As I write this, I’m on Delta flight 1782. We just departed from Juneau. Yes, I have turned the final page of my adventure to Alaska. My bags are packed and loaded somewhere below me in the belly of this 737 in route to Seattle. After a brief stop there, I’m off to Detroit and finally on to Knoxville.
What an excellent adventure it was! While I was in Alaska, I flew in helicopters, paddled kayaks, rambled over rock-strewn slopes, forded streams up to my knees, scrambled through caves of ice carved by rivers under glaciers, and hunkered in my tent during a torrential downpour. I saw some amazing light and some wonderful atmospherics. I saw striated glaciers and mountains as far as the eye could see. The glaciers seemed to be miles wide and the mountains seemed to be miles high. I hope all that remarkable scenery turns into some memorable images once I have the time to do some post-processing!
In addition to scenery, wet boots, and potential images, I reconnected with old friends and made new ones. Perhaps most importantly, I learned a lot about myself. I always learn a lot about myself on these adventures, but trips like this bring on an extra serving of lessons for me. I learned that I’m capable of more than I realize. I can handle more stress, I can go farther, I can get closer to the edge than I ever thought possible. And (importantly!) I can return to share the journey with others. I also learned some shortcomings about myself, you know, things that HR departments like to call “areas for improvement.” Here’s what I found. As far as I am willing to go to get a meaningful image, I often don’t go far enough. Too often I chicken out or stop before getting the image. Frankly, that kind of surprises me. I’ve always thought I would do whatever it takes to get an image, but now I realize it is not the case. Nope. Alaska presented me with photographic opportunities bigger than my ability to create them. I’m not sure why. Call it fear. Call it anxiety. Call it laziness. I think it is all of the above, but whatever it is, it is real, and it is limiting. It is something I need to explore further!
While I do that, please enjoy this image from the campsite where we had the torrential rains. Note the clouds in the valley. This is what I mean by atmospherics! I used my iPhone for this image along with the mobile version of Lightroom CC for post-processing. I’ll share some images from my DSLR as soon as I can!