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Explorer Spotlight: Jonathan Sinclair

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Name: Jonathan Sinclair | Age: 27 | Location: Alberta, Canada

What’s your day job?
Energy regulator

What are your favorite things to do outside?
I really enjoy hiking with my camera in hand and tripod in my backpack.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
When I was younger my parents would take me along with them as they hiked in the Canadian Rockies. So ever since I was young, I have been in the outdoors and continue to love it to this day.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
My favorite hometown adventure would be visiting Alberta’s tallest waterfall, Kakwa Falls in Kakwa Wildland Provincial Park. With a very challenging 20km off-road ATV trail to the falls, it makes for a long but rewarding experience! Upon return to the City, a stop for a brew at the Canadian Brewhouse is a must!

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
1. Samsung Galaxy S5 - this is a crucial part of my gear, not only is it a phone, it provides GPS maps, controls my GoPro and Sony A7 through WiFi, is equipped with an excellent onboard 16mp camera that allows me to catch those unexpected moments when my camera is not around and is crucial for my social media sites.
2. Sony a7 - this is the greatest camera I’ve ever owned, it’s a full frame camera in a very small and compact frame. It takes incredible photographs and doesn’t weight me down on the trail.
3. GoPro Hero4 - used mainly for videos, I enjoy documenting my adventures and using it to capture those “unreal” angles.
4. My camera filters (polarizer and neutral density) because sometimes the sun is just to harsh to capture the scene.

What’s your favorite trail snack?
Trail-mix of any kind really, provides protein and energy without weighing you down.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
For a while I had the Into the Wild soundtrack by Eddie Vedder on repeat. It got me pumped for a wilderness adventure!

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/or, the funniest?
Just recently, I was hiking in Kananaskis Country when I slipped and dislocated my shoulder. This was my first physical injury ever, and when I realized that my arm was bent in the wrong direction, it was pretty frightening! Had to walk down the mountain for a few kilometers until I reached the parking lot, and then had a 45 minute drive to the hospital in Canmore.

The funniest thing that happened was when I was photographing a very windy frozen lake. I had set up my camera on a tripod for a selfie, then started to walk into my shot, when I realized that the wind had started to blow my camera away! I had to run after my camera and tripod as it slid away for a good several hundred meters.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
My buddy Andrew and I have travelled quite a bit, having adventures throughout the world. We were just in Iceland last year, and our adventure takes us to Costa Rica next in April 2015.

Chris Burkard's, California based surf photographer, images inspire me to get outside and try and capture the beauty of our natural world. The way he pairs exotic unworldly landscapes with a human presence makes for excellent images that tell a story of adventure and travel.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
My top destinations for adventure travel are Iceland, Costa Rica, and the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
Visiting the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, and Palouse Falls in Washington are on top of my list right now. I'm planning to do a PNW trip this year hopefully.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
This photo is my most memorable because of the conditions that morning. Having slept in my truck in Banff the night before, I awoke to a cold, snowy, and overcast morning. With a plan to meet at Lake Minnewanka to photograph the sunrise, it was looking bleak due to the cloud cover. This was the first morning that I had met Brooke, and I really wanted to walk away with a good shot since it was my first time visiting the Lake in Banff National Park. We met at the Lake about 40 mins prior to sunrise, and just sat in our vehicles trying to wait out the snowy/rainy conditions. Eventually we decided to just take a quick walk to the lake to see if there were any shots we could get. After about 5 mins of walking along the shore, I noticed a rock island that would be perfect for a person to stand in for a landscape shot. After a little convincing, Brooke crossed the sketchy log and posed for this photo. I really enjoy this photo because it reminds me that great shots are always possible regardless of how bleak the weather is. Even if the sunrise looks like it’s going to be clouded over, still go out there and capture the beauty of the morning.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
“There’s a great photo to be taken at every stop, regardless of weather, it is up to you to find it and capture the beauty that is not always easily found.”

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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