Monthly Archives: August 2015

Taking a Short Break From Alaska: The Armada Fair

The Armada Fair wrapped up its 143rd run last week and I went down early Friday morning to take in the sites before the crowds came. It’s nice to get there early, the place isn’t packed with people, it’s peaceful and the staff, vendors and participants are just getting ready to start the day. Although the clear blue sky didn’t provide the best lighting I still found great subject matter. The Budweiser Clydesdales came in for the event and the Budweiser crew was getting them ready for the show. There was also a Miniature Horse going on and the children involved were both posed and professional, the parents should be very proud of them (Parents, please reach out to me if you are interested in the photos I shot, my prices are very reasonable!).

Showing of Miniature Horses and the Aramada Fair

Miniature Horse Competition

Working in harsh lighting conditions is a challenge but, understanding composition and working with the angle of the sun will allow you to still get great shots.

 

Young Lady assists the crew in preping the Clydesdales.

Brooklyn gets to help with the Budweiser Clydesdale.

When walking though an event, you never know what photo op may appear before you. Be solidly familiar with your camera’s operations and functions; and some times you can capture a great moment like this.

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Flying out to Mendenhall Glacier.

 

Taking a helicopter to this thirteen mile long glacier just a short distance from Juneau was exciting with breath taking views of the glacier and the surrounding area, the mist and low clouds gave the ride a special touch as the mist rolled of the glass of the copter. Mendenhall has many names actually, the Tlingits call it Sitaantaagu and naturalist John Muir called it Auke, and is the fifth largest ice field in North America.

Of special note, Mendenhall has, since 1958, receded almost 2 miles! The glaciers within the Juneau ice field are the primary source of water for the surrounding population in and around Juneau and once they are gone these people will have to find another supply of water

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska, May 2015

The view of Mendenhall Glacier from above.

Shooting through the plexi-glass bubble of the helicopter taking us up for our walk-about was challenging but, you have to pick shots with impact like this one above.

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska, 2015

The view from on top of Mendenhall Glacier.

Again, the challenges here are the weather (a light mist) and having to hand hold the shot.

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska, 2015

Exploring Mendenhall Glacier.

Here we are hiking back to our pick-up point. I want to extend a special thanks to our pilot (Sorry, I don’t remember your name)from NorthStar Trekking; she made the ride interesting and humorous too, I loved gliding in for the landing, even if one of the other passengers screamed when you announced it.

 

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Downtown Juneau

Juneau, the capitol of Alaska and second largest city cannot be accessed by road, you can only fly or boat into Alaska’s second largest city (I guess unless you hike in). Juneau is a very interesting city with beautiful mountains as a great backdrop and all manner of shopping and dining to enjoy. It’s from here; we will ride a helicopter out to Mendenhall Glacier and spend over an hour exploring the glacier.

Juneau, Alaska, May of 2015

The bustling capital city of Juneau, Alaska.

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Cruising Tracy Arm Fjord

Well our luck of unseasonably nice weather finally ran out and of course it was while we were cruising the Tracy Fjord Inner Passage. So, if shooting from a moving ship didn’t offer enough of a challenge, throw in a steady heavy mist to bouts of light rain. My original plan was to shoot from the bow of the ship, I had scouted out a couple of places that looked promising, but in the end, I found a sheltered area at the stern. The rain covers I ordered just before leaving worked great once I got used to shooting with them covering the camera.

 

The inner passage, tracy arm fjord, alaska

What can I say, just breath taking beauty, even when the weather is bad.

Tracy Arm Fjord

A stunning view of the Inner Passage of Tracy Arm Fjord.

The Inner Passage of Alaska.

Just more breath-taking scenery from the Inner Passage.

As you can see from these shots, bad weather shouldn’t detour you, I actually welcome unpleasant weather; as all this beauty passed by, I just wanted to be on solid ground with my tripod and ISO set to 50 but, I’ll take these hand-held captures any day.

 

Tracy Arm Fjord/Fords Terror Wilderness.

The weather gives a hint as to why this is called Fords Terror Wilderness (zoom in on the iceberg and check out the Bald Eagles).

 

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