Brooks Range, ANWR

25, July 25th, 2010 by Carl D
A waterfall in a small stream near the Upper Marsh Fork River, Brooks Range mountains, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), Alaska.
A waterfall in a small stream near the Upper Marsh Fork River, Brooks Range mountains, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), Alaska. Please click the thumbnail to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey folks,

Here’s another image from our recent trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. this trip was simply awesome. A great group of folks, from Florida, Colorado and Washington, who all carried the most ingredient for a great trip – great attitude. Everyone really clicked, and we had a ton of fun; lots of laughs and good times.

This photo was taken on our 1st night out; we camped on a big alluvial fan that comes out of the mountains, on the west side of the Marsh Fork River. After dinner we hiked up the stream and climbed a small ridgeline for some amazing views back south, to the heart of the mountain range and the contintental divide. The light was really happening, and I was pretty happy with a few of the images I made.

Afterward, the light began to fade and we hiked back toward camp. The sun began to poke through again, for one great show, and I saw this little miniature waterfall that I knew would make a great foreground. The light show only lasted a couple of minutes before high clouds to the north dulled the glow. By the time I’d rearranged this for a horizontal composition, the light was noticeably dimmer on the distant peak. Minutes later, the glow was gone.

This image was taken around 2:00am. Photography in the arctic summer is a challenge, shifting ones mental and body clock to the wee hours of the “night“, to capture the nicest light. Oftentimes I’ll shoot til later and go to bed around 4:00am, or later. They don’t call this the land of the midnight sun for nothing.

Here’s a photo below of Steve, from Colorado, shooting the following morning, around 4:00am. We’d gone to bed, got some rest, and then the sun came around the corner of the range to the north, and lit up the valley. I was up immediately, woke Steve, and we shot for a couple of hours before going back to bed. It’s an absolutely incredible experience to watch the mountains here, in the quiet hours of the “dawn“, and feel the arctic air start to warm. Magical doesn’t describe the experience.

Steve shooting at Dawn, ANWR.
Steve shooting the Marsh Fork River, Brooks Range, ANWR.

What a blast we had! To view some of Steve’s fantasic work from this trip, visit his gallery here. He made some amazing images.

It’s really nice to have another serious photographer along on a trip like this, even the trip is not promoted as a ‘photography tour’ at all. Steve inspired and motivated me to work harder and longer, and to look more closely than I otherwise might. I learnt a lot from watching him shoot.



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