Chenega Glacier Calving 4

Chenega Glacier Calving 4

This past June, my dad and I used my 22′ C-Dory Serenity to cruise Prince William Sound for 8 days. We experienced mostly crappy weather during our trip, but that is typical of coastal Alaska. I was focused on photographing wildflowers near the glaciers, but did not find them in the quantities that I had hoped. So, I turned my attention to photographing the calving tidewater face of the Chenega Glacier which is located in Nassau Fjord south of Whittier. The enormous face of this impressive glacier is several miles wide and over 1000′ tall. Ice is constantly calving off of the face and falling long distances into the water below. Some of these explosions were spectacular to photograph, even though it was incredibly scary being so close. Keep in mind that I anchor Serenity in a protected cove and use my 12′ inflatable to navigate through the ice in order to get close to the glacier. I then drift for hours freezing my butt off waiting for something to happen. These days are filled with monotonous boredom intermixed with brief moments of absolute terror. I would not want to have it any other way. This is one of my favorite images of the ice collapsing into the water. I created this image with my Canon 5DmkII and 70-200mm f2.8 IS lens. This image is a single-exposure which required minimal processing using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS5.

Heather Island Dwarf Fireweed Sunset 1

Heather Island Dwarf Fireweed Sunset 1

I created this bold image of dwarf fireweed at sunset while visiting Columbia Bay with my small boat Serenity a few weeks ago. This was the second time that I have visited this area this year, after the dramatic and wild nature of the place got under my skin back in May. It is now one of my favorite locations that I have visited in Alaska. I experienced much better weather during this visit and there were loads of wildflowers, especially the hearty dwarf fireweed. This plant grows in areas recently exposed by glacial retreat. This particular patch of flowers was located on the northwest tip of Heather Island along the edge of the old glacial moraine bar. Before settling on this composition, I ran around like a madman trying to find the best group of wildflowers that would compliment the dramatic sunset that was unfolding. During brief but dramatic moments like this, a photographer must be comfortable with his/her equipment and methodically use the skills that have been mastered through years of practice. I photographed this scene with my Canon 5DmkII, Carl Zeiss 28mm f2 ZE lens, Singh-Ray LB Warming polarizer, and 2-stop Hard Graduated Neutral Density filter. This image is a single-exposure which required minimal processing using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS5.

Porcupine in Tree 1

Porcupine in Tree 1

While visiting the Childs Glacier near Cordova, the VW van that Steve and I borrowed got a flat tire. In addition, the light was murky, so we did not get any sunrise pictures of the glacier. After we changed the tire and began driving back to town we encountered a porcupine foraging in the forest. Steve launched out of the van to photograph it so fast that he forgot to put on his Xtratufs. However, after looking at the bog he was immersed in, I methodically put on my boots rather than suffer cold, wet feet. The porcupine took one look at us with our big lenses and headed for the top of a small tree. It initially turned its back to us and raised its quills, which didn’t make a very good image, but eventually relaxed enough to make a few nice portraits. To create this image, I lined up the porcupine with some trees in the background that made for a nice out-of-focus background. I patiently waited until it turned towards me so that I could see its eyes. I created this image with my Canon 7D and 400mm f4 DO IS lens. This image is a single-exposure which required minimal processing using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS5.

Smith Glacier Crevasse 1

Smith Glacier Crevasse 1

I created this image during my first incredible but brief voyage on Prince William Sound in Alaska last month. I motored my boat from Whittier to the head of College Fjord for a few days and was blown away but the photographic potential. I anchored in Tuition Cove near the Yale Glacier and used my inflatable to explore the area. One morning, I navigated my way through the iceberg choked fjord to the the Smith Glacier with the ambition of photographing the Harvard Glacier at sunrise. I got skunked on that one, but I was thoroughly enamored with the area so I turned my attention to the intimate landscape details of these crevasses.

Matanuska Glacier Sunset 1

Matanuska Glacier Sunset 1

This image was created last week on the Matanuska Glacier in the Chugach National Forest in Alaska. I spent 2 nights photographing the glacier, and on the second night I caught a dramatic fiery sunset! If you followed along on my recent trip via Twitter/Facebook you might have seen some of my iPhone “sketches”, but nothing beats the “real deal” images from my Canon 5D mkII. Getting to this location on the tongue of the glacier was challenging. It involved crossing ankle-drowning silt and hopping over a few small crevasses. Once I found this precariously balanced rock for a foreground subject, I just waited for something magical to happen and it did.