Fun Photo Story or The Chase of the Alaskan Flag

I was here thinking about what to write on my blog this time…

It’s easy, I always can talk about great shots and awesome photos, and post them too. But behind them is always a story, sometimes not of perfection… Challenge, fun, frustration. You name it!

I have a fun photo story… Hehehe! It doesn’t have a happy end yet, but I am still working on it, and enjoying the challenge.

This past summer I had a visit by a tourist from the lower 48 at my booth at the Talkeetna Artisans Open Air Market (If you don’t know, I am there all summer long selling my photos for the past 4 or 5 years now). He was a happy customer with a beautiful print of Denali and the Winter Full Moon sent to his house. By the end of the year I sent thank you notes and holiday cards to my customers and received a note back from him. He was asking me for a photo of the Alaskan flag. He said he looked for it all over during his trip to Alaska and it was the only thing missing. He called me few weeks later, he really wants that shot, and wants it made by me.

I went to work….

How hard is to get a photo os the Alaska Flag?! A pristine Alaskan flag… A nice back ground representing Alaska… Perfect wind for it to fly nicely… In my mind I know what I want, exactly what I want. The hardest part is to aline all of them in one real place and get the perfect Alaskan Flag shot.

First I went to the lower valley looking for the famous flag on a famous place with the famous background…. If you know Palmer-Wasilla areas you know when the wind blows it really blows… I never saw so many flags ripped to tears like there. Anchorage wasn’t any luck neither.

I saw some flags that “maybe” could work, I needed to check  back on them again in a different light and in not so much wind.

After that we had a long cold, a very deep frost and all the flags were rock solid glued to their poles. The frost was beautiful and the sky perfectly blue.

Alaskan Flag shooting-12

After almost a month driving around and looking for ”The Flag” I decided to buy my own flag and create my perfect picture 🙂

I had my son with me and we met a friend (another photographer) and went shooting on the Big Lake ice road… Brrrrrrr…. It was 25 below. Yes, -25F!

Alaskan Flag shooting-5 Alaskan Flag shooting-11

By our luck the wind wasn’t blowing, but wait!!… We needed the wind to blow the flag! We tried to wave card boards to create some wind… It doesn’t work like that. 🙂

Alaskan Flag shooting-1

We found a great flag there, and we probably invaded someone’s property trying to photograph the flag (shoot the flag sounds too wrong). That scene became our joke, my friend waving the card board, me with my camera in hands waiting for some movement of that flag (and laughing at the situation) and we thinking about the sign saying “under camera surveillance ” and the owner probably laughing and thinking we were crazy watching that tape!

Alaskan Flag shooting-4

We kept driving and searching for a perfect background and trying out different wind techniques… Hehehe!

From holding a corner of the flag and letting it go   Alaskan Flag shooting-7

waving it around Alaskan Flag shooting-2

to the best of all, my son running in circles holding it. I know he was running to keep himself warm, but the flag looks pretty good in some of these shots!

Alaskan Flag shooting-8 Alaskan Flag shooting-10

We were for hours over the ice road and the cold got to be too much.

I am still chasing the perfect flag shot.

The flag lives in the back of my car and I tried shots in other places and different back grounds, like Denali at sunset. Early morning light (Not so early when the sun rises at 9:15am).

I will keep looking for the perfect shot. Meanwhile I have been working on some of the shots from that fun and cold day of December.

My friend just got a job at the north slope and she will be flying out soon. I will miss my photo friend, always ready for a photographic adventure. Next month she will be back and if I don’t have my flag shot yet, we can go out and try another adventure around Alaska.

Posted in Alaska, Alaska Flag, Cold, Ice, Lake, Landscapes, Nature, Photography, Winter | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

My Favorite Images of 2012

I spent time today trying to remember all the great photo opportunities that 2012 brought and looking between these images for my 10 most favorites of 2012. Here is my conclusion, but if I look at them all tomorrow I am sure I will choose others 😉

Aurora and Clouds

Aurora and Clouds – One of the most anticipated northern lights shows of the season was covered by the weather moving in, creating amazing subtle colors surrounded by clouds. ©2012, Dora Miller

Milky Way and Northern Lights

Milky Way and Northern Lights – This is now my most favorite photo. I love the details of the Milky Way and snowy foreground. ©2012, Dora Miller

Sunset over the Alaska Range – Amazing view from Talkeetna. I love Alaska!    ©2012, Dora Miller

Chasing Lights

Chasing Lights! – One of the best nights  chasing lights. I had a blast shooting northern lights with a friend  for over 8 hours. ©2012, Dora Miller

Self Portait of Happiness

Self Portrait of Happiness – Can you see the size of my smile? 😀                                         I love chasing northern lights! ©2012, Dora Miller

Green Glow and Meteor

Green Glow and Meteor – Faint northern lights and a meteor crossing the Alaskan skies on the night of November, 19.  ©2012, Dora Miller


Solitude – I shot this image just before Christmas in Palmer, AK.
The sun peeking through the heavy clouded sky, the perfect light touching the Matanuska pic and a solitary person walking up the street. Unique, a full story of solitude!       ©2012, Dora Miller

Denali Fall Colors

Denali Fall Colors – The peak of Fall colors in Denali National Park happens in a 5 day period. I was lucky enough to be there and capture this image. ©2012, Dora Miller


Reflections – Fish Lake, Talkeetna – Alaska. ©2012, Dora Miller

Old Knik Bridge

Old Knik Bridge – Old Knik River Bridge, Palmer – Alaska. ©2012, Dora Miller

Posted in Alaska, Landscapes, Nature, Northern Lights, Photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments