Confessions of a “Professional” Photographer

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Photos, Travel 13 Comments


Look at how deep the snow is along Exit Glacier Road!  Hard to believe it is May 3rd.  This is near the Resurrection River bridge and is as far as you can drive right now.  Judging from the snow depth, it may be awhile before you can drive the rest of the way to the glacier.  Now this really isn’t the photo I was going after this morning – I better explain.

After skiing to Exit Glacier earlier this week, I decided I really needed to return with my camera to capture it under a beautiful blanket of snow.  Unfortunately, warm temperatures this week have prevented the formation of a nice crust for skate skiing, so I haven’t been able to get back out there.  Today, I decided I wanted the image bad enough that is would be worth the extra effort, so I broke out my old school classical skies and decided I would use them to make the long trek across the deep, soft snow.

I loaded my backpack with the bare essentials, my light weight tripod, one lens and some Pocket Wizards so that I could fire my camera remotely with me in front of the glacier.  I also decided to take my lightest camera along since it could be a pretty long ski.  I transferred my card to the camera and loaded up.  At the last second, I decided if I’m going to go to all this effort, I might as well have my best camera even if it is heavier, so I switched and headed down the trial.  You can probably guess where this is heading. 

After a beautiful ski I arrived at the face of the glacier.  The light was nice, defused by clouds just enough to enhance the blue ice of the glacier, it made a wonderful contrast with the deep white snow.  I pulled out my tripod and set up my camera and began to photograph – that is when I got the error message telling me I didn’t have a compact flash card in my camera!  I would like to tell you that I am mature enough to smile and ski home, but I’m not.  🙂  I’m just glad my ski pole didn’t break when I slapped the snow with it!

So anyway, after nearly 3 hours of skiing – I came away with this photo of this nice tall snow berm in the parking lot next to my truck!   🙂  It was a fun day and I did need the exercise.  Now had a wolverine walked past me while I was out there; I would probably still be curled up on the floor crying!

Comments 13

  1. OH OH OH I Hate it when stuff like that happens!!! I think I so would have been throwing something too LOL

    My biggest one is, we will be out doing something else and I see something and think OH i should stop and shoot that. Then I remember I don’t have my camera with me! LOL I use to carry it with me at all times, but that got old hauling it in and out of stores and what not. I just couldn’t leave it hidden in the truck LOL

  2. Damn that sucks Ron. It’s okay if you needed to unleash some f-bombs. But at least you were doing what seems like a fun activity.

    That ice wall reminds me of when I drove to Yosemite one winter from San Francisco. The 120 had walls probably 10 – 20+ feet high. I had never seen anything like that.

  3. Hey Ron, if you think that’s bad: I once forgot to bring my camera(!) to a sunrise shoot. I assumed it was in the car from the previous day’s hike, but forgot I brought it in with me to unload the card.


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    Ouch Guy! I must admit, that would be really easy to do, and I have come close a couple of times.

    You know Richard, seeing that much snow is pretty interesting.

    I hear you Doris, I hate not having my camera with me – I’m just sure I’m going to see something amazing!



  5. Great story Ron! Damn, I cannot imagine how you must have felt… For the price of reflex cameras, they should just put in a small amount of internal memory to avoid these situations.

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  7. HA! That is so funny – not for you, but just in the timing. On my last shoot I left my hotel to get my shot, drove to the location, and when I went to get my camera, I had this instant thought of, “Why is my camera bag so light? Holy Cr#p!” Yep, it was back in the hotel sitting on the dresser. I drove all the way back thinking, “Yeah… professional. Right!” I thought as long and as hard as I could, and could not remember another time when I had done that. So I guess that makes me either lucky to have gone this long without that happening, or I’m getting old. Worst Answer Possibe: Both.

  8. Hey Rn,

    I went to shoot some stuff in the class I was taking yesterday, and had a full CF card n the camera, nothing else in the bag – so I managed to delete 3 images that I thought wouldn’t be keepers, and shot a few photos before running out of space – must be something in the weather!

    How’s this one. Driving from Atlanta to AK, I stopped in the Black Hills, South Dakota, at my friend Les Voorhis’ house for a couple of days. The morning I left and continued on to AK, I headed due north to North Dakota to shoot and visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park in ND, where I’d never been before.

    4 hours later I’m in ND, get to the park, hike a little, find some scenes I want to shoot, and ‘Hey, where’s my camera?’ – Back at Les’ house, of course .. nothing quite like adding a little over 8 more hours to a 5500 mile trip!



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    O my gosh that is funny guys! Thanks for sharing those stories Gary and Carl! I almost didn’t post this because I figured everyone would think I had lost my mind. It is nice to know I may have some company!


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  11. You’re welcome. I’ve been trying to decide if its worth spending $250 on a vertical grip, and that factor is just another reason I’m for it.

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    I hear you Alex. The vertical grip is really nice – but it is an option I have usually struggled with buying, and typically have avoided.


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