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Thread: Alaska

  1. #1

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    Alaska

    I'm seriously thinking of taking a month or so in the summer and shooting some of the film we sell for a change.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    www.jandcphoto.com

  2. #2
    Troy Hamon's Avatar
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    Ah, but advice on what? If you shoot the film other people recommend is it because you want to take photos like the ones they've taken or because the conditions and expressive desires are universal? Or are you referring to location advice or conditions, like planning for bugs (buy a bug jacket...we're not joking here...if you want to be outside in Alaska in the summer it is quite necessary...your only alternative, DEET, will wreak havoc with your equipment and they'll still fly in your nose and eyes...I haven't tried the old smoke a cigar trick that some people swear by, so can't say anything about its effectiveness...this may be a record-setting parenthetical run-on sentence, English majors take note!)?

    As far as photographic advice, I recommend you bring large quantities of your favorite film, add a couple of others that you would like to try (or more if you want), and plan your locations not based on photographs you've seen of Alaska but of the type of photographs you'd like to take...then figure out what locations might suit that goal. An awful lot of people come here and take the same set of photographs that everybody else takes, I'm just recommending you not let the postcard stock override your own artist's eye. Good luck.

  3. #3
    NikoSperi's Avatar
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    One of my 2006 resolutions is to take some specific landscape photo trips... so in the research I've done, and despite it not being out of personal experience:
    Alaska + Summer = bring insect repellent

    Iceland, southwest Ireland, and the White Desert are on my wishlist...
    If you tone it down alot, it almost becomes bearable.

    - Walker Evans on using color

  4. #4
    roteague's Avatar
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    Personally, I think he should just shoot Velvia 50, but that probably isn't the type of advice John is looking for.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  5. #5

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    there used to be a product called "fly dope" it smelled pretty foul, but it kept the bugs at bay.

  6. #6
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikoSperi
    One of my 2006 resolutions is to take some specific landscape photo trips... so in the research I've done, and despite it not being out of personal experience:
    Alaska + Summer = bring insect repellent

    Iceland, southwest Ireland, and the White Desert are on my wishlist...
    Check the time--I think June/July=eaten alive by bugs. August is supposedly better.

    Matt

  7. #7

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    Is the spring better bug wise or fall?

    Interested in off the normal tourist path places that are interesting.

    I'm not sure exactly what I'm asking for except that its not film or equipment recommendation. More along the line of advise from those who either live there or have been there that might be helpful.
    www.jandcphoto.com

  8. #8
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    John,

    I wanted to go to Alaska a few years back. I think I still have the travel books (lonely planet guides) somewhere. PM me if you would like them. I am pretty sure I saw them recently.

    Matt

    P.s. I have a coworker who used to live in Alaska. I'll check with him on the bug situation. I believe that fall is better. He was the one who told me that June/July were the bug months.

  9. #9
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandc
    Is the spring better bug wise or fall?
    Fall is much better. In the spring the bugs are really hungry! But if you are in an area with a little wind, in open areas or along the coast, the wind tends help keep the bugs away, or at least lessen the problem.
    —Eric

  10. #10
    Troy Hamon's Avatar
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    Well, I certainly live in Alaska, but Bristol Bay is truly beyond the boonies, as you can't drive here from anywhere. My experience is biased to the southwest corner of the state, but unless you are coming in winter there are really only two things you may seriously need to consider that wouldn't be normal fare elsewhere. First, if you plan on shooting outdoors (and yes, you can shoot a lot of interesting interiors in this state if that is your thing...), you want to invest in some rubber knee boots. Most of the state is easier to enjoy with these items. Depending on how much of a water shooter you are, you might want to trade these for more coverage yet, but at least knee boots. Second, purchase a bug net. People will argue about when is less buggy. Well, I haven't been in a very large proportion of the state, but I can tell you that in June and July we get some ferocious mosquitoes. In July and August and September we get white-socks (black flies). And in August and September we get no-see-ums (black gnats). The white-socks and no-see-ums are not less ferocious than the mosquitoes. They are all pretty serious contenders. There is no predictably better period of time out where we are, it just depends whether the wind is blowing. If it isn't...watch out. All the bug repellents you can buy are highly destructive to camera gear. They also usually don't work overly well, but that is another issue entirely. The great thing about a head net (my minimum equipment requirement) or a full bug jacket (my preference) is that they are small, easily packable, and you always know you could pull them out if needed. Sometimes it's nice just to have the option, often it is an absolute necessity. I hope you have a great trip.

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