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Happy 4th of July! This was the first weekend I haven’t had a wedding to photograph since April! I made the most out of it going ski mountaineering climbing Coon Hill at 12,757 feet elevation. We were able to skin up to the summit as well as ski down along a cornice ridge passing a herd of mountain goats on Friday. Sat, we went for a 28 mile bike ride that included Lookout Mountain and Mother Cabrini Shrine. Sunday we watch the Tour de France, the men’s final of the Wimbledon, and fireworks with the Colorado Symphony in Civic Center Park with about 25,000 of our closest friends. Today we broke out our new Big Green Egg, grill/smoker, to cook baby back ribs.

Cheers to a free world, Kent

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Recently, I flew into Birmingham, Alabama to photograph Clay and Meghan’s wedding. Clay is my step brother, Tom’s son. When we left Denver, the pilot said that our flight path would go around a large storm and we would land ahead of it. About a half hour before landing I looked out the window and saw a huge thunderhead that was higher than we were flying at 35,000 feet. We were heading straight into it as the plane turned a little south to avoid it and we had a perfect landing.

A couple of hours later at Tom’s home the local news station was going crazy broadcasting tornado warnings for Tuscaloosa and most of northern Alabama. The biggest tornado more than a mile wide ripped through Tuscaloosa about 55 miles southwest of Birmingham and was heading toward us! It ended up being the worst storm in the state’s history killing more than 300 people and knocking out power to about a 1/4 of the state.

Somehow, the wedding was able to continue as planned a couple of days later. Tom and his other son Tyler and I drove down to Tuscaloosa where Tyler went to college at the University of Alabama. In fact, he was there the morning of the storm. His mother Krista called him and asked him to come home because of the weather reports predicting a strong possibility of tornadoes in that area. Good call Krista. Several of Tyler’s friends ended up riding out the storm in an inside closet of an apartment with 7 people, 6 dogs and a cat!

I’ve been in and seen lots of tornadoes in my lifetime but the damage from this one was by far the worst I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing that there wasn’t a much higher loss of life. The fact that it happen in late afternoon rather than in the middle of the night plus the weather report predictions had to have helped.

For those of you who may not know, I was a newspaper photojournalist for more than 20 years documenting disasters such as this. It was good to know that I still have the personality to go up to people going through the rubble of what was once there house and talk with them, photograph them and exchange email addresses so I could send them pictures.

Good luck and Godspeed to the folks in Alabama recovering from these tornadoes.

Peace, Kent

A couple of hours later at Tom’s home the local news station was going crazy broadcasting tornado warnings for Tuscaloosa and most of northern Alabama. The biggest tornado more than a mile wide ripped through Tuscaloosa about 55 miles southwest of Birmingham and was heading toward us! It ended up being the worst storm in the state’s history killing more than 300 people and knocking out power to about a 1/4 of the state.

Somehow, the wedding was able to continue as planned a couple of days later. Tom and his other son Tyler and I drove down to Tuscaloosa where Tyler went to college at the University of Alabama. In fact, he was there the morning of the storm. His mother Krista called him and asked him to come home because of the weather reporting a strong possibility of tornadoes in that area. Good call Krista. Several of Tyler’s friends ended up riding out the storm in an inside closet of an apartment with 7 people, 6 dogs and a cat!

I’ve been in and seen lots of tornadoes in my lifetime but the damage from this one was by far the worst I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing that there wasn’t a much higher loss of life. The fact that it happen in late afternoon rather than in the middle of the night plus the weather report predictions had to have helped.

For those of you who may not know, I was a newspaper photojournalist for more than 20 years documenting disasters such as this. It was good to know that I still have the personality to go up to people going through the rubble of what was once there house and talk with them, photograph them and exchange email addresses so I could send them pictures.

Good luck and Godspeed to the folks in Alabama recovering from these tornadoes.

Peace, Kent

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Yesterday I combined three of my favorite things Weddings, Skiing and Valentine’s Day! Loveland Ski Area hosted their 20th Annual Marry Me & Ski Free Mountaintop Matrimony with 69 couples getting married or renewing their vows at 12,050′ elevation near the Continental Divide at Ptarmigan Roost Cabin.

Cheers, Kent

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Click here to see a short slideshow. Our annual 10th Mountain Division hut trip was last weekend. This year we went to Vance’s Cabin near Leadville, Colorado. The trail-head starts in the parking lot at Ski Cooper. I wasn’t able join the group on Friday because of an assignment in Denver so I headed up […]

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Geri and I recently spent a long weekend in San Francisco visiting a college and lifelong friend Gregg Foss. Gregg showed us a great time starting with the Henri Cartier-Bresson photo exhibit at SFMOMA followed by lunch in the Mission with Sara Broome, a friend transplanted in the city from Colorado.

The next day we woke up early for a bicycle tour of the city. Gregg’s neighbor Phil joined us for the three hour ride up and down hills through parks, out to the ocean and back to Noe Valley.

We finished off the day going to see a show called Beach Blanket Babylon with another group of friends in North Beach. It was a very funny semi drag show known for it’s giant hats (head pieces) and wigs.

The morning before we flew back to Denver, we got up before sunrise and took Gregg’s dog Jesse for a walk in the park at the top of Bernal Heights. A perfect place to view the sun rising over the east bay. It’s was great to see Gregg getting into shooting pictures with his new LUMIX point and shoot camera with a Leica lens.

Cheers, Kent

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