It’s always nice when a magazine editor wants your photo for their story, and you get published. But it’s WAY nicer when you get published in a magazine you enjoy, read and value. This image posted here is in the current edition of backpacker magazine, page 65 – full page vertical, which is nice. The image accompanies an article on backpacking “the Goat Trail”, in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. This was the first route I ever hiked in Wrangell – St. Elias, and definitely a favorite of mine, so having my image chosen to accompany the story represents much more than just another published photo and a check to me.
It’s also cool for me because a few of my friends are published in the same edition of the magazine. It’d be remiss of me not to mention Bret Edge, and Ron Niebrugge, all of whom are photographers I admire. This month’s edition (March, 2010) is features some great backpacking trips in Alaska and the Rockies, so there’s a wealth of great photos out there that could work for these articles; thanks to backpacker magazine for considering and selecting mine, and great choices on the others, as well.
A little on the image; I took this photo on a trip to Skolai Pass in 2004. We’d camped in the area for a few days, had some unbelievable weather, and I really wanted to get up in to this area, called Hole in the Wall, for some nice evening light. I’d led the group was guiding up to the area earlier in the day, had a great hike, got back to camp in the early evening, had a big dinner, and then asked if anyone wanted to head back up for some photography. Everyone else was kinda happy to stay at camp, but they were adamant that I should go shoot my photos as well; I can’t tell you how cool it is to guide people who are so accommodating on a backcountry trip.
So I grabbed my camera (a nikon N90s, film camera), and headed up to Hole in the Wall. The light got better and better the further I walked. I had a pretty good idea of exactly which composition I wanted, and had my little 24mm prime lens already mounted on the camera body (I SOOOOO miss that lens, sold it a few years ago).
I used a Singh Ray graduated neutral density filter to help balance the light differential between the warm direct light on the peaks and the shaded foreground. Stopping to F22 gave me the depth of field I want to render everything sharp, foreground to background.
This area is one of my favorite places anywhere, and I go back to Skolai Pass every year. I’ve hiked the Goat Trail an inordinate number of times, and it never ceases to amaze me; it’s a grand landscape that no matter how many times I visit, I can never really “see” it all. I grew to love the place so much I named my photography business and website after it. You can see why I say this sale means a lot to me; not just as a sale, and not just because it’s such a cool publication as backpacker, but also because this photo means so much to me. I hope you enjoy it.