Last July, I was invited to go on a scouting trip to Sitka, Alaska with my good friend Colby Brown, a fine-art photographer from Denver. Having wanted to travel to Alaska since I was a little kid, I jumped at the opportunity. It would also give me a chance to scout a location that I have plans to revisit for two weeks this fall with a surfing crew.
Alaska was just as I imagined it. Friendly locals, clean, and untouched – like traveling back in time. However, upon returning home, the images have stayed on my hard drives for nearly 9 months. I shared some on Facebook and put a few more on my Tumblr, but nothing went into the print store, nor did I send anything out for publication. I brought back photos of broad, vibrant scenes, but that’s not what I felt in Alaska. Standing in the accurately-named Last Frontier state felt more raw. Like early explorers stepping foot on a new location for the first time. I didn’t feel that my shots captured that.
A few weeks ago I was lucky to stumble upon VSCO film, a set of film emulation presets for Lightroom. As a photographer, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never shot film. A part of me feels as though it’s some sort of right of passage to actually be called a photographer, and that I’m fooling everyone in the meantime. Applying the VSCO presets and some minor Lightroom adjustments, however, comes close to the feeling I get while flipping through old family photo albums. That’s what my photos from Alaska were missing – history and character.
So, 9 months later, here are some select shots from Sitka and Kruzof Island, Alaska. I can’t wait to return this fall with surfboards and tents in tow.