Post Number 100!

Abstract, Alaska, Black & White, Landscapes, Portraits, Travel, Uncategorized

Above: Heidi in the Hood, a selectively-saturated portrait.

It sounds and feels like a lot – this is my 100th post. Thanks to everyone who visits! I have spent a lot of time running Far North Light and loved every minute. It’s great to have so many people show an interest in seeing things through my lens for a little while.

To commemorate 100 posts I have made major formatting changes. Most notable is the blogs appearance, it now includes a homepage with a slideshow, and will in the future include more galleries and portfolios. Please check out my updated about page as well.

I decided there would be no better way to mark 100 posts then to revisit some of the most popular. Note: as this is the second incarnation of Far North Light some of the images were not previously on the blog, but needed to be revisited regardless.

Do you have a favorite photo that I didn’t include in the best-of? Let me know and I’ll make a follow-up post.

Strange Day was the first 4×5 large-format negative I ever took, and one of my first images ever accepted into a juried art show. The following image is a scanned silver-gelatin fibre print. If I knew how I achieved such black clouds, I would tell you.

Strange Day

Strange Day

Stange Day was taken at Creamers Field, which was a diary farm and is now a migratory wildfowl refuge, and one of my favorite places to photograph. It’s excellent for everything from landscapes to portraits. The next is a wind drift closeup from Creamers, also 4×5.

Wind Drift

Wind Drift


I don’t often go in search of wildlife, but when given the opportunity do photograph it.

Migrating Canada geese.

Migrating Canada geese.

One of my favorite posts is from Halloween 2012. 

Ravens play on a windy Halloween day.

Ravens play on a windy Halloween day.

No compilation post about photography would be complete without some of my photojournalism. From Oct. 17, 2012

Research Vessel Sikuliaq gets its first taste of the water, Marinette, Wis.

Research Vessel Sikuliaq gets its first taste of the water, Marinette, Wis.

And from my coverage of presidential candidate Ron Paul’s visit to Fairbanks.

Ron Paul visists Fairbanks, Alaska.

Ron Paul speaks in Fairbanks, March 4, 2011.

As I’m sure is obvious this is but a small collection of the posts and stories I’ve shared. Many of my personal favorites I put into the homepage slide show. I hope you enjoyed, and stay tuned for many more images!

Very-Temporary Fossils

Alaska, architecture, Photography, Street, Wildlife

While nothing in Interior Alaska can be considered typical, Fairbanks – typically – isn’t very windy. This winter has brought no shortage of windy days. While occasionally bone-chilling cold, wind also creates exciting conditions. Ravens seem to have fun when currents whip up.

Ravens play in high winds above UAF's Fine Art Complex. April 17, 2013.

Ravens play in high winds above UAF’s Fine Art Complex. April 17, 2013.

The next day, slowly picking my way down a steep, slippery hill, my preferred route between car and classroom, I found evidence some ravens had been using strong winds and currents to their advantage.

Spiraling strike marks decorated the snow’s surface. A raven had been hunting, likely a small rodent. My friend accurately described it as a “very-temporary fossil.” Indeed unlikely the imprint would be preserved more then a day or two.

A hunting raven leaves evidence in the snow, April 18, 2013.

A hunting raven leaves evidence in the snow, April 18, 2013.

At the time I was en route to grab class materials, happy just to spot the strike, I didn’t linger. Deciding to court a safer path back up the hill, my attention was once more drawn toward patterns in the snow. I couldn’t pass the opportunity to photograph another strike mark. Even if it meant going back to my car to swap tennis shoes for boots.

A pedestrian walks up a path at UAF, near a imprint a raven left in the snow, akin to a temporary fossil.

A pedestrian walks up a path at UAF, near a raven imprint in the snow, akin to a temporary fossil.

Close-up of an imprint left by a hunting raven.

Close-up of an imprint left by a hunting raven.

A Halloween murder… of ravens.

Alaska, Black & White, Landscapes, Photography, Wildlife

The wind whipped all Halloween. Soaring and swooping ravens took advantage of the strong drafts to have some fun. A flock of ravens is also called a murder, fitting for this last day of October.

Ravens have long held a place in lore. Tricksters and shape shifters are among the most common Alaska fables. Raven Steals The light is a popular North-West Native American story where the earth begins bathed in total darkness. Accounts vary, but the plot often involves the character of Raven pretending to be the grandson of an old man who holds all the light. Raven then steals it and shines it over earth and water.

“And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!”  – Edgar Allen Poe

Here a murder of ravens flies above UAF. © Robin Wood

Ravens and tree. Oct. 31, 2012.

Everyone dances

Alaska, Arts, Black & White, Photography, Portraits, Wildlife

While down in Anchorage photographing a character study of Sue Perry, a seamstress making costumes for Alaska Dance Theater’s production of Othello, I took some time off to photograph rehearsals. The fluid movements and long extensions often seen in ballet were there, but wonderfully contrasted with sharp, edgy lines and tense, jerky motions showing both internal and external character struggle. I was lucky enough to have my telephoto on when through the window I caught raven making his own graceful movements. I couldn’t find the mythological view of ravens as tricksters, shape shifters and on rare occasions sinister, more fitting while looking at the dancers practice this dark play penned by Shakespeare. Sometimes life shows true serendipity.