About Us - "Grass roots" video at its best!

Enjoying the Great Outdoors!Please let me introduce myself. My name is Jon Shannon (aka The Sierra Nomad). I am the producer of the DVDs you'll find on this website, and the owner of this company. I am just an average person that has a great passion for the natural world around us.

As a prospective customer, what you want to know most about me is, Do I produce enjoyable, practical, helpful & accurate DVDs? Or more to the point: Have you found what you are looking for? After all, I am not a slick Hollywood Producer, nor do I have a fancy title or letters to put at the end of my name. So ultimately, my work has to stand on its own (and to that end you can find a clip from each DVD on its web page). But why should you bother to consider my products? What are my "credentials"?
Perhaps I should start with my passion for the outdoors. After all, it's this passion that fueled my desire to make a great product, it's this passion that kept me at my computer for hours on end to master the video editing process; then to edit, and re-edit the same clip over and over, going over it with a fine-toothed comb so the final product would inspire the viewer, making him or her want to get out on the trail.

Hmmm. How to convey the depth of my love for the outdoors without this becoming a novel? I've been hiking since I was old enough to walk. All of my vacations are hiking vacations. I don't go places to see a town's architecture, to visit amusement parks or museums. When I pick travel destinations, it's always with a mind to experience it as it really is: to commune with its mountains, meadows, rivers and lakes, its flora and fauna. I want to learn about its geology and natural history. Of all the ecosystems I spend time with, though, Yosemite's ecosystems are most dear to me. I've lived here just about all my life, and every chance I get I'll head to Yosemite to be mesmerized by its majesty and delicate beauty. My DVDs reflect this passion.
The information presented is thorough and well-researched. I've been a public speaker for over 20 years, regularly speaking before audiences of 100 or more. I've been trained in the art of developing material that is coherent, interesting, thorough and useful.

Here too, my life-long passion for the outdoors gave me an advantage: I already had a solid understanding of these parks before I even cracked a book. Some of the referance books But I did "crack a book", in fact many books. I realized that the experience that I had with these parks, substantial though it was, was just the experience of one person. So I bought and studied books relating to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite geology, flora, fauna, trails, natural history and more. I also owe a lot to various members of Grand Canyon & Yosemite forums, some members of which are or have been Park Rangers.

It can be a challenge to choose what information to present and what to leave out. It is my belief that this type of DVD is more enjoyable if the focus is on the video scenes and not on narration. Reverance for the beauty and majesty found in nature often demands silence. Yet there is so much information to present that it was a real challenge to prevent the narration from taking over. I accomplished this by including charts that give trail statistics, having contact information presented as unobtrusive text, etc.
Filming in YosemiteMy goal in filming and video editing was to produce a DVD that would nurture a love and appreciation for nature. I wanted to excite and inspire those who were in the process of trip planning. My goal, too, was to create a cherished souvenir, something that would be viewed later and often as a reminder of the wonderful experiences had.

After several months of trying different products it became apparant that I wasn't going to be able to achieve the results I was looking for with consumer-level equipment. So I invested a substantial amount of money in "prosumer" video camera and lenses (Panasonic DVC-30, Canon 1.7X Teleconverter, Century .55X Reversible), etc.; and video editing/DVD authoring suite (Sony Vegas Pro 8/DVD Architect Pro 4.5).

I've been an avid photographer for many years, intrigued by the art involved in trying to capture the essence of the nature subject. Shooting video, then, came naturally, Video editing at the computersomewhat easily. In fact, I was fascinated with the increased artistic possibilities that open up when shooting video. Of course, there were some "growing pains" in learning video, but I have come to be a big fan of it as a media.

Video editing and DVD authoring, on the other hand, required a huge investment in time and effort. An artistic strain runs strong in my family, so deciding what to do with each clip to make it an interesting and enjoyable part of the whole was fun, but learning how to do it was labor-intensive and often frustrating. It was here that my passion for nature and strong desire to inspire this in others gave me the motivation to keep going.

Having put so much of myself into these DVDs, I would not get a feeling of satisfaction with monetary benefits alone. The feedback I am getting tells me that my goal has been reached - namely that my DVDs are inspiring and motivating their viewers. This means a lot to me.

Happy Trails!

Jon Shannon (The Sierra Nomad)
My favorite misspellings of Yosemite: Yozemite, Yocemite, Yosemiti, Yozemiti, Yocemiti, Yosemity, Yozemity, Yocemity, Yosemitee, Yozemitee, Yocemitee, Yosemitie, Yozemitie, Yocemitie, Yosemete, Yozemete, Yocemete, Yosemeti, Yozemeti, Yocemeti, Yosemety, Yozemety, Yocemety,Yosemetie,Yozemetie, Yocemetie, Yosemetee, Yozemetee, Yocemetee, Yosemate, Yozemate, Yocemate, Yosemati, Yozemati, Yocemati, Yosematy, Yozematy, Yocematy, Yosematie, Yozematie, Yocematie, Yosematy, Yozematy, Yocematy.