Archive for the ‘Gates of the Arctic National Park’ Category

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

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…)

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…)

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

 

Fall colors in the Arrigetch Peaks

Monday, October 3rd, 2011
Arrigetch Creek, fall color, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska.

Fall colors along Arrigetch Creek in Gates of the Arctic National Park, Sunrise over the Brooks Mountains, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s an image I took in August on a trip to the Arrigetch Peaks, in Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. We’d had a great early morning hike up in to and around the Maidens Valley for sunrise, and I shot a few nice images of the peaks catching early light. Afterward we hiked back to camp to catch an hour or so of sleep before breakfast, but I took a few shots along the creek before my nap.

I really liked the warm light striking the top of this ridge above camp, but didn’t have long to find a complimentary foreground before the low-lying clouds blocked the light. A pretty good rule of thumb for any landscape photographer in the backcountry is to always camp by water; one can USUALLY find some kind of foreground with a water source, be it a pond, a stream, a lake, the ocean, a glacier, etc.

Here I added some color by setting up near this patch of bear berry, strikingly red in peak fall color. The whole process for this shot took maybe 5 minutes, from walking over to the stream and scratching around to find the composition I liked, checking exposure, etc, and shooting the frame. 10 minutes later I was in my sleeping bag, toasty warm, and the light had dropped from the ridge altogether. I was able to grab some sleep before getting up again for breakfast with the group to a cloudy and somewhat drab day. (more…)

Xanadu, Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
Arrigetch Creek, the Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Arrigetch Creek and reflection of the Arrigetch Peaks, Albatross, Xanadu, and Ariel. Early morning light, just after sunrise, fall, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s another from the Arrigetch Peaks trip we did last month, August. This was our first morning up in the valley; really a treat to wake up to something like this. Of course, waking up at 4:30am isn’t such a treat, but such is the life of photography in the Arctic summer.

The 3 peaks in this frame are Xanadu, the largest in the background, with Albatross in front of it, and Ariel on the right hand side of the frame. Going out of the frame to the right is Caliban.

A mile or so up the creek from here we saw a, wait for it .. a beaver. That was pretty wild, I never thought they’d be up in rock climbing territory. Animals are just full of surprises.

Cheers

Carl

Caliban, Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic

Sunday, August 28th, 2011
Caliban, Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska.

Caliban, 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,

Here’s a quick shot of Caliban, from the Arrigetch Peaks. Interestingly, I shot this image just minutes after I dropped my 18-70mm lens into a small pond and totally destroyed it; the lens still have grit and glacial silt inside it from the Arrigetch Peaks; I know the NPS have a rule about “take only pictures”, but I figured if my lens was busted, and I couldn’t really take pictures any more, it might be OK to take some glacial silt with me.

Cheers

Carl

Down Arrigetch Creek

Thursday, August 25th, 2011
Arrigetch Creek, Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

View down Arrigetch Creek, from near Escape Pass, and the peak called Albatross. Elephant's Tooth visible in the distance. Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

So here’s the view from my previous blog post in reverse; that shot looks up the valley towards where this one was taken. The peak at the far end of the valley, on tghe right hand side, is known as Elephant’s Tooth, a classic granite outcrop in the Arrigetch Peaks. The creek here is Arrigetch Creek (I’m not sure, but the word “Arrigetch” may well be a traditional Native Alaskan word meaning “rains like a sonuvagun” or something similar)

We hiked up this valley, climbed up high and had supper on a small plateau above the valley. A really great spot to camp. The next morning we ate breakfast and packed up, heading higher still to cross thru a high narrow pass towards another drainage, but we were thwarted by a nasty storm and precipitous granite; in the stormy weather I had neither the time nor inclination to scrap around and find a safe route across the steep traverse on the other side, and we descended to the valley floor after lunch.

Sometimes safety means turning back. But what a place to turn back toward, eh?

Cheers

Carl

Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park

Sunday, August 21st, 2011
Sunrise, Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

(more…)