The St. Elias Mountains

An aerial photo of an unnamed mountain in the St. Elias Range.

Yet another unnamed peak in the St. Elias Mountains

I love the St. Elias Mountains. Few things I enjoy more than a great afternoon flying around and shooting these mountains.

One of the most difficult aspects of shooting from a plane is deciding where to point your camera; the perspective can be so infinite that it’s a little overwhelming, and at times simply making a choice of what you you’re going to shoot can be challenging. We’re flying by an incredible mountain range, with the most massive jagged crags, dripping with snow and ice, and I can see for countless miles. The view is endless. Do I point my camera this way or that way? A short lens or a long lens? And then as you’re starting to decide, more great views come into focus, and you’re back at square one.

Agreed, it’s not really “difficult”, as pushing a heavy wheelbarrow might be difficult, but it’s challenging in other ways. We’re doing something that requires a singular focus and concentration, yet also requires us to be responsive to stimuli that literally fly by at a 100 miles per hour.

it really helps to have the opportunity to visit and revisit some of these places, not just for the great light and weather conditions, etc, but in order to become more familiar with the place, slow it down a little in our mind; to really see what’s there and what we most respond to.

For me, I think these kinds of images sit well. They’re stark, and abstract, yet also very tangible. The contrast is both intimidating and welcoming at the same time, and i love that tension. But mostly I just love the subject. What an incredible mountain!

The St. Elias Mountains, a black and white aerial photo. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

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