Aspen and White Spruce in Winter Light, Fairbanks, Alaska 2014
I have been away from here for a while. Not really always away but just during the cold winter months. I can never avoid an Alaskan summer but over the last few years it has been difficult to schedule a winter visit to Fairbanks. A place, I think, that will always feel like home to me. I feel like it is good to return to places that have inspired you in the past, especially after being away for a while. In this case it is the season that is important for my return, my memory and my inspiration.
I gained most of my appreciation for the low angle of winter light while attending university in Alaska. During my time at school I walked across this campus countless times, on most occasions, I would take the time to stop and at least spend a couple of moments appreciating the quality of the changing light. In some ways this is where I really learned to really see colors.
On a recent trip to Fairbanks I took an afternoon to walk around campus. It was winter break and very few people were around, leaving the grounds pretty much open for my exploration. Yes, the the landscape has a few changes. New buildings walkways and roads. Snow covered up most of the subtle aspects of the landscape but I found it easy to step through the memories of my time at the school. It was a cold, clear day in the minus temperatures, like many here this close to the Arctic Circle. I found it easy to just get lost in that old familiar low angle light. I wondered around in it just looking for ways to capture, its hues, its warmth and its shadows. It was so striking to me that I had been away for quite a while and maybe I was here the whole time.