Archive for the ‘Backpacking and Hiking’ Category

Trekking, hiking, backpacking, camping, and all things to do with walking in the backcountry.

The Maidens – Arrigetch Peaks

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
A black and white imagoes the Maidens, jagged granite peaks in the Arrigetch Peaks of Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A black and white imagoes the Maidens, jagged granite peaks in the Arrigetch Peaks of Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s an image from the Arrigetch Peaks, in Alaska’s far north, the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. It’s quite a hike up to the area, but the area is a stunning locale for photography. And climbing. It may well be one of the most popular climbing areas in the state not road-accessible.

The main hiking in Arrigetch Peaks consists of 3 drainages in the upper alpine area, The Maidens, Aquarius, and the Arrigetch Creek drainage, home to peaks with cool quirky names, like Ariel, Xanadu and Caliban.

This one I converted to black and white. I liked the play of shadow and light on the mountains.

Black and white photography is, generally, a more challenging genre I feel, and one I wish I were better at. It’s fun playing with tones and contrast on the computer sometimes, though I admit photoshopping is not one of my favorite pastimes. But with black and white images, the creative element seems a little more playful to me than it does with color photography.

I hope to get back up to Arrigetch Peaks this coming summer and spend some more time here. Fascinating place. Anyone wanna come?

Cheers

Carl

2012 – a Photo Review

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Hey Folks,

Just to wrap up the year for 2012, here’s a quick slideshow from the year – 30 photos from various trips. Good times and good memories. I hope you all enjoy the pictures. If you like, take a quick look at my “Year in Alaska” on video, over at Expeditions Alaska – some nice clips from the past 12 months; it’s pretty cool, if I must say so myself! 🙂

Thanks so much,

Cheers

Carl (more…)

A landscape for while I’m away – Nik Efex Pro 2 Review

Saturday, December 1st, 2012
Mt Jarvis at sunrise, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Mt Jarvis at sunrise, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

 

Hey Folks,

Catching up on some photo editing and processing and deleting and keywording and updating and blah blah blah. Just as boring as that stuff is looking at new (for me) software programs to assist with that stuff. One I ran across, that I’d heard about for a while now is Nik HDR Efex Pro 2; I gave it a whirl the other day, and so far, I like it. A very streamlined hdr process is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Something easy and intuitive, to ease the pain of processing hdr images.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, hdr is an acronym for High Dynamic Range; most of the time, we simply mean we take multiple exposures of the same frame, and then blend those exposures together to best present the wide range of contrast in the scene.

So this image is a blend of 7 different exposures, taken one stop apart. I converted the original nikon RAW files to tif files, via Nikon Capture NX2. Efex Pro 2 quickly processed the images and then offers a variety of presets for different modes of compression and toning, etc. I found the program pretty easy and intuitive, which was something that is rapidly becoming a real priority when I look at new software programs. (more…)

That mountain feeling – the Arrigetch Peaks

Monday, November 5th, 2012
A backpacker walking in the Aquarius valley, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska.

A backpacker walking in the Aquarius Valley, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska. Few of the visitors here ever get this far back up in the valley; it’s a bit of a mission to get way back here. For a larger version of the photo, please click on the photo above.

Hey Folks,

Looking over a few old Image folders on my hard drive I found this photo (among others) that I hadn’t yet processed. This one I took on a hike in Gates of the Arctic National Park. We backpacked up into the subalpine area with 5 people, and did a combination of basecamping/dayhiking and backpacking. It’s rugged, steep country, and can be challenging underfoot.

This dayhike, we started out with myself plus 4 people, and by mid-afternoon were down to just myself and one other; Jodee V, who’ll walk just about anywhere! The rest of the group had stopped along the day, each person reaching their own threshold of how many rocks they wanted to walk over.

What struck me about this photo is how, for me, it perfectly evokes the exact feeling that walking in the mountains gives me. It’s infinitely vast and expansive, yet also confined and defined. It’s a feeling of being both everything and nothing, all at once. It’s an amazingly “alive” feeling. (more…)

A Year in Alaska Photos, 2011

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Hey Folks,

It’s that time of year once again. Thanks so much for stopping by to read the blog here and view the photos, I appreciate it.

Here are my pick of images (34) for 2011. I hope you enjoy them.

You’ll find a great list of photographers’ photos of the year on Jim Goldstein’s blog. Check it out.

Thanks

Cheers

Carl (more…)

Mt. St. Elias Photo, Icy Bay, Wrangell – St. Elias

Monday, December 19th, 2011
Mt. St. Elias, Icy Bay, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

(more…)

Photographs are making us richer

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska.

View up Arrigetch Creek toward the Arrigetch Peaks, Xanadu, Ariel and Caliban, from left to right. A popular rock climbing and backpacking destination, the Arrigecth Peaks lie in the heart of Alaska's Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, right near the Continental Divide. Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

You perhaps saw this recent story in the news about our ‘drowning in a sea of images’. It’s an interesting view, and, I believe, a very valid point. Any kind of inundation makes staying afloat a difficult task. And sometimes it’s impossible.

A photographer and artist I admire, Chase Jarvis, recently posted a response to this on his blog, about how we’re not drowning, but getting richer with this unabating torrent of images. That’s kind of a weird take on it. What kind of flood can we swim through?

Chase argues “shouldn’t it be said that we’re not drowning in photography at all, that we’re perhaps getting metaphorically rich off more and more of these veins of gold?”

“veins of gold”? Gold has value because it’s rare. And because it’s durable. If gold were produced quite as readily as iphone “pics” seem to be, and had a similar lifespan of any digital file, it wouldn’t cost eighteen hundred dollars an ounce right now. I’d suggest a better chemical analogy might be carbon dioxide. CO2 seems to be pretty prevalent right now, becoming ever more so, and, contrary to what the s(k)eptics tell ya, it’s not enriching our world. (more…)

Why you need a bear photo guide

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011
Grizzly bear and photographer, Katmai, Alaska.

Brown bear, Ursus arctos, and a wildlife photographer, walking along a road in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Just a fun photo to show you that this grizzly bear photography isn’t as easy as it looks. Here’s an experienced Alaskan wildlife photographer setting off trying to find a bear to photograph.

You might THINK it’s easy to find a 800lb brown bear, but such isn’t the case. Take a guide who knows what he’s doing with you so this photo isn’t you on your next photo trip. 🙂

Cheers

Carl

Arrigetch Peaks at first light

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
Arrigetch Peaks at dawn, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska.

Arrigetch Peaks at dawn, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s another photo from the trip to the Arrigetch Peaks we took back in August. This scene appealed to me, the light striking the underside of the crags’ overhang, yet most of the rock in shade. It was a wonderful morning, with some gorgeous early light that disappeared all too soon, the sun spent most of the day behind this ridge, but the view up and down the valley was simply stunning.

I hope to get back to this area sometime in the summer of 2012, and shoot it some more. Fantastic landscape. I think the fall is a great time to visit the arctic; earlier in summer the sun doesn’t get as low in the sky, which means the light doesn’t get quite as subtle as it does in the “shoulder seasons”, so we’ll probably head up there in August or September again some time. Look for a possible photo tour announcement coming this winter. I’ll keep you posted here for sure, but the trip will be run through Expeditions Alaska; awesome backcountry travel company! 🙂

Cheers

Carl

 

Mount Saint Elias Photo

Sunday, October 9th, 2011
Mt. Saint Elias photo, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Mount Saint Elias, 18 008' high, stands tall in the evening light over an unnamed glacier, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska - aerial photo. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Well, just back from 2 weeks to photographing brown bears in Katmai National Park, and I’m off again already; I’ll be gone for some time on this trip, 4 weeks down along the coastline of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, where I will meet up with Erin and Hig, of Ground Truth Trekking. They’re spending 2 months in the area,  finding out

“what would it be like to live on ice? In the fall of 2011 we will set out to spend two months living on the shifting, melting surface of North America’s largest glacier, along with our two young children.

Trekking between a series of camps on the Malaspina Glacier, on Alaska’s remote and harsh Lost Coast, we will explore this dramatic and wild landscape, weather the fall storms, and document climate change in action.”

Pretty cool stuff. (more…)