The Last Frontier
The Last Frontier
DAVE SANDFORD SIGNATURE SERIES IMAGE EDITION OF 20 [Signed and Framed]
Alaska, the last frontier – Photography isn’t just about the images. It is about the journey, friends, meeting new people, going new places, gaining knowledge, experiences and a deeper love and appreciation of nature to name a few things.
In 2019, my trip to the Alaska Peninsula was one of the most physically and mentally challenging experiences of my career. Safe to say we had nothing left in the tank, we left it all on the table. I was beyond grateful to do this trip with two good friends, both fellow photographers and guides. Both of whom helped drive me when I needed it, provided knowledge, guidance, laughter and friendship. When the last day of our week long stint on the tundra came to an end, we were ready to start our journey home as we had given our all. During our time camping among the bears, we averaged just five hours of sleep a night, taking full advantage of the days that provided about eighteen hours of daylight. Most days we spent an average of fifteen hours a day in the field, in the end, clocking in at about ninety hours total in the field overall. Each of us clocked over 100k steps across the tundra, covering about 75 km of very rugged, uneven ground. We traversed across rivers and climbed up and down steep embankments every single day to reach the area we figured would provide us with the best opportunities. All, while carrying a 50 lb backpack full of gear while wearing hip waders. I weighed 10 lbs less than the day I arrived!
We dealt with scorching and unusually high temperatures in the daylight hours. We dealt with freezing temperatures in the night, some rain, frosty mornings and slept in tents on the tundra, only metres from grizzly bears. We had gear failures and gear breaks, challenges like using solar panels and power banks to charge our electronics. And we did it all with a smile on our faces, because we love what we do, and we will be back to do it again! You may ask yourself, why am I sharing this with you? Simply so that you can understand a little of what it takes to capture images like the one you see here! It is my hope that with a little insight into what goes into capturing and creating these moments, it might give you a little extra appreciation of what you are viewing.
The bear you see here was a younger adolescent and filled with excited energy. It is a truly remarkable experience to lay on your stomach at the river’s edge and witness one of the world’s largest four-legged predators fishing for salmon mere feet away from you! I am beyond excited to share my experience of ‘The Last Frontier’ with you!
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