My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

“One Tough Mudder”

"Tough Mudder"

“Tough Mudder”

Englishtown, NJ was the site of a photo shoot that was done through a meet-up group called ‘Adventures in Photography’. Some people may wonder WHY a meet-up group? Well for me, working full-time and having family as a priority in my busy life…. the problem is, how do I fit in a big passion of mine… photography? The easy answer is to seek out different venues that will help me satisfy my camera ‘A.D.D.’ and yet fit into a hectic life. Groups like ‘Adventures in Photography’ feed my shooting appetite by offering different events and locales. The Tough Mudder Event was one I could not pass up. I feel you have to be a little curious, and at times adventurous, to fill the addictive jitters one gets when not shooting for extended periods of time. This event turned out to be a 7 course feast for the eyes and some other senses described below.

It takes a sense of humor above all to even think about participating. Most people competed in groups and this camaraderie was evident all around me as these herds of happy, wet, mud covered participants found their way through each obstacle. When you view the images, as I did many times during the editing process, my sense of taste was put on notice. TASTE you say… yes… just look at what they went through. Mud seemed to find its way everywhere. Taking these shots, hearing their groans and watching the different shades and textures of mud make its way into every orifice, stirred this curiosity. Happy to say I did not experience the taste, just witnessed the aftermath of facial contortions. The sights and sounds were non-stop, from leaping off platforms, to my favorite… crawling through ‘real’ electrified wires. What was very clear throughout this spectacle of self-torture, was a constant hand given to help and encourage anyone with or behind them.

In my mind you would have to be very adventurous, a lil’ crazy, have a great sense of humor, while a low sense of taste and smell would be helpful. Most of all, you would have to be one tough mudder… or at the very least, have one who will drag you through all the obstacles.

32 responses

  1. Awesome pictures Mike.. It looks like it was a blast.. 😀


    January 7, 2014 at 5:05 pm

  2. I love the idea of an “Adventures in Photography” group, and wish we had one here in Omaha. What a wonderful opportunity, and what a beautiful job you’ve done with your portfolio. Many amazing images, but my favorite has to be the tenth (1385). Wish you all that you wish for in 2014, Mike!


    December 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    • So right Gary… that has been my ‘go to’ for unique things to shoot when I am not traveling. All my best to you and your family.


      December 30, 2013 at 9:54 am

  3. Absolutely FANTASTIC action shots Mike! You captured this event so well that I will NEVER (ever) have to participate to find out what it is like!


    December 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    • Are you sure, I could see Brent trying it… on a dirt bike :-0 Big thanks for checking in.


      December 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

  4. Great shots, Mike. You’ve captured the fun and excitement of the event. Your images brought back memories of the time when I took my two boys to a mud run. They were covered from head to toe in thick mud. Something about being able to dirty freely brings out the joy of people young or old. 🙂


    December 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    • Thank you Emily… you last sentence sure was at the heart of the essay.


      December 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

  5. Wonderful shots Mike! You have captured the pain, the agony, the triumph, the emotions, and the fun! This event looks like so much fun and it has been a goal of my to participate… Maybe someday! Thanks for giving me front row seats!


    December 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    • Anytime Cynthia…. be careful what you wish for… I can see Dan smiling right now. Really appreciate the comments.


      December 24, 2013 at 12:49 pm

  6. Great set of stunning captures and great documentary. Had no idea anything like this even happened…


    December 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    • I know what you are saying… its kinda cool how different parts of our world have these tiny gems for us to find and share. I am sure in Spain these lil events show themselves to you. Thanks for visiting Alessandro… don’t be surprised if a crazy gringo taps you on the shoulder this summer 🙂 It looks like Santiago, Espana this summer if they will release me from the USA.


      December 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm

  7. Really great captures and story. Are you planning on returning next year?


    December 23, 2013 at 7:51 am

    • Good question… I usually wait about 2yrs before returning to most events I have shot. Thanks for the comment Mike.


      December 23, 2013 at 10:01 am

  8. What a wonderful event — and your captures are just brilliant!!


    December 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    • Thanks ‘FG’ for the visit and I will try and stay a lil more focused next year 🙂


      December 23, 2013 at 2:06 am

  9. Cindy

    Hi Mike!
    I love them all! But hey they have to have a bit of “crazy” and loads of humor.
    Merry Christmas!


    December 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    • Hey ‘Happy Holidays to you also… really glad you enjoyed it.


      December 23, 2013 at 10:04 am

  10. LisaS.

    Wow! What a collection of images. You have outdone yourself this time. Who would have known an event like this was happening in NJ. Great club source for subject matter. I will have to look in to that. As always, an impressive narrative. Love the facial expressions. Great captures. My favs. -72, 47, FB-3RD & FB-HM. Looks like you have satisfied your camera “addiction jitters” with this group. What’s the story behind the forehead graffiti? By the way, awesome cover image. Award winning, literally. Congratulations! Happy Holidays!


    December 22, 2013 at 11:27 am

    • Big smile… really appreciate your time to view this essay in depth… those Meet-up’s never cease to surprise me too. The forehead # question was a good one, and i wondered myself. They wear a number that is stuck on their shirt but they have found in the past that it is covered in mud… so when participants try and find their pics which are posted by number …. it was impossible….. hence… # in marker on your head 🙂


      December 23, 2013 at 10:11 am

      • LisaS.

        You’re welcome. Always a pleasure to read your narratives and view your images. Have a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!


        December 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm

  11. Oh my gosh, what an incredible photo shoot. Just loved your post and all of the images.


    December 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    • Thanks Larry… as you can see I shoot animals of a diff kind… not unlike you exquisite wildlife pics 🙂
      Really appreciate you stopping by.


      December 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm

  12. Ahh! I’m going to share this with a girlfriend of mine. She’s a Tough Mudder! Very cool shots!


    December 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    • Love it… please share away and thanks!!!!


      December 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

  13. Mike, you never cease to amaze me. One minute you are cranking out Ansel Adams level landscapes and then you document an event like this better than any news photographer could have. Great work, you really captured the spirit, energy and even the colors of this event.


    December 21, 2013 at 11:29 am

    • Hey just knowing what you put into your own work, thats a real compliment… I’m just real happy all that mud stayed on the subjects…. errrr… well most of it 🙂


      December 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

  14. THIS will catch you off guard but what the heck?  I’ve thought it too many times. I’m sayin it…

    When my children and I drive here we wonder if a person such as yourself would like to come… bring your family as long as there are less than six we can make do quickly. YEP I am new at this inviting strangers over the Internet  And you would be almost our first company or guests or visitors … it’s a bit remote…. 

    LOL But I’ve thought it TOO MANY TIMES. We’re amateur photogs and we get NOTHING like you would get here nearly YEAR ROUND.  And yet we get astonishing pictures. I imagine what YOU would see as some of your photos are … QUITE GOOD. I’d ask that other guy Mike but he’s way the hell in australia .>>> LOL !!! But isn’t he amazing???

    Well I’m sending it … close your blog and hide I guess or put it in your thinking cap and holler out if you’d ever like to come.

    Warm Regards, Laura Thacker and Sons  and at any rate Happy Holidays and a peaceful lovely New Year to you and yours  

           “We grow to be who we are around the stake of what we love.”  (Anna Funder)  



    December 21, 2013 at 4:53 am

    • Thank you Laura, what a sincere thought and if I am ever down or close by I will give you a shout out.


      December 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      • laura thacker

        OH my gosh I didn’t know that would go on your blog. I meant to email it to you.. no wonder you never answered !!! LOL I don’t mind if you remove it…. (sorry) but I DO LOVE YOUR WORK SO MUCH AND MEANT EVERY WORD. At least I didn’t scare you … LOL I hope.


        December 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm

  15. Linda Kamholz

    Hey, Mike. What great shots. Love ’em all. I bet you had a blast, too!


    December 20, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    • Sure did Linda… thanks for the comment.


      December 21, 2013 at 1:27 am

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