Nick and Sara are getting married this Saturday. As he was one of the first people I met when I moved to Seattle nearly 5 years ago, I was honored when Nick asked me to handle photography at his wedding; and after getting to know Sara over the last few months, I can safely say this is going to be a fun event. As part of the pre-wedding prep, Nick, Sara and I huddled up on Monday night to shoot a few photos. In little more than three hours, we shot in three locations and racked up over 500 shutter actuations. The above photo is from the final set: the kitchen. Sara is particularly adroit in all things baking, and Nick lacks no shyness in having a bite or two. While they were no doubt hamming it up a little for the camera, I have a feeling this scene is not an atypical one for either of them.
My good friend and frequent creative co-conspirator, Jill Marasigan, recently launched a design and event planning business, P31 Collaborative. Jill asked me to photograph some of the interior spaces that feature her handy work with the intent to use the final images as part of her professional portfolio. So far the collection includes a house in Queen Anne and a loft in South Lake Union.
Digital photography is a blessing and a curse. How great is it that you can shoot over 1,000 pictures on one card, on one charge, at different ISOs and never have to reach into your bag? The obvious downside is that you’re also looking at serious time on the couch with your laptop trying to sort through all these stills. After shooting the Product Runway fashion show at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall last August, the counter on my camera was well over 1,500 frames. I guess I just “got into the moment” and blasted away. I had so many pictures that the best way to sort through them was holding down an arrow key while watching different scenes flash across the screen. Almost instantly, a little thought cloud appeared above my head that read, “this would look cool as a short film.” Over the next six months I kicked it around a little bit, borrowed some software, failed, thought about it again, bought some software and eventually finished the short video above. I haven’t counted, but I think there are well over 1,000 still photographs in the film. Also, please check it out a HD full screen version by visiting its home on Vimeo or downloading your very own copy here. It’s also on YouTube, if that’s your thing (or if you’re on an iPhone).
Product Runway is a unique competition for Pacific Northwest interior designers, suppliers and architects. Teams are formed several months in advance at a swanky event that serves as the competition’s kick-off party (the Explosion was there). Designers are paired with design suppliers, and the rules state that the team must design a haute couture piece culled exclusively from the materials the supplier works with. All the outfits featured in the show are made from things like carpet, tile, tubing, metal surfaces, etc. Given these constraints, the results are absolutely stunning. I was thrilled when my friend Jill, one of the directors of the event, asked me to shoot the show. Few things are as fun photographically as creating art out of other people creating art. Below are a few of my favorite stills from the evening.
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.
Kerry Park features one of the most iconic views of Seattle. Nestled several hundred feet up Queen Anne hill, the tiny plot of land features a sweeping vista of downtown Seattle, Elliot Bay, West Seattle, and Mount Rainier. On any given gorgeous night, photographers, tripods and enough camera gear to make Ken Rockwell blush line the fence at Kerry Park. Although this was my second expedition at this photog hot spot, it was my first foray into creating a commissioned image.
After a day of grilling, margarita making and half-drunk musical pursuits; I ended up at a Fourth of July Party in Queen Anne. Despite having had my fair share of Hornitos (via Sharat), I remembered to bring my camera and tripod. Fellow photog Rich Schwandt and I perched ourselves on a second story balcony overlooking Lake Union and opened fire on the Seattle sky.
The George Washington Memorial Bridge is not in this picture. My camera, a Nikon D300, is hanging over the edge of the aforementioned structure, better known as the Aurora Bridge. I bolted the camera to a tripod, tilted it against the rail, and extended the center post so that the camera hovered some 160 feet above the ground. With a remote shutter release clenched tightly in my fist, I fired off frame after frame. The result is the latest addition to my “Scene from 99” series. In this entry, I captured the George Washington Memorial Bridge from the air (above), land and sea (below).
“Scene from 99” is an ongoing series exclusive to the Andy Aupperlee Explosion 5000 that features images and commentary about Seattle’s iconic Highway 99.