Power of light

Power of light

There are times when the light is just so good, and the subjects are so many, that it is hard to keep up with your surrounding as a photographer. You want to capture everything, and you want to shoot everything from several angles and perspectives, horizontal and vertical. There is just no way to do it sometimes. My final evening doing aerial photography in Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve was one of those times.

We started out later to take advantage of the arctic light, taking off from Coldfoot at around 9:00 p.m. We had planned a route that would take us toward Anaktuvik Pass, but we diverted slightly to the west, drawn by the drama of sunbeams through rain squalls, shadows on peaks, and menacing clouds. Mount Doonerak and it’s surroundings looked a bit like Orodruin, or Mount Doom, and the land of Mordor. We circled around a bit so I could work the area, but were limited by the weather activity and its accompanying turbulence. We proceeded toward the northeast corner of the park, eventually following Itkillik River and the Oolah Valley to the northern boundary. All along the way, we we blessed with rainbows, dramatic clouds, shadows and light. As we were heading south, I looked seven thousand feet below us and was able to see a fish swimming at the shallow end of Itkillik Lake. I could only imagine how big that fish was to bee seen from that distance.

It was as we were working our way through and out Oolah Pass that I captured this image. One of many, it captured for me what I had always hoped to express photographically about the Brooks Range’s rugged, vast, and powerful landscape. The light and the shadows allowed me to come in touch with something powerful and infinite.

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