Adrift in Anchorage

My latest project for work has me back in Anchorage, Alaska for a few days.  I’ll be passing through on my way up to the North Slope – a big oilfield area right off the Arctic Ocean in northern Alaska.

Not ones to sit in our hotel rooms, my buddy and I got up this morning and headed out to do some exploring of the area south of the city.  On good recommendation from a colleague of ours, we made our end point the little town of Girdwood which is approximately 40 miles away.  The following images are the result of the day’s wandering.

Sunrise this time of year is around 10:20am, and the sun never really gets much higher in the sky than just above the horizon.  This made the whole 5 hours of daylight excellent for photos!  The shot below was made just as the sun was coming up behind that mountain.  It was about 18 degrees fahrenheit and windy.  Big patches of ice on the water raced along, riding the tide coming in from the Gulf of Alaska.  The crystalline sound of ice flows crashing into each other could be heard echoing across the water.

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Train tracks follow the shape of the land surrounding the water way.  Here, the break of daylight is caught glimmering off the icy steel.

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The sky opposite the rising sun revealed various hues of pink and blue.

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Travis and I paused a moment to get this shot of us freezing to death in the cold, wet wind coming off the water.  Setting my camera on the back of the rental car, I managed to cut off our feet.  We were not inclined to try it again – the heater in the car had priority.

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Along the way to Girdwood, we stopped off for a quick hike down a trail through the woods.

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We came across a number of beautiful creeks and streams, many of them feeding back to the main waterway from the Gulf of Alaska.

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Along one of the trails we hiked, a creek flowing from high up a mountain had almost completely frozen over.  This patch of running water was doing its best to hold back the growing formations of ice.  I laid my camera bag on the snow beside the creek for use as a tripod for this long-exposure shot.  The effect of the slow shutter on the running water made such a wonderful contrasting background to the brittle ice formations hovering just above the surface.  I really like this shot!  It was well worth the frozen plumbers crack and stiff knees I received in exchange for it.

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Wild Alaska!  Does it get any better?  I spent the whole time we were out exploring it in awe of the natural beauty that exists here. The terrain, flora, and fauna are all so vastly different from the east coast of the U.S.  I look forward to any future opportunities I may have to spend more time here.

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Next stop: The North Slope.  Comprised mostly of flat, frozen tundra, it is pretty up there but nowhere near as much as it is here in southern Alaska.  It’s also a LOT colder up there too and hardly any light shows this time of year.  The last time I was up there was in 2011 and it was quite the experience.  Learning from that last trip, this time I brought better equipment with me to keep warm – namely, arctic boots.  I’m hoping to see some Northern Lights while I’m up there.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.  I’m sure I’ve got more from today that I can post later but for now that’s all.

* All shots were made using a Sony A7RII with either a Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 or Rokinon 14mm f/2.8.

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7 thoughts on “Adrift in Anchorage

  1. Your photos are just beautiful!!! I hope you have plans in the future to capture much of your landscape photography in a book, video, something on that order!!!

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  2. Alaska is so very beautiful! I am so glad you’ve had the opportunity to go there like this. These photos are just stunning.

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  3. Wild Alaska is definitely that- wild!! Beautiful pictures, Tom- as always! You manage to capture the best in a scene…. an awesome artist’s eye.

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  4. I’m new to your posts. Glad I found them! I use old Minolta glass as well……had it since ’85. Thank you Tom, for taking the time to share you thoughts and images. They are meaningful and make a difference!

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  5. Thanks Dave, I’m so glad you’ve found value in my efforts to make Outfor30 a worthwhile site to visit. I really appreciate you’re taking the time to leave a comment. Minolta made some truly great lenses. I’ve found a number of them to be as good, if not better, than many modern offerings which can cost many times more.

    Tom

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