Dec 162014
Aurora and Milky Way from Murphy Dome

Last night I strapped on my snowshoes to take a walk around Murphy Dome. It’s not really my favorite spot, but it’s a convenient location with a good view and a mostly dark sky. It’s been overcast almost every night in Fairbanks lately, so I didn’t want to take a long drive just to get sopped in and come up with nothing. And what’s with this sore throat? Blargh. I was really hoping to catch the tail end of the Geminids meteor shower, but had no such luck. Clouds were already filling much of the southern sky right where I . . . read more

 December 16, 2014  aurora borealis, photo-blog 1 Response »
Dec 142014
Photo of the week -- "Aurora before the clouds"

It seems like every night the clouds roll in fast, no matter how nice of a day it may have been. I still managed to catch some brief glimpses of the aurora before the clouds filled the sky. We had some strong winds in the middle of the week that managed to knock much of that beautiful snow off of the tree branches – it would be nice if we had another snowfall! Nikon D7000 Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 lens Focal Length:  12 mm ISO:           800 Aperture:      f/3.2 Shutter Speed: 5 sec

Dec 082014
December sky and snow - 2014

Early last week I took a photo-walk downtown, shortly after we finally had our first significant snowfall. There has been some snow on the ground since early October, but things were beginning to look a bit brown and gray – not really what I want to see as we enter the darkest days of the year. I mean, we have two more weeks of losing light and the Sun is already rising at 10:40 am and setting at 2:45 pm. Snow definitely brightens the world up a bit. About 7 inches fell on Monday and Tuesday and since there was . . . read more

 December 8, 2014  Fairbanks, photo-blog No Responses »
Dec 072014
Photo of the Week - "ALASKA"

It wasn’t very easy to see the stars when the moon was shining so brightly, but you can still make out the big dipper over the road. The big dipper is the constellation on the Alaska State Flag, so I figured that with the snow-covered trees the name “ALASKA” was fitting. There was even a bit of aurora barely glowing on the horizon. We haven’t needed a headlamp to walk the dog the last few nights. More photos from this evening: Technical Details Nikon D7000 Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 lens Focal Length:  12 mm ISO:           800 Aperture:      . . . read more

Dec 022014
Fairbanks in Black and White

From October until April we live in a mostly monochromatic world. The sky makes some pretty dramatic colors at sunrise and sunset, but in the middle of the day (for all 3 hours of it) there’s not much to look at except for snow and whatever happens to stick out of the snow. By the end of winter, even the spruce trees turn a dullish brown-gray. I thought it would be fitting (and maybe fun) to go out and shoot the city of Fairbanks in black and white. So, after spending 14 hours in the laundromat washing and folding clothes . . . read more

 December 2, 2014  Fairbanks, photo-blog No Responses »
Nov 302014
Photo of the Week - "Beautiful morning sunrise"

Full disclosure — I didn’t take many photos this week. I slept in late on Sunday after my Angel Rocks trip, then spent the week cleaning, shopping, and preparing food for Thanksgiving. The Friday after Thanksgiving I spent on the couch with Kate and the dog. However, I did manage to take this photo of the sunrise from our living room window on Monday. Sorry everybody – I’ll work harder next week! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Nikon D7000 Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 lens Focal Length:  29 mm ISO:           320 Aperture:      f/2.8 Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec

Nov 292014
Aurora Borealis - November 21, 2014

With little to no snow on the ground I packed up my winter hiking boots instead of my ski boots and hiked slowly out to Angel Rocks (about 50 miles from Fairbanks). I had hopes for aurora, but was mainly wanting to nab a few shots of the Milky Way under the dark skies of a new moon. It turned out to be quite a windy night. The air temperature hung around 0° F, so it was tolerable, even though it bit my face a little bit. After sitting on a rock for two hours trying to keep the tripod . . . read more

 November 29, 2014  aurora borealis, photo-blog No Responses »
Nov 232014
Photo of the Week - "Aurora Breaks the Horizon"

This wasn’t the best aurora on Saturday night by far, but I felt it perfectly encapsulates the evening. I hiked out to Angel Rocks in the Chena River State Recreation Area. It was a new moon and it was DARK! I’ve done a lot of solo hiking, and my fair share of walking at night, but when I turned my headlamp off it was difficult to see 2 feet in front of me on the start of the trail. Throw in the howling wind with the creaking and cracking trees and I’m not ashamed to admit that I was a . . . read more

Nov 222014
Drive to Valdez and Stan Steven's Cruise

Valdez is a quaint harbor town of 4000 bordered by the beautiful Prince William Sound, the majestic Chugach Mountains, and enormous glacier-fed waterfalls. In the summer it’s full of tourists, drunk fisherman from Washington, and little feral bunny rabbits (referred to by drunk fisherman as “little f**ng bunny rabbits”). Seriously, you have to watch where you step because there’s probably a little black bunny about to run under your foot. The tiny harbor town is a popular destination for us interior folks both for the fishing and the change in scenery. Kate and I finally had family and friends visit . . . read more

 November 22, 2014  photo-blog, travel alaska No Responses »
Nov 152014
Photo of the Week - "Peak Sunrise"

This sunrise photo was taken on the mushers trails about a mile north of the Creamer’s Field farmhouse. I think what I love most about this photo isn’t the incredible color cast on the clouds, but the subtle arctic blues that appear in the sky behind them. Technical Details Equipment: Nikon D7000 with my Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens mounted on tripod – no filters To create this image I used multiple exposures to bring the sky and the foreground into a combined exposure that is realistic to how I viewed the . . . read more