Thursday, May 5, 2011

Seasons of Subsistence // Bristol Bay Portraits

Back in March I traveled up to Bristol Bay, Alaska again as part of my ongoing personal project SEASONS OF SUBSISTENCE. Typically I travel light when I shoot for this project. But after some great results with location lighting last summer I decided to go fully loaded with Profoto 7b packs and a bunch of heads.

Bristol Bay in Alaska is a very special place, not only is it home to the world's largest sockeye salmon run but the Native People of the region live a remarkable lifestyle. Hunting, fishing and gathering are second nature to them. They know how to track animals with their eyes closed and the intimacy they share with the landscape is staggering. Every time I go up there I am blown away by my experiences from the kindness and warmth I am always greeted with to the quite extraordinary things that happen.

While we were up there this time the village of New Stuyahok ran out of fuel. No gas in the whole village. Not one drop. It meant we and everyone else in the village were homebound. No hunting, no fishing. During the winter snowmachine is the preferred method of transport, you'll even see 10 year olds driving them, so without fuel things quickly come to a stand still. For three days we waited for some to turn up. The constant chitter-chatter of conversation across the VHF radio's was dominated by speculation on when the fuel might turn up. In the end 5,000 gallons of it was flown in from Kodiak on a vintage DC-6. Yours truly below along with my partner in crime Wade F. Jackson sitting in the cockpit geeking out hard!

We also shot a short documentary piece while we were up in Bristol Bay, and I am super excited to share it here when its completed in a few weeks time. We are calling it Yuuyuraq and it delves into the nut and bolts, blood and heart of this project I have been working on for the past couple of years. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Andy Wakeman said...

Very cool Nick. I'm a big fan of your work. Keep the posts coming!