Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Protest is patriotic

Saturday, September 27th, 2008
Protest is patriotic

Despite what has been drummed into our collective consciousness over the last seven years, it is patriotic to protest the government. Were that not the case, our Founding Fathers would not have enshrined into the very first amendment to our Constitution the right to freedom of speech, the right to assembly, and the right to petition the government for redressing of wrongs. Yet, certain people of a particular political party try to tell us that if we question the government, or question the choices of a particular executive, then we are un-American, un-patriotic and/or aiding our enemies. Obviously, these people are not familiar with their Constitution, not familiar with the decisions by the United States Supreme Court that place political speech at the top of the speech podium, providing it the highest level of protection and absolutely prohibiting any government restrictions absent an extremely compelling objective. It has been a pleasure in the last few weeks to see progressives and liberals out protesting in public in Anchorage, in numbers as high as 1,800, when just a few years ago such a thing would be unheard of in the conservative stronghold that is Alaska. Here, approximately 1,500 protesters joined to express their disapproval of Governor Sarah Palin’s refusal to cooperate with a legislative investigation into her alleged abuses of power, and calling for the resignation of the Alaska Attorney General, who, contrary to the law and his ethical obligation as an attorney, has instructed his clients to not respond to legislative subpoenas.

Working closely

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
Working closely

For every one of the Platinum Partner events, the participants take a day out of their sessions and outings to engage in a community service project.  For this event, the Partners spent a day planting trees and clearing brush and deadwood at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center near the Placer Valley at the end of the Turnagain Arm.  While planting trees, the Platinum Partners worked inside the outer barrier designed to keep the public away from the brown bear habitat.  The bears could not help but be curious about all of the activity.

In the details

Monday, August 25th, 2008
In the details

Cathy Frost, the owner of the Raven Glacier Lodge, is well known for her exceptional menus for weddings and events.  Preparing all the food herself, Cathy emphasizes Alaskan ingredients and culture in her dishes.  She also has filled the lodge with art and artifacts reflecting everything from fishing and mining to Alaska Native heritage.  Cathy also has an eye for the little details that make an after dark outside dining area truly glow.

Taking a break

Monday, August 25th, 2008
Taking a break

After an intensive morning session, several of the Platinum Partners took advantage of some free time to ride the tram up to the chalet and go paragliding.  I could not decide if it was better to be flying off the mountain in a paraglider or to be standing there photographing them with the wonderful backdrop of the Turnagain Arm.  The strong overcast lighting on the mountain limited some of the angles for effective photography, making shots looking up to the paragliders as they took off less effective.

Up at Punchbowl

Sunday, August 24th, 2008
Up at Punchbowl

Following an opening reception at the Alyeska Prince Hotel, I joined the Tony Robbins Platinum Partners and the staff from Robbins Research International for an afternoon of dog sledding on Punchbowl Glacier.  Conditions were challenging to photograph, ever changing from an even overcast to a harsh, and sometimes hot, glaring sun reflecting from the field of snow covering the glacier.  Fortunately, a constant review of the histogram on my LCD kept me in proper exposure.  As a photographer, the outing combined many of my favorite subjects into one compact afternoon: great action with the dog teams, interaction among the people and with the dogs, and spectacular scenery.

Come what may

Saturday, July 26th, 2008
Come what may

As I was finishing up with the bat mitzvah ceremony from the morning, I was disappointed to see that it was still raining. Laura and Chris were getting married over at the Alaska Botanical Gardens and, rain or not, the ceremony was still going to be outside. I hoped that at least it would subside a bit. On m way over to the gardens and walking in, the rain seemed to have let down a little. Guests and family were still huddled under umbrellas and parked under display tents, set up to provide some shelter.

It was a challenging ceremony to photograph, with the core of the ceremony taking place underneath a tent. By the time it was over, though, the rain had ceased and the remaining overcast provided a perfect soft box for photographing portraits in the Herb Garden. Inspired by the architecture of the wood framing and the popping colors in the garden, I worked mostly on inspiration rather than planned poses. One of my favorites, posted here, shows Laura standing where I placed her, but with me capturing what started out to be a natural moment of her reaching for a flower. So much of photography is luck and inspiration, you simply have to be there at the right time with the right gear to make sure you can catch it.

Coming of age

Saturday, July 26th, 2008
Coming of age

I had the pleasure of photographing Sarah’s Bat Mitzvah today. The Bat Mitzvah is quite unlike any “coming of age” ceremony in Christianity. In Catholicism, the earliest is the “First Communion,” which is rather uneventful other than you get to wear a cute suit or cute dress, depending on gender. For “Catechism,” you attend several classes and learn more about theology and practice, but really all it does is make you eligible to become an altar boy or other things up the chain of command. You are considered an adult in the eyes of the Church, but the rest is up to you. And you typically share your “coming of age” with everyone else in your class.

With the Bat Mitzvah, there is only one person who is the focus of the ceremony. The young woman who is coming of age must spend hours learning to read the Torah so when all eyes in the synagogue are looking at her, with the Rabbi standing close by to make sure she is reading correctly, she can read her selected passage – in Hebrew – before her community. She reflects, in her own words, on how that passage is relevant to her own life. The entire Synagogue then shares and celebrates with her. It is truly an inspiration of reflection on theology and its application to modern life.

The solemn and enlightening ceremony is followed later in the evening by a wild frenzy of teens and preteens running about with the parents standing or sitting on the sidelines. The Bat Mitzvah party typically rivals even the liveliest wedding receptions. For Sarah’s, we had several visits from hotel security.

Pain and pleasure

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
Pain and pleasure

On assignment for Buzzbizz Studios, I for the first time attended the Alaska Fighting Championships at the Sullivan Arena. Primarily a mixed-martial arts fighting style, the AFC pits two fighters against each other in a caged octagon for three matches. A match is won by a knockout, by a decision by the referee (which is usually based on a fighter no longer making an effort to defend himself), or a fighter crying “uncle” by “tapping out.” While not there to photograph the fights, I enjoyed the opportunity for a new sports subject. My purpose was to photograph the fashion show during the intermission following the fourth match. The show featured outfits by the local biker clothing outfit, Girls Ride Too.