On the second day of my December journey to my parent’s home on Anchorage, I borrowed the truck and trekked South onto the windy roads which snake into the Chugach Mountains South of town. The low slung mountains, once a haven for miners seeking gold, offer wide vistas from which to capture images of the Cook Inlet, Anchorage, The Alaska Range to the North and the valleys and ridges of the Chugachs. Here is a set of HDR images from that trek. They are available to purchase and enjoy from my sister website at Photoshelter.
All photos were taken with the Canon 7D and processed in Lightroom and Photoshop. Contact me for custom cropping of the images. I am also available for weddings, portraits and events. Contact Michael Kleven at 206-307-7588
HDR image from the Chucach Mountains over Anchorage.
My first 10 years of life took place in and around Bothell Washington. I’m back not running a photography and video production business with services tailored to families and small business. In my spare time I enjoy photographing the people and places of the Pacific Northwest and working on feature films. I went to High School and College in Bellingham Washington. Another small town just 65 miles North of Bothell. On the 4th of July this year I decided to sample and photograph a little bit of the distinctive imagery of these two Northwest cities and record a little bit of how they celebrate the 4th. I think you will agree that natural beauty and the joyful spirit of our people are two reasons why people chose to settle here.
Bellingham is known for it’s serenity, tranquility, sunsets and natural beauty. It also hosts an annual fireworks display in the towns harbor area. This year we were fortunate to experience our first sunny day after a very wet, cold and rainy June on Independence Day. The sunset that day was particularly stunning, perhaps fueled by the wildfires of Siberia bringing a rare light to our skies via the jet stream. I graduated from Bellingham High School in 1982 and Western Washington University in 1988. I always enjoy my trips home to this small city on the shores of the Salish Sea.
I started school in Kenmore and lived there until age 10 when the family began the transition that would lead us to Bellingham. Kenmore was a small town back then, still is, but much of the country charm has left replaced by a certain suburban quality decidedly upscale. I remember when I was a kid the firemen would let me play with their white dog with black spots as I stared in amazement at the shiny brass pole they would slide down during an emergency.
The drive-in was called The Arctic Circle or AC for short. The teenage girls who worked there would save the ice cream cones that had collapsed during their creation and sell them to me at a reduced rate. You would just ask for a “mistake”. My Grandma worked at the local thrift store called the Wigwam and my grandfather was a race car driver at a place called Sky Valley. I guess he was pretty good.
Two days ago I was looking for some inspiration and I looked up in the sky at the wave after wave of crows passing overhead as they made their way up the lake to there roosting areas in the marshes and forests beyond. I ventured down to the water and captured a few of the crows as well as the unique industrial area and the setting sun beyond. These are a few of the pictures I took.
Click on the photos to view the galleries on Photoshelter. Photos are available for purchase or license. Your patronage is greatly appreciated!
I recently spent 8 days over the Thanksgiving holiday with my family in Salinas California. It was a refreshing departure from the wet and cold of Washington State. My aunt and uncle were excellent hosts and I had quite an adventure. Here is a small update. Earlier I had omitted the series from Salinas. Their are some really cool buildings around the John Steinbeck Center downtown. All and all the town has the ambiance of America 20 or 30 years ago.
We took a day trip up to San Francisco on Nov 26th the day after Black Friday. Me, my aunt Becky and cousin Katie. Traffic was a mess but we had a great time. We visited the district around Union Square. I was suddenly very excited as this is where the opening scenes of one of my favorite films, Gene Hackmen’s The Conversation take place. If you haven’t seen it please do. It is a great film, complex, subtle, yet the message is clear. I don’t think they make films like that anymore. We took a quick drive through Fishermen’s Wharf then made a stop to see some tall ships and brave souls taking a late November swim. We finally made it to the park overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge just in time to capture some dazzling images in the twilight. I’m so glad my family puts up with me and my camera.
My aunt Becky is a hostess at The Tap Room at The Lodge at Pebble Beach. If you are in the area do stop in. The hamburger with cheese and bacon was the best ever. I promise a week of nothing but carrot juice! Later I toured 17 Mile Drive snapping lots of pics and shooting a bunch of HD Video, what for I am not yet sure. Amazing sites along the drive included The Lone Cypress, Spanish Bay, Fanshell Overlook and Point Joe. Photos of these can be seen in the gallery below. I took some interesting time laps shots of the stormy sea and had some fun with the effects in Lightroom.
Me and my Uncle Bobby visited the Corral De Tierra Golf & Country Club. The next day we took a trip to the Monterey County wine district. We started out near Soledad California at the Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. Not for the communion wine but for a taste of the local history. The Mission was founded in the 1700′s when California was still the property of the Spanish crown. At some point in time the area became the property of the United States. It is a very charming and well kept establishment. Our 1st wine stop was Paraiso Vineyards One of two wineries that have lovely views of the valley below. As Bobby tells it much of the wine that sells in Napa Valley actually comes from Monterey County. Our next stop was the Hahn Estates also with a view, Wrath Wines, with a view of the haunted house you can see in my gallery, Manzoni and finally Pessagno. After several trips to the tasting rooms of the various wineries I realized that it was all good. And indeed it was. The wine tasting fee was small and waived if a purchase was made.
Before I left I made it down to Big Sur. My mother tells me that as a young child I stayed at Esalon for a time. Perhaps this is why everyone tells me that I seem so enlightened. I stopped in at Cafe Kevah at the Napenthe Restaurant. My hostess must have given me two ounces of jasmine green tea in my tea pot. I do love a good pot of tea. With two visited crows and 50 miles of coast to look at it was a very high tea indeed. I only had time for a quick stop at Pfeiffer Beach. Amazingly the sea has made two tunnels in the massive stone which protects the beach. Which do you think will win the sea or the stone? I had a glimpse of the future when the local gas station charged me $5.69 for a gallon of regular. My fault for not gassing up sooner. On the way home I rescued a small teddy bear near the Big Sur lighthouse. It was dirty and had no legs but was otherwise a charmer. I propped him up in a tree looking out at the lighthouse. Hopefully he will be there for some time to come.
Tricia posed for me at Logboom Park and the cement plant near Kenmore Air in Kenmore. She was a real trooper walking out into the abandoned construction site in her form fitting dress and heals. It was great to work with her. A really fun, lighthearted personality. Aesthetica does fashion, lifestyle and portfolio photography. Drop me a line and we can arrange a session at your convenience.