June 25, 2010
Alaska State Parks 40th Anniversary Poster
This was taken on Wrangell Island at Petroglyph Beach State Historic Site. The ancient rock carvings are still just lying along the beach for anyone to find and photograph. A lot of people make graphite (pencil) etchings of the rocks on paper as well. I've shown this image before as part of a southeast stock photo trip I took a couple of years ago. This is one of the most time consuming images I've ever taken but also one of my favorites. I had read about the petroglyphs and new I wanted to try and create an image with a mysterious mood to it. No one is quite sure who did the carvings and why. I had seen some great images of the rocks with that late afternoon golden glow on them but didn't want to replicate that idea. I decided to find my composition and wait until after sunset- around 11:30pm- to shoot. I used a couple of flashes to light up the rocks in the foreground- propped on rocks and a backpack, a neutral density filter to darken the sky and bring its exposure value closer to the foreground exposure, and I triggered it all with a remote signal while hopping on the rocks in the background. The camera was mounted on a tripod of course! It took me several attempts to get the exposures correct and get a decent silhouette of myself. It was one of those times when it was all over that I knew I had a nice shot! Every now and then I get lucky!