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Nick & Ashleigh’s wedding at Cape Ray Hilton

Weddings you get to photograph that involve your good friends are always the best. Nick and Ashleigh are two storm chase tour operators (Extreme Tornado Tours) and I love them to pieces. They asked me to shoot their wedding at the Cape Ray Hilton last winter and of course I couldn’t wait. Lots of other chaser friends showed up and it was a blast. Even had an “after party” at a mansion where Nick did some DJ-ing and there was carne asada. Couldn’t ask for much more!

A trip to the beach

In early July I had to photograph a wedding in La Jolla, so we packed up the family and made it a three-day weekend. Also joining us was our friends the Hoskins…Aaron helped out with the wedding as a second shooter, Marisa and kids hung out with Jina and kids while we were working. In between the wedding though, we hung at the beach and had an awesome time.

Lyla and Isaac were maybe kinda dating by the end of the trip, I dunno…all I DO know is Lyla cried when she realized she wasn’t going to see him again for awhile haha.

Here’s some of my favorites from those few days.

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A Corona by Moonlight

Moonlight Corona
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 22mm, iso 1000, f/9, 13 sec)

Something a wee bit different today.

A few weeks ago I was in Florida shooting a wedding and wanted to capture some lightning over the ocean while I was there. It didn’t happen…but this little decaying storm was perfectly silhouetted against the late night moon…it was beautiful.

And I was also wishing for an ice cold Corona for some reason.

The Astoria-Megler Bridge

Astoria_Megler Bridge
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, f/16, iso 50, 123 seconds // buy print)

I had never heard of the Astoria-Megler Bridge until we stumbled across it on our vacation a month ago to Cannon Beach. We drove north to check out the Peter Iredale shipwreck and then also the town of Astoria itself. But when I was passing by this bridge and saw all the wooden supports scattered around, I apologized to my wife and flipped a u-turn.

It was an overcast day, so I opted for a long exposure and black & white processing. I loved that bridge. We drove over it later and it was kind of creepy to just suddenly be that high over the water…and then further down you can see it drop again and is level with the ocean. Creepier still was the fog that left us driving towards Washington but seeing nothing ahead of a road going into grey and water on each side.

I loved the Cannery Pier Hotel on the left side and while I was intending to shoot only the bridge, I ended up really digging this comp. It helps give you an idea on the size of the bridge as a comparison.

Oregon…endless possibilities of things to shoot there. I feel so blessed that I’ve been able to spend time in that state.

The Peter Iredale Shipwreck | Oregon Coast

The Peter Iredale Shipwreck
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, iso 50, f/16, 119 sec, b+w 10-stop // buy print)

Last week my wife and I took a much needed mommy-daddy ONLY vacation up to the Oregon coast. No kids, no worries…just relaxing in a beach house, reading, eating good food and seeing the sights. I miss it already.

This is the Peter Iredale shipwreck. It ran ashore back in 1906 meaning it’s been sitting there for over 106 years. Incredible. Slowly over the years it’s been buried and worn away from ocean waves, wind and probably vandals. It was amazing to me how it’s there without protection. No ropes, no fences, no nothing. In fact a Toyota pickup was just off camera to the left here by about 50 feet. The guy was clamming out in the waves. I was surprised you could just drive right by it and park.

It’s a lot bigger than you would think from a picture…at the high point there it’s about 15-18 feet. It was kind of crazy walking from our car over a bluff and seeing it for the first time. No words to describe it. Looking at something that has been in the same place for 106 years and is slowly disappearing was magical and thought-provoking.

When we were planning this trip, I knew I wanted to go here. I’d seen a few photos and couldn’t believe how close it was to Cannon Beach. I’ve been up that way before but had no idea about the ship wreck until recently.

The day was foggy and rainy, so I opted for some black and white long exposures.

 

Point Break

After the wedding we shot a week and a half ago in Malibu, my buddy Rick and I took the Pacific Coast Highway back to Los Angeles. We were both exhausted from an early morning flight, a lot of shooting outdoors and just a long day in general. We had just enough energy to make one stop off the highway and walk down some worn-down stairs to the beach far below.

It’s another edition of Movie Title Wednesday and this week the film is Point Break for obvious reasons I think. I’ve seen the movie and I remember liking it, but I honestly don’t remember much more than Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, a bank robbery and masks.  I know a lot of people who dig this film, curious how many of you out there liked it? I’ve always been a Reeves fan even though most people don’t think he can act. I think he’s a fine actor, the problem is, he has one style that works and that’s about it. Speed is one of my all-time favorite action films and of course you have The Matrix.

I rarely get to the ocean despite living fairly close to California, so I was excited to at least shoot a few images during our day-trip. The ocean is awe-inspiring and frightening for me at the same time. I hope someday to do more of this and have a nice, fat 10-stop ND filter on me so I can really make the images I want to, but in the meantime, I liked how this turned out. I don’t always put a lot of time into processing my images these days, but I spent plenty on this . Phototools was especially useful to help create a nice color contrast between the water and the rocks.

I hope Rick posts his sometime soon because he had a 10-stop and I loved the way his looked right out of the camera.

(exif: canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 20mm, f/25, iso 100

Candice and David

Showing up to shoot a wedding is interesting. You are worried about making sure you have all your equipment. All your gear. Batteries. Cards. Lenses. Flashes. Everything. Then you worry about getting the shots and what’s next on the agenda.

But in the middle of it…you realize that this day has nothing to do with you. It’s all about them.

All this kind of hit me on Sunday during Candice and David’s wedding. Three pictures below is a photo of Candice from behind right after they finished doing her hair. She was about to get up, but I had spotted this shot a few minutes before and so I asked her to sit back down just for a moment. Her mom was standing right by me, I think she saw what I was trying to get…and she started to cry.

I wasn’t expecting that at all. And it moved me big time. What an amazing thing to be able to record a day like this for a family. All I could do the rest of the day was think of my own daughter someday. And how I don’t know if I can get through that!

My buddy Rick Young, who helped me shoot Dee and Yulia’s wedding earlier this year, asked me to second shoot with him for Candice and David’s wedding on a beach in Malibu. We flew out on Sunday morning, shot the wedding, took a nice drive back to L.A. along the Pacific Coast Highway and then caught a plane back home that night. A long day. Sunburns. Hard work. But fulfilling work.

The images below are the ones I took, but Rick and I did a joint blog posting today for Candice and David, so please check out his point of view when you are done here!

I really loved this couple. They were so relaxed and fun. David was classified as a goofball by one of his friends, but he was hilarious. I had a ton of fun joking around with him as we walked around the beach and the hotel grounds getting shots of the newlyweds. He also was working hard to make sure this day went well, which included having to help setup 50 chairs on the beach and go find knives to cut the wedding cake when the time came.

Candice was absolutely beautiful and looked amazing. Such a happy smile on her face all day, it was amazing to see how calm she looked in the middle of such a crazy day. They were both such a treat to photograph.

A great family, awesome friends…and a beautiful setting. Not to mention lucking out with overcast, gray skies for a noon wedding! Thanks so much guys for inviting Rick and I to capture this day for you. Hope you have a great honeymoon and enjoy the images when you return!

(You can scroll down to look at all the images, or click on the one below  to pop up a little manual slideshow! Just click the next arrows to see all the photos)

 

 

Humming by the creek

Early last Sunday morning I met my buddy Ken Peterson up near Table Mesa Road north of Phoenix. We’d had a crazy bit of cold weather move through and the snow level was supposed to be as low as it’s been in a few years.

I think we probably should have gone east of Phoenix into the Superstitions where the snow was a lot closer, but sometimes when you wake up before dark, you just can’t really be too sure!

Besides, I would have missed hanging out with Ken and this beast of a vehicle. I’d never been in a Hummer before so it was a rare treat to go barreling down dirt roads, splashing muddy water all over the windshield and making mincemeat of whatever terrain the desert could throw at us.

We hit this creek that eventually flows into Lake Pleasant. There were two half-submerged trucks in the water (see Ken’s photo here) which was mainly why we made some pretty awesome maneuvers to get down to this spot.

I’ll end up posting some shots of the trucks at some point, but I had so much fun in the Hummer that I wanted to process this for Ken. I can’t imagine ever going off-road without one of these bad boys (or some of the sick vehicles two of my buddies Jesse and John have).

(exif: canon 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 17mm, f/22, iso 100)

The foggy beach of Oceanside

Over the weekend we moved to a temporary residence on the California coast for a little rest and relaxation. I have a feeling a lot of people would have been bummed by the foggy skies that persisted most days until at least 4pm, and on Sunday they never left. Being an Arizona desert boy, hating the heating and loving weather, I obviously didn’t mind the fog, and was soaking up the chilly, breezy air in the Oceanside area.

I was so relaxed most of the time, I ended up with no desire to find some cool tidal pools to do some long-exposure sunset photos. But I snapped a few on the beach close by us and on one of the mornings the fog was really thick and these shots were all taken then.

Fog is cool obviously, I’m nowhere near the first to photography it nor love it…but it’s amazing how it kind of pulls you into a scene and creates a weird, quiet mystery about what you’re seeing.