Archive for the ‘Wrangell – St. Elias National Park’ Category

Photos and notes on Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Alaska Wood Frog

Monday, June 23rd, 2014
Alaska Wood Frod in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Alaska Wood Frod in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Quite a break from the blog. Lucky me!

Here’s a cool photo of a critter we don’t see a lot of in Alaska; the Wood frog. Taken along the coast of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park near Malaspina Glacier. We saw quite a few of these wood frogs, and literally, thousands of tadpoles. I haven’t seen a tadpole in 25 years. Way too cool.

Cheers

Carl

Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and the Northern Lights

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and the northern lights, Alaska.

Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and the aurora borealis photo, or northern lights, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

We’ve had some pretty great weather here through the month of February, and that means, a great time to get out and look for northern lights. Working on my own project, rather than photo tours, I was able to hit a few destinations I wanted to shoot that are a little more hit and miss; less reliable than some others, but places I wanted to shoot nonetheless.

One of those places is Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Inevitably I’d be in the wrong place at the wrong time in a place slightly larger than the country of Switzerland; I’d head off in one direction and then have fog and haze cloud up the skies, or I’d head off in another direction, and the lights display would be directly behind me. The mountains in front me being what I want to shoot, and the lights behind me. Not a great mix.

But, such is what happens when you have specific ideas in mind; it’s important to be flexible in nature photography, and particularly so when shooting the northern lights, but part of working on a project involves fulfilling your own ideas. Spontaneity is great, and I’m all for it. But I’m also interested in trying to make a photo of something I envision ahead of time, and working toward that.

It’s a rewarding, but often frustrating endeavor. (more…)

Shoot Your Passion

Saturday, January 25th, 2014
photo of the aurora borealis over the Wrangell Mountains and Copper River, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Photo of the aurora borealis over the Wrangell Mountains and Copper River, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks

Shoot Your Passion

If you don’t, who will?

Cheers

Carl

What’s a blog

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
An aerial photo from the St. Elias Mountain Range, converted to B&W in photoshop. Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

An aerial photo from the St. Elias Mountain Range, converted to B&W in photoshop. Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Someone asked me recently, “What’s a blog?” And after  I got over the initial shock and wonder, repeatedly asking myself “is he (yes, he) for real?”, I tried my best to answer.

Seriously, what IS a blog? I guess it’s a journal or diary. Or a news outlet. Or a discussion forum. Or about a million other things.

Technically, the root of the term comes from the longer word “weblog”, meaning a log, on the web. Log like a record of some kind.

But what IS it? For me, it’s a double edged sword; a chore and a hobby. It’s work, sometimes, and sometimes it’s great fun. And sometimes it’s a pain in the a&&; especially when I have nothing of interest to write about, or when my blogging platform, wordpress, causes me no end of headaches and pain and grief as I try to solve some problem I’m having with the site. A site without a dynamic component, like wordpress, can be MUCH easier to handle than a blogging platform. If you folks out there had any idea how much of my life has been wasted as I’ve sat and stared at a screen wondering ‘now why the hell doesn’t it work’, you’d send money. Or drugs. Or money and drugs. Or, well, something. It’s ridiculous.

But I digress. Which is fine, of course, because it’s a blog, and it’s my blog, and I’m allowed to digress. (more…)

Night Time Photography – the Test Shot

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
Mt. Sanford, Mt. Drum, the Copper River and the Night Sky.

Mt. Sanford, Mt. Drum, the Copper River and the Night Sky. The moon rise to my left threw a nice soft light on the fog over the Copper River Basin. Click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

With a host of people heading north this winter/spring to photograph the aurora, I thought it might be of some interest to talk a little about the process of shooting photography at night; I know a lot of people have little experience with that, and it really can be a challenge at times. Particularly on a cold frozen night in Alaska when the northern lights start going crazy overhead.

So, the first thing I’d suggest, if you haven’t already, is read over my 3 part article on shooting the northern lights. There’s a downloadable PDF at the end of that article you can keep for future reference.

So, now that you’re prepared, consider the moment. It’s dark. It’s cold, maybe minus 20 degrees F; cold enough that your hands start to really feel it after a few minutes. It’s dark. You have a headlamp on, and that gives you a little bit of vision out to maybe 30-50 yards or so. After that, you can’t see too much at all. The aurora starts to fire up, and you want to shoot it.

You can’t see your foreground and composition. Its dark. You don’t even know if the foreground is worth shooting. It’s dark. You can’t walk around all over and use your headlamp to see, because (a) there isn’t time, (b) there are other people trying to shoot, (c) you don’t want to track up all the snow by stomping around in it. So setup your test shots. This is probably the most important part of the process. Set up and do your test shots. (more…)

Photography Goals

Friday, January 4th, 2013
Spruce trees in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Spruce trees in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

2013. It’s a new year already. The days are getting longer, so I’m told. I’m another year older, slower, fatter and balder. But a new year can also mean a great time to focus on our work. Draw it into focus by outlining and giving voice to where we might like for it to go. Without that articulation, it’s easy to wander in circles, and not really move forward with our art.

I’m reminded of a great line by my friend Craig Tanner, when he was asked what is the most important concern to him, as an artist; his answer, so simple, was “the only thing that matters is, is my work moving forward”.

What can we do to move our work forward? Well, make some goals to move toward, for one thing. And really, goals is the wrong word, I think, for art. We don’t score goals. We don’t target anything; we make art, we create stuff. That’s all.  (more…)

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…)

Mount Sanford sunrise photo

Friday, June 15th, 2012
Sunrise, Mt. Sanford, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

(more…)

Winter in Black and White

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
Black and white photo of wind blown snow on a snow covered ridge, winter, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Black and white photo of wind blown snow on a snow covered ridge, winter, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Sometimes black and white just seems to work. And usually it’s apparent before I even set up the camera. Rarely do I convert images to black and white after I’ve shot them if I hadn’t planned on doing so beforehand.

This photo I shot a few winters ago, high on a ridge in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. I like the backlit snow, and a slight breeze kicked up, blowing snow over the ridge.

I’m looking forward to getting out and shooting a bit more over the next couple of months; this winter has seen me tied to the computer more than I hoped, but hopefully that’s almpost past and I can go shoot a little bit more. Some of these old photos from past winters have inspired me to go do it some more, and I’m looking forward to getting out soon.

Cheers

Carl