If anyone thought that Russ & Kala were going to have a traditional wedding, they obviously do not know Russ and Kala. I first heard of the idea last November when Russ and I were doing some backcountry skiing near Mount Baker. Russ explained to me that Kala and him were thinking about staging their wedding in an atypical venue for such an occassion: the base of glacier on Mount Shuksan. My immediate reaction: cool. As we got further up the skin track while skiing, Russ proceeded to ask me if I would be interested in photographing the wedding. Since the approach to the wedding ceremony involved about 3,000′ feet of vertical gain through forests, along ridges and ultimately travel on glaciers, Russ commented that a typical wedding photographer might not suit their purposes very well. Of course I had to accept; and thus began my involvement with the Russ & Kala Adventure Wedding.
Adam and McKenna are engaged? Didn’t see that one coming. Actually—that’s a lie. From the minute these two met, they’ve had one of those relationships that seem to be hotter than first season of Gossip Girl. After months of disgustingly cute Facebook PDA-ing, Adam proposed to make things official in March of this year. If these two look familiar, it’s because they are. This isn’t their first go-round on the Andy Aupperlee Explosion 5000 (see Movember). Adam, a fellow blogger himself, also has endeared himself to this photographer because he actually leaves comments on my posts! For these reasons and many more, I was delighted to make a few photos of these two.
The conditions were such that I simply had to take some photographs. February Seattle was being treated to unseasonably spectacular weather, it was the weekend and I just adopted a new member into the Explosion family… a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. After enjoying a literal boat-load of sushi on Friday night, I got a phone call from UPS around 9:30 PM saying that my new hunk of glass was at their Seattle hub. Sharat and I bombed down to Georgetown in the Explorer and picked it up just before Josh, the UPS customer service rep, called it quits at 10 PM. Since I knew Saturday was going to be as clear as Friday, I made up my mind to be at a particular spot in West Seattle as the sun came up. Sharat quickly translated my proclomation into reality by iPhoning an almanac: surise at about 7 AM. The best light of a sunrise occurs in the hour before the sun becomes visible. This meant getting to my spot around 6 AM, which called for a 5:30 AM wake-up time. On a Saturday. I know.
I noticed a lookout point on Admiral Way when I drove over to West Seattle earlier in the week to meet a couple of friends. The photographer bell went off in my head and I began thinking about how I could shoot it. Immediately I settled on shooting a sunrise because the silhouetted buildings with their lights might look great against the mountains and morning sky. With the convergence of the weather, the weekend and new gear—Saturday was going to be my moment of truth.
Nick Kartje asked me if I would photograph him and his brother Pete. They wanted to make some prints to give to their parents as a Christmas present. Since I happen to think this is an excellent idea, I was more than happy to help out with the shooting portion of their gift. In true Explosion 5000 fashion, I hauled out a truckload of lighting equipment and recruited a trusty assistant (Gus) to capture the Brothers Kartje.
Nikon D300. Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens.
1/160 sec. @ f/7.1. ISO 200.