Photographing in Alaska’s summers introduces a problem for sleep-lovers. The quality of light that delivers color, warmth, and pleasing shadows happens when most are sleeping. The late hour of both the setting and rising sun blows any sort of normal working schedule. Some time ago I adopted a little guideline when in the field photographing: “always camp by water if possible”. This affords a hasty opportunity at the least, of getting up quickly to catch color in the sky and its reflection on the land when the sun rises.
This mountain landscape, sometimes mistaken for Mount McKinley, is actually Mount Blackburn (16,390 ft.) of the Wrangell St. Elias range in southcentral Alaska. After many failed attempts to capture this scene, this visit proved successful and the clear skies, clouds, and colorful sunrise synchronized for an interesting photo. I woke up about 3:30am and waited for the sun to rise, and shot this scene at 4:30am. I continued to take a variety of landscapes until about 6:00am, and upon returning to my car met some tourists who were just waking. I like sleep as the average person does, but there is a strong lure found in the solitude and brilliance of an Alaska sunrise.
Canon 1Ds Mark II, 24-105mmIS, 2.0 secs @f16, ISO 100