Bukeye, Burundi // June 2014


I recently embarked on my first of hopefully many journey’s to Africa. I traveled with Oliver of Olympia Coffee Roasters in Olympia Washington. We traveled to Rwanda for a couple days then dropped down into Burundi for the remainder of the trip. My assignment was to capture the process of coffee farming and production to help tell an evolving story that is in development between Olympia Coffee Roasters and Long Miles Coffee Project. I will be posting the first installment of this evolving story in the very near future. These are some photos that I captured along the trip, I shot with Canon DSLR's and a family of pro series Tamron Lenses. I can’t wait for the opportunity to return to Africa.

Click here for more photos



A Week in Haiti

I just finished a week long shoot in Haiti. My assignment was to gather footage for a project that our friends at North 40 Productions started 2 years ago about the Wenatchee Rotary's clean water project in Haiti. I slung my trusty 5D and 7D, loaded with the new Tamron 24-70mm F2.8 VC and the Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 VC. These lenses as a pair are perfect for the fast pace documentary workflow. Shooting handheld with the VC feature on both lenses opened the opportunity for me to get smooth and stable footage. I've compiled a collection of photos that only scratch the surface of my experience among the wonderful people of Milot Haiti.  At a later date I will share the video that will emerge from the hours of footage captured while on this trip. The post production will be done by North 40 as a continuation of their Haiti story from 2 years ago.

Click here for more photos


How Wolves Change Rivers

As I've stated in previous writings, my true passion for production lies within capturing nature and landscapes.  Though it's not a consistent source of income, every once in a while cool opportunities present themselves. Recently Sustainable Man, a website that engages and informs people of sustainable ways of life, took notice in my Yellowstone and Grand Teton footage.  They’ve included it in a short documentary titled “How Wolves Changed Rivers.”  In recent history there has been a lot of conflict and difference of opinion around whether protecting wolves is more harmful than good. Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 after a complete extirpation from 1872-1926. Wolves were considered an undesirable predator in the mid west do to their threat on cattle and other livestock.  After wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in ’95 they quickly began to thrive, perhaps too quickly and un-naturally. Some people argue that there are too many wolves and in result, elk and moose numbers are significantly low, while others argue that over longer periods of time, the natural environment favors species to thrive in waves. If the elk and moose numbers get low that means less food for the wolves and naturally their numbers will begin to decrease allowing elk and moose to begin to rise again.  Some believe the only unnatural part to this whole equation is the livestock that resides within and just beyond wolf habitat which is where the extirpation came from in the beginning.

Amongst all the dramatic tension, I’m happy to provide content that helps tell the wolves story. I’m always honored to include my footage in films that promote natural spaces and an appreciation for wildlife. I applaud Sustainable Man's mission to help people see a more dynamic wolf.

Prospective | Moving Forward... 2013 Reel

In June 2013 I resigned my teaching position at Wenatchee Valley Tech to pursue running Voortex Productions full time. It was a move I had dreamt about making for a long time, it just took time to muster up the courage to follow through with my decision. It’s been six months, so of course I’m still just getting started, but I haven’t looked back. I’ve enjoyed the process of turning what was previously my part time, freelance operation into a team of five crew members in a three room office.

This coming stage of developing the company into a sustainable machine is in forward motion. We’re focusing our efforts on building a company that evolves quickly along side our clients and strives to achieve ambitiously high goals. At the end of 2012 we titled our demo reel “Retrospective” in appreciation for how far we’ve come and the strong relationships we’d built along the way. Now at the end of 2013 we’re looking forward. We’ve titled our ’13 reel “Prospective”. We hold our current relationships on high while seeking to build more. We’ve lofted our goals while moving steadily forward and we’re striving to do better productions while staying true to our core values.

So please join us this year as we create all new, exciting video content in 2014!


Primordial - Yellowstone / Grand Tetons

Primordial was shot with my trusty 5DmkII, 7D's and my family of Tamron Lenses… While on my way to teach a workshop at The Black Hills Photo Shootout in South Dakota for Outdoor Photo Workshops, I took an extra 8 days to stop in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. I had always wanted to visit Yellowstone, but in my countless trips to South Dakota I had never dropped south of I-90 for the Yellowstone experience. To be honest, I think I was nervous. Partly because of the mystifying nature of the landscape but also I felt that once I visited I would never want to leave, or that perhaps it wouldn't meet my expectations. I visited Yellowstone alone and I think for my first time, that was the way to go… Though, I was nervous, I made a point to be an opportunist and go out of my way to experience the true nature of the land to the best of my availability's. For the 3 days I was in Yellowstone, I spent most of my time trying to dry off after countless storms would roll in and swallow the caldera then roll out and give me sunshine with dark clouds looming on the horizon. I've never been afraid of lightning until this trip. Those three days introduced me to the power of Yellowstone's nature, though that was just a small taste. I would ambitiously hike out to a vantage to try and film a lightning strike until on the second day a massive bolt stuck the ground 75 yards in front of me. I had never heard anything so loud and the shape of the bolt burned into my retinas for 3 or 4 seconds. I felt a slight wave of heat radiate past me and I thought, "Ok, I'm done!" I was then officially afraid of lightning and I did my best to keep my distance. After Leaving Yellowstone I went down to the Grand Tetons (just south of Yellowstone) to meet my brother and his friend, Peter. They are both very experienced nature and wildlife photographers while I consider myself a "green horn" if you will. It was interesting to just listen to them as they worked out their strategies behind capturing wildlife. I especially enjoyed their wildlife close encounter stories from over the years. A spark to film the natural world was lit in me over the course of this trip. Though I'm happy with the video, it really just scratches the surface of how the trip really felt. Stay tuned and I hope to have a lot more nature to share. -Charley Voorhis

Wine Film - Soul of the Vine - trailer 

We've just started production on a wine film revolving around Wine Yakima Valley AVA. I'm really excited about shooting content that embodies so much passion, hard work and expertise. I love going into projects like this feeling extremely naive about the topic. I get free schooling from some of the most educated in the world at what they do. I feel challenged to raise the bar amongst experts. It's pretty humbling to learn how much I don't know about agriculture, wine and life in general.
Watch for the full film in November!


Introducing Tamron's SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD

I’m working with Tamron Lenses on a variety of projects, and they just recently sent me their SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD to put to the test in the video environment. I shoot a fare amount of photos, but I really focus on the video mode of my Canon 5D and 7Ds. For the last few years I've been shooting with Tamron's 28-75mm F/2.8 and though I've loved it's simplicity and sharpness, It lacked image stability, IS, which Tamron calls Vibration Control, VC. I was often limited to shooting video on tripods, or other stabilizing rigs, (which was actually a blessing in disguise because it forced me to shoot with more preparation and planning instead of just from the hip) but I would often find myself in situations, (following workers through coffee estates in Central America) where I needed to move quickly and capture video at an uncontrollable pace.  Keep in mind, I'm speaking from a video perspective, but the stabilization is also extremely beneficial to photographers. It will allow you to shoot handheld in even lower light. It gives an extra 3 stops of handheld shooting in low light, and perhaps more if you have your yoga breathing techniques dialed, which I don't.

Tamron has truly answered one of my gear prayers by releasing their 24-70 F/2.8 VC! While Canon has had a version on this lens for years, but never with stabilization, they are now on their second generation of this lens, and still, no stabilization! Not to mention they're wanting $2,299 for it.  While Tamron is able to get theirs in your hands at $1,299, with VC!   

How does it compare to Canon's? They're both built extremely solid and out of high quality, durable material. They both produce an extremely sharp image and they both have impressively fast, quiet auto focuses. But for me, the big separation between the two versions is stabilization. Tamron's VC opens a whole new realm for high caliber video and photography in low light. Not to mention the $1,000 you'll save that could go toward Tamron's 70-200mm F/2.8 VC.    

There are a few comparisons of Canon and Tamron's 24-70 F/2.8 out there on YouTube and they all say basically the same as I just shared, though some people claim the Canon is sharper around the edges, but if so, BARELY, and you need to zoom in 200% to even see it, That doesn't come even close to outweighing Tamron's VC and price point. Tamron has created and extremely powerful tool for capturing high-end content in a variety of environments and situations. I have a new "go to" lens!   

Great job and thank you Tamron! I can't wait to share this lens in my future talks and workshops


Caffe Mela Day in the Life - 13 hour 1 take

Caffe Mela Day in the Life - 13 Hour 1 Take AND Behind the Scenes from Voortex Productions on Vimeo.


The Mela 1 take was a project I wanted to try for a long time, and I'll say at this point it's been the most fun headache I've ever had.  I don't think you could ever really plan enough for a project like this and at some point we just had to say, "Okay, lets shoot it"
It was a first for everybody involved, which made it exciting and after doing this I hope to explore other ways of combining mediums of storytelling. 
We knew early on that we wanted to use Lemolo's music, but which song?  We conceptualized a few different ones and they all worked really well in their own way, but "Letters" stood out beyond the rest... It had the variety that would allow us to synchronize video, time-lapse and hyper lapse with the verses and chorus in a relational way.  So we took a vote, and Letters it is! I had gotten a chance to film their enchanting music once before.  After that first show I downloaded their album and broke my phone, car stereo and all my pairs of headphones from over listening.  Well, none of that is true, but I did listen a lot and repeatedly got more and more inspired for this project.  
I think with a project of this size and conceptual complexity, theres always going to be things you'd perhaps expand on or perfect, but in hindsight, for me, this video represents more of the raw nature of our community and the collaborative efforts we share. We're in and out of each others lives so quickly, yet still so frequently.  I guess if this video captures some of that, it's successful enough for me.





Josh - A new short film

About 2 years ago, I had an idea for a film… It was a very simple plot yet extremely complex in subject matter with a heavy undertone.  There are things in the world that I fear someday confronting. I'm not sure what I would do if I were faced with some of the things in this story and perhaps that's why I wanted to make a film about it. hoping that I would better understand my fears.  
We're pushing hard in post production right now when we have time between client work. I'm planning on pushing it into the festival scene this fall and of course we'll have some local screenings around September or October.  
For now, I hope you enjoy the trailer.

Josh - (Official Trailer) from Voortex Productions on Vimeo.



Patrick Foster and the Locomotive - Lift Up Your Eyes

Patrick Foster and his team of extremely talented musicians rocked out a few jams for me in this cool shop at Wells Dam. I'm honored to have worked with such talented musicians. Brandon Busch of Seattle recorded the live set with quality precision.  I'd be stoked to have him record sound for me again sometime. Thank you to my trusty crew, Greg Mares and Skarlet Franco Duran for knocking out yet another project with me. I couldn't breath without you guys. 
This is the first of three videos, so keep your eye's and ears pealed for more. And, most definitely head out to The Triple Door in Seattle for Patrick Fosters CD release show.  It's an absolutely gorgeous venue with incredible sound. I recently shot there with Ian McFeron for his music video.   
Thanks Patrick!