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The Best Photographic Lighting In Alaska

UPS MD-11 rotating at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

UPS MD-11 departing Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Feb.2, 2017 at near sundown creating better lighting. Photo by Rob Stapleton/Alaskafoto

 

Overcoming the Lighting Challenge

You will fall in love with Alaska lighting, with sunshine bouncing off the water, ice, and lush leaves. Sometimes, however, lighting is quite tricky, especially if you are trying to photograph ice-covered mountainsides or glaciers. As you might already know, glistening snow “tricks” your lens and camera meter. Most meters believe and show you that it is lighter than it really is. Thus, you have to overcome the lighting challenge.

If your equipment comes complete with an exposure compensation meter, overexposure will do the trick. Otherwise, take your exposure readings away from the bright snow.

Use Long-range Lens to Stay at Safe Distance from Wildlife.

No matter how majestic and beautiful wild animals are, they can turn your odyssey into a nightmare in a snap. That’s why it is prudent to pack a decent telephoto lens. You will require an 180mm (or longer) lens to bring bears, moose and other grizzlies in closer while staying at a safer distance. If your Alaska photography includes birds and eagles, you might want to bring an even longer lens, perhaps 300 mm or longer. To compensate for magnifying lens shake, use shutter speeds inverse to the focal length of your lenses. Use a mono-pod or tripod during low light sessions to steady your camera or lens.

Making the Best of the Horizon

Alaska has an endless horizon which can either accentuate or ruin your picture. When taking pictures of mountain ranges and oceans, keep your horizon level. Also, don’t position the horizon in the middle of the flame; the last thing you want is a static photo. Instead, fill up the frame with what captured your attention — be it glaciers, skies, mountains and so forth — and keep the horizon low. If your element of interest is river or tundra meandering endlessly, it would be best if you place the horizon high.

Hire a local Alaska Photographer

Alaska has some of the best photographers out there. Of course, you want someone who understands both photography and the Alaska in itself. A great local Alaska photographer will take you to the best glaciers, mountains, waterfalls and other photogenic locations.

Shoot during the magical hour.

Alaska’s long-lazy sunsets shower the landscapes with dazzling colors which give off gorgeous photographs. Also, shooting at sunrise will not disappoint.

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