iPhone photos – dragonflies, logs and a dog. Oh my!

Alaska, Black & White, Iphone, Photography, Portraits

Time for another iPhone photo collection. For me iPhones are true slivers of life. It could be my other camera is just out of reach, or I need to be quick – dramatic light in a restaurant or a dragonfly landing on my leg. My favorite is attempting to capture the impromptu; that picture that must be shot out of a car window with little time for composition, a logging truck or a man and his dog.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Abstract, Alaska, Black & White, Landscapes, Photography, Travel, Weekly Photo Post

Probably a little too much detail to be a true silhouette. But the dark outline of the boat emphasized against the cloudy background offers the same effect. I really like the boat far in the background. Image taken in Prince William Sound, outside Valdez, 2011.

Fishing vessels outside Valdez.

The second image is a true silhouette. Mountains at sunset in Denali National Park.

Mountains at sunset

Swans and bikers on the Richardson Highway

Alaska, Landscapes, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

The Richardson Highway is 368 miles of pavement connecting Fairbanks, Alaska with Valdez to the south. The highway is typical of those found in Alaska: crossing mountain ranges and a very steep pass, with the occasional view of a glacier. Also common among many Alaskan roads, wildlife viewing. A trip down to Valdez earlier this summer brought multiple sightings and photo opportunities of swans.

Please click on the image to view full size.

The first group of the birds were farther off the road and didn’t allow me to get very close before taking flight, but offered me a nice action shot in the process.

The second group, much closer to the road, was far to concerned with eating to be spooked by my presence.

Then, after a few minutes of photographing, I got that unique shot photographers hope for. There in remote Isbabel Pass, more then 100 miles south of Fairbanks and with Gulkana Glacier in the background, a long-distance biker seemed to come out of nowhere, stopping to take a picture himself. Unfortunately without the preceding picture one easily looses the beauty of these large, graceful and powerful birds.

Fishing in Valdez: The people, the fish and the boat.

Alaska, Landscapes, Photography, Portraits, Travel

Here are two images of life on the water in Valdez.  The first image I believe is a combination of family and friends that work together commercial fishing Silver Salmon. Trollers go out in smaller skiffs deploying nets before they are winched back in. It’s hard work, and despite the apparent calm in the fishermen there is noticeable tension in their postures.

Please click on the images to view full size.

Next, a fishing boat sits in the shade as the light falls on the hill behind.  The boat had overnighted in Sawmill Bay, sometimes it’s easier to find calm water to sleep on then sail back to the harbor. Even though in this case Sawmill Bay is only 15 miles outside Valdez.

Valdez Harbor and Trans-Alaska Pipeline Storage Tanks

Alaska, Black & White, Film, Landscapes, Photography, Travel

While doing some back editing I realized I have a fair amount of work from a few trips to Valdez last summer. Valdez is the northern-most ice free harbor in the U.S. and is home to the terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

Seen here from across the bay, on a rare sunny day in Valdez, are the storage tanks for the oil that continues to flow through the pipeline 35 years after it was first pumped. According to valdezalaska.org there are 18 crude-oil tanks, each capable of holding 510,000 barrels of crude, for a total of 9.18 million barrels. While not nearly at peak production the pipeline still proves to be a vital portion of Alaska’s economy. Watch where you’re boating, if you enter the restricted area around the storage tanks you can be fined up to $32,500 and lose your boat.

This next image is simply Valdez harbor with mountains in the background.