The photo trip to Alaska was spectacular! There is so much to share, but I must start at the beginning.
I quickly learned that you don’t want to be caught without a camera in your hand when you’re in Alaska. Natural beauty surrounds you in every direction you look. For the first week of the trip, we headed to Lake Clark National Park and stayed at the Homestead Lodge.
This park can only be accessed by water or air, so our group took two small planes from Lake Hood Sea Plane Base in Anchorage. I was excited to fly in the plane below that was built in 1949! I loved every second of it and sat on the right side of the plane (important for being able to share the images in this post).
As we headed to Lake Clark, we flew over Cook Inlet, the body of water shown below. The plane stayed along the western edge of it so I was able to capture all the natural watersheds that fed into this inlet.
The coastline was full of color, shapes, lines and beautiful natural patterns.
For over an hour, I shot one image after another of the rivers, their tributaries and the land. The trees and plant life that lined all the rivers and made up the riparian zones created great abstract images from above.
I even have proof that I was flying overhead as you can see the shadow of our plane in the image below! Now that is a great selfie!
As the plane moved along the landscape, I worked on creating images of the landscapes that appeared balanced but allowed for the viewer’s eyes to move around the image.
Sometimes I zoomed in more to focus on specific aspects of the rivers and their watershed zones.
Other times, I captured more of the scene so that I could see the transition between heavily forested areas and the watershed zones close to the inlet.
Along the flight, we spotted 3 volcanos. The one below, Mount Spurr, was the first one we came across on our flight.
Because this part of Alaska is not accessible by land, there were very few towns and villages but occasionally we saw a few houses dotting the rivers, such as in the image below.
Some of the rivers bended and curved greatly in the forested land only to straighten out as they approached Cook Inlet.
The mudflats along the inlet were just as fascinating as the curves of the rivers. The patterns in the mud looked as though they were in a watercolor painting.
During the flight, we were surprised by the haze off in the distance and were informed of the Swan Lake wildfire that had begun on June 5 from lightning. Because this part of Alaska has not had rain in 6 weeks (very unusual), the fire spread rapidly through the Kenai Peninsula wilderness on the eastern side of Cook Inlet. The smoke spread throughout the region on both sides of the inlet and obscured our view of the mountains for most of our trip in Alaska. I was happy to have a few photos from this flight that allowed me to see a little of the mountainous scenery.
As we got closer to Lake Clark, we came upon a third volcano, Mount Iliamna. (I didn’t capture a great shot of the second volcano, Mount Redoubt on the way to Lake Clark since it was obscured by the wing of the plane.)
As we passed the last volcano, we started to approach the beach where we would land in Lake Clark National Park. The air cleared a little and the waters lit up with a beautiful turquoise color.
The scenes just got better and better. I would have thought I was in a tropical paradise if not for the snow-capped mountains in the background.
As we approached the landing on the beach, I saw my first grizzly bear! Life was good! I was so excited and then decided to take this video below of our landing. Please enjoy!
Stay tuned for more to come. Next up…grizzlies! You can view these images individually and more not posted here in my portfolio located here.
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