titles, Something Went Terribly Wrong at the Golden State Goods on Main Street. We were all sadden by the trafic event that had recently taken place just blocks from the venue – a crazy mad had recently walked into a busy salon and committed a mass midday murder, leaving eight innocent people dead. It was just a coincidence that Floris Gierman’s Flotography show was taking place later that week in a nearby venue, with good friends coming together for good times and a great cause to boot. DJ Wade was on the turntables and PBR was cold and free, making sure no one had any excuse not to come in off the street and check out the photos and the beautiful girls milling about.

Floris has been taking photos for some time now, traveling the globe while working for various companies within the action sports arena. A lot of portraits are of various industry folk, professional skateboarders, and weirdos alike. Some of the coolest photos were the ones of the “storm chases” that FLo has been on lately, a new hobby that consists of chasing huge storms across middle America, hoping to get eaten up by giant tornadoes and getting some incredible shots along the way. All of the art was reasonably priced and for a good cause, so whether you went for a free beer or just to say hi to your old friends, everyone left feeling good.

The proceeds from the art show help to benefit “Giving Children Hope”, a cause to help fight hunger in Africa. The money raised will be donated to buy food, medicine and medical supplies to help save lives in countries like Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan, caused by one of the worst droughts in 60 years in this region. Anyone who purchases the photos or donated to the cause was entered in a raffle for a chance to win some awesome prizes from Vans Shoes, Flip Skateboards and Volcom clothes. Check out more at flotography.com and goldenstategoods.blogspot.com


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Flotography Art Show

Last Friday was my first Flotography Art Show at Golden State Goods in Seal Beach. It was rad to see how many old and new friends came out to support. A bunch of the art pieces and photos were sold and the proceeds will get donated.

Sadly the store Golden State Goods will be closing their doors by the end of the month so if you’re around Seal Beach, go by and help empty their store during the 50% off sale. Below are a few photos of the show, shot by Rosalie Torres. You can see more photos here.

Special thanks to Amy Beams and Joey Pulsifer from Golden State Goods, Freddy Medina for the late night art show installations, Alex Yang for showing how to hang artwork straight, and my wife Jennifer Gierman for all her late night Photoshop help and support. More Flotography updates, pics and videos coming soon!







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Time for Change

Lots of exciting things going on lately! After an awesome 3 1/2 years run with Volcom I’m heading off on a new path. I’m excited to take a break, travel, shoot photos and focus on my own business projects. October 7th was my ‘going away party’ in combination with the video premiere of the Skate Night Film Battles & International Give Jeans a Chance Day. Volcom is an amazing company to work for and I’ll always be part of the Volcom family.


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Something Went Terribly Wrong!

On October 14th I’m putting together my first Flotography art show at Golden State Goods  in Seal Beach. The show will benefit ‘Giving Children Hope’ to help fight hunger in East Africa.

There is a major humanitarian crisis in countries like Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, caused by one of the worst droughts in 60 years in this region. I hope to raise $$ so ‘Giving Children Hope’ can buy more food, medicines and medical supplies to help save lives.

If you’re around, come by for a few beers with DJ Wade and I. There will be a bunch of photos on display and for sale. There will also be a raffle to win prizes from VolcomVans and Flip Skateboards. Hope to see you there! Cheers, Flo


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Volcom’s Give Jeans a Chance Photo Shoot

Give Jeans a Chance is a denim donation program for the homeless around the world. The concept is to put donation bins in stores, schools and local communities where people drop off their old jeans. All jeans collected are donated to local homeless shelters.

This is the 3rd year GJAC is running and more than 1000 stores, schools and local communities are a part of this program. For the overall campaign photo, we wanted to give the viewer an up-close look of the jeans being handed from person to person in the streets.

Loaded with a backpack full of jeans, my friend Freddy Medina and I drove to Skid Row in downtown LA to shoot photos. You don’t want to walk around with your camera hanging out, so I hid it under my hoody.

On a sidewalk we found a girl in her late twenties, rough looking, she lives ‘temporarily’ on Skid Row, we found her in a back alley, solo sitting on the ground. Drugs, alcohol, and life on the streets had taken its toll on her. She didn’t show any emotions when she received the jeans, her eyes looked all foggy. She was ok with me taking some photos of her.

Some areas were way too sketchy to take my camera out so we walked around for a while until we found the next person to shoot in the right spot.

After walking around for a while, we ran into Mark, a 35 years old guy covered in tattoos, he was homeless and sat in a wheel chair. He lives mostly in Skid Row and didn’t mind us taking a photo of him. We gave him a pair of jeans in his size and he was stoked on it.

Below are the 2 different campaign photos that came out of the shoot, for both MEN and WOMEN. These images have been used for the Volcom ads in a bunch of magazines, and for the GJAC campaign flyers, posters, window displays, videos, etc. For more info, check out the Give Jeans a Chance website.

Here is the 2011 GJAC campaign video:


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Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!

Tacoma police Thursday were searching for two people who pulled a takeover-style robbery of a Hilltop bank. Two people wearing masks held up the KeyBank, 1102 S. 11th St., about 9:45 a.m., police said. One robber had a gun. The employees were ordered to empty their tills and the robbers left on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.
No one was hurt in the robbery.


The department released surveillance images of the robbers. Their identities were obscured by Volcom brand hooded sweatshirts that zip to the top of the head, creating a mask.
One sweatshirt was gray with stripes and had a mask showing a large smile and blue sunglasses. The other sweatshirt was black with red stripes on the cuffs. The mask had a red-orange mouth and red eyes.
Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to arrests and charges filed in the case. Tipsters can remain anonymous. Reach Crime Stoppers at 253-591-5959.

You can check out the latest Full Zip Hoodie Collection here


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Storm Chasing – North or South?

2011 has been one of the most active Tornado Seasons ever recorded in US history. The 2011 Tornado Super Outbreak occurred from April 25 to 28, 2011 with a total of 334 confirmed tornadoes, an estimated 344 people were killed as a result of the outbreak and the total damages exceeded $10 billion.

Last year we filmed and photographed several tornadoes, and was excited to go back to Tornado Alley from May 6 to 12, 2011. Our goals were always are to position us ahead of the severe thunderstorms to document the storms, to warn local authorities whenever needed, and to help storm victims as first on the spot.

This was a 6-day storm chase with only a two-man team, my friend Jeremy Dawson and I. The Storm chasing vehicle with metal armor needed a lot of work so the first day we hung out at the auto repair shops, the oil change place and Walmart parking lot until 4AM.

The next day we drove 650 miles north from Oklahoma to Valentine, Nebraska. At 3AM I got pulled over by a cop car driving 80 miles an hour, without insurance papers or car registration. After an hour of storm chase talk with the cop lady, we finally continued our journey.

The next morning it looked like the storm had more chance to develop 4 hours south of us, than up in our current location of Valentine. We drove 220 miles back south and positioned ourselves until the storm would develop. Around 4PM we noticed a cumulonimbus cloud started to develop, this is a towering vertical cloud that is very tall, dense and often involves thunderstorms. These clouds can further develop into a super cell, a severe thunderstorm with special features.

Right at that point 4 hours north of us severe thunderstorm started to develop in our previous location of Valentine. This storm looked a lot more promising than the storm we were hoping to develop down south, so we decided to speed 4 hours up north again, pedal to the metal. It was so frustrating seeing a Tornado Watch being issued for the dryline at our initial location in northern Nebraska. 2 tornadoes touched down before we were able to make it over in time. By the time we arrived in Valentine the sun was setting, and the storm had moved 80 miles north with 25 mph.

These supercells usually produce large amounts of hail, heavy rainfall, strong winds, and substantial downbursts. To get ahead of the NE moving storm, we had to punch the core of the super cell. As we approached the cell, the lightning intensified to several times per second, it’s a crazy light show to see.

Jeremy found a shortcut on the map, so I had to drive our heavy chase vehicle onto a small dirt road, straight into the lightning hell of the core. I drove as fast as I could, about 40-50 miles an hour, however the dirt roads turned into mud baths and the visibility was extremely low.

The cloud-to-ground lightning was hitting to our left and right within close distance, the flash was super intense and the thunders extremely loud.

A leader of a bolt of lightning can travel at speeds of 140,000 mph, contain 100,000,000 volts of electricity and reach temperatures of 54,000 °F.

The area around Winner consists of grass hills, without any trees, so our massive metal vehicle with 8 foot tall radio and satellite antennas would be an easy target for a cloud-to-ground lightning.

Normally when a bolt of lightning strikes a car, the outer surface and frame of the car will carry the electricity. It often discharges through one of the tires leaving the inside occupants unharmed. Our storm-chasing vehicle however, has a ton of extra metal racks for the radars, radios, satellites, tools, etc so the risk of a lightning strike going directly through the inside of our vehicle would be a lot higher, which wouldn’t be good.

We tuned the radio to a static noise channel. Each time a lightning strike was a few seconds away from hitting, the static sound would go up in tone. Jeremy instructed me that if the static radio sounds becomes a really high sound, I’d have to let go of the wheel and pedal because there was a decent chance of getting hit by lightning.
The adrenalin was definitely flowing in our vehicle once the static sound went up to the highest level, I quickly let go of the wheel and gas pedal, and the lightning hit very close by. This ended up happening 3 times in a row before we were able to get ahead of the storm.

By the time we got ahead of the super cell, it was nearly midnight and the storm wasn’t capable of producing any tornadoes so we called it a night.

With storm chasing you need to make constant decisions about which storm to go after, how fast and which direction the is storm moving, and what the target area is. Often there are 2 or 3 storms with similar potential and you just have to make the decision and go for it.

The first few weeks of May were remarkably quiet with only a few confirmed isolated tornadoes. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any tornadoes on this trip, we were 30-50 miles out when several small tornadoes were on the ground.

 


About a week after I left Tornado Alley, a major tornado outbreak took place from May 21 – 27, 2011, which caused 180 tornadoes. Time for me to get back in the study books to learn more about severe weather, and to pass my spotter network exam.

Below are a photo and video from our previous Storm Chase. You can read more about it here


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San Francisco

SF has a bit of a European vibe, cool buildings, nice people, public transport and many good restaurants and bars. Last weekend Jen and I wandered around the city for a few days. Here are a some random pics from the city and our drive back to LA.








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Volcom Canada Skateboard Tour

The Volcom Canada Tour is in full effect with Dennis Busentiz, Geoff Rowley, David Gravette, Aaron Suski and Chris Pfanner, along with some of our Canadian rippers.


Right after the end of the first demo a kid tried a 360 flip late flip down the big set of stairs and smashed his head on the ground. Lots of blood gushed out of the back of his head and I thought he fractured his skull.


The ambulance took him to the hospital and after a night of observation, he got away with stitches and a concussion.


David Gravette battling the streets


Mornin’ grub at one of the many fine breakfast spots in Toronto


Kids were going mental over these shirts


Aaron Suski and David Gravette back each other up. The lane ended up with 5 bowling balls and an angry looking bowling alley manager, good times!


Aaron Suski bs tailslide


Dennis Busenitz skates everything so easy, from transitions to ledges to banks, full speed 88 miles an hour, good shit.


Spot check, where to go next


Short cut in the rain


Skate stoppers are there to get removed


Spot check with the crew


David Gravette, frontside noseblunt

Here are 2 posts from the Volcom site about the tour:
Post 1
Post 2

More tour photos coming soon


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