Friday, January 23, 2009

Colors blaze on Stampede Trail

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Fall in the Alaskan interior is an amazing time for a photographer. One normally thinks of "fall colors" as meaning trees, but in fact it's more than that. Stampede Trail is not far from Fairbanks, and it's a fairly well-kept secret ... meaning, the tourists don't know about it, the tour buses don't go there -- the road is a mass of holes that look like shell craters, and if your car doesn't make it out, well ... you have a long, long walk to the nearest phone! This photo was captured in September of 1999. The camera was a Pentax K-1000, and the film stock was ASA200 Kodak Gold. The old print was recently scanned at 600dpi and given some serious digital enhancement to overcome a decade's worth of fading. The light in Alaska is deceptive: even on a bright summer's day you'll be surprised by your meter readings ... it's not as bright as you think. The human eye is deceiving, and the fact is, this close to the arctic circle, the sun is never high enough to create the kind of brightness we know downunder. Photo by Mel, 1999.

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