With all the travel I have done in my carrier as a travel photographer, Denali National Park in Alaska was and is always one of those very special locations. I photographed this panoramic photo of alpenglow on Mount McKinley with beautiful Wonder Lake, surrounded by red arctic flora in the height of fall season. I was lucky enough to have a special photography permit which allowed me to stay in the park overnight.
For me it was always the highlight of the year when I flew to Alaska to use my 10 day permit. It was a big deal too, flying from Germany was very expensive and then I needed to find a truck or van to get around and and and - oh well, that is a different story all together.
I was lucky enough a few times to see Mount McKinley without any clouds and it always was a most majestic scenic view. No matter from which angle I photographed the mountain, every time it was simply amazing and every time was unique depending of the photo location. Sometimes I was closer to a moose bull then I ever wanted and sometimes I could hear the wolves howling while I was photographing Mount McKinley.
This picture is from one of those very special mornings, it was cold and I hardly slept as we were not allowed to sleep in the park but we could stay inside the Park. I was outside the park the evening before, just to have a pizza at night at the village, a shower and to stock up on some food and gas again. So I drove back into the park later in the evening just to make sure I will be early enough in the Wonder Lake area, just in case the weather is ok. We didn't have iphones or internet with us, so when ever we drove in the park we stayed in the wilderness for days.
This morning I hiked up the tundra not very far just with the very first light and set up my tripod to capture the alpenglow on Mount McKinley. I photographed this panorama landscape pictures on a 5x7 large format Sinar camera, I used the panoramic roll film holder filled with a roll of 220 Fuji Velvia and scanned the slide with my high resolution Hasselblad (Imacon) X5 scanner. The tricky part photographing it was to balance the light between those very bright snow fields on the top of the mountain and the dark but beautiful red colored arctic tundra flora.
I used a 2/3 neutral hard grad filter to bring the mountain down but I did not want to use any darker grad filter as the scene may would have ended up looking "overly filter".
Standing here, experiencing this unique morning was sure one of my all time Alaskan highlights. I'm very happy that I was able to capture this landscape scene in a medium panoramic format, which makes it ideal for large fine art panorama prints.
Fall alpenglow on Mount McKinley in Denali National Park & Preserve with Wonder Lake and red arctic tundra, Alaska, USA.
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