Saturday, August 23, 2014

portage pass // with Jeff Schultz Photography through Alaska Photo Treks

July 26, 2014

One of the highlights of working for Jeff Schultz this summer, and one of my summer highlights in general, was being able to attend his Portage Pass workshop through Alaska Photo Treks. We began the morning by meeting outside the tunnel to Whittier, trying to call anyone who knew if it was raining on the other side. After finally getting a weather report of only sprinkling, clouds moving out, we drove through. We got breakfast at the hotel and listened to Jeff talk about the day, some of the basics of photography, composition, and hyperfocal distance. Then we drove out to the base of the hike.

Having never been to Portage Pass before this, I didn't know what to expect. Usually I anticipate something grand only to be disappointed by reality, But I'll never forget the moment we reached the top of the peak and looked towards the glacier, surrounded by moss and mountains and rolling fog. It was the most beautiful sight I've seen in my whole life. I know it's cliche to say, but I really don't have words to describe it. The only thing I can say is that I couldn't believe such a place existed in real life, and yet there I was, standing in it, and being able to photograph it with confidence thanks to the direction of Jeff. I think I can speak for everyone who attended the workshop, but it really took me out of my comfort zone in not only photographing things I wasn't used to photographing, but also experimenting with different apertures and focal lengths and compositions.

During the morning, the landscape was moody with fog and clouds, which lead to some really interesting photos. By the end of the day everything changed, with the sun coming out, showing the glacier and surrounding areas in all its colorful glory. How cool is it that we get to live in such an amazing place?

I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to go on this photo trek and learn from Jeff, and cannot wait for the next adventure!

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