What do you get if you put two photographers in an RV for 10 days? This sounds like the start to a poor joke but in reality you get an unforgettable road trip drowning in creative opportunities. Especially if that trip is in one of the last true frontiers: Alaska. A state of 665,400 square miles with a population of about 732,673 (2021) there are more Caribou resident than humans.
One of the benefits of an RV is that it makes you slow your journey. While the eye and lens would be spoilt for choice regardless, with this unhurried mode of travel your eye is naturally drawn to appreciate the landscape, which continually astonishes and delights. To put this into some sort of context; about 5% of Alaska is covered in Glaciers, it contains 30 different mountain ranges and is home to 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States.
It’s fair to say that Alaska has something for all wildlife and landscape photographers; with never unremarkable scenery, there are always surprises. For example, you’d be forgiven for thinking a forest is just a forest; in Alaska it’s not. The sheer scale of the boreal forest and nuances in autumnal colours enthrals. Add to that the anticipation of seeing the odd moose or bear you can’t afford to lose focus for a second in-case you miss that perfect shot.
So what does constitute the perfect shot in that context? This is purely subjective and was the topic of much debate. Amongst the prime candidates would have to be a glacier looming under a bank of leaden clouds, Mount Denali lurking behind a river valley, a bank of golden trees reflected in an obsidian black lake, or was it the moose feeding in a river?
There was so much to shoot that the journey we planned each day inevitably got delayed as we pulled over to try and do justice to the landscapes with our lenses. The only thing to do in that situation was embrace the opportunity. The drivers’ cabin was littered with camera equipment at the ready; it was worth every second to stretch our technical and artistic talents.
Whilst this was a holiday of a lifetime, it has made us appreciate what photographic opportunities are on our doorstep. It is so easy to miss the ‘photography near me’ that we see, or not, every day. Go on, put on some walking boots and head out with your camera to see what awaits you around the next corner.
Written by Tatum, photos by Sarah@heraphotography.co.uk (c)Hera Photography 2022