Long nights, late sunrises, and early sunsets present a wonderful opportunity for little-ambient-light photography. It’s such a pleasure to wait for a sunrise at 8 or 9 in the morning, late enough to sleep in till 6 and have a cup of freshly brewed tea before heading out. A fresh breeze, a new blanket of snow and the star-dusted sky has greeted me in the mornings over the past several weeks. Seven and a half years of living in Juneau, Alaska and I still often think how lucky I am to have ended up here. Walking outside my front door, being greeted by towering mountains, bald and snow covered on top, thickly lined by trees at the bottom. Little ambient light noise lets me see the thousands of stars above my head and an occasional dance of aurora borealis, spectacular and mysterious in its beauty.
A ten-minute walk from my house puts me right in downtown Juneau, with its uniquely disharmonious and unappealing architectural styles outside of the historical center. The white snow and the darkness of the night cover up many of the blemishes. Lurking through the darker streets with an old wooden surveyor’s tripod (thanks to Art Sutch for letting me borrow it, after I broke mine a week ago), looking for interesting combinations of lights and shadows. Crispness of the cold in the air. The last time I checked, it was 15° F in Juneau, 3° F in Anchorage, and – 30° F in Fairbanks. Happy New Year, everybody!