Life Update: Engagement and New Adventures

Updated: Apr 2

Figured that I would give a quick life update this week on what has been going on recently. If you are a regular follower of my Instagram page this will not be particularly new news, but I will share a few more photos and write a few more words. This last weekend was a rather big day for this landscape photographer. I proposed to my girlfriend of five years adding to the start of the next new adventure in my life. A few months ago, I started my adventure into bringing my landscape photography public, with the support of my loving girlfriend. This week now with the support of my fiancé.


It all started with getting a hold of the right ring, which took some navigating in order to get something that I thought Amy would like and that would fit on day one. Asking specific questions about ring size or styles is too much of a giveaway. Luckily, I had a friend that had had several styles shared with her over the years and she was able to tag along and help make sure the ring selection was done well. The overwhelming majority of her picks followed a style similar to the one shown below. This made it a bit easier to pick out a ring in the end.


As far as sizing was concerned, this ultimately ended up being a guess. I had made a ring out of silver for my girlfriend a couple years back using a casting method (I am also an engineer after all) and had at the time come up with the size of 8. I do recommend doing this as a birthday or Christmas gift for the hobbyist reading this. However, this proved to be too large at the time that I gave it to her. Later down the road, I had to reorder an Order of the Engineer ring for myself. Not knowing my ring size, I ordered an assortment (These rings are just stainless steel) of sizes and vaguely remember her trying on the 7 and indicating that it was too small. So, the ring was ordered sized to 7.5, with the hope that it would fit nicely without the need for adjustment.


Engagement Ring: 1.0 sec at f / 51, ISO 100, 105mm. (Nikkor Macro 105mm f/2.8 Lens)


The next step in my master plan was, or rather the reason why I started working on finding a ring is the time and place for the proposal. I am horrible at keeping secrets so, for it to be more natural, and more importantly a surprise I would need to integrate the event with something that we already had planned. The upcoming yearly trip we take with a couple close friends made for the perfect opportunity. Last year we had spent our trip at the beautiful Mt. Hood to do some cross-country skiing. This year we had wanted to try someplace new, but due to covid-19 we opted to go to Mt. Hood again in order to limit contact with others.


Next was to get the photos figured out. Since I am a photographer, I already had access to good camera equipment however there was only one downside, I cannot be a subject of the photos while also being behind the camera. Thankfully, one of the friends tagging along on the trip, Adam, had operated a camera before and after a bit of instruction on how my camera works, photos were figured out. Now all that needed to happen was for me to identify a good spot for a landscape photo while we were out cross-country skiing, then to get my at the time girlfriend, now fiancé, to pose in the scene looking off into the distance, pass the camera to our mutual friend, and ask the question.


The Proposal: Shot by friend, Adam, using my camera.

1/125th sec at f / 5.6, ISO 100, 49 mm. (Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens)


The spot that I found ended up working out perfectly. It was forested, had untouched fresh snow on the ground, and Mount Hood ended up centered in the background. The only downside was the timing was essentially during golden hour which meant that the sun light was going in and out of the scene as it moved behind the trees. However, this was also a plus side for some of the shots that were taken, as for those that do not know, golden hour creates a pleasing warming effect to the light of the subjects it casts onto. Which allowed for the photo shown below to be captured during the post proposal celebrations on the slopes. For those that follow my Instagram, you might have already seen this photo, however.


Shot by friend, Adam, using my camera.

1/250th sec at f / 8, ISO 100, 44mm (Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens)


The friends that we were with had planned for the slope side celebration by bringing along a bottle of champagne and a few small glasses (We left no trace, packing everything out that we packed in). We finished off the bottle enjoying the waning sun for a while before packing up and double timing it, skiing through the trails to get back to the car before dark. Overall, it had been a rather short cross country skiing trip as compared to previous years, but it was a rather memorable one. One our way out, a member of the local ski patrol was kind enough to get a group photo of us just before we reached the parking lot. The good light had left us at this point, and it was beginning to get darker outside, but the camera was still able to get a rather good photo out of the conditions while being shot handheld.


Shot by Teacup Lake Ski Patrol, using my camera.

1/50th sec at f / 3.5, ISO 100, 50mm (Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens)