Sunday, August 7, 2016


    With the forthcoming release of my latest body of work, "Edge of the Earth," I find it nice to share some stories behind some of the photos. The trip into the Pacific Ranges (the southernmost range in the Coast Mountains, spanning over 40,000 square miles!) was supposed to be a 9 day heli-in-backpack-hike-heli-out We finally made it in after a three day rain delay; on the first of those days, the helicopter actually flew us halfway into the range before having to turn around due to fog and low clouds.

   The first three days we spend camped at the foot of a glacier just north of Mt. Jacobsen. The glacier provided natural air conditioning on what, at least initially, were some hot, sunny days. Just down the ridge were lush meadows with innumerable wildflowers all at peak, and a clear view of Mt. Jacobsen and Ape Lake below it. As mountain weather does, we soon found ourselves just below a high pressure system to the north brining severe thunderstorms, and clear blue skies to the south. This brought us some incredible atmospheric conditions with dabbled light, low clouds and fog all changing by the minute. For about thirty minutes one morning, several of us sat atop a ledge with our telephoto lenses, taking near a hundred pictures of these peaks enveloped by low clouds and patchy light. About an hour later when everyone was gone, the show started again. I took one shot zoomed out a bit at 80mm to include both the peak and the glacier below when I noticed the the clouds and fog were enveloping the mountain in a spiral fashion. It was one of those shots that I knew immediately was going to be a good one. No imagination was necessary to visualize a final product. There it was in the LCD of my camera. The final product needed very little retouching. Just some mild contrast adjustments and color treatment: I envisioned a relatively desaturated image with preservation of the cold blue tones so the viewer would not be distracted by color; the atmosphere is all thats needed to tell the story here.

  Five weeks before the trip, I suffered a grade 2 ligament tear in my ankle while playing in the waves off the coast of Maui. The 5 weeks I had planned to train vigorously for this trip were replaced by two weeks on crutches and three weeks of limping around with a brace. Everyone from the doctors to physical therapists, friends, and family told me I would be crazy to go on this trip. My answer: To try and fail is better than not to have tried at all. To cancel the trip and sit at home wondering,"What if?" was NOT an option. I was little slower on the rocks, and having an 80lb pack while navigating uneven terrain was probably a little much for my ankle at that stage in the healing process, but not only did I survive. I conquered. And for that reason, this photo, perhaps my favorite from the trip, is titled, "Unbroken."

No comments:

slogan, explore, imagine, inspire