I thought I might make a blog post, the first for the new year, with a quick presentation of my favorite images from the past year. Not necessarily a “best of”, but just a collection of 12 images, one from each month, each of which mean something to me. Some of these have appeared on the blog before, some have not.
The first one is my favorite image of Mt. Blackburn I’ve taken so far, taken one cold morning a year ago. One of the primary reasons I wanted to spend winter in the McCarthy area was this particular scene. I knew the mountain would get great light in the winter, though I’d only viewed it from here in the summer previously. During the summer the great light is on the northside of mountains here in Alaska, so I’d never really viewed this scene in the great alpenglow you see here. A couple of winters in a cabin in the woods rewarded me in many ways, and I consider this image a nice memory of those days. Good times.
The 2nd photo is a snow-covered spruce tree from a lonely ridge on another cold morning. For some reason a spruce tree laden with fresh snow just about floors me every time I’m lucky enough to catch it. This one I converted to black and white on my computer, I think it simplifies things a bit.
The 3rd photo is from a ski I did last spring up on to the Root Glacier. Maybe not the greatest image (well, no maybe about it), but my memories of this past spring always go back to some awesome ski trips on cold crusted snow and gorgeous sunny days. What seemed like far more fun than I’m sure I deserve. Here I’m on the Root Glacier skiing around beneath the towering face of Stairway icefall. To give you some scale, that vertical wall of ice in the background is something like 7000 vertical feet high.
The 4th photo is an aerial photo of the Nizina Glacier, before breakup, late spring. I really wanted to get an opportunity to grab a few aerial photos when the park (Wrangell-St. Elias National Park) was still snow-covered. Another black and white conversion which I think works well here.
The 5th photo is a male Pine Grosbeak on a small white spruce tree branch. A companion from the winter.
The 6th photo is a young bull moose splashing about in a quiet lake, browsing on aquatic plants in early summer. I’ve shot probably better moose images, but shooting wildlife in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is perhaps a more rewarding experience than many other places. These critters are harder to find, harder to stalk, and harder to photograph than a lot of other national parks, for a number of reasons. I was just happy this guy allowed me to spend a few hours making some photos of him.
The 7th photo is a pair of beaver grooming one another. I hadn’t made a single image of a beaver in the park until this summer, and had a blast for a few afternoons here. They’re amazing animals to watch.
The 8th photo is of caribou, from Skolai Pass. Skolai Pass is one of my favorite places, and has been for a long time now; it’s the namesake for my Stock Photo business and this website. Catching some images of the Woodland Caribou herd up there, with the University Range in the background, was a highlight of my summer. I had about 2 seconds to catch this image, and some good planning on my part, if I don’t say so myself, rewarded me here.
The 9th photo is of the Russell Glacier and Mt. Bona and Churchill, near Chitistone Pass. ANother image I’d been looking for for quite some time, so it was nice to come home with this scene on film. Thanks to Doug Roane for loaning me his camera, or I’d have merely got sit and watch the light play on the mountains once again.
The 10th photo is a grizzly bear resting at sunset. A trip to Katmai is always a blast, and this year was no exception. I’m excited about the Grizzlies in the Fall phototours next year.
The 11th photo welcomes the onset of winter, me and my snowboard in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Simply staring at the vastness of this place, and wondering how I’ll make it back to camp. And tote my snowboard home as well.
The 12th photo is Mt. Wrangell at dusk. A difficult mountain to photograph, because of it’s grand circumference. I was happy with this image, made in ridiculously cold conditions, and even more ridiculous light. Winter light in Alaska is something to behold.
These images are also posted on my Flickr account, here.