Exploring Southern Alaska

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.

Kruzof Island cabin

Kruzof Island Candlelight

Bear eaten sign in Alaska.

[one_half]Mount Edgecumbe from the Sitka, Alaska shore[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Blue lake outside of Sitka, Alaska[/one_half_last]


Fishing and smoking in Alaska.

Sitka Alaska lighthouse

Fishing on a foggy day in southern Alaska

Sitka, Alaska Harbor

Fog on the Alaska shores

Curious otters in the Alaska ocean.

[one_half]Hiking on Kruzof Island, Alaska[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Alaska bear tracks[/one_half_last]

Seashell on the beach of Sitka, Alaska

Mount Edgecumbe sunset

Totem pole in Sitka, Alaska

Colby Brown enjoying candy in Sitka, Alaska

Birds in Alaska

Kruzof Island Map

[one_half]Downtown Sitka, Alaska [/one_half]

[one_half_last]Portrait of a bald eagle in Sitka, Alaska[/one_half_last]

  • Glad to see you finally got around to posting some of these shots. I’ve wanted to go to Alaska for years as well, these images are a nice mix of documentary shots and artistic shots that definitely help give me more reasons to take that trip.

    I recently picked up the VSCO presets as well. They’re pretty awesome.

  • Joni Mckenzie

    Your photos are simply amazing! Those taken in Alaska are truly awe inspiring. I love nature and you have done an awesome job in capturing its beauty in your photos. I live in the Northern region of Saskatchewan, Canada and seeing photos that capture nature etc at its finest is very inspiring. Hope I one day get a chance to see photos taken by you within our country or perhaps you have and have missed them, lol, sounds weird but they are truly amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jane

    Hi Casey,
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Sitka to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!

  • Jeff smith

    i enjoyed the pictures, it brought back some memories for me, and the part about coming back to surf it. in 1979 i left a full blown surf career in la jolla,ca, surfed for bill caster. moved in aug of 1979, for sitka,to go to sheldon jackson college. found out about all of the surf, and the surf on island. one day i was on top of a mt. in sitka, looked over at the volcano, and the surf coming off the point had to been in 80-100 foot face range. i meet my wife in sitka and married, and on one dat boated over to the island, and up to the top of the volcano.,,,thank you for reminding me of great memories