Out over the vast Chugach

Out over the vast Chugach

Took a bit of a different route for aerial photography this evening.  The original goal was to photograph fall colors, but most of the deciduous trees were in the deep shade of the valleys and the tundra colors are really not that spectacular this year.  So, we headed east-northeast out of Anchorage toward Eklutna Lake.  Along the way, I enjoyed photographing the many ridges, with their play on light and shadow that reminded me a bit of my favorite Alaskan mountain range, the Brooks Range.  I had never had an opportunity to see the Chugach Mountains in this way before, so it was a treat to see them in a new light.  As we approached Eklutna Lake, I saw that the lake itself was in deep shade, so I put on my Lee graduated neutral density .9 filter to compensate.

Once past Eklutna, we headed south, ending up over Girdwood, then making our way back to Anchorage.  Several of the pockets of Chugach on the way to Girdwood had some rather deep snow packs, which was rather surprising given the lack of snow and lower elevations of most of the mountains in this area.  The light falling on this section was golden and low, providing great color and contrast.  As we rounded the corner at Girdwood, I saw the nearly full moon rising to the east and switched over to my 70-200mm lens to zoom in and frame the moon with some of the mountains.

As we headed back to Anchorage, we headed into the sun.  The bright back lighting created some great contrasts with the mountain ridges, but soon the sun was behind the clouds and I put down my camera for most of the ride back to town.  But as we finished our passage over the Chugach Mountains to the hillside area, the sun started to peek out, showing only its reflection on the glistening waters of Cook Inlet.  I kept working that new development of light up until the last minute when we turned to the east and began our approach back at Merrill Field.

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