June 18, 2013

Fiddle Creek Falls

I just returned from two weeks in California. Part of that time was spent camping at one of my favorite places on earth with some long time friends. I can't tell you how many wonderful times I've spent rinsing off under these refreshing falls after a long day of activities on the larger Yuba River near by. For over twenty years family and friends have met here. Though some are no longer with us, I always find their spirit here.
   I took this on my last morning of the trip before the sunlight filled the scene and added too much contrast to make a nice image.

May 7, 2013

Quinhagak, Alaska

  In September I spent five days in the Yup'ik village of Quinhagak in southwest AK. As in the previous post (below), I was taking images for a "Beyond the Road" feature to be published in First Alaskans Magazine. I thought it would be fun to share the magazine layout as well as a selection of "final" images so you can see what I submitted and what the designer chose.

  Quinhagak is a special village for me because a good friend of mine, John O. Mark, was born and raised there and it's wonderful to be able to visit with him and his family. I owe him, and his wife Grace, a huge thank you for putting me up and feeding me the entire time!

 The opening double-page spread is above, following are the other eight pages of the final layout.

 As always, Annette at First Alaskans did a great job. I of course, wish every image made it in as a two page spread!

  Here is a good sampling of the images I submitted: (click image to view larger size)

April 16, 2013

Old Harbor, Kodiak Island, Alaska

A happy surprise. I never thought of this as a cover image but was very pleased when I saw the final product!
      I have a wonderful working relationship with First Alaskans Magazine based here in Anchorage. I've been doing various assignments for them for about four years now and each one is challenging and interesting. The magazine deals exclusively with Alaska Native issues. Weather I'm photographing a traditional healer, a woman working on suicide prevention, or photographing dancers, singers, and drummers, I always feel lucky to be involved.
      My favorite project I'm involved with is a feature called "Beyond The Road". The purpose of this section of the magazine is to highlight native villages that lie off of the road system, that is, only accessible by air or boat. I absolutely relish the opportunity to explore the unique villages, people, and culture of bush Alaska. I've been to four locations so far and each has been rewarding photographically and personally fulfilling.
      Initially I'm a little nervous as I first start to explore a new village. They are usually fairly small so any newcomer stands out. The way I handle this beforehand is to establish some contacts before heading out and basically letting the village know there will be "some guy with a camera" wandering around taking photos. Once they know I'm featuring them in the magazine I'm welcomed with open arms and have encountered nothing but friendliness and cooperation.
      I visited Old Harbor in May. This mostly Alutiiq village, is nestled on the coast of Kodiak Island along the protected shores of Sitkalidak Strait. I was blown away by the stunning setting which came with an abundance of wildlife as well. I was even more impressed with the people. I was given food and lodging by Jeff Peterson of Kodiak Combos/ Peterson's Adventures. he also took me out on his boat with a group he had in town for some chartered king salmon fishing. I highly recommend Jeff and his lodge! Also, Tribal Administrator, Fred Brooks, took me around the village and its surroundings and introduced me to many of the local residents.
      My favorite incident was as I was about to leave the village. A woman I had only met once the day before showed up to give me a ride to the airport and she had brought a full on dinner for me to eat in the car on the way. If you'd like to read more about Old Harbor contact the magazine here. below are some of my favorite images from the adventure!