Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Favorite Image from 2015 | Kodiak Island Seiner

2015 was an impressive year. Up here in the Last Frontier, we experienced many long, bright, sunny days filled with exploration. It was the first summer I spent entirely in Alaska. Never leaving Kodiak Island, I only traveled around the archipelago via float plane to many of the public use cabins, canneries and remote villages. Of course, always with my camera in-hand.

Have you ever envisioned an image so vividly... you "saw" the image before you actually saw it with your eyes? For me, this moment came to life during during one of those float plane trips, mid August 2015. We were flying over Kodiak's Dry Spruce Bay towards Port Bailey to deliver some mail; Port Bailey is one of the Emerald Isle's decommissioned cannery sites. We cleared the tree tops and just as the pilot turned the plane towards Port Bailey I see that image I had envisioned, shimmering in the clear blue, salmon filled water. I politely asked the pilot of we could hover over the seiner as they "cinched up their purse strings". Thankfully he obliged, the light was just right and the water was so calm we could actually see salmon caught in The Ambassador's net. Lucky for me, I had shot out this float plane's window plenty of times and knew a few tricks-- always ask the pilot if you can shoot with the window down to eliminate window glare; use a polarizing filter to cut through the haze; use a long lens to fill your frame and make sure the shutter speed is fast enough to stop motion from the moving plane. 

If I could select one image from 2015 that made me proud-- not only photographically speaking but an image that would also represent my time living here in Alaska-- and be hung on the wall of my own home someday. It would be this. 

If you're looking for a reputable printer who specializes in printing on metal-- try Social Print Studios. Photogs are buzzing about their convenient mobile and online print shop, based out of San Francisco. And I like their story-- "The company remains completely independent and bootstrapped, meaning we have no outside investors, and don’t owe anything to anyone beyond our dear customers. We don’t intend to ever change this. We want to grow slow and maintain an awesome and authentic company and brand."
Nikon D750, Nikon 70-200mm lens @200mm, Hoya 77mm polarizing filter, f/4.0, 1/400 sec, ISO 1000, Exposure Compensation -.3 stop.
 All photos are © Janet Kotwas Photography. Please enjoy my photography but do not copy, print, display or reproduce these images without my permission. Thank you.

Monday, February 1, 2016

New Classes Spring 2016 | Kodiak College

I'm teaching brand new classes this semester at Kodiak College. Beginning this week-- Portrait Photography-- one of my favs! And later on-- Adobe Lightroom, let's bring out the very best in our photos!




Thursday, January 28, 2016

Welcome Baby Jabari | At Home Newborn Session

A few months ago I photographed Noni & Omar's unique maternity photos at St. Herman Harbor here in Kodiak. And a few weeks ago, they graciously invited me into their home to capture these precious moments, as a new family. Welcome-- Jabari!

Ps. The wooden "J" was carved by hand, by my man. He then gifted the wooden "J" to Noni & Omar, so they could display the piece in Jabari's nursery (insert heart warming feeling here).


















All photos are © Janet Kotwas Photography. Please enjoy my photography but do not copy, print, display or reproduce these images without my permission. Thank you.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Isle Bells | Holiday Show 2015

Another outstanding performance by Isle Bells, our very own hand-bell choir here in Kodiak. Accompanied this year by the Sequence Sirens, the Kodiak community was blown away-- yet again-- by their unbelievable talents. I had the pleasure of photographing our Bells again this year, thank you Ella! 



















 All photos are © Janet Kotwas Photography. Please enjoy my photography but do not copy, print, display or reproduce these images without my permission. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Crystal and Luke | Kodiak Professional Photographer

One of the best parts about being a professional photographer here in Kodiak is access to numerous areas of superlative scenery, one of which being our Ft. Abercrombie State Park. The State Historical Park offers an abundance of natural, historical and cultural value. Recently, with Ft. Abercrombie as our backdrop, I had the pleasure of photographing Crystal and Luke who were celebrating their recent engagement-- congrats you two! 

This photo session was extra special because it was also part of a private photography lesson I was giving to a dear friend and extremely talented, budding photographer-- CW Photography. We focused on capturing Crystal and Luke with natural, flattering light, in addition capturing their true personalities. In my opinion, being able to showcase a client's true personality, is the most important element of a portrait. 

From the Alaska Department of Natural Resources website:
The historic ruins of a World War II coastal defense installation coupled with the steep surf-pounded cliffs, deep spruce forests, meadows laden with wildflowers, and a lake containing trout offer the public a unique opportunity to learn of the events of World War II while enjoying the natural beauty of the park.

Fort Abercrombie became a park unit of the State Park System in 1969. 182 acres of state land was set aside to be managed by the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation for the enjoyment and preservation of the areas unique historical and natural features. In 1970 Ft. Abercrombie was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1985, the park was designated a National Historic Landmark.



















 All photos are © Janet Kotwas Photography. Please enjoy my photography but do not copy, print, display or reproduce these images without my permission. Thank you.