The dark days are here in interior Alaska. With only four hours of daylight, it’s become all-important to squeeze in weekend outdoor activities at high-noon. If the lack of daylight weren’t challenge enough for a photographer, I’m also working with custom white balances on the reg.
Ever wondered why your snowy iPhone photos are so blue? That’s your camera white balance messing up the ‘temperature’ of the snow. It even happens with my Canon 5D Mark iii; so I’m regularly using Adobe Lightroom to fix my photos. It’s a lot of extra work that I certainly don’t mind doing for paying clients, but for my own personal work – meh. It’s time consuming and cumbersome. That’s why you won’t see many wintery pro-photos around here.
Indoor photos don’t offer reprieve. Flourescent bulbs, and mixed lighting cause chaos for white balance — maybe I’m overthinking it, as most people might not even notice. An easy fix is a black and white conversion. See Woods below? He’s walking! In color, and in black and white. For those of you who don’t know Woods personally, let me tell you something about his personality. He loves being a baby. He loves being worn, held and carried, loves being hand-fed, and loves being cuddled. He knows he has a sweet gig going, and isn’t letting up on the baby days anytime soon. So it was no surprise that he took an extra month or so beyond his first birthday to start walking.
Woods also loves to eat. His prime motivation for learning to walk was the multi-tasking appeal of carrying snacks around everywhere. I always know where he is by following his trail of cheerios, or listening for the light crunch of our dog, crumb catching behind him. He has a nice shiner on his eye from face planting on his snack cup just last night. Eat hard, play hard. That’s his mantra. Speaking of eating hard, Thanksgiving seemed to last forever around here. I once again made way too much food for my small family. We had Thanksgiving meals on repeat for like, four days. I spent most of the year Vegan – mostly subjecting my family to the same, and have since transitioned to a Vegetarian diet (a life without feta, is not a life I want to live). For Thanksgiving, I went ahead and made an organic turkey for the kids. I had my fair share, too. Our turkey was free range, so I assume the bird lived a happy life outdoors, but the turkey was also from Fresno, so I’m guessing not. Ha! Go Bakersfield!
We tried to ski it off all the food, but I’m pretty sure one session of XC skiing is not the caloric equivalent of half a dozen pieces of pie, gingerbread cookies, fudge and toffee over the week. I’ve got a few dozen ugly dates with the treadmill this month.
We’ve really enjoyed cross country skiing this year. It’s our third winter in Alaska, and our first season skiing. We ran out of newborns, and excuses, so we took the plunge and purchased skis. A proper ski pulk or Thule Chariot were out of the question for us (I think $1000 would be better spent in a number of other ways), so we took a utility sled, and rigged our Contours Options Double Stroller seats into it. The seats fit perfectly, and provide just enough structure and wind shelter to keep the kids warm to 0 degrees. Hand warmers and blankets help, and we always end our ski sessions with hot cocoa.
We were so glad to have my mother-in-law Christie here from Oklahoma to celebrate the tail end of Thanksgiving and to partake in Margot and Woods’ baptisms this weekend. I think she and Margot had a great time making gingerbread ninjas and skiing.