Friday, September 12, 2008

Blogging in the vacuum

As promised, the next time the dreaded Blogger's Vacuum struck ... Alaska pictures. I scanned these at 200dpi (because they're worth it), so if they take a little while to download, invest a bit of patience; and click on a pic to get the full size scan, of course.

These pictures were captured between 1997 and 2000, which explains why they're scans. I was using a couple of Pentax K-1000s and an assortment of lenses, with my favorite being a Tamron 80 - 200 zoom. I also used a polarizing filter, which is why some of these pictures look fairly awesome. The old prints were scanned using your basic CanoScan machine, straight into IrfanView for manipulation; and where there are blots in the sky etc. (scanner measles) they were cleaned up with Micrographx. So, here goes:

Trapper Creek in high summer, an absolutely glorious day. Been there in winter, too, and photographed the exact same view, buried under snow ... will see if I can find the pictures and upload them when the Vacuum strikes again.

A fine (cold) day on the Kenai; one of scores of glaciers makes its way to the sea. Shot from a tour boat, believe it or not. From the picture, you'd think it was warm, but I can tell you, the cold was stinging...

Alpenglow on the Chugach ... or, "the view from Jewel Lake Road, standing right beside the firehouse." You can actually Google the location, put yourself right where I was standing to take this shot. The time was about 11:00 or a bit closer to midnight, and it wasn't cold at all. This was in the "freak August" of 1997 -- people said Keegan had brought the Aussie weather with him...

Now you KNOW you're in Alaska. A float plane makes its landing approach to Lake Hood, which is one of the world's busiest airports. Alaska is full of these planes. Don't let Hollywood fool you: you can NOT drive to Alaskan country towns, other than Fairbanks at t'other end of both the northbound highways. Everywhere else -- which they call the bush, same as the Aussie term -- you fly in and fly out. And this is how you do it...

Fall comes to the tundra. This is Stampede Trail, not so far outside Fairbanks, in the fall of 1999. Again, a glorious day, though Aussies would call it cold. The landscape was bright with color; I blew several rolls of Fujichrome right there, and wished I could do more.

Fall comes to the Fairbanks hills ... the landscape turns into an enchanted forest. Everywhere you look, you think you've blundered into Rivendell without remembering how you go there. You might wish these conditions would last for several weeks, as they do in other parts of the world, but in Fairbanks, fall can last a couple of days. Or a single day, if a weather front comes through just as the trees turn...

High summer ... could be the Kenai or Prince William Sound. Calm conditions and deceptive photo quality: it was bloody freezing. The puffins were out that day, as I recall; cute little buggers, but too small and too fast to photograph well. I never did manage to get a puffin photo worth printing...

Chena Lakes, close to Fairbanks, on a day so calm, there wasn't a ripple on the water. One of those days when you also had the place to yourself, and the quiet was stunning. And then --

The same lake a few months later. FROZEN solid. Anyone bring their skates? The thing about birch woods is that when they drop their leaves, they look really, seriously daggy. The landscape can look kind of "shabby" for months, but you live with it because in season (and especially in fall) birch woods are amazing. Like this:

Early fall in Denli Park. Weather such as you pray for and get on rare occasion in the north. And there's the little car -- Pontiac Sunfire -- which went places and did things most little cars only dream about.

And I do believe I have something important to blog -- nay, to RANT! -- about tomorrow; I just need to research it a little and make sure. If Keegan is going to get up on the soap box, let's make sure the rant is justified. Right.

Ciao for now,

No comments:

Post a Comment