Archive for the ‘Landscapes’ Category

Mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, etc

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…)

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…)

Northern Lights, Arctic Alaska

Sunday, September 1st, 2013
The northern lights over the broken boreal forest of arctic Alaska.

The northern lights over the broken boreal forest of arctic Alaska. Please click the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Sorry for not keeping up with the blog these last few months. Blogging regularly is hard; really hard. Sometimes I’m busy, or behind with my image editing, and sometimes, to put it simply, I’m just not that impassioned about it.

I’d like to be more disciplined about posting regularly, and more inspired to keep up with my own photography more consistently as well as that of others I enjoy, but sometimes, I think, the world of the internet is so overwhelming it’s easier to switch off and disengage than try to keep up and follow everything that flies by. I’ve probably missed hundreds of great posts around the web, I’m sure, but if that’s the worst of my recompense, well, things aren’t too bad I suppose.

Here’s a photo of the northern lights from last March. Ya gotta love the northern lights, no?

Cheers

Carl

Alaska March Madness – Aurora borealis photo

Monday, April 1st, 2013
The northern lights over the boreal forest of sub-arctic Alaska.

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Snow covered spruce trees

Friday, March 1st, 2013
Winter snow load bends the small spruce trees of the boreal forest in arctic Alaska, along the Dalton Highway.

Winter snow load bends the small spruce trees of the boreal forest in arctic Alaska, along the Dalton Highway. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Just a quick post between trips here. This image is from a recent trip to northern Alaska, poking around along the Dalton highway looking for some aurora borealis and nice winter arctic landscapes. We found these spruce trees up north, and had a grand afternoon photographing them. It’s a treat indeed to find trees like this, as winds and slightly warmer temperatures will quickly move all the snow and hoar frost from the trees.

I love how the snowload bends those trees over in such cool shapes.

Outta here for another week.

Cheers

Carl

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…)

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…)

Mount Sanford sunrise photo

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

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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