Story of an Island

My wife and I were lazing on the shore watching dozens of California Gray Whales pass in the distance, and it occurred to me that this view pretty much tells the story of Kodiak Island. Unfamiliar to most folks for anything but bears, its hallmarks are rugged shorelines and cliffs leading up into glaciered peaks. It’s formed by the collision of continental plates on the Pacific Ring of Fire, some parts uplifted sedimentary rock with fossils as in the foreground and further along the shore, transitioning to granite peaks and crags as you move inland. All that earth moving and erosion has pocked the island with deep fjords around its entire circumference as well.

The topsoil overlaying all that rock is thin and fragile, with coastal erosion of the cliffs creating overhangs beneath which puffins, guillemots and other sea birds burrow for nesting. Myriad smaller islands have formed to provide rookeries safe from predators.

While not a great photo, I like its storytelling potential and will return in search of just the right light and framing. If nothing more it will always be a favorite place for picnics with whales, and not another soul in sight! :smiley:

Please list any pertinent technical details or techniques:

Nikon D750 w/ 24-120mm f/4 lens handheld.

1 Like


Terrific image. I’m not sure which I like best - the image, or your description! :wink: Actually, the description helps the viewer with understanding the location, but of course the image stands on it’s own.

As a point of attention, I like the small break in the wave line. Great timing!


You busted me. I waited for them and timed them, the “brackets” being a series of wave configurations to see which I liked best.

And thanks for the compliments. For me “story telling” images are a goal in any location, trying to find that one broad view that illustrates a place on a larger scale. No comparison in this case for artistry or classic views, but think of the standard Valley View of Yosemite as another example. It’s a fun exercise to try the same for any location you visit.

Story tellers are left over from my editorial photo days, but when shooting on assignment for lodges and other recreational business I always tried to include them in a submission. And they usually sold well as half-tone “wallpaper” images to reside under the other elements of their web pages and ads. In fact they packed licensing fees much further into the future than more detailed images in most cases.

Hank, I’m really enjoying this image. It’s an amazing location beautifully captured in my opinion. Nice description too!