The Andy Aupperlee Explosion 5000

Tag: Vistas

The Adventure Wedding

by on Sep.13, 2012, under Nature, Party, Places, Portrait, Sport, Vistas, Washington State, Weddings

Wedding Party and Ice Axes

You know you have cool friends when one of them asks if you are interested in photographing his wedding on a glacier. I never for a minute thought he was joking—it made perfect sense to me. Russ and I were backcountry skiing last November when he first mentioned his and Kala’s plans to get married in the wilderness. Both Kala and Russ have bagged dozens of peaks, routes, climbs, scrambles, skis, ridges, saddles and anything else on a mountain in the Pacific Northwest. I did not doubt Russ and Kala’s resolve to have a wedding perched on the side of a mountain; but once I ventured onto the Sulphide glacier with them and two dozen guests and the weather turned, I began to wonder if it would really happen.
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Seattle from Kerry Park

by on Sep.17, 2009, under Night Photography, Queen Anne, Seattle, Vistas

Seattle from Kerry Park (72 DPI)Flickr | Large

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.

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A Bridge from Air, Land & Sea

by on Jun.12, 2009, under Fremont, Night Photography, Queen Anne, Seattle, Sunsets, Vistas

Fremont Lights

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.

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The Sun Sets on Twenty Six

by on Sep.18, 2008, under Seattle, Sunsets, Vistas

The Space Needle and The Brothers.
Taken from a roof near 15th and Howell in Capitol Hill.
7:30 PM. September 14, 2008.
Nikon D300. Nikon 18-200mm VR lens @ 170mm.
Manual. 1/125 sec @ f/5.6. ISO 200.

I found myself on the roof of an apartment building on my twenty seventh birthday. The plan was to meet up with Sharat in Capitol Hill, get dinner with him and Caitlin and then head to the Spiritualized concert at Neumos (review coming soon). Since I planned on shooting the show, I had the D300 and some gear in tow. When I arrived at Caitlin’s condo, Sharat informed me that she had a meeting and would be tied up for a few more minutes. After sitting in her smartly decorated apartment for a few minutes, I commented on how nice of a place it was. He agreed.

“Not bad, right?! It even has roof access. Hey, let’s go up there.”

Roof access? Nice. Not seeing a stairway anywhere, I start walking towards the door. Sharat beckons me to come into the other room, “Roof access is in here.” I walk into Caitlin’s bedroom and see Sharat sliding out of a window onto a fire escape. Roof access? Shit.

Sharat scurries up the iron ladder while I contemplate hanging off the side of a building. After Sharat reaches the top, I diligently begin my slow ascent. I am not sure if 26-year-old-Andy would have been any less cautious, but the newly 27-year-old-Andy did not have any rush. “Three points of contact, yall!” Thanks for the tip, Sharat. The vista that awaits me on the roof is worth the moderate anxiety of climbing an old ladder. The Puget Sound, Olympic Mountains, Space Needle and Seattle skyline contrast prominently with the gold September sky.

Sharat offers to run down and grab my camera after I realize I should have brought it. I am grateful to him for this since I did not want to climb that ladder anymore than I had to. To avoid photographing electrical lines, I positioned the camera several inches from the surface of the roof. Since Program Exposure or any automatic mode always ruins sunsets; I took a meter reading of the sky straight above my head, switched to manual, plugged in the settings and worked from there. Since my Dell (loaded with Photoshop) insists on showing me her Blue Screen of Death, I could not edit this photo. This image, for all intensive purposes, comes straight out of my Nikon D300. I promise to repost a cleaned up image once the Dell is fixed or I drop $2.5k and finally get a MacBook Pro.


Who does not love zany Capitol Hill hipsters and their hilarious sense of irony? I found this sign at 11th and Denny. I cannot think of a better neighborhood to display it. Capitol Hill is easily the most progressive and artistic neighborhood in Seattle. Wild fashions and alternative lifestyles are not simply tolerated, they are essentially the dress code. As with any effervescent center of music, fashion, and art; the progeny of its denizens ranges from the everlasting to the ephemeral. Much can be made of any single moment, especially when the moment-makers are striving to be earnest. I still smile at Jack Kerouac’s clever turn of phrase, “art is short, life is long.” It is easy to succumb to the gravity of a scene or cultural whim. Remembering that such episodes are likely “ONLY A FAD” serves as a poignant check. Ultimately, the details of our discourse are unimportant. What really matters is that we had the conversation.
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The Moon and Mount Baker

by on Aug.19, 2008, under Sunsets, Vistas, Washington State

Mount Baker from Lynden, Washington.
August 16, 2008. 8:39 PM.
Nikon D300. Nikon 18-200mm VR lens @ 112mm.
Program Exposure. 1/4 sec @ f/5.3. ISO 200.

Here are few shots of Mount Baker from Uncle Jim & Aunt Sharon’s house in Lynden, Washington. We were just sitting down to dinner when my cousin, Derek, noticed the moon coming up. For this exposure, I used my dad’s classic technique. I dialed in ISO 200, threw the D300 in P mode, pointed straight up into the sky, half-pressed the shutter release to get a metering, tapped the AE-lock button, recomposed on the mountain and fired.

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Summer Seattle Sunset

by on Jul.10, 2008, under Capitol Hill, Seattle, Sunsets, Vistas

Lake Union and The George Washington Bridge.
Seattle, WA. 8:54 PM. July 7, 2008.
Nikon D300. Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens.
Manual. 1/125 sec @ f/10. ISO 200.

The fifty degree weather of clouds and rain that plagued Seattle through May seems long behind us. Atmospheric conditions in the Pacific Northwest are nearly perfect right now. Seattleites don rain jackets and pour coffee down their throats during the winter because they know life in July, August and September is unrivaled anywhere else.

Throughout much of the year, The Puget Sound withholds its beauty; only occasionally does it allow un-overcast glimpse of mountains, water and sky. About a week ago, I drove along 10th Avenue in Capitol Hill on my way back to Wallingford from Volunteer Park. The view looking west was striking: Lake Union, The George Washington Bridge, Gas Works Park, Queen Anne, Ballard and The Olympic Mountains. Expansive vistas like these boldly contrast with the limitless gray endured during the winter.

I decided to return to the 10th Avenue vantage point with my camera on a clear night to catch the sunset. Unfortunately, there weren’t too many clouds in the sky to play with the light, but this image conveys the absolute wonderful climate we are experiencing here in the corner of the country. Let me know when you’ll be visiting.

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Smoke Flowers: Fourth of July at Gas Works

by on Jul.05, 2008, under Night Photography, Seattle, Vistas, Wallingford

Gas Works Park. Seattle, WA. July 4th, 2008.
Nikon D300. Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens @ 11mm.
Manual. 6.9 sec @ f/7.1. ISO 200.

Like everywhere else in the world, yesterday was the 4th of July in Seattle, Washington. To celebrate the birthday of the greatest nation known to God; Jon, The Intern and I staged a party. Friends and coworkers descended on 4411 Bagley for one last gathering before we move out of the legendary pad in August (turns out a lease is only a lease, just ask the British about Hong Kong). The party also served as a sendoff for Jon as he prepares to move to Chicago next week. Forever new frontiers, right Jonny?

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