Sunday, September 6, 2009

Double Exposure in Alaska and in Life

Leaving our ship on a small tender boat towards the town of Juneau, Alaska, gave way to nervousness for I was scheduled to fly on a small helicopter out to the glacier fields nearby. Jeremy, my son, was a calming influence that summer so long ago. 

Before we left, the tour guide dressed us up in Mukluk boots and heavy coats. Into the helicopter and off we go, several  copters following one after another, looking like a swarm of wasps flying in wavy patterns. 

Landing on the ice, we were sternly warned not to go near the ice holes for some go down hundreds of feet. Not a good place to slip or slide. All the helicopters left and we stayed with a guide... all alone... on the ice. Sort of scared to move around much, but just looking at that beautiful glacier was an exhilarating feeling. The walls of ice that surround us were an iridescent blue/green with an eerie sort of translucence. The ice floor we were standing on was glazed in the sunshine. Minuscule ice fragments hit our checks in pinpricks when the wind would flair up. It was very quiet except for an occasional startling booming crack as the ice gave way to pressure and tumble down upon itself.

I'm not sure if it was a low camera battery in combination with the cold weather, but I was shocked and disappointed when I developed my film to find so many double exposures. Then I looked again and was totally excited because the tender boat was superimposed on the ice walls, our friend's face in a square and my son walking on the ice. Three different times during the day, truly combining all the emotions of that experience. 
Another one had our pilot's hand holding the spiral corded microphone strung out over a girl waving and the surrounding ice fields. Again three different times of the day. 

The photo of Glacier Bay captured the crew going out in a small boat to gather ice to carve later. The window of the bar where I took the picture wanders through the mountains of ice and in the lower corner navigating the floating ice was the boat.

Every time I look at these photos, I see something different. Looking deeper, just like in life. Layers of a day revisited. All at the same time capturing a flood of memories together... in one glance. 

Put all this to haunting classical music and to me, that's what life is all about - fractured segments overlapping
layers of exposures, layers of memories.

Just to let you all know, I was snapping pictures, writing and drawing in the nice warm bar... 

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