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waltonksm last won the day on 9 February

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About waltonksm

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  • Birthday 1 January

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  • Location
    Presently in an Eskimo village about 500 miles due west of Anchorage, AK
  • Interests
    Wildlife, photography, my environment. I love taking photos of birds. And when I can afford to travel (less frequently the past many years) I love taking photos of what I am seeing as I travel. I love the four corners area of the US, and also the area along the Pacific Coast Highway.

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  • Fav. Camera
    Nikon D500
  • Fav. Lens
    500mm F4 P lens

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  1. Thanks, Erv for your comments, too. You also have another, closer option: Trail Ridge Road in Colorado. I remember a path through tundra vegetation with a sign telling you how much further north you needed to be to see the same thing at sea level! But I cannot remember what it looked like; it was over 35 years ago! Now all I need is someone who wants some very specific photos of tundra vegetation. If any of you see this person somewhere, please direct him my way.
  2. Thanks Rags and Dallas. I am still in awe over the bounty present in the tundra. The indigenous natives were very tough. They lived in an unforgiving environment, but they had some really creative solutions to living here. At a sort of cultural event for explaining to all of us Gussaks more about the culture, a man who has been a friend of mine for over thirty years said "this is not our 'wilderness.' This is our refrigerator." This is a particularly nice blueberry patch. And this one gives you a better illustration of just how uneven the ground can be. So it is not only loaded with depressions and humps, it is all soft, too. This is almost as tough as walking in beach sand.
  3. This next winter a small wood pole line will be built for about 20 miles. It must be done AFTER the ground has frozen 18" deep, and there must be at least 4 " of snow cover over the tundra. I thought some of you might like to see tundra vegetation. Where I live has the appearance of the rolling hills of western North Dakota. Not many trees on the tundra, BUT..... all you have to do is step out and walk a bit, and you immediately know it is not the Dakotas. Squishy, spongy, water saturated, plenty of ankle twisting holes and hummocks. Lots of cranberries..... these are VERY tart. They are in lichens of various types. A Milbert's tortoiseshell butterfly. I believe he is sitting on common yarrow. The small red leaves are BIRCH. Would you believe they are DWARF birch? They are in a bed of lichens, with other tundra vegetaton. These beautiful leaves are from the cloudberry plant (locally called "salmonberries.")
  4. Anthony: How does this work?
  5. Anthony, please take a quick look at this one: https://www.flickr.com/photos/waltonksm/13598502334/in/album-72157643236350523/ I am not sure why I cannot get this one to show up. But this photo is some 50 years later, taken by one of their sons while practicing one of his very many hobbies. He was using a speed graflex..
  6. Thank you VERY much for taking the time to answer me. And now i will be re-reading this for a few days, and going back to your earlier posts. I am afraid this is a case of my knowing far too little to readily absorb the answer. I have one really inane comment to make (maybe 2 of them:) It certainly does not hurt your effort that they are both attractive people. You would need to be a magician to make a photo of me look this good. The bride is really stunning (or perhaps made more stunning by your photography.) And your explanation about their being totally relaxed, and doing this before the service really answers a couple of my observations about the photos. It goes a long ways toward explaining part of the "magic" in these photos. They look happy and relaxed, and not posed....because they are not really posed. I could not put my finger on the difference until you said what you did, and then it became obvious. I really liked the photos before your explanation. I like them even more, now. I am really impressed that you planned this in advance, then managed to pull it off so well. I would love to be able to "PLAN" for something like this, then actually make it happen. My "magic" is more a result of serendipity, not planning. Yes, I do work pretty hard for some of my photos, but not like you have done. If this is your wedding photography swan-song, you certainly did a bang-up job to end it on. Again, thank you very much for answering. I was afraid it would be such a complicated answer that you would not attempt it. I am equally impressed that you can actually put to words what you were attempting.... and then pull it off. I would like to send you a wedding "couple" shot from my family. I have no idea if this was done before, or after their wedding. It is obviously a studio shot, but I think it one of the most sensual wedding shots I have seen. I think you will find it interesting, given your background. It was taken sometime between 1885 and maybe as late as 1895. I have no idea when they married. I guess I will put it here. Hopefully no one will complain too much. For some reason it will not insert here. OOPS, it did insert. He was a "railroad man" (for over 50 years of service.) And she really was a preacher's daughter. Her father was not impressed.
  7. I am interested in what you told them..... what your hoped-for outcome was. I REALLY like what you have done. But I am curious about the "correspondence between" what you hoped for, and what you achieved (or feel that you achieved) with these images. I realize this is probably not a simple request. Thanks, Walt
  8. I am sorry I did not see these sooner. They are pretty stunning. I especially like the first and the last one. I have gone back to view each of these several times. Did you shoot these with some of their goodies? If so, did you manage to fight temptation and NOT buy a new lens? Walt
  9. Yep. You only have a second. And I missed a few (seconds, here and there.) Also, I am part of this activity, and I cannot risk having mushers complain about my being in the way, or frightening off the dogs. So I do not get in front when they are running. I have many more images to review, as the races only finished a few hours ago. Hopefully I will have done a bit better on some of these. And thank you for your example. Walt
  10. I debated purchasing this lens (45mm f1.8). But when I found one on sale, I bought it. I did not expect the lens to be quite as sharp as it is. I also really like this angle of view. I used it quite a bit this weekend, and am very pleased with the image quality. When you consider the sale price, it is a great lens for the price.
  11. Frankly, I am not a fan of dog mushing. And perhaps it is just my lack of skill, but I find it difficult to photograph dog races. I suspect my attitude is reflected in my photos: Boring! However, the technical aspects of making these photos is pretty challenging. When the sun is bright, and there is much snow, you need to overexpose by quite a bit to get any detail in your photo. Add dark clothing, and dark dogs to the image, and you have to make some fairly large compensations for image exposures. For that matter, white dogs are a bit tough to do anything with, too. And the amount of the compensation changes quite a bit with the scene, and with the angle to the sun. This is one area where I feel the M4/3 equipment really shines. Just pop the camera to your eye, then "fiddle" with the exposure compensation while composing, and snap the photo. Here are a few of the dog shots. And in case anyone is interested, I stay away from debating the pros and cons of dog mushing as well as the ethical arguments. But training and selective breeding really are evident when you see just how excited these dogs are to run. It takes multiple people and hands to hold the dogs back. A little lapse in attention, and you will be chasing after a run-away team. The musher, below, is making a last minute check of his dogs and the lines. The building in the background, above his head and a bit to the right, is the Saint Mary's Mission main building. The dogs really get excited and are very anxious to run. And if you expected to see a bunch of huskies or malamutes, these dogs are pretty typical of sled dogs, especially for sprint races. Even the Iditarod dogs ARE NOT what one would expect.
  12. One more piece of information. His slightly older sister (the one with the innocent face) told me they had spaghetti for supper. Her brother, Willie, left much of it on his face. I am not sure about the red ear. It could be a touch of frostbite, or it could be the spaghetti managed to migrate to his ear, too. And yes, this is the very first time that he has participated in dancing. His oldest sister is the attractive young lady with the big smile standing in the row behind him. They were all amazed to see him go up to the mat, kneel down, and take up a pair of dance fans. I asked them what he had to say about dancing, and they say they never asked him and he did not volunteer any information, either.
  13. And one more dancer........... I have never seen Willie (the young boy in the center, kneeling down) dance before, so I do not know if this is his first time. He is wearing the family red/back colors for his kuspuk, but with a difference. In case you cannot see it in the above image, you might notice it below. And the answer is: SPIDERMAN! He is a typical little boy who loves spiderman. He is in kindergarten this year. And yes, I am his uppa. He and his sister, who is only 1.5 years older, are about to receive a "custom" rifle to shoot. I modified an adult stock to almost fit both of them. Maybe another few months until it is a perfect fit. Remember, it is a different culture, and hunting for subsistence is a very big part of it. And that sweet, innocent looking girl on the right is his older sister. As he grows larger, she will have to learn about how paybacks work. We keep telling her that he is not going to tolerate some of her bullying in just a few short years; and he will probably surpass her size before long. Her mother is on her right, and then a cousin. Her auntie is sitting one row back with another of her cousins.
  14. I thank both of you for your comments. I had a good time taking these.
  15. This iso the annual St. Mary's Potlatch. Much of the Eskimo Dancing in the old City Hall leads up to this event. In the fairly recent past, we hosted these events in the City hall, too. The floor would shake, and we would have the windows all open, even when the ambient temperature was minus 20 F. I also included some photos using the Olympus OMD E1 with the 12-40 lens on it. More details are below: I was seated in horrid bleachers (illegal rise and run of the steps.) I was about the middle of the room, up about 15 feet or so above the floor. I really like using the Olympus E-1. This is with the 12-40 f2.8 pro lens, at ISO 1600. None of the MFT images used flash. I missed many of the dancers, and opted to get more of the audience into the image. The front row, running diagonally from the right of the image, to the center, is sort of the designated "Elders' Seating." The old ladies are wearing their traditional Kuspuks. There is one younger woman seated next to her grandmother, but at least with the elders, the average age is probably close to 83 or so. I like taking photos showing the audience. They make these photos more of a "slice of life" when the audience is included. This has become a part of the potlatch. Bolts of loth (almost always cotton fabric)have bee unrolled, and then tied together. It is hard to call this anything other than a display of status. The better off families might have 100 yards or so of fabric, while those of lesser means might have 50 yards or less. There are also rifles, freshly cured seal skin and beaver skins, and even a commercially available cowhide in the pile of gifts that is brought out. This image was made with the Nikon D500 at ISO 3200, using a Tamron 16-300 lens f3.5-6.3. What can I say? It is nice to have that sort of range available, but I cannot kid myself that it is a super sharp lens: is is not. For this sort of setting, it is "adequate." These two young men are wearing what has come to be alled a "Parkee". The Malachi on the left is made from beaver and sealskin. The one of the right is red fox. The ruff on the left one is wolverine. Wolverine is an ideal ruff as ice does not form on the hairs like it does with other fur. Wolf skin is for people like me that do not know anyone to furnish them with some more exotic fur. I have a friend who helped with some search and rescue that was critical. The search and rescue team gave him a HUGE, GORGEOUS white ruff from a polar bear. I suspect he has a letter signed by an Eskimo hunter documenting the origin of the ruff so h e does not risk confiscaton of the hide, and a trip to jail for owning it. I am sort of related to this group. I am a cousin, and sometimes Uppa (grandfather.) Many of the youngsters are told that I am "Uppa Walton." These two youngsters are first cousins, beong "presented" together. They will be receiving their "Eskimo Names: when they are first introduced. Spo for a night, they are host to the spirit of departed Yup'iks. When they dance, the relatives whose names they bear are dancing with them. The young man onthe right has a harpoon in one hand, and a modern rifle in the other. These gifts will be given to some very honored elders in a few minutes. Much of the other gifts (socks, gloves, some hats, will be given out the next morning at a gathering just for gift giving. This is another D500 shot with the 16-300 Tamron lens. This lady is in her late 60's, but has never been presented at potlatch; so she was presented tonight, too. She will also be given Eskimo names. And this is another shot taken with the lowly gray market 18-55 AF-P lens. ($95 from Hong Kong with free shipping. (I LOVE IT!!) If you follow the link to the FLickr image, you can view the original image at a resolution of 2 feet by 3 feet, The resolution is amazing! These are the relatives of the two young boys who were presented. And this image is another of those beautiful, wonderful resolution images from the 18-55 AF-P. It has become the custom to dress is similar (almost identical) kuspuks. The fancier the better.