Last night I guided a team of international photography clients for an evening of aurora photography in Talkeetna, Alaska. I drove up separately from the group, and since I arrived in Talkeetna a little bit early, I found myself with about a half hour of open time right as the sun was going down.
Grabbing my camera bag, I walked out onto the frozen Susitna River right at the edge of Main Street and shot a few photos with my Fuji X-T1. I managed to snap a few pictures of last light on the peaks of the Alaska range, but actually found more color and drama in the ice formations in an area where the river was running free and open.
Being very careful not to wander too close to the edge, which would no doubt provide me with an extremely quick demise and cause my clients to wonder where the heck I was, I treaded out onto the ice and shot these photos just after the sun dipped below the horizon.
I was really drawn to the contrast between the static ice and the flowing river, so I tried to shoot as low a shutter speed as I could (silly me, I’d left my tripod in the car)and still get some rushing water. Crouching down and bracing my elbow on my knee, I was able to get as low as 1/10 sec, which was still pushing it. Any slower and things started to get soft.
These are both handheld straight JPEGS made with the Fuji XF 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens. I’m not usually a huge fan of this focal length for shooting landscapes, (I prefer either wider or longer) but I’ve been having a lot of fun with this lens. For one thing, it’s tiny, and thus easy to pack and extremely inconspicuous. The angle of view equates to 40mm when compared to full frame, so it’s pretty close to that nifty 50 range.
In the end, even though I was kicking myself for leaving the legs behind, I’m happy with these icescapes. Let me know what you think.
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