Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pyched for Another Season

West Face of Little League, if they had only dropped in right now, this picture would have been even sicker. They chose to wait until the light was gone. Skiers Unknown.

Headwall Ridge Hike, ski patroller Brian McGorry

Sponsored by Smith

Watherfall, Shadows Area, Andy Dietrick

Greatings Earthlings

Brooke always makes it look easy

I love it when people wear lots of color, boarder unknown
Winter of 07-08 was the best season of my 28 years on this earth. I'm looking forward to another one.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Painting with Light

This is series of self portraits from a friends house in Girdwood. I created these pictures at night with a star machine, a slow shutter speed, and my camera propped up on my backpack. I shot about 15 and these three were my favorite. A tripod would have made this a whole lot easier, but I didn't have one with me and No, I wasn't on drugs or drunk. I just couldn't sleep.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Textures of the Talkeetnas

All of these images have been manipulated in Adobe Lightroom. The first seven images I shot specifically to change to colors and contrast for an abstract series of landscapes. I got the idea originally last year while out on the same Talkeetna trip, when I shot a picture of a steep mountain side drainage that looked almost like paint being squeezed out of a tube. I decided I would try to create a series of these pictures this year. Here is the original image below.

The talkeetnas are full of a variety of facinating geology. We found a huge chunk of limestone in Caribou Cr. full of fossilized shells.

The tail of Meekins Super Cub Piper, just after he supplied us with our first re-ration of food

Spikes working their way out of the rails along the longest train trussel west of the Mississippi.

Textrue along the train trussel

Silhouette of a Caribou

Raina on lookout for the students across Prairie Cr.

Traversing the Talkeetna Range

Oshetna River

Nowhere Cr.

Descending into Mazuma Cr

Leaving Nowhere

Yum, Pizza night!

Heather and Raina infront of one of the few Glaciers still left in the Talkeetnas

Nowhere Camp

Our most challenging Pass, full of large boulders and snow

Glacial Erratics are everywhere

Descending into the Kosina

Kelly and Kyle

Amanda traverses over a beaver damn

24 days, 150 miles, 20,000 + ft of elevationi, 5 wolverines, wet boots, numb toes, and a pile of stinky gear. We made it again, a trek across the Talkeetna Range, one of the most stark and beautiful areas in all of the world. If there was a place on earth that resembed Mars it would be the Talkeetnas, deafeningly silent at times, except for the occasional roar a river or buzz of a bush plane, its emptiness is full of rich textures.

This was my third time crossing of these mountains in the last four years. I feel honored to have participated in one more successful Expedition Leadership class at Alaska Pacific University. A unique experience at a unique college, and one of the my favorite trips of all times. Our class consisted of 6 students, one teacher assistant, co-instructor Raina Panareese, and myself. Our packs weighed about 55lbs on average, and we had two food rations flown in at pre-arranged locations.

We started along the Glenn Hwy near Gunsight Mountain, traveled up Caribou Cr, to the Oshetna River drainage. We then moved then crossed the Black river, and pushed our way up the Kosina, and over the Tsisi. We bushedwacked our way accross all 8 miles of Praire Cr. up the bench above the Susitna River and bushwacked our way down the otherside to our destination, Gold Cr. where we flagged down the train at one of the only whistle stops left in the country.
Caribou Cr.

This is a unique upper level course that emphaisizes leadership in the most basic of ways, traveling on foot, with only the most essential things, in an environment that only few have the opportunity see. Each student is required to teach three classes; a skills class, a natural history class, and a leadership class. They take turns leading each other, making decisions for the group and navigating the mountainous terrain, with two instructors , myself and Raina, whom are there to critique. In some ways it is artificial, with the instructors there to interject any dangerous decisions, i.e. river crossings. But... in the end the students have developed their own judgement and we are able to let them travel unaccompanied for the final 6 days. We follow behind almost 24 hours in terrain that would be imposible to stumble upon them, and we must trust that they will be waiting for us at the train. And of course they are.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Flight Seeing, Neacola Mnts

Ryan, a dear friend from Girdwood flew Weston and myself around the Neacola Mtns. just west of Anchorage across Cook Inlet, in the southwestern portion of the Alaska Range. The weather was beautiful. I used my wide angle lens to shoot this picture just before take off. The wide angle gives almost 180* view and makes the cabin of this plane look much larger than it is.

Approaching the Neacola Mtns.

I believe this is the Capps Glacier, on the northeastern side of Mt. Spurr

A closer look at a crevasse field on the Capps Glacier

View of the foothills of Mt. Spurr

The clouds were capped over Mt. Spurr, but we flew around its southern base. The light was amazing through this small rain shower. A ridge leading up to the top of Mt Spur on the right.

Ryan circled around to put the plane between the sun and the rain to create this optical affect, a rainbow.

Ryan, our pilot and navigator.

Braided river drainage of the Chakachatna River

This is where I start to go a little abstract with my nature pictures. Bradford Washburn is one of my favorite photographers and explorers. His Black and White images of Alaska in the mid 20th century have had a huge influence on a portion of my photography. I love his ability to find patterns within natures' chaotic spread, and produce such artistic compositions. This is one of my attempts to do the same, but with color digital. Just like Washburn manipulated his images in the darkroom I have done the same, but using Adobe Lightroom instead.

A view of the Susitna Flats State Game Refuge. I love the contrast between the red building and the green wetlands. I am unsure of what these cabins are used for, but was amazed by their existence in what looks like a very large bog.

Water erosion in the mud flats near the estuary of the Susitna River.

A view of downtown Anchorage