It is always easy to identify those who first inspired us to dig deep within to find what was necessary to create. One of my earliest inspirations was Galen Rowell, a legendary mountaineer who was well-known for many first ascents or first traverses. He could have lived a long life of awe-inspiring deeds had he stuck just to mountaineering. But in addition to being an artist in the alpine country, he was also an artist behind the camera. His death in 2002 cut short a brilliant and inspiring career in photography that was a natural complement to his high altitude skills.
I was reminded of Galen Rowell’s inspiration when I was on the Big Island of Hawai’i visiting friends CJ Kale and Nick Selway, owners of Lava Light Gallery in Kona and Waikaloa. I was chatting with them about how they came upon the name of their business (other than they love to photograph the molten form of Pele), and they told me the name of their business was inspired by Galen Rowell, who named his business Mountain Light. Given that we had been in the field together a few times, I wondered aloud what name I could use for my photography that would link our mutual inspiration of Galen Rowell’s Mountain Light and their Lava Light. I simply blurted out, “How about Arctic Light?”
That discussion led me to think about what I would do next for a focus for my photography, as my Bristol Bay project was coming to a close with the upcoming publication of my book, “Where Water is Gold.” For years I worked on a project in Gates of the Arctic National Park, and I wanted to get back to that. But my work in Bristol Bay had broadened my horizons beyond landscapes, into exploring lives as well as light. Michelle and I talked about where to go next, and we agreed my Arctic interests needed a broader scope – the entire circumpolar Arctic. So, I decided to work on changing the focus and developing a new branding to expand my vision to explore the unique quality of light that occurs in the Arctic, and the unique cultures adapted to survive in those extreme conditions. My trip to Iceland this summer was the first of many trips to come. Over the next decade, I plan to conduct regular expeditions to Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Russia. I will also be exploring parts of the Alaskan Arctic I have not yet seen.
Aside from the focus on the Arctic as part of my photographic pursuits, I will also be formally developing Alaska photography tours and workshops, excursions designed to provide clients a multi-day opportunity to learn a variety of techniques at photography workshops that explore landscapes, aurora borealis, wildlife, and even macro subjects. After developing these Alaska photography excursions, I will hopefully expand to various public lands in the Lower 48.
Thus, I am proud to announce the new branding and direction for my photography business with the launching of Arctic Light Gallery & Excursions. Please explore my new website, learn about this new vision, and see what the future of my photography holds.