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Tonsina River, 2005

Tonsina River, 2005

For a photographer, the major problem of the Alaskan Landscape is this:  the place is beautiful, and almost everyone who comes to photograph here is immeditely overwhelmed by the infinite number of things to point a camera at.  It’s almost as if all the beautiful lies that Ansel Adams told about the landscape are true, but only here…

Burned Trees, Near Nenana, January 2008

Burned Trees, Near Nenana, January 2008

But there are also reminders of the damage we do, even here, like the fire damaged forests along the roads, the result of climate change.  Even the picture of the river above shows the river flooding, from accelerated melting of the glaciers.

For me, the landscape is a way to contemplate both the damage we have done, and the beauty that still remains.  After twenty years here, I finally understand what Bob Adams means when he calls the landscape redemptive:  it a place that both records our mistakes, but also heals and forgives.

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One Comment

    • jack
    • Posted August 31, 2009 at 8:13 pm
    • Permalink

    as an observer of famous photographs, the Tonsina image certainly catches eye and the heart


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