Calm doesn't always precede a storm - New Print Release!

Ruminations - Part 3

‘Rambling, long form, continuing blog posts of my personal discoveries… thus far.’

I’m trying a new, long form, blogging style in this post. I’ll be revisiting it often. I’m going to use it as a mental dump, a place to share some inner thoughts and discoveries. Although the topics that I’ll discuss here may not be purely or strictly ‘photographic’, they are deeper parts of me than I haven’t shared with the general public before. They do make me who I am today, as well as guide how I act in the future. Perhaps you will find some common ground with them, or something will resonate with you. If so, I hope you’ll chime in and leave a comment. 

Perhaps it is all TMI for you. That’s fine, I’ll have plenty of other blog posts with pictures of Alaska, tips, tricks, travel factoids, etc. that I think you’ll find fascinating. 
To each their own. 
You can read Ruminations - Part 1, here &

Last Friday, Scott and I stood atop a large boulder, on our way back to our base camp.

The sky had been darkening for the past hour. Clouds were thickening to the east, rolling over the tops of the peaks, and into our valley.

Then came bright flashes of light, all too quickly followed by the crashing boom of thunder.

Before we raced back to the tent, I noticed this beautiful sliver of light. It had peaked through a narrow gap in the mountains above our camp.

It was so beautiful. So fleeting.

Last Light Before the Storm

Reassuring, even.

And then it was gone.

By the time we got back to our tent, a gentle sprinkle was patting the fabric walls and creating small, circular ripples in the pond. But across the valley, sheets of rain were cascading down the sides of the mountains.

We zipped up the rain fly just as the heavier rain began to fall.

The lightning grew brighter, and more frequent. The thunder more loud and traveling smaller distances to reach us.

The storm was upon us.

As it grew, we started to plan our retreat. Not long ago, two hikers were struck by lightning, near Anchorage.

We reasoned (isn't reasoning typically based mostly on hope?) that descending into the valley was our best option, as the lightning would be drawn to the highest points.

We would need to go against our gut, and take our time. The moss-covered boulders in the many rock falls would make our travel even more dangerous, now that they were soaked in rain.

We would travel close enough to maintain contact, but far enough so that - if one of us was struck by lightning - the other would escape.

Each of us carried our phones. Despite being many miles into the wilderness, we still had very good reception from certain areas, and we could call for help if needed.

Scott had dropped his Spot emergency beacon, somewhere in our hike below. But we had set up camp knowing there would likely be decent cell reception nearby.

You know, for emergency purposes... definitely not for Scott to post updates to Facebook, or me to Tumblr...

Suddenly, in our planning, we realized that things were not quite as scary as before.

We had a plan.

So much of 'fear' is based on the unknown.

Things that are (mostly) out of our control anyway.

When I moved to Alaska, I felt a shift in my persona:

I would rather die while trying to live my life, than to live my life while trying not to die.

I used to say.

But now, I'm married. I'm responsible for more than just myself. There is a fear associated with that. Who would take care of Jena if I was gone?

Jena is one of the strongest individuals I've ever met. You may not know it looking at her, but there is a deep strength in her. It was one of the defining characteristics that drew me to her in the first place.

I know she would be miserable if I were to be taken from her (at least, I hope so - we're still 'newlyweds'...), but I also know that if anyone could carry on, it would be her.

There is also a fear associated with my business. Will it ever be enough to allow us to live securely on its profits alone?

Jena works for the State of Alaska, so there is security there. We also have other (very exciting, I might add) business plans that may help us in the future.

And, as I stated in a recent blog post (What motivates you?), the ultimate goal of my photography is not to make money.

It is to create.

I can always do something else to 'make money'.

It is helpful to have a plan. When you have one, you can attempt to look at all the possible ways things could go wrong. This recognition can help guide how you would react to the adversities.

Suddenly, in your planning, you may find that things were not quite as scary as they seemed.

So much of fear is based on the unknown.

But it is also the unknown that can give us blessings - if we are only willing to ride out the storm.

New Print Release

I'm really excited to unveil the newest print in my collection. I'm calling it 'Rarified Light'.

This is what awaited us after the storm. I'm hoping the image won't get lost here, towards the bottom of the post. But I believe it needed a preface - rather than jumping right into it.

Soon after the storm passed by, the sun began to set. We made our way back to the same rock that I had shot 'Last Light Before the Storm' from.

There was still a light, but steady, mist falling.

I had planned to shoot a series of images from above the pond, for a panoramic piece. I did this, but as I was finishing one of the compositions, a dim section of rainbow began to appear over the lake.

A warm light  moved from just the northern corner of the valley, to cover the entire area. When that light passed the far edge of the lake, a full rainbow appeared (actually, an easily visible double rainbow).

I had to act quickly, so my mind switched from shooting panos, to retrieving the wide angle lens (a 16-28) from my pouch. With it, I could just fit the rainbow in a single frame, with enough padding that it didn't feel cramped.

I took as many photographs as I could, within the short span of time that the rainbow existed.

We returned to the tent after sunset. Utterly soaked from the rain that picked up yet again. We laughed for a long time, filled with a warmth from that cherry-clementine light.

Rarified Light

I am setting the opening Rendition Print (#1) at 24"x36". (read about our completely unique ‘Rendition’ prints in this blog post)

Open Editions prints are also available in 12″x18″, 16″x24″, 20″x30″ sizes.

If you are a collector, and would like to own the very first Rendition Print of this image, please contact us at 907-315-0191. Likewise, if you would like to own an Open Edition print, we would love to help you.


You can read Ruminations - Part 1, here &