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It’s practically a story made for the movies: Michael Kobold, a watchmaker who creates extreme-condition time pieces, decides to climb Mt. Everest to raise money for charity—except he’s not particularly keen on athletics. To elevate his physical aptitude and to raise awareness about the trip, he undergoes two sorts of “boot camp.” One consists of exhaustive training with Navy SEALs in California, and the other involves concentrated photography “workshops” from two very knowledgeable sources: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, a world-renowned portraitist, and Martin Hartley, a National Geographic photographer currently braving Antarctica.

Armed with a high-class and thorough education on both the physical and photographic demands of the Everest environment, Kobold began his trip this past weekend. And he’ll be keeping State of the Art readers abreast of the trials and tribulations he encounters while making images on Mt. Everest. Did we mention he’ll be using James Gandolfini’s camera? Click through to read more about this industrious photo enthusiast.