2014 World Ice Art Championships

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One of many unique ice sculptures to be enjoyed at the World Ice Art Championships

While waiting for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games to start, the “Opening Ceremony” took place earlier this evening (3/16), I had an opportunity to take in some amazing ice sculptures at the 25th annual World Ice Art Championships here in Fairbanks, AK. (Visit www.icealaska.com for more information!) Hundreds of single and multi-block ice sculptures that cannot be believed!  Everything from life sized polar bears, whales, seals and assorted mythological creatures to complete winter scenes, intricate “ice bridges” an “ice peacock” and a walk-in “ice chapel” all carved from blocks of ice harvested from a nearby abandoned rock quarry that fills w/ water during the summer months and freezes solid in winter.  Temperatures in Fairbanks are well below freezing for months on end hitting -40 degrees F on several occasions throughout the winter months.  Locals tell me not to worry though because they say -40 F isn’t really so bad because “it’s a dry cold!” Fortunately, thus far temperatures have been nowhere near -40 F, and the weather has been magnificent with clear sky’s and lots of sunshine! During daylight hours, the sculptures are crystal clear and look more like glass than ice.  At night the sculptures are lit with a series of multicolored lights and they take on a completely different look and feel.  Truly amazing!

 

Aurora Magic

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Aurora, Murphy Dome, Fairbanks, AK

In Fairbanks, AK on a not too cold evening atop Murphy Dome with Ronn Murray Photography Tours to learn a bit about Aurora Photography.  We departed from the hotel around 9:30pm and together with 5 other “Aspiring Aurora Photographers” I was treated to a detailed lesson in; aurora photography, the science of auroras and a great light show (complements of mother nature.)  Ronn and Marketa were awesome!  Full of information on camera settings, equipment recommendations and logistics associated with cold weather photography and how best to shoot the “northern lights.” Their expertise, experience (they’ve been photographing the aurora for seven years!) and their welcoming personalities made for an informative and thoroughly enjoyable experience!  Returned to the hotel at approximately 3:00am totally wired and “stoked” about shooting the northern lights.  The Aurora bug has definitely bitten!

To view more of my Aurora photography either click on “Galleries” in the menu above or, to go directly to Aurora Borealis images click here

Baranof Island, AK

Soft rain gently ripples a pool of water at Baranof Warm SpringsBaranof Island, AK sometimes also referred to as Baranov Island is a small remote landmass located in the northern Alexander Archipelago of the Alaskan Panhandle. The Island was named in 1805 by Imperial Russian Navy Captain U. F. Lisianski to honor Alexander Andreyevich Baranov, the first governor of Russian Alaska.

This image, captured on a cold and rainy day visit to the town of Baranof Warm Springs, illustrates that Alaska, known for sweeping vistas and majestic mountain ranges, also holds much subtle beauty on a more intimate scale!

Baranof Warm Springs is largely a seasonally occupied community (there is a single year round resident) featuring a total of nine hot springs with temperatures ranging from luke warm to 120 degrees F. The community at Baranof Warm Springs has built a boardwalk and public bathhouse, featuring three separate tubs, at the waterfront to provide an option for seasonal visitors not wanting to make the 1/4 mile hike up the trail to bathe in one of the communal natural warm spring pools.

SE Alaska Adventure

Tenekee SpringsIn the Spring of 2013 I was fortunate to have an opportunity to explore South East Alaska (SE AK) for the very first time.  One of my favorite stops was the rustic little Village of Tenekee Springs, located on the southeastern side of Chichagof Island.  This village with about 100 residents consists primarily of a single gravel roadway paralleling the shoreline of Tenekee Inlet.  This roadway lined with an eclectic collection of timber framed structures, flower/vegetable gardens and assorted maritime artifacts provided a wide variety of unique and interesting subjects for my camera.

 

Originally settled by prospectors and fishermen who enjoyed the 105 degree hot springs while waiting out the long Alaskan winters, Tenekee was first known as Hoonah Hot Springs.  The name was officially changed to Tenekee Springs in 1902 when a post office was established here.  The word Tenekee is from the Tlingit (pronounced Klink-it) word “tinaghu” or Coppery Shield Bay.  This name refers to three highly prized copper shields that were allegedly lost in a storm by Tlingits near this site.

Visit my Galleries page, or click on the link below to view my new Southeast Alaska Gallery and see images from this trip!  http://www.sciraulophotography.com/galleries/southeast-alaska-se-ak/

For more information on this magnificent old Alaska “frontier town” visit the Tenekee Springs web site at; http://www.tenakeespringsak.com/tenakee-springs-history/

or the Tenekee Historical Collection site at;

http://www.tenakeehistoricalcollection.org/

Mendenhall Glacier

DSC_4874View of Mendenhall Glacier from a stream inlet into Mendenhall Lake.  The lake and Glacier are located approximately 13 miles north of the capital city of Juneau Alaska.

Porvoo Finland

20130303DSC_2839-028Spent the day wandering around the quaint village of Porvoo, Finland. Even in the dead of winter this charming 14th-century village, the second oldest town in all of Finland, is a delight! Comfortable, human scaled streets lined with colorful wood framed structures housing a variety of boutiques, galleries, restaurants, cafes & tea shops!  Visible in this image over the snow covered rooftops of the village is the clock tower of the Old Town Hall.  The Old Town Hall, erected in 1762-64, is one of only two 18th-century town halls still standing in all of Finland.

After 650 years as a part of the Kingdom of Sweden, Finland was annexed to the Russian Empire. In the Spring 1809, Czar Alexander 1st. convened the Diet (the national legislative assembly) in Porvoo.  While in session, Nobility and the Burghers participating in the Diet, met in two rooms on the upper floor of the Town Hall to determine the future political status of his new possession.

New Maine Gallery Added

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Moonlight illuminates a storm moving out to sea.

A gallery of images from past trips to the great state of Maine has just been added to the site!  If you enjoy the sea stop by and have a look!  Just click on the image in this post, or select “Gallery” from the Main menu above. Leave a comment in the post or follow me on Facebook and let me know what you think!  Enjoy.

Adirondack Adventure

20130222DSC_2691-032Awoke this morning just before dawn to a crystal clear sky.  Looking east over the frozen surface of Lake Placid a slight glow from the emerging dawn beckoned!  Snowshoes…check!, gaiters… check!, camera…check!, tripod… check!  The cold, crisp air and the awesome silence, broken only by the sound of my snowshoes crunching in the new powder are more stimulating than the best cup of coffee!  The sky continues to lighten as I make my way around a portion of the western shore of this magnificent place.  Life is good… Very good indeed.  Soon the sun is risen, and the hardwood forest comes alive with light!

Lake Placid New York

20120226-LPlacid 2012-010Preparing for a quick trip to New York State’s Adirondack Park, and Lake Placid.  Site of both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. (Remember… “The Miracle on Ice!”)  Hoping for snow, good light and calm winds… a surefire recipe for capturing some winter images!

 

Welcome to My Site

Stockholm, SwedenWelcome to SCiraulo Photography and thanks for visiting!  Although this site is still in development, I hope you will find interesting images to explore (The one at left was taken in Stockholm Sweden.)  Please visit often, enjoy the imagery and if you feel compelled to do so, comment on my work!

In addition to my own photographic images, I hope to periodically post content of general interest related to photography, travel, cycling and assorted other interests I hold.  So please be certain to bookmark this site and check back often to see what’s new and be sure to follow us on facebook and Pinterest at SCiraulophoto.

Enjoy!

Sam C.