Post Number 100!

Above: Heidi in the Hood, a selectively-saturated portrait.

It sounds and feels like a lot – this is my 100th post. Thanks to everyone who visits! I have spent a lot of time running Far North Light and loved every minute. It’s great to have so many people show an interest in seeing things through my lens for a little while.

To commemorate 100 posts I have made major formatting changes. Most notable is the blogs appearance, it now includes a homepage with a slideshow, and will in the future include more galleries and portfolios. Please check out my updated about page as well.

I decided there would be no better way to mark 100 posts then to revisit some of the most popular. Note: as this is the second incarnation of Far North Light some of the images were not previously on the blog, but needed to be revisited regardless.

Do you have a favorite photo that I didn’t include in the best-of? Let me know and I’ll make a follow-up post.

Strange Day was the first 4×5 large-format negative I ever took, and one of my first images ever accepted into a juried art show. The following image is a scanned silver-gelatin fibre print. If I knew how I achieved such black clouds, I would tell you.

Strange Day

Strange Day

Stange Day was taken at Creamers Field, which was a diary farm and is now a migratory wildfowl refuge, and one of my favorite places to photograph. It’s excellent for everything from landscapes to portraits. The next is a wind drift closeup from Creamers, also 4×5.

Wind Drift

Wind Drift

 

I don’t often go in search of wildlife, but when given the opportunity do photograph it.

Migrating Canada geese.

Migrating Canada geese.

One of my favorite posts is from Halloween 2012. 

Ravens play on a windy Halloween day.

Ravens play on a windy Halloween day.

No compilation post about photography would be complete without some of my photojournalism. From Oct. 17, 2012

Research Vessel Sikuliaq gets its first taste of the water, Marinette, Wis.

Research Vessel Sikuliaq gets its first taste of the water, Marinette, Wis.

And from my coverage of presidential candidate Ron Paul’s visit to Fairbanks.

Ron Paul visists Fairbanks, Alaska.

Ron Paul speaks in Fairbanks, March 4, 2011.

As I’m sure is obvious this is but a small collection of the posts and stories I’ve shared. Many of my personal favorites I put into the homepage slide show. I hope you enjoyed, and stay tuned for many more images!

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Black and White, 35mm Moss Studies

My passion for photography began when I took a darkroom class in high school. To this day I continue to shoot film and make fiber prints, admittedly, not as much I would like.

I have long been working on a portfolio titled Creamers Field on Film. Creamers Field is an old dairy farm turned migratory waterfowl refuge. The criteria for the portfolio is simple: shot on film, at Creamers Field. Right on the northern edge of Fairbanks, with beautiful historic buildings and an incredible range of landscapes, I highly recommend a trip there for anyone visiting Fairbanks.

The three images today were shot on B&W 35mm Illford Delta 100, the digital files are scans from 8×10 fiber prints.

Shot just one day before the first snowfall, the moss was all but dead, resembling skin draped over bones.

CreamersMoss-2

CreamersMoss-3

CreamersMoss

Music Monday: TIm Robb at Creamers Field.

First things first: My condolences go out to all those affected by today’s Boston Marathon tragedy. I have spent some time viewing photos and watching videos, it truly is horrific. I can’t imagine the utter shock and chaos felt during what should have been a time of jubilation.

I was riding my bike to school, just about this time in 2012, and stopped by Creamers Field to shoot some 35mm, B&W film. I happened upon an unexpected scene.

Fairbanks musician Tim Robb watched the arrival of Canada goose while practicing guitar, his dog in attendance. Robb is a very enjoyable, mellow yet enthusiastic musician. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner correctly critiques his work: “Robb… typically blurs the style lines through free-form interpretation and improvisation.”

I was worried I didn’t have anything for Music Monday, then I found these gems in my archives. The first image is a lesson in micro-composition. A few extra seconds in the viewfinder and I may have panned up and to the right, eliminating the rear-door handle and “Outback” emblem, at the same time getting all the lettering on the barn and the vents on the roof.

Tim Robb practices guitar while his dog hangs out at Creamers Field, April 2012.

Tim Robb practices guitar while his dog hangs out, Creamers Field, April 2012.

Bright morning light causes squinty eyes, but doesn't diminish smiles.

Bright morning light causes squinty eyes, but doesn’t diminish smiles.

Pre- and mid-yawn cat diptych

The title pretty much says it all. I was just shooting a few frames of my cat Carlos sitting in the sun when he opened wide for a yawn. The two frames were mere seconds apart. I feel it’s hard taking pictures of pets that are not simply snapshots. One way to change the aesthetic could be trying different gear, editing or processing techniques. Much of my aesthetic comes from shooting film. Another way is to turn it into a study with multiple images. In this case a study of a cat yawning. Of course I couldn’t have anticipated his sudden inhale, but also would’t have caught it had I not just taken the preceding picture. It could be argued only one picture is needed, but I think the combination of the two paints a more complete picture, allowing the viewer to get an idea of the cats appearance.

Spring, snow melt and cattle

Record temperatures in Fairbanks means snow’s melting, fast. I’ve been photographing the farmer who is raising Black Angus cows some more. Here water drips off a fence highlighted by sun with a cow in the background. 100 speed film means not a lot of grain, but on 35MM it still comes standard, shallow depth of field just because I can.

Please click on the image to view full size.

Raindrops and Spirits. One of the spirits.

It’s only four days until my first solo show, I’m excited and busy, but feel it should come together nicely. There are already things I wish I had done differently, but it’s not in my nature to worry, so I’m chalking it up to lack of experience.

As I said previously, my show is to deal heavily with the role of people within place. Even when people take a a large portion of subject matter they are meant to complement the surroundings. Such is the case with today’s image “David in Kennicott,” A large, strong figure in a commanding environment. Also worth noting is location, most of the images are paired, some in multiple ways. This is at the same location as my title piece “Rain Apparition,” Kennicott in the Wrangell St. Elias National Park. With pairings the viewer is allowed to view locations with many more meanings; the ability to step back, taking in the scene, then moving in closer for detail.

Please click on the image to view full size.

David in Kennicott

A first, first Friday. “Raindrops and Spirits.”

After a few years of persuasion from local photographers, April 6, 2012 I will be holding my first solo show at Frank’s Menswear, downtown Fairbanks, on 2nd Ave. The show, titled “Raindrops and Spirits” will be around 15, 8×10 in. silver-gelatin darkroom prints, taken at various locations around Alaska including Fairbanks, Homer and Kennicott. It’s very exciting to know my work will hang on the walls of a business for a month, and hopefully it will lead many more shows at many venues, as well as a few print sales.

People play an important role in the theme of my show, the absence of people equally important as the inclusion. The title is derived from the following image, which features a blur in the lower left-hand corner. People often ask me what caused it, and I reply with “A raindrop on the lens.” But having a vivid imagination I often like to think it’s something more, in this case the apparition of a forgotten worker from the mine, wandering the grounds he calls home.

Please click on image to view full size.

Rain Apparition