Mountains are places of wonder; Katharine Lee Bates appropriately referred to them as “majesty” in her song “America the Beautiful.” Throughout time, they have been a place where humans went to find spiritual guidance, to even find themselves, from Moses to the vision quests of the Lakota Sioux. They tell stories by merely existing, relaying the works of pressure and heat over time through a geological tale that provides any observer the opportunity to understand their history.

I am one of those people who looks out upon a sea of overlapping peaks and ranges and thinks of exploration, of adventure. I try to imagine what is happening along those ridges, atop those peaks, among the valleys in between.

While I don’t have the time to explore all of them on the ground, I take incredible delight in exploring them from air with my camera, especially at that time of day where one ridge or peak casts its shadow across the next, creating an ever-weaving pattern of texture and darkness, ruggedness and light.

I have photographed six of Alaska’s mountain ranges from the air: Chugach, Kenai, Talkeetna, Alaska, Aleutian and Brooks. In reviewing photos for this piece, I came to realize that my two favorite ranges for this narrative – of the overlapping layers of shadow and light – are the Aleutian and Brooks Ranges.

When seeking to capture images like this, it is important to remember that they can only be captured in early or late light. Not only is that the time of day that creates the longer shadows, but in general it is the time of day that causes the other shadows necessary to highlight the texture in the mountains themselves. And then for those winter months when the mountains are covered in snow, the really early or late light also causes “alpenglow,” the glorious bathing of the mountains in a pastel pink hue with the rich blue shadows.

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One Response to “Shadowplay”

  1. José Jakson Cardoso Says:

    Eu achei simplesmente espetacular seu trabalho. Parabéns com louvor.

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