An Alternative View of Northwestern Fjord

Just so you know, it happens to me too. It's nearly 9 pm, and I just stared at this screen for 45 minutes. Wondering what they heck I was going to write about.

I've kept up a fairly rigorous writing schedule over the past 5 months. Less than 5 months actually - and no less than 55 blog posts. There are more posts that I've written too, but they are sitting as drafts, either waiting to be finished, or doomed to sit for all eternity as really crappy examples of poor content - luckily, I won't hurt you by sharing them. It's like my photographic library, I only show off the stuff that I'm proud of. But I have to weed through a lot of crap to get those.

Infinite Cycle

Infinite Cycle

Earlier today, I read a really great blog post by fellow photographer, Ron Coscorrosa. Entitled, "Better Together" - it is a post about the merits beyond portfolios of work, rather than shooting for just one powerful image. Although it is possible for one image to tell a story ("A picture is worth a thousand words" comes to mind), ten photographs can tell a more complete story - and help separate you from all the other 'icon-chasers' of the photography world. It's a sentiment I very much agree with. As photographers, and social beings (well, some are...) many people are driven to elicit "Wow!"'s from their image sharing on social media & other websites. But all too often, even powerful (single)images are quickly forgotten. They may impress, but they do not capture your imagination, simply because (too often) they convey only a single perspective to an event or experience.

Perhaps this is the part of me that enjoys excellent photojournalistic stories, and longs to see similar steps taken in 'fine art' photography. Reading Ron's article was a great reminder of this concept, a perfectly timed one at that. It has given me renewed focus on a few projects I have been considering for some time.

My first take from this concept is an experiment. I've pulled a few images from my archives to start things off.

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When traveling through the Kenai Fjords, especially on a glacier watching cruise, it is very easy to get caught up in the 'grand scale' shots. With all that is going on around, it can be difficult to notice the small things, the 'vignettes' - smaller details, extracted from the giant landscapes that dominate the region. Luckily for me, I spent quite a bit of time in the Kenai Fjords this past summer. It allowed me to revisit locations several times, and look for details that I missed on previous trips. One of the things that really gets me excited are vignettes of glaciers, and glacially carved rocks. The forms are so foreign, and mysterious. They are ancient, but still relatively young. Incredibly hard rock is cracked, pulverized, and polished by slowly surging ice. The shapes that are left behind, the interactions that directly cause the coloration in the land (and sea) scape, these are the things that I now find my eyes (and my lens) drawn to each subsequent trip. These smaller visions of a much grander landscape stand in direct opposition to any concept of the 'whole being greater than the sum of the parts'. These 'parts', these vignettes, are what make this land what it is. Each one is a powerful reminder to search for details that others might glance past with only a cursory look.

I hope you enjoy this alternative view of Northwestern Fjord.