Recently I’ve read a few articles and posts about photography and and photographers, and particularly landscape photographers; the question of ‘shooting icons’ almost invariably comes up. For those readers here who aren’t quite sure what that is a reference to, it simply points to the regularity with which so many famous landscapes are photographed. Scenes such as Grand Teton from the Snake River Overlook, Yellowstone National Park’s Lower Falls are almost ubiquitous with landscape photography.
It’s an interesting discussion. Those kinds of locations are frequently photographed because not only are they spectacular scenes, but they’re also great to photograph; overlooks and viewpoints seemingly designed with the landscape photographer in mind. This is not true of all spectacular scenes, for a variety of reasons.
The primary reason a scene like this one, of Mount Edith Cavell and Cavell Lake in Canada’s Jasper National Park has been photographed so many more times than, say, the scene at left, is that Edith Cavell is road accessible. All the other discourse about happiness and contentment and art versus stock and following one’s creative muse and shooting your passion is simply talk; it all comes down to the pavement. If it’s off the road, it’s probably not an icon.
The question then concerns itself with the value of our pursuit; and that, like so many such questions, is entirely contextual. For some people, shooting photos that sell well is all that matters. For others, shooting photos that express some personal vision is more important. Continue reading
Wow – what a great trip we just had in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR); I rafted the Marsh Fork and the Canning River, through the Brooks Mountain Range and across the coastal plain to the Beaufort Sea, the Arctic Ocean, with a great group of folks. This photo was taken the first night of our trip, just a short hike from our camp on the Marsh Fork. It was pretty late, maybe around 1am or so, I can’t recall exactly.
The trip was fantastic, thanks to some great weather, very few mosquitoes, good food and a really, really great group of folks. I wish had more time to write about the trip, and post a few more photos, but I just got back in last night and am leaving tomorrow morning for an 8 day backpacking trip in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. Until then, I hope you like this photo of the Brooks Range, ANWR.
Here’s another image from the summer just gone by. This one was from near our campsite on the Canning River, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). We’d had a nice day paddling, enjoying some sunny weather, found a sweet spot to camp, and then I wandered around into the evening looking for a composition that caught my eye. The unnamed mountain across the river is a ridge leading up to Mt. Salisbury. This is one of my favorite areas in the region, right at the edge of the coastal plain and the Brooks Mountains. Typically these kinds of terrains are interesting; Continue reading