Archive for January, 2010

The 2010 Project

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010
The 2010 Project

Photographers should constantly be finding new ways to challenge themselves creatively.  There are two contexts where this is particularly true.  First, if you frequently visit a particular location on a regular basis, say Denali National Park & Preserve, you need to find new ways to capture that place that do not repeat your prior body of work or everyone else’s.  Second, life can sometimes get in the way, preventing you from being out in the field as much as you like, forcing you to find ways to ensure that you keep the shutter on your camera from gathering cobwebs.

For 2010, I decided to embark on a personal creative challenge that fits more into the second category.  I have decided to make an effort to capture at least one photograph each day for the entire year of 2010.  Some times this will not be a challenge, like when I go on planned photo trips back up to Gates of the Arctic or to northern Arizona.  But many time, like during the dull, grey days that have dominated Anchorage weather for the last three weeks, it will be a bit challenging.

Someone asked me, “What sort of photos will you be taking?”  Well, the easy thing to do would be to take a picture of just something – anything, even my coffee maker in the kitchen – once a day.  That would not help me to accomplish my goal of pushing the creative envelope.  The general category for the focus of my year will be nature/landscape photography.  But I also want to use the project to document the whole environment in which I live, which is the city of Anchorage, Alaska.  I often find myself telling myself that there are certain subjects I would like to photograph, but never get around to it.  Additionally, the 2010 Project will likely help me in furthering my Wild Anchorage project.

I will not necessarily blog every single day with each new set of photos, but I will blog in an ongoing fashion to bring you up to date on what I have captured since the last blog entry.  So, here is a look at the first few images of the year for this project.

2009’s Top Ten

Friday, January 1st, 2010
2009's Top Ten

It is a frequent phenomena in our society as we change over the years … We look back at what happened or was accomplished in the year before, and we look to the future.  Last year, following a growing trend among other photographers, I posted my top images for the year.  I will continue that tradition this year, but keep things a little more simple by posting merely a Top Ten.

I have to begin by saying how very difficult it was to keep this list to merely ten images.  I had several very productive photo trips this year to some rather spectacular locations.  But, when it all came down to it, I chose to select at least one image from some of my favorite photo outings for the year. 

It started with a long cold snap here in Anchorage, with the high temperature not getting aove zero Fahrenheit for 26 days.  I spent time int some taiga forests here in Anchorage, up around Flattop Mountain, down the Turnagain Arm, and in Portage Valley during this cold snap, taking advantage of the clear skies and frosted land to capture some great landscape images.  Then, in February, I went to New Mexico to attend the annual summit for the North American Nature Photography Association.  While down there, I spent a few days in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and White Sands National Monument.  There are so many wonderful areas to photograph in New Mexico, I had to keep my selection to a minimum to take advantage of the week or so I had prior to the summit in Albuquerque. 

Next, I spent a month in Badlands National Park in South Dakota as the Artist-in-Residence for the park.  From early April to early May, I hiked, biked, drove and backpacked around the park in an effort to rediscover a place I knew as a child.  I tested some new techniques and equipment for capturing time lapse images and explored all hours of the day like I never had before. 

Two months later, I was in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado for two weeks as the Artist-in-Residence there.  I continued many of the creative efforts I began in the Badlands, and made a concerted effort to capture the essence of the three main ecosystems of the park.  The highlight of the trip was my overnight stay at Chasm Lake, at the base of the Diamond for Long’s Peak, at almost 12,000 feet.  While in the state, I also spent a few days in Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, one of the locations I have wanted to visit for years but never had the opportunity. 

Once back home in Alaska, I took a couple of weeks to drive around with Michelle and my nephew Daniel, who was visiting from Texas.  While none of the images from that trip appear in this posting, I was able to capture many images I had wanted to for years from Denali National Park & Preserve and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, including the Kennecott Copper Mine.  After that trip, I returned to Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve for a few days of aerial photography.  I also took the time to capture many images along the Dalton Highway I had wanted to photograph for a couple of years. 

It was definitely a whirlwind year, leaving me with images that, to this day, I am still editing and processing.  I look forward to a quieter 2010, where I can focus on a couple of projects rather than so many.