Jennifer & Matt

Last Saturday at the Alpenglow ski lodge Jennifer & Matt were married.

It drizzled throughout the day, but spirits were high nonetheless. Once again I was overly fawned upon by both families alike..."did you get something to eat?", "please stay late and enjoy the band!" The mothers of Jennifer and Matt were just the dearest things.

One of the highlights of the day for me was a sort of variation on "trash the dress" that I'd never seen before. Well into the night, the groom and his men decided to "take this outside"-- so to speak. Legs were flying as groomsmen rolled down a leafy hill and into the parking lot below. Somebody came up without glasses. No one came up clean. Fun was had by all.

Matt's mother didn't know what to do with those unruly boys.

And the little ones kept rockin' late into the Alaskan summer evening.


folk music and fish harvesting

On Friday, a couple friends and I drove up to Talkeetna for a truly intimate concert experience held in a cabin in the woods. Whole Wheat Radio is an independent, online radio station that Jim Kloss runs year-round. We've seen a couple pretty special shows there in the last year--one being Antje Duvekot on a cold night in November and the other was just this past Friday--the poetic Meg Hutchinson.

The next day I headed down to the mouth of the Kenai River to do a bit of dip-netting. Only Alaskan residents can participate in this personal-use fishery. The limit is 25 sockeye (red salmon) per individual. It's a great opportunity to harvest your own meat and it just so happens to be some of the best food in the world.

I caught 21 fish in 3 hours or so. There were just surges of fish pouring through the mouth of the river. A couple friends arrived and we spent the night camped out on the beach. The following morning we awoke and spent the day dipping. I caught the last few allowed on my permit pretty quickly and spent the rest of the day enjoying the family atmosphere surrounding the temporary community of fishermen camped on the beach as many awaited the passing of the incoming tide and the 5 foot waves it brought (along with the wind). A few brave souls ventured into the surf to dip but I didn't see many fish coming out of that mess--just some interesting imagery. Here's an homage to them in photographs:

Eventually, the water calmed down and my friend Leit was able to harvest most of the fish allotted on his permit.

On the way home I got to thinking about the beauty of the whole dip-netting process and how it represents supply in our lives. To be able to gather your own salmon meat to freeze and last through the winter is a special treat. I'm really grateful to be able to take part in this fishery (as well as other local dip-net fisheries) and could probably single these occasions out as the ones I look most forward to each summer.


One Light Workshop

(Zack Arias transmits his mastery of lighting to my ready consciousness).

This past week I had the opportunity, nay privilege, to take part in a workshop in which the fundamental purpose was to educate students on the diversity of artistic possibilities for lighting a subject using a single, unnatural light source.

Only 12 were chosen.

Seriously though, Zack Arias' sharing about his approach to lighting his commercial portraiture work was unpretentious, his philosophy practical and his delivery refreshing. I'm sure I can speak for everyone when I say that we call came out of the 15 hour class (that's right, I left around 1:45 in the A.M.) not only energized by the possibilities of harnessing light for numerous creative results but perhaps a little bit more of a thoughtful person because of it. Zack's philosophy and teaching techniques just seem to have that effect on people.

Scroll down for images taken throughout the long day--the last of which were taken around 1am.

(Zack also instructs students how they can save lives using their gear. Here he demonstrates the efficiency of a light stand in a real-life mud rescue).

One Light. One Love.


Bree, Ryan, and other 4th of July celebrations

Here are some images from Bree and Ryan's July 4th wedding.

After a somewhat sunny (!) ceremony in the Anchorage Botanical Gardens (where a sow and two cub black bears had been sighted earlier in the day) we migrated over to the Native Heritage Center to continue the celebration. I have to say, we Alaskan wedding photographers are a lucky bunch. Huge picture windows poured diffused light onto the dance floor all night, preventing the need for lighting the scene with flash.

I appreciated how laid back Bree and Ryan were, limiting the formal conventions and focusing on just enjoying the company of their friends throughout the evening.

I was just going to head home after leaving the wedding around 10:30 but I had a fire in me --and something was impelling me to head towards the sun that had progressed into an accessible, red sphere suspended by clouds above Mt. Susitna.

As I watched, it made a clean escape--slipping into the earth just left of direct north (it seemed).

On the way home I realized that a (free) display of fireworks was about to commence in mid-town's Mulcahy Park. The streets surrounding the park were packed with onlookers and, not wanting to miss out on the coming together of the diverse walks of life to be found in our city, I joined the crowds and wandered in the direction of the stadium. It wasn't so much the fireworks, but the people that I wanted to be around. Here are a few images from the presentation--which took place at midnight.

Oh, and I should add here: ever since I switched to Canon (from Nikon) a few months ago, I have been locked in a state of pure bliss about my newfound capability to shoot quality, attractive images at high ISOs (in low light). Each of these images taken during the fireworks display were shot at ISO 1000 to 1600--something I would have been unable to make look (in any way) decent with my old Nikon set-up. Thank you Canon, and Dave Getzschman--an old friend that coached me into the transition.