Twisted: Taken on the spit outside of Homer, Alaska
I managed to find a decent internet connection while doing some laundry (riveting, eh?) and figured I would shoot out a quick update with what we’ve been up to. And, I may even fill you in on what we’re thinking for the rest of the trip, although that changes about as quickly as the weather does up here… (All the freaking time).
I’ve been in Alaska now for pretty much a full week. We literally rented the car and went straight out to shoot! The light we had the first night over Anchorage was absolutely amazing. But, being unfamiliar with where to go, we ended up on a back road with basically no decent shot in sight during peak sunset, and found a good spot about 30 minutes too late. Dang it! We had been told though, that Alaska doesn’t get too much color in the sky this time of year because of the weather though, so it was nice to have a show the very first night and see that it was possible!
The spot we found was good enough that we spent the first night in the car right at the edge of a small lake (with an awesome mountain reflection) and were up super early to try to shoot it. Not anything spectacular, but I was itching to get a photo or two on my card, so I shot it anyways. The next day and a half or so (I think) were spent looking for light at that lake and in surrounding areas while camping at the shadiest campground I have EVER been too on the outskirts of Anchorage. Police were there to evict people who were camping but refused to pay the fee and I was offered the chance to purchase some high quality weed. I refused. haha.
With the sunrise and sunset times, the days really blend together. It’s hard to say exactly which day we did what. Basically, our schedule has been to sleep, travel or scout new areas during the day and then shoot the sunset around 11:30pm and stay up/reposition to shoot the sunrise around 4:30am. We have gotten a few chances to sleep through the night though which has been rare, but very welcome.
The day we left Anchorage, we decided to do a decent hike for a sunrise view. To get to the top by sunrise, we had to start the hike at 1:30 in the morning. It was dark enough to need a headlamp under thick trees, but in open fields it was plenty light enough to see our trail. Rumor has it that the best method for dealing with grizzlies up here is to make enough noise that they hear you coming from a long distance off. I thought it was important for them to know we are friendly people, and took to yelling, ‘Hey, Bear!’ every so often. Seemed to work! Let’s be honest though, I wouldn’t have minded at least getting the chance to photograph one.
From there, we moved to Homer and then on to Seward. Both offered a real decent number of spots! And the drives between all three cities were all absolutely spectacular. LOTS of u-turns and quick pull-overs. In Seward, we got amazing light and color. It all happened over the harbor too! And, we had a killer campground right on the water! Phenomenal place!
We are now in Valdez. LONG drive to get here but we spotted some views that, in the right light, would easily yield the best photos of the trip. Now, it’s just a waiting game for when we make our moves for the rest of our time here. Valdez looks pretty socked in for the next couple days so we may not get much of anything here, but our potential location looks like it’ll have the perfect weather tomorrow night through friday and possibly saturday. It’s the kind of location that could warrant us waiting right there for the best possible light, even for a few days. Very cool location. Looks like we’ll have just enough time to jump up to Denali national park for a day or two after that before having to race back down to Anchorage to catch our flights out of here.
All in all, I have never gotten so little sleep. But, it’s been a total blast. Dan Ballard, the photographer I went to Colorado with in February, and his friend Joe Roybal have both been great. And, while I haven’t had my camera out as much as I was thinking I would, I already think I’ve gotten a higher number of website-worthy images in 1 week than I thought I’d be able to manage even given two weeks. Good stuff!
Anyways, I’ll try to post more at some point if possible. If not, be looking for new photos, and more stories when I get home.