Angle Rocks in spring and fall

Alaska, Photography, Travel

Above: Sun shines on a granite tor of Angle Rocks and trees in golden fall colors, to the right the Chena River snakes through a valley cast in shadows. September 11, 2014.

Angle Rocks is almost assuredly the most popular hiking spot near Fairbanks. It’s a 3.5-mile loop in the Chena River State Recreation Area, about 45 miles from Fairbanks, that takes trekkers through and around a variety of tors formed from granite.

The tors were formed hundreds of millions of years ago when magma bubbled up from the Earth’s mantel, but failed break through the ground. They then slowly become revealed as erosion striped the surrounding land, exposing the giant rocks.

I hiked Angle Rocks twice this summer, once in spring and once in fall. Both seasons provided fantastic and vibrant colors. The cool and calm spring greens and the energetic and exciting gold of fall.

Bicycle Beat: Welcome to Winter, Spring.

Alaska, Black & White, Landscapes, Photography, Street

Crazy Fairbanks weather continues. That didn’t deter some friends and I from doing an art-show bike on Friday, May 3.

Such an important part of photography is taking pictures of everything. I find it an important way to sharpen the eye and make sure my camera’s settings will give me a well-rendered file. The green fence caught my eye, and the complementary color of the red for-sale sign was enough reason for a quick stop.

Green Fence with for-sale sign, May 3, 2013.

Green Fence with for-sale sign, May 3, 2013.

Wind and cold soon swept in snow, which fell in large, heavy clumps. Truly spring with a twist.

Snow falls May 3, 2013 in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Snow falls May 3, 2013 in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Spring is also a chance to see what winter left behind. This is most evident in the trash that manifests on roadsides after being forgotten under a blanket of snow all winter. Fairbanks has a community clean-up day, when scores of volunteers take to the streets with bright yellow trash bags helping make the Golden Heart of Alaska clean again. Not uncommon, clean-up day 2013 had to be postponed, and is now scheduled for May 11.

I don’t know what happened for this bike beside the path to become utterly destroyed, but it must not have been enjoyable for the rider.

A beat-up, rusty bike lays along side a bike path in Fairbanks, Alaska.

A beat-up, rusty bike lays along side a bike path in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Music Monday: TIm Robb at Creamers Field.

Alaska, Black & White, Film, Music, Photography, Portraits, Street

First things first: My condolences go out to all those affected by today’s Boston Marathon tragedy. I have spent some time viewing photos and watching videos, it truly is horrific. I can’t imagine the utter shock and chaos felt during what should have been a time of jubilation.

I was riding my bike to school, just about this time in 2012, and stopped by Creamers Field to shoot some 35mm, B&W film. I happened upon an unexpected scene.

Fairbanks musician Tim Robb watched the arrival of Canada goose while practicing guitar, his dog in attendance. Robb is a very enjoyable, mellow yet enthusiastic musician. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner¬†correctly critiques his work: “Robb… typically blurs the style lines through free-form interpretation and improvisation.”

I was worried I didn’t have anything for Music Monday, then I found these gems in my archives. The first image is a lesson in micro-composition. A few extra seconds in the viewfinder and I may have panned up and to the right, eliminating the rear-door handle and “Outback” emblem, at the same time getting all the lettering on the barn and the vents on the roof.

Tim Robb practices guitar while his dog hangs out at Creamers Field, April 2012.

Tim Robb practices guitar while his dog hangs out, Creamers Field, April 2012.

Bright morning light causes squinty eyes, but doesn't diminish smiles.

Bright morning light causes squinty eyes, but doesn’t diminish smiles.

Spring, snow melt and cattle

Abstract, Alaska, Black & White, Film, Photography, Portraits

Record temperatures in Fairbanks means snow’s melting, fast. I’ve been photographing the farmer who is raising Black Angus cows some more. Here water drips off a fence highlighted by sun with a cow in the background. 100 speed film means not a lot of grain, but on 35MM it still comes standard, shallow depth of field just because I can.

Please click on the image to view full size.