This is a photo of Mt Sanford, in winter, taken early one morning. In 2 weeks I had 3 mornings with some alpenglow. The first one I didn’t shoot because it was so socked in with cloud an hour before dawn that I didn’t figure the light was going to happen – and being tired, I slept in. I awoke, looked over, and saw a nice magenta glow on the face of Sanford, but there wasn’t really any kind of way to shoot it from where I was. Such is my life, it seems. I did enjoy a hot coffee and a bagel watching the mountain light up through the forest window, though. The next morning I photographed, and for some reason my camera had reset it’s shooting menu, so all images were set to ‘tif’, not RAW files .. weird, sucked, but not a complete loss. coulda been worse. Then I had nearly 10 days of cloudy mornings, no alpenglow or sunrise stuff at all, before a long clear night promised good morning light. My alarm goes off, I wake, dress, grab my camera gear, rush to the truck, start it up and drive to my trail head, knowing I had a short walk to get where I wanted to shoot from. I’m cruising down the road, Emmylou Harris’ “Wrecking Ball” playing on the stereo, round a bend and glance to my left only to see the peak of Mt. Sanford already glowing a fiery pink. Alpenglow is half an hour earlier than it was 10 days ago. This Alaska stuff is hard.
I got where I was going shortly thereafter (no dad, I didn’t speed, I promise, safety all the way), and hiked over to this frozen snow-covered lake to photograph from. The lake is around mile 18 on the Nabesna Road, a few miles before Rock Lake, which is another nice place to shoot Mount Sanford from. I managed to make it in time for a few images before the apenglow faded, but I really prefer to photograph this kind of foreground with some light on it, which only occurs after the pastels of dawn have slipped beneath the horizon. I converted this to black and white on my laptop, so will probably need to do more tonal work at a later date.
You can see Mt Zanetti just to the left of Sanford, the perfect little cone-shapped dome that between Mt Sanford and behemoth of Mt Wrangell, the lit mountain in the background, middle left. The shaded mountain ridge in the foreground-left is the escarpment that runs (out of the frame) to Tanada Peak.