Jump to content


Life Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


waltonksm last won the day on 7 December 2018

waltonksm had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

193 of my posts have been liked

About waltonksm

  • Rank
  • Birthday 1 January

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • 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.

  • Edit my pics?
    Ask Me
  • Fav. Camera
    Nikon D500
  • Fav. Lens
    500mm F4 P lens
  1. waltonksm

    The End of Winter

    And then, after the races, more dancing......
  2. waltonksm

    The End of Winter

    The annual dog races are my last major task before spring. Now we wait for the river to thaw, and our short summer fishing season to take place. These are local teams that are run by local mushers. Fewer and fewer are raced, as expenses mount for keeping the dogs. I missed part of the activities on Saturday, but did take photos of the end of the women's races this afternoon. This musher is trying to reduce some drag by crouching down on the sled runners. There are a lot of long tongues hanging out as these dogs get to the finish line. I assume most people know, but for those who don't, dogs "pant" to get rid of excess heat. Crossing the finish line: A wider view. This is the Andreafsky River, about 40 yards from the shore. Just lst week there was an abundance of water over this area, as our temperatures approached 40F. As I suspect many of you know, it is somewhat challenging to take photos when everything is white, and you have a very bright sun. Most of these images started out at a PLUS 1.0 to 1.6. And this is the dog transport sled. Not exactly like the mushers who run the Iditarod.
  3. waltonksm

    NDSM Quarter / Amsterdam Noord

    Since I am so late to the party, I think I will plagiarize 🤩: Definitely bright and colorful, and makes me want to visit......but all on my own, (not plagiarizing others) they lead me to wonder what is around the corner, or inside some of the doorways, or peepholes..... Lots of questions. And surely something interesting around the corner. Thanks, Walton
  4. waltonksm

    Potlatch, Continued

    And here is what has become usual for Potlatch: The family ties large pieces of fabrics together and strings them out. The fabric starts the trip from outside of the room, and all ends up in a pile at the front of the room, next to the person who is being presented. The men and the women in this photo are wearing "Kuspuks." This is a traditional design, with a single large pocket in the front, and a small hood.
  5. waltonksm

    Potlatch, Continued

    Just a bit more detail, and some explanations: First, the photo below shows this young lady wearing some absolutely beautiful mukluks (boots/shoes). Traditionally, these would have dry grass stuffed inside to improve the insulating ability of the "shoe." Also, she has a really stunning parka; BUT it has a full length zipper down the front. A bit of modern convenience added to the parka. I saw a parka similar to this one in a shop in Seattle (years ago.) The price on the tag was over $2000. Of course, with all of the emphasis on NOT using animal skins for clothing, I suppose this might have changed. Likewise, mukluks like these are super expensive. Mukluks would start out at over $250, and perhaps as much as $500. Parkas and mukluks have become very difficult to buy for several reasons: 1. This is almost a work of love, as you will not be paid much per hour. It would be difficult to earn a living doing this. 2. They need to be made by a very good leather seamstress. They are getting harder to find as the older generation dies off. The younger people are NOT learning this skill. Part of the "presentation" has the person distributing "special gifts" for certain special people. She is giving a present to one of the oldest elders in the village. Elders are still given extra respect and courtesy. I get doors held open, heavy packages carried from the post office to my vehicle, and more. I was only in my 50's when I left here before, so I was a little surprised that even an "outside white guy" gets a bit of elder respect. And what could be more traditional than.............. A Minnie Mouse T shirt!
  6. waltonksm


    Thank you Luc and Armando. Yes, it is different, and YES, I should have been covering this for years before I started. But then, shooting high speed ektachrome would still not compare with having ISO 3200 on a modern digital camera.
  7. waltonksm


    Thank you Hugh, and Dallas too. Farmed Salmon?? You don't use those words around here. The Yukon King Salmon have the highest fat content of any salmon anywhere in the world. I just found the number: 34%. I think this is the percent of the total weight of the fish. The fish in my photos were mostly white fish, pike, and "Lush," which I seem to remember is a local name for Burbot. I did not see any salmon in the piles on the floor, although I have seen small kings caught in nets in the winter. Our king returns have been so low that you were not allowed to even catch them, during some fish openings. There has been no sport fishing here for quite a few years (I am on the lower Lukon.) The number of kings caught is also dependent upon mesh size of the nets. Smaller mesh size means mostly Chum salmon. Most of our openings now DO NOT allow long nets, but require you to use much smaller dip nets. It is easy to return a king to the river with no injuries when using a dip net. Chums are also known as "dog salmon." With the crash of the king population, you will find that a relatively "new" salmon is being marketed: Keta (Oncorhynchus keta.) A lot of people in this area caught as many chums as possible, dried them, and then would feed them to their dogs in the winter. So...... they needed a new name for marketing the chums/dog salmon. Yes, salmon are much less "fishy" than the other fish we have here. I will eat salmon occasionally (if there is nothing else to eat.)
  8. waltonksm


    I am quickly displaying some of my St. Mary's Potlatch photos. You may find some of these to be a little "different." Being Presented. You are given your Eskimo name. At this time. The names are from departed people, but during potlatch their spirits are in the person who is being presented. A little later today the spirits will return to the spirit world, and potlatch is over. Each family that ha presented their relative then dances. They have their own "new" songs and dances for this occasion. This young woman was just presented, but this is taken during her first family dance. After the first night of potlatch there is giving of food to the men. This year we have lots of moose around, so a couple of guys told me they were going out to get a couple of moose....... And they did. The big pile on the left is one of the two moose they got.This moose was walking around only 60 hours earlier. Most of the fish were frozen. But quite a few were still relatively fresh, having been caught in nets within a few days of this distribution. Top center is a beaver. The gift giver kept the hide (it may have been given out at the potlatch dance event.) The beaver tail is stuffed into the chest cavity. If you are really having a lot of troubles with aches and pains, there is nothing quite like having a big serving of soup made with beaver tail. Also, the beaver testicles are boiled up, minced, and used as a surface rub. And if you think about for a second, consider salicylates. This is a natural form of something similar to aspirin. I have to confess, I prefer aspirin. I do not like fish. I love catching them with rod and reel, but I do not like them. I do not eat fish, and do not want to smell fish. Our community hall absolutely reeks of fish today. Fish slime dripped onto the floors, and is tough to get absolutely , completely cleaned up. I just left the hall after it has had much cleaning done. And I STILL smell fish. I occasionally eat salmon (grilled,) but that i about it for me. So here I am in an area that is still rich with fish, and I hate fish. I do eat moose and caribou. And I once tried whale... but ONLY once, and never again!
  9. waltonksm

    More "Dancing"

    I have done a small amount to facilitate the dancing and associated activities, but several others started working to restore dancing and potlatches in the mid 1980's. I helped organize a couple of these (in a very minor role.) Two of the more active people have now passed away, and I did not do a good enough job of documenting their contributions in the past. I want to make sure that I do not miss the current group of people that are leading and fostering participation by the young. Part of the incentive for these activities is the belief that transmission of traditional culture will help mediate some social problems in the village (alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, and more.) I do not know if this really happens, but at worse, it can't hurt. I am taking many photos in the hopes of documenting this, and occasionally I get something that I really like. There is a chance (very slim) that I can put something together that can be sold to raise a few dollars for travel expenses and for some of the supplies that the dance group needs. They are occasionally invited to attend events in other villages, and travel costs make it hard for more than a very few to travel. I am not sure if I posted this photo before, or not. I cannot find it with my posts on fotozones. But this is a shot that I attempted MANY times before getting this one. The room has low ceilings, at least 10 different brands of florescent lights, and all of differing ages.
  10. waltonksm

    More "Dancing"

    Thanks for looking. Yes, they are really intended to be documentary, with the hope of putting together something to cover practices, potlatches, and more. And yes, every once in a while i get something that is a bit more interesting. I have been working for almost three years to become "part of the scenery" at these events. Many of the kids know me, and are oblivious to my camera. And I need to figure out a way to make some more "artistic" shots.
  11. waltonksm

    More "Dancing"

    Here are a few more from the Friday night session. With no school the next morning, there are more people in attendance. There were also some treats and practical items (given as presents) passed out as part of a memorial to a Yup'ik cultural leader who passed away 40 years ago. So some of the younger children got lollipops and cupcakes. I had dryfish, but the plate I was given also contained agutak, muktuk, and some sweets. Actually, I like agutak when it DOES NOT have fish included. I love catching big salmon on rod and reel, but do NOT like to eat fish. I NEVER eat muktuk. I will leave you to discover what agutak and muktuk translate to. And here is a more detailed photo of a woman's dance fans. Yuo can clearly see the woven portion and the caribou hair. And just as with the previous night, many of the young are participating and learning the dance. This young girl is NOT a beginner. She has been doing this for at least two previous seasons. And as you will notice, our weather has gotten a bit cooler. So Carharts (jackets and snow pants), with kuspuks, and also some Sorels for footwear. You can see that many more people have shown up to practice this night. Granddaughter and Grandma. And Grandma has a really nice pair of dance fans. Many years ago at one of our activities we must have packed over 300 people into this hall. It was minus 25F outside, and we had all of the windows open to help get rid of the heat and moisture. I could feel the floor and the bleachers shake with the dancing. Not long afterward I had a geotechnical engineer examine our foundation and soils to see if we were about to collapse the building with our huge crowd and the dancing. Frequently tundra soils and minimal foundations do not work well together.
  12. waltonksm

    Yurak: Dance Practice

    And two more: This is one of Mary's younger grandchildren. She will be trying to dance before too long, and will start to copy what the adults are doing. Last year a pre-school boy walked out to the mat that was set up at Potlatch (during a break), picked up someone's dance fans, and joined in. He was doing all the moves properly. He had NEVER been seen to practice; he just suddenly decided it was time to join in. I was amazed! And while he has the same color Kuspuk that his family is wearing, his has a spiderman print on it. (third photo). A Kuspuk is a traditional top, used by men and women, that pulls over, and has a large center "pocket" in the front. And an admission: I thought I could shoot the D500 at ISO 5000 and do better (less noise) than the EM1 Mark II at ISO 4000. It looks like the D500 loses on this one. My next trial I guess I will shoot them at the same ISO. I am surprised by this result. And below is during Potlatch, last February. Potlatch is usually a three day event, every year. The young boy, (front, second from the right,) has just made his "debut." His older sister is at the top, right, standing. He is the reason for the big smile she has. He attended many of the practices, but never attempted dancing at any of them. This was a total surprise to the whole family. And sometimes I am his almost "Uppa." (grandfather.)
  13. waltonksm

    Yurak: Dance Practice

    Here is my "poster" on the wall of our community hall..... I really think it has helped with my getting less (or even NO) resistance to my doing photography with our Yurak group. You can see also some of the detail on the woven part of this young girl's dance fans. Nope, it is not a very great image, I uploaded it for the poster in the background. The lucite cover is very reflective, but may insure that it lasts for a while.
  14. waltonksm

    Yurak: Dance Practice

    Anthony: Yes, they do. 20 years ago the school kids were complaining about a lack of "things to do." I commented that here we are, 450 miles away from Anchorage, with an environment that some people pay thousands of dollars to experience, whether to hunt, fish, or raft. I was told I was out of date and old. These kids want Nintendo, a "club" for gaming, etc.
  15. waltonksm

    Yurak: Dance Practice

    Vivion: You know, It seems there was some discussion about this. I will send an email to my friend and see if he can jog my memory a bit. He is younger than I, so probably still has a few more brain cells than I. I really like some of my photos. I like seeing all of the action in them. There was a school (of Dutch?) painters that did "slices of life?" Rowdy pub scenes, parties, dancing, and more. I enjoy moving to different areas and finding other activities going on.

Important Information

By visiting this website you are agreeing to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy & Guidelines.