Girdwood changes hugely from season to season. Each season can bring its challenges for photographers (amateur and professional alike). Winter can be hard on gear, camera gear is just not meant to operate at such cold temps. Summer has a lot of rain, which is never easy to photograph in. However, the differing seasons also create great opportunities.
By no means do I call myself an expert but below are some tips and suggestions that I can pull from my experience from living in Girdwood.
Here are just a few tips on shooting each season in Girdwood.
Winter offers plenty of snow photography opportunities. Whether you are taking selfies on the chairlift, family pics at the top of Alyeska or taking some pro pow pics on the North Face.
One of the difficulties winter brings is the lack of light. Girdwood can be in the shade for much of the short daylight hours, which doesn’t exactly scream “get your camera out!”. However, when you don’t have great daylight hours there are plenty of opportunity to play in the dark. Night photography! With so much time in the dark it would be silly not to jump at the opportunity to take night photos.
Some ideas to try out are; mountain pics, outdoor activities, star trails, light painting and of course capturing the northern lights.
Spring brings many changes to Girdwood. The landscape looses it’s white blanket and a large layer of brown vegetation is exposed. If you want to take pics of the brown, be quick, it doesn’t last long. Over a weekend Girdwood can turn green, which is not a bad thing. Daylight hours are long and the “Golden Hour” lasts for well more than an hour. These are perfect conditions for taking landscapes. The peaks will also have snow on them, which makes for compelling images.
Some photo ideas for spring are early morning frost photos, landscapes (with contrasting green valley floor and white peaks), snow melt and wildlife shots.
Summer brings rain in Girdwood as the town sits amongst a rain forest. However the sunny days are absolutely glorious and of course offer great photographic opportunities. Long days mean long times of light. The “Golden Hours” (sunset and sunrise) seem to last an age, giving the keen photographer plenty of time with more than ideal lighting. A dreary day can also offer pockets of light which can cause great contrast.
Summer photography ideas include; anything outside on a nice day (shoot it early morning or late at night), wildlife (there are plenty of moose around), get up high (for a hike for a different view of the valley).
When talking about photography Fall is often associated with colors. Girdwood does sit amongst a rain forest with few deciduous trees. However, there are plenty of changing colors and you don’t have to look too far. For example Moose Meadows & the Turnigan Arm changes into a mixture of browns, reds and yellows. Whilst on the other side of the Arm, Hope has plenty of yellow and reds.
Some ideas for Fall photos in Girdwood include; searching amongst the forest for small bits of changing colors (as well as mushrooms), dark storms rolling in to the Turnigan Arm, first snow falls and the last of the stars (for a while).
Another great post that will help your photography is Susan Veal’s Post about her time living in Girdwood.