Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Ben– Spend too much time behind a camera and you become a junkie for light. In our trade we are simply purveyors of fine light, and much of our time is spent roaming the world for the very best of it. I vividly remember standing behind a Japanese photographer in Hokkaido, who ecstatically screamed “Now we are making the moooooneeeee!!” as a skier screamed by with the sun crashing down behind him. But as you become more used to it, your standards become higher and higher, and you push later and later or earlier and earlier into the day, holding off the shot until the last minute to capture that first touch or last glimmer of the sun. It takes more and more extremes to get that fiery red fix.
The ultimate hit is and always has been alpenglow. There’s just something about that very word that sends the blood pumping in the body of a lens-jockey. Luckily in our profession we get to witness much of this gorgeous phenomenon, but two nights ago I saw some of the best I’ve ever witnessed. Pure purple bliss.
We finished off our Haines trip with one last plane-access camping trip deep into glacier-country, and spent a few days riding out the light. On our final evening we trucked up the face behind camp, legs churning like devils to catch the dying rays. We made it minutes before it peaked, and came out with some incredible images, a perfect and cathartic end to a mission that has, all in all, defied all expectations and last year’s Haines troubles to become quite stellar. The… let’s just say “energetic” plane ride back, courtesy of Haines legend Drake Olsen, was the cherry on top to one of the best shooting trips I’ve had the pleasure to be on.
Tomorrow begins the long road home to Anchorage, and a month of editing and relative relaxation before heading down South for the final push to wrap up Solitaire. But very, very stoked on the promise of this year’s Haines piece, online and in festivals beginning this Fall! In the meantime, here’s some screengrabs from our last trip, and the mighty alpenglow that dreams are made of.
Forrest and Oskar wait on the tarmac while Stephan scouts zones
Drake, Forrest and I fly into the sun
Airborn Glacial Glory
Stephan, Forrest, and Johan scope the lines above camp
Stephan en route to evening hijinx
Forrest Sprays the Purple Pow
Johan makes some money
Stephan catches last light over exposure