This week’s Lens-Artist theme is wide-angle photography and I immediately thought of our trip to southern Alaska out of Juneau and cruising the inland waterway in a very small ship. Thirty-two passenger small (click here for my post describing this small ship.) It was wonderful because the captain was a photographer so he made sure we knew when we would be going by some area of importance that was camera worthy. However, I don’t think there was ever a moment of daylight that didn’t seem worthy of a click of my shutter.
Even a wide-angle lens and stepping way back doesn’t seem to capture the grandeur of a mountain landscape. On a small ship there isn’t much room to step back to widen the view through a lens but usually the captain kept us back from the coast. We were visiting Dawes Glacier the first day out but couldn’t dawdle because the captain wanted to anchor in a small fjord with a very narrow, shallow entrance. Because of the high tides in this area he had a 15 minute window of opportunity to go through at high slack tide. This fjord is called Ford’s Terror for a reason that I wrote about here.
The Costal Temperate Rainforest of North American starts in the thin strip along the Pacific Ocean of southern Alaska (that we were touring), then goes south along the coast of British Columbia, Canada, and into the U.S. – Washington State, Oregon State and northern California. It is the largest intact temperate rainforest remaining on earth and in Alaska the Tongess National Rain Forest encompasses 17 million acres. A rainforest implies there is lots of rain so I knew to expect clouds and rain and was always alert for spots of sun breaking through the clouds and landing somewhere on this beautiful 360 degrees of scenery.
My favorite land excursion was at the small town of Tenakee Springs (pop. 91). It was a Sunday morning so not much was happening. The town’s restaurant-bakery-gift shop-movie theater-dance hall-coffee house-meeting place opened especially for us and had hot cinnamon rolls ready. The captain had special permission to bring us on shore and the only other way to get there is by sea-plane, the mail ferry, or private boat. Being a ways off shore while still on the boat I could only get half of town. This is the portion along West Tenakee Avenue.
And this is along East Tenakee Avenue at low tide. This seems to be the newer, more prosperous end of town.
These wide angle images of this town make me smile big as I supplement them with my memories. The avenue runs behind the houses and buildings and there are also side streets (named from A to J) leading to the houses you see going up the mountain. Wide angle doesn’t work when walking down the avenues of town, but this “long” angle will give you a different “image.” It will add to the town’s story.
Alaska gave me a wonderful opportunity to practice both wide angle and close up photography, especially as I was working at capturing the personality or essence of what I was being introduced to.
If you would like to explore information about this Costal Temperate Rainforest of North America, here is an excellent brochure.
Lynn, on her blog “Bluebrightly,” posts her beautiful nature photography and narrates her walks through the rainforests of northwest Washington (state).
If you are interested in conservancy of our rainforests here is a link to The Nature Conservancy that is working to conserve the Tongass National Forest. This site provides some interesting information about this huge area and some really nice photographs.