Glacier Bay National Park

Story and photography by Jerry Ginsberg

 

Mammoth Johns Hopkins Glacier, calling card of Glacier Bay National Park,
meets the bay’s waters in tranquil Hopkins Inlet. © Jerry Ginsberg

 

For a place that is not reachable by any road, Glacier Bay National Park, tucked away in the southeastern corner of Alaska, can boast a great deal of popularity. This 5,000 square mile park, as large as any in the contiguous 48 states, gets its name from the long and narrow bay and the rivers of snow and ice that creep along its edges at a glacially slow pace. (Was that a pun? Ouch!)

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Lake Clark National Park

Story and Photography by Jerry Ginsberg

 

Glacial rivers of ice move slowly between the protruding summits of the Chigmit Mountains. © Jerry Ginsberg

 

Alaska is often called “the last frontier” for good reason. The overwhelming majority of our 49th state is still pristine and wild. When traipsing around this wonderful wilderness, I am constantly reminded of the American pioneers of yesteryear such as John Colter and Jedediah Smith, so open is this vast state.  It is truly in a class all by itself. Perhaps the prime feature shared by all eight national parks of Alaska (only California has more) is this singularly pristine wildness. These wonderful parks are vast tracts of pure, untamed and untrammeled Nature. Towering volcanoes, sparkling glaciers, crystalline lakes and mega fauna in the wild seem to be everywhere.

A century and a half after being acquired by Secretary of State William Seward from Russia’s Czar Alexander II, “Alyeska” remains remote, sparsely populated and largely roadless. Throughout this immense state, if you want to get around beyond the point where the few roads end, you will likely be using a raft or canoe to navigate the many river drainages or the ever-popular and ubiquitous bush planes for just about everything else.

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Winner’s Profile- Mark Kelley

 

 

In springtime, before the salmon start running up the creeks, many bald eagles hang out on the icebergs in Tracy Arm looking for food. © Mark Kelley

 

How many of your images will win? The 2018 NANPA Showcase competition is accepting entries until October 1, 2017 at 11:00 p.m. EDT. The annual competition is a wonderful opportunity for you to submit your best photography and have it evaluated by three notable professional nature photographers- George Lepp, Roy Toft and Darrel Gulin .  You may even have your image published in our annual Expressions publication which features the top 250 images from those entered.  For more details about the 2018 NANPA Showcase competition, check out the website.

Over 3,300 images were submitted last year. One of the key NANPA Showcase 2017 winners is Mark Kelley, a photographer based in Juneau, Alaska.  Mark had nine images featured in the 2017 Expressions, including Best in Show for “Eagle Hell,” Judge’s Choice for “Hiker Inside Glacier Ice Cave,” and First Runner-Up for “Drizzly Bear.”  All of these images were made in Alaska and reflect the photographer’s passion for this beautiful state.

“Eagle Hell” Best of Show winner in the birds category for the 2017 NANPA Showcase Competition. A smudged up bald eagle use a discarded stool as a perch in the Adak dump where it scavenges on caribou hides and carcasses left by hunters. (See hide in lower left corner) © Mark Kelley

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Conservation: Alaskan Beauty

Story and Photography by Tyler Hartje

 

Winding rivers serve as the lifeblood of this dynamic ecosystem, carrying fresh water and nutrients to the tundra.  © Tyler Hartje

I couldn’t help but stare out the window during the short 45 minute flight from Anchorage to Iliamna — my home base for the next week as I sought to photograph the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) and maybe catch a glimpse of the elusive coastal wolf (Canis lupus). Coming from Seattle, Washington, I am no stranger to vast mountain ranges, winding rivers, and large bodies of water, but the Alaskan scenery left me awestruck. I couldn’t believe that I was going to spend the next week in this incredible place. Continue reading

NANPA Weekly Wow: April 24-30

© Amy Marques - "Above the Sea Diorama, Misc FL East Coast Beaches"

© Amy Marques – “Above the Sea Diorama, Misc FL East Coast Beaches”

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2017 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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NANPA Weekly Wow: April 10-16

A bald eagle in small community burning trash pit, Adak, Aleutian Islands, Alaska © Mark Kelley

A bald eagle in small community burning trash pit, Adak, Aleutian Islands, Alaska © Mark Kelley

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2017 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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NANPA Weekly Wow: Sept 5 – 11

© Wendy Kaveney

© Wendy Kaveney

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2016 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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Dance of the Spirits by Gordon and Cathy Illg

North America, USA, Alaska, Chena Hot Springs, aurora borealis and stars. © Cathy & Gordon Illg

North America, USA, Alaska, Chena Hot Springs, aurora borealis and stars. © Cathy & Gordon Illg

Images and Text by Gordon and Cathy Illg

It’s not that one or two things or even a hundred things are beautiful – every single aspect of the natural world is beautiful, even the very air around us. Using high-energy particles from the sun as brushes and electrons orbiting atoms in our upper atmosphere as a canvas, impossible abstracts are painted across the night sky in neon colors. Of all the astral phenomena that draw our eyes to the heavens, the aurora is the most spectacular. And, it requires no special equipment to view it, only a willingness to stay out when most people are asleep (and to endure some cold temperatures).

The Cree called it the “Dance of the Spirits,” and in the Middle Ages it was regarded as a sign from God. Today we call it aurora borealis after the Roman goddess of the dawn and the Greek name for the north wind. Its most basic form is a static green band, usually stretching across the northern horizon. As it becomes more active, pink, red and even violet are added to the palette. These colors can fall down in curtains or dance across the heavens in twisting waves, as if responding to music we cannot hear. A photographer could point a lens at the same spot all night, taking one photo after another, and never repeat an image. Continue reading

NATIONAL PARKS: Katmai National Park, story and photo © Jerry Ginsberg

Alaskan brown bear (grizzly) with a salmon at the Brooks River, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Alaskan brown bear (grizzly) with a salmon at the Brooks River, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Katmai National Park is best-known for its three prime attractions: bears, bears and more bears. Within Katmai’s borders lie several spectacular mountains, such as Mt. Douglas volcano and Four-Peak Mountain, as well as scenic creeks, rivers and lakes that are seasonally teeming with salmon. While brown bears draw the majority of visitors, salmon draw the bears. Continue reading

NATIONAL PARKS: Kenai Fjords NP by Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

Three Hole Point, a unique rock formation in Aialik Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. © Jerry Ginsberg

Three Hole Point, a unique rock formation in Aialik Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. © Jerry Ginsberg

In 1980, seven Alaska parks were created in one fell swoop. Specifically, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (or ANILCA) was passed by Congress on November 12, 1980 and signed into law a couple of weeks later. Among other things, the act provided for more than 43 million acres of new national parklands in Alaska. Kenai Fjords National Park is one of them.

Giving birth to Kenai Fjords came with some really sharp labor pains. The local citizenry was initially opposed to setting aside these lands, but they came to enthusiastically support their expansion as they experienced the injection of tourist dollars into their local economies. Continue reading