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Arctic IR from Brooks Range and North Slope, Alaska

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If you do not like images of mountains as single subject, skip this post.  :-)

These were captured during two field trips to our Toolik Field station on North Slope in Arctic Alaska this "spring". On the drive up Dalton Highway the light was somewhat hazy and flat, and that is where IR comes to the "rescue".

 

 

First view of Brooks Range appears when one pass Gobblers Knob, looking north. The low area is among the coldest in North America, and the hills were victim to extensive wildfires a few years ago. The green trees are the few spruce trees that survived, the black ones are burnt. Compare to the hill in the far distance which is almost entirely green. (Please view large).

 

 

#1

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North fork of Koyukuk river.

 

 

#2

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This is not spring melt but overflow that can go on throughout the winter:

 

#3

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#4

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Still on the south side of Brooks Range:

 

#5

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#6

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The high areas at Atigun pass:

 

#7

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#8

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#9

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North Slope looking south toward Brooks Range:

 

#10A

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#10B

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Arctic logistics.

 

#11

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#12

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#13

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#14

p456329581.jpg

Edited by otoien
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√ėivind

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Thanks for the view. Well done and intriguing. I could look at a continuing series of these all day. 


There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept. - Ansel Adams

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A wonderfully well composed series! I also admire your stamina!

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Thanks for the kind comments both of you.

We are well cared for at the field station with respect to logistics and feeding, but of course have to live with the conditions out in the field. That would be the topics of a whole other post...


√ėivind

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A fascinating and impressive series of images.

Wow, what a place to work, I guess it's also pretty tough though at certain times of the year,

the scenery and majesty of the place must be some consolation  :D  :)

I'm rapidly learning to appreciate the beauty and alternatives IR can offer

so thanks for adding to my education  :good:

 

tony

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Thanks for your comment Tony. I have found pre-visualization/editing of IR shots quite a challenge myself - I guess it is a continuing learning process, especially with these strong landscape forms. I feel that I found a way to add to the "Arctic feeling" with the coloring in the last series (from #10 on) without color just distracting from the already strong landscape forms. The scenes from the pass could have been black and white, but I felt that retaining just a little bit of color added to the clarity and feeling of depth.


√ėivind

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Guest jakov.nl

Lovely pictures, #1 and #2 are my favourite ones.

It looks like it was coooold....

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√ėivind, this is a terrific series.

Nice work with the various colour palettes.

 

The green highlights the zig-sag in #1, and the red/blue gives a layered feeling in #2.

 

#5 is a good shot and I was wondering if you pushed your sat and/or contrasts a bit, would it bring out that wonderful reddish outcropping. Too many midtones as it is, perhaps?

 

#9 is another interesting compostion. And the black sky is great. I like this one a lot. Some high-pass overlay on the wavy snow lines on the mountain-side really brings them out. Maybe lighten the slanting shadow a bit on the mountainsaide? There is a lot of useful detail there.

 

I'm absolutely loving the salmon-lavender tones in both #10s, #11 and #12. These 4 are wonderful !! It is interesting how very Arctic these colours look. I really like #11 best out of the whole series for its colours and shapes and dark areas. #10A and #10B fascinate me as landscapes because they call to mind their complete opposite - the desert southwestern mountains and sands. So here is this mind jump going on every time I look at them and realize all over again I'm seeing Arctic snows.

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Thanks Jakov and Andrea for your comments,

Jakov, temperature during my field work in April ranged from about -20¬įC to -32¬įC. This might seem cold, but solar radiation can be pretty intense, and I was working for extended periods with just a pair of thin fleece gloves. May was slightly warmer, but there was even more snow then.

 

I particularly appreciated your detailed comments Andrea! I agree that # 5 is a little "tame". I pushed my little netbook I am bringing with me on travel with its uncalibrated screen to make an attempt with CNX2 as seen below; I certainly think added contrast and slight increase in saturation was an improvement: I might have to revise it further once I get to a calibrated screen.

 

#5B:

p48130499.jpg

 

 

 

I agree that #9 is improved by lifting the shade slightly in the slanting slope, another good suggestion. Another workout for my little netbook. The nice thing with IR on snow scenes is that it brings out a lot of more details, as the snow is not as IR reflective.

 

#9B:

p941121420.jpg

 

 

 

Generally speaking, all of the initial edits included a lot of control points to balance snow tones/add color and in some cases use of the LCH hue edit. I wish there was a simpler way, but IR does not seem to lend itself to standard procedures. The salmon colors seemed to only want to be applied without looking "unnatural" in some cases when there was a clear but somewhat hazy sky before sunset.

 

Interestingly my next editing project may be some shots I captured during an excursion during a scientific meeting in Provo, Utah, but that has to wait until I get to a more powerful computer. I agree that some of the open landscapes there could remind a little of North Slope, although a quite different temperature!

Edited by otoien

√ėivind

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Guest jakov.nl

√ėivind, you have some great pictures here!

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I wish there was a simpler way, but IR does not seem to lend itself to standard procedures.

 

Indeed!! IR has its own needs. :D

Well, aside from having to adjust white point and black point which seems to be a fairly universal edit for most fotos.

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Thanks again Jakov.

Andrea, yes, it is fascinating how much just a 90 degree difference in shooting angle relative to the light source can completely change exposure and processing needs.


√ėivind

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