March 27, 2014

Samuel Johns

Yesterday I had the pleasure of photographing up and coming Anchorage musician Samuel Johns. Samuel, a member of the Ahtna native community (a subculture of Athabascan) was born and raised in Copper Center, AK. By the time he was 21 he had already spent most of his life battling alcoholism. Then he had a daughter and knew he had to quit. He's been sober seven years now and spends a good deal of his time giving music back to the community. He writes and performs his own rap songs but also has taken to learning traditional drumming and singing. He performs once a week for Bean's Caffe, a large shelter here in Anchorage, and is making quite a name for himself. I was asked by Cook Inlet Tribal Council to take some images of him for an upcoming feature in their Access 360 magazine. To help Samuel out we also decided to do a little extra work and let him have some of the images for his self promotion.  For these images, in his traditional regalia, we went up into the mountains. It was a stunningly clear evening. In the top photo you can see Denali in the background. It's remarkable to think that that mountain is 250 miles away and still towers over the horizon. The Chugach Mountains are the backdrop for the second image. We'll be doing some "studio" shots next week and I'll hope to have them up here soon after!

March 13, 2014

Nevada County, CA

Empire Mine State Historic Park
Last month I was in California doing work for a couple of clients in my old stomping grounds. Nevada County, a beautiful area established during the height of the California Gold Rush, is one of my favorite places to get out and explore. In between jobs I was able to get out for a few short hikes. Here are some of my favorite "grabs" of the trip.

Empire Mine State Historic Park

Empire Mine State Historic Park

Empire Mine State Historic Park

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park

February 23, 2014

Mat-Su Fall!

Chickaloon River
    Fall and early winter have been unusually busy for me. It's been great business-wise but I've struggled to make the time to stay connected here! Luckily, that gives me a lot to catch up on.
    In mid-September I spent the day in the Matanuska-Susitna region in search of fall color. The peak colors in Alaska only last a couple of weeks but can be absolutely stunning! I ended up spending most of my time scrambling around Chickaloon River just a little further up the Glenn Highway from the town of the same name. I took a lot of long exposures, about one to four seconds, to get the silky look in the water. The sky was pretty dull with heavy clouds so I added a blue gradient to make the white spaces in the composition less distracting.
    Here are some favorites from the day:

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)