Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Former Tidal Slough

This is just a semi-educated guess, but I think you are looking at an old tidal canal. As the glaciers have melted over the years the land has risen and the tidal areas have receded. Now it is more like a freshwater pond, albeit a long, skinny one. If you follow the road out towards Eagle Beach, you can find this to your left, not far from the side. Wear rubber boots and don't get too close or you'll be swimming.

About The Free Photographs


You’ll notice that most of the photographs on my blandly named site “Juneau Photographs” are not priced to make any profit and that you can download them at full resolution. I still retain full rights to them, but if you would like to use them personally or for school that’s fine, just send me a note about how you are using them. If you are printing a huge print for your wall in your nice house, please send me a few bucks via paypal ( ). If you are a non-profit I will likely give you a copy, but let me know first please.

If you would like a nice print or two of the work I think is the best, you can find that here. I use Bay Photo for prints and other items, or I can make a high quality print myself and sign it if you want.

So go back to the site and browse around--there is a lot to see.  I hope that this website can grow over the years to become a bit of a local resource for folks, and a helpful guide for people interested in Juneau and Southeast Alaska.

Thanks for reading,

John Krumm

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Red Breasted Sapsucker

Found at Fish lake on Douglas Island yesterday...

Monday, April 25, 2011

If You Are Sick of Snark...

Then you should read this article in The Washington Post written way back in the crazy days of 2008 by Linton Weeks. I was thinking about what we mean by the word "snark," and wondering if this blog was veering too much into the "snarkastic."


Things We Did On Easter

It was a spectacularly nice day, so we were lucky to not burn dinner. Spent a lot of time outdoors playing, walking dogs, flying kites, sitting on the porch, soaking in the sun while it lasted. Click on the photo for a gallery of what are, admittedly, just a bunch of normal family shots...

Just Throw the Stick Please

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The End of a Long, Fun Day

I'll admit to taking a few loose newspaper pages off the couch for a cleaner view of these guys...

More tomorrow... time for some wine and a movie.

Morning Lily

Notes on Method: I found a white, wrinkly shower curtain, one of those nylon "hotel style" liners with the steel eyes. I tacked it to a shaded wall on the back deck. The Mountains were still blocking the rising sun, so it was in shade, but it wasn't too dark. The camera made the image unrealistically warm, so I cooled it a little in Lightroom (but not to the point of "sunny"). I shot at 50mm f2, iso 200, and had plenty of shutter speed. I brought the highlights up to a little below blowing out, and then used the contrast adjustment as my main whitening tool (increasing it signifigantly), along with white balance. I used the brush to selectively sharpen the blossom, and selectively blur some of the background (this helped hide the wrinkles--too lazy to iron). Compared to full frame depth of field, this would be around 100mm at f4. If I did it again I would remove the white dog hair. At least it was white. The background appears blown with bright monitors, but it is very light grey, and prints well. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hifalutin Word of The Day


Once the Shakespearean spelling but now a bad name for an unsuccessful  necktie gag product, not really a real word. The "Serendipitie" product line includes Guacamole, Red Salsa, Green Salsa, Black Bean, and Onion, all with hand-painted tips meant to suggest that the tie has recently been "dipped" at a party. Think rubbery fake vomit and you are close.

The real word, with contemporary spelling,  "Serendipity" is one of those concepts popular in the 1960's used to describe the moment when you find something (usually good) that you did not expect to find while looking for something else (you bend over at a party for the perfect chip, for instance, and like a divining rod your tie finds the perfect dip). "Lucky" or "Luck"  are often good substitutes.

Serendipity is sometimes confused with the German word "Schadenfreude,"  but the first describes a momentary condition of one's good fortune that you can choose to take advantage of (aided by curiosity and dumb luck and perhaps good judgement) and the second describes the pleasure some feel at hearing about or observing the misfortune of others.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Loose Talk -- The Problem of "Of" and "The Peculiar Age"

I was trying to think of a good term for our current times, something along the lines of "The Age of Reason." We live in unusual times, somewhat exceptional and peculiar. So I tried it all, The Age of Unusual, The Age of Exceptionalism, The Age of Peculiarity. Then it hit me: why do we need the word "of" so much? Why don't we just call ourselves "The Peculiar Age?" I think it works. It meets the standards.... we are peculiar and have been so for some time, and we are likely to be so for a while ("age" qualification).
     The word "of" works as both a crutch (sort-of, kind-of, you can hear the limp) and as a clarifying glue. It is, misused,  bad cholesterol in word form, clogging our information highways with excess bits. Take it out, and be free of "of," I dare you. Many words are suggested by their absence, and "of" could be one of those words if we let it. It already happened long ago, being shortened to O'. Go all the way. Age innocence, Joan Ark, Mice and Men, Kind, Sort, Course. If you say the words often enough, you will come to realize the of has become a ghost, ever present, but only visible in the mind's crazy eye.

In truth, like bad cholesteral, it serves a vital function, and the trick is to use of in limited amounts, not try to kill it. Take it from a word addict. Course you can.

Now, back to the age thing, using "of" as we wish... more ideas
The Age of Increasing Age
The Age of Guilt
The Age or Really Good Times
The Age of Socks (think about it, this one is good. At one time we didn't have socks and I'm sorry to inform you, but at one time socks will be gone).
The Age of Inventive Seasonings
The Age of Perfection
The Age of Pretty Good (Minnesota Joke)
The Age of War
The Age of Warm
The Age of Escapism
The Age of Complicity
The Age of Winning
The Age of The Future
The Age of Cool (wishful thinking)
The Age of Enormity
The Age of More
The Age of Most
The Age of Lots of Crap
The Age of Mold
The Age of Mould (trying to be inclusive here)
The Age of Mike (sooner or later some guy named Mike will be in charge, so why not?)
The Age of Young (ooh, house of mirrors)

So...reply if you are inspired with your own "age," but act your age.

Hifalutin Word of The Day


Which I think, looking at it, means "to fix," but could also mean to "re-purpose," or to both fix and change the function of what one has fixed. A little ambiguity here. Correct me if I'm wrong. Perhaps it could be shortened to just "functionalize." Or we could use just function, as in "That shop functioned my car." And did you notice that the word "hifalutin" looks like a drug brand?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

News To Make You Feel Bad (a little poetry too, New York Rhymes part 1)

We all need to feel bad before we are motivated to change the world, right? Or perhaps we just spiral into descending badness and the news is helping us paddle downstream... Whatever the case, for your reading rhyme.

The coming of the mold...

The balking of the old.

The stupid all buy gold.

The numbing of the fold.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

At The Beach Today for Low Tide

So don't expect another post for another day... I know all you expecters are expecting something out there somewhere. You can always read some of the new links I put up on the right in my effort to educate the masses. Or you can buckle down and write that comment you always intended to write but never felt compelled enough to do. Or you can go to the beach like me and not worry about it.

A worm at the beach

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Candid Frame -- My Favorite Photography Podcast

My favorite photography podcaster Ibarionex Perello has a new show out, interviewing the two guys behind the website/company , Andy and Mikey, known for funny videos (to some photographers) and what sound like quite helpful workshops...

Below is a sample video ...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gratuitous Glacier -- The Spring Melt

The light had that soft yet still distinct look to it this afternoon, so I headed out to the glacier for a quick walk before on photos for larger versions...

You always feel compelled to get that "in context" shot...

My wife reminds me that I've got way too many "rock in front" photos...

I figure I should have a least a few shots of melting ice on a site called Mendenhall Meltdown...

The pussy willow was out in force. This is a sort of 
"where's Waldo" photo, but it should be "Where's Elmer?"


Trying to copy Michael Pen from the newspaper here...not enough of a focal plane...


It's always good to take one shot in the other direction, and it even has some pussy willow...

Juneau News: It's Spring in both the Town and The Valley

Good time to revive the old rivalry. Look for fresh sprouts of loathing and irritation.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The 37th Annual Alaska Folk Festival


Performances started last night, and continue through the week. You can catch a live stream at KTOO at this link, not the most hi-fi in the world but it works... I see no live video feed so if you know of one send me a note and I'll link to it. Everything is free, and hey, it's our worst recession since the great depression, so you are lucky to get crappy audio. : )  Looks like there's a folk fest photo album over at the Empire too. Click the image above for all the info over at the official site.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Making Small Waves in Juneau

Juneau lies on a rather small channel, far inland from the outer coast, so any wave energy from the ocean has greatly dissipated by the time it reaches us.  Waves tend to be small, and look similar to waves from a medium sized lake, depending on wind strength and direction. The high speed Taku winds coming off the mountains can still generate strong local "chop" and strong Northern winds usually create larger swells that boaters have trouble dealing with. On shore, things are usually not very dramatic, except of exceptionally stormy days. 

The Islands block any huge incoming swells from the Pacific

Below, I've assembled a few different waves I've come across on various beaches in varied weather, with commentary not really meant to elucidate anything of importance. 

A typically tiny, rainy day wave on Sandy Beach

A relatively calm day in Auke Bay, made even calmer looking with long exposure...

A somewhat blustery day in North Douglas, but not with high swells

A calm incoming tide at Eagle Beach...

Auke Bay on Thanksgiving day, normal breezy conditions...

Auke Bay with a little more kick to it during a storm...

Fishing off the rocks in North Douglas with a calm incoming tide...

Even though the waves look small, the wind is high and sends rain 
at your cheeks with enough force to sting.

Storms are also a good time to get the lens wet...proceed with caution...

And carry something for cleaning up...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Books to Buy and Read

I'm a sucker for a good title, so when I first heard about Ted Orland's classic photography book Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity I had to have a look, and quickly purchased a copy. The title continues on... The Photos and Writings of Ted Orland, so you know at least some text is involved, and there is plenty of text actually, but also enough interesting, beautiful, and often just plain funny photographs to keep the visual side of your brain engaged too.

Ted Orland's book in my back yard...

The book is part memoir, part rambling art philosophy, and part photo album. Orland worked for years as a printer for Ansel Adams in the 1970's, and doing so allowed him to meet a great number of the West Coast photographers of note. He recounts in some detail many of these meetings and outings, though the general impression is that he leaves a lot of detail for historians to figure out, likely a good thing. If he had called this book "The True Story of Ansel Adams' Underpaid Printer from The Crazy 70's" he might have sold a few more copies, but he likely would have had to deal with a little blowback from readers over accuracy, as I've noticed Sam Kashner has on Amazon for his similar young-guy-with-masters memoir, When I Was Cool.

Orland had the advantage of not hanging out with so many intravenous drug users, perhaps. The book is fun, and something I keep picking up and paging through even after a thorough read. Certainly worth adding to your bookshelf. 

Ted Orland still maintains a site and has books and prints for sale there, autographed upon request. 

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Sunday Grab Bag -- Don't Eat Farmed Fish

A common bumper sticker in both the slightly left leaning downtown and the mildly right leaning valley issues the command "Don't Eat Farmed Fish." Most of the stores sell plenty of farmed fish, with a few good exceptions. There is no stand-alone fresh fish market in town, but Super Bear Market isn't a bad place to look for Alaskan seafood, fresh or frozen. Prices aren't much (if any) better than Seattle, but it can be worth it. I like to buy straight from the dock when I can, and last year bought some of the best fish I've ever had from a local family that delivers, and plan to do so again. Local shrimp are great, and keep better than anything in the freezer.

A truck with the sticker in the valley...

A hound dog waits in front of Super Bear market in the valley...

Loose Talk -- Early Philosophers

Word are like atoms, expressing different properties depending on what other words
join them and form a true compound, or are just hanging out nearby, sharing a few electrons,
maybe, or even just a cup of coffee and a biscuit. It's not helpful to take a metaphor and
relentlessly hammer it into shape, but the ends justify the method, at least sometimes,
and words are mostly harmless and immune to damage by hammer blows. Their
essence remains. Our metaphor is a metaphor, in other words. The hammer is real.

The first person to notice the malleability of language was likely a cave dweller, though
it's possible he had a hole in the ground with a few bushes for cover, or a hollowed out
log. One thing for sure--as he started thinking about it all, he found he couldn't stop,
and the buzzards were soon circling. Eventually Darwinian pressures fell upon the
generations, and a few thinkers emerged who could ponder the intricacies of language
while also keeping an eye on the baby and the food pile. Thus the first philosophers
came into being.

Friday, April 08, 2011

City Ravens (Five Birds)

They have more fun than country ravens, but less room...

Update to original post: Kenelm Philip, a photographer and scientist from the Fairbanks area, wrote in to share his photo of this rather peeved looking woodchuck, which I thought looked a little like a woodchuck/wolverine cross on a bad day... Thanks!

When The Internet Shuts Down

When the internet shuts down it's like a big box of crazy has finally been closed, arms franticly struggling as the lid smashes upon the retreating mouse-cramped fingertips of millions. That's how it feels, at least, and then the world is calm, birds chirp, the breeze breezes, plants grow, paint dries, and writers search for that old word processor they shelved long ago with the little green screen and floppy discs, knowing that a window of possible concentration has opened and they best make use of it fast.

But sitting now in front of that word processor, perhaps a heavy early model, half typewriter, half computer, confronted with that green blinking cursor on the tiny green window, feeling like a World War II radar operator, the writer realizes that shrinking options is really just less, less everything, and even if she can write a few words, only a few, the ink in the internal printer has likely dried up, the floppy disks are all lost or bent beyond hope, so any words he creates will live briefly on the screen before the plug is pulled. Is it worth it? The question of the ages rings clear and loud in the writer's head.

Is it worth it?

The writer realizes that emphasis is flat with type, so he tries all capital letters:


This is considered shouting, the writer has heard, and it feels good, but the writer also realizes that it doesn't capture the intended subtleties. The Devil is in the details, a cliche, the writer also knows--everything is in the damn details, plenty of room.

The writer begins to wonder if some people still are able to post on Facebook. Facebook has always fascinated this writer, so out front and "in your face" with its intent, a "book" for "faces," the circle of friends, ever circling, sometimes growing, shrinking a little after that last outburst about the Tea Party, but the requests still coming, be my friend please, I won't complain, I'm mostly quiet anyway, I don't get caught up in loud public shout-downs, they promise, and then betrayal at the first mention of your mother-in-law's political preferences, when who cares really?

No, someone will turn the internet on again, you know that is true, there is still time, even if things are really messed up and the deep sea cables have been cut, there are failsafes, back-ups, action plans, and so much money spent; people will reverse comically back to their computer chairs, wires will grow and connect like frantic fingers at a windowsill, and people will talk.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Fresh Content

I've always thought that Juneau's water tastes better than any I've tried, and it's always cold at the tap. Must be all the signs warning people to keep their dogs away from Gold Creek...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

You Need To Watch This

And it's only fifteen check out Aaron Huey's website too, and especially this page, if you want to help. 

Or for Ipad users...

Don't Laugh

If you substitute the word "brain" for pain the result often makes sense, but not as much the other way around. Some examples...

No brain, no gain... (a little obvious)
He's such a brain (low hanging fruit, yes)
I met a real brain in the ass today (all kinds of possibilities here)
My chiropractor is helping with my chronic brain (could be true)
Welcome to the house of brain (marketing potential)
He had a brainful expression on his face (I've seen that before)
Foot brain, leg brain, tooth brain, back brain, the list goes on (you know it when you have it)
Lose the brained look, whiner (perhaps after a fight)

Now for the other side, I don't know....

I'd like some pain and eggs (belly pain?)
Don't be such a bird pain (huh?)
The country now suffered from a pain drain (who doesn't want that?)
Painiac (sounds strange)
I've got this incredible pain right behind my eyes (might work)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Grab Bag

An old crab pot just off the trail to Echo Ranch...

Monday, April 04, 2011

Line One

I need to chronicle events in a way that doesn't disturb important key elements. Taking a distant, scholarly tone increases the appearance of insulation, but "padding" is easily shot through. In ancient times writers established elaborate "coats of arms" as a means to fool the easily fooled and increase their revenue streams, a sort of hired "face" or "front" for families to project, but as with brand names, the effect becomes dilute through use, and your lineage generic; that's the risk.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Loose Talk

When we talk we compress our language to save time and energy, using cliche, pop references and other tricks to “load” our words with extra meaning. This is a lazy way of writing as it puts all the work on the side of the reader to decipher intent, but it’s necessary in most cases. It’s analogous to photography, where images are compressed before sharing on the internet, stripped of less needed information while the important information (edges, color) is often emphasized by sharpening and increasing saturation. Cliche is also used to reference previous ideas and “harness” the power of those ideas already embedded in the viewer’s mind. Notice the loaded language.

It is important not to take this kind of talk too seriously. The post-modernist critics were able to ignore the consequences and barrel ahead with such thoughts without pause, but in this age of attention scarcity we have to get to the point.

Friday, April 01, 2011


In a strange fatalistic mood after eating poorly every song on the radio sounds like impending doom.

But it’s only romantic doom made more real by the usual morning rush. I generally confront outbursts of nihilism by making a “to-do” list and then working my way down, thus creating a little bubble of productivity that carries me through the day. This is pretty much the same way bubbles work everywhere, even in the economy. Temporary sustenance.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vacation Eve

Journal Feb 16th; The Year of the Rabid, Drooling Weasel; 2011

Today is vacation eve, with a cold snap flushing our cheeks before we fly to Southern California for a ten day road trip. Mary is upstairs cleaning, I'm down here and I should be cleaning, but need to test out this handy new keyboard. It's not bad, and I like how hard I can slam the keys, almost typewriter-like. But I need to cut my fingernails.

That paragraph represents about the maximum length of concentrated thought I can deliver in today's rapid-fire information age. More Later.


We are doing last minute budgeting for the trip, realizing we don't have enough cash and have to dip into the evil credit cards. These things tend to sneak up on us like a hungry cat padding softly up to a couple of extra stupid, distracted birds. Still, I look forward to the trip, relaxing, driving around, arguing over the music, and eating from roadside taco stands.

I've had nostalgia for road trips after living in Juneau for eight years, forest and sea bound to seventy miles. Yet my anxiety over the thought of driving busy California roads is a little high. Relaxing road trip? Probably Montana in early fall or late spring before the forest fires start, interstates and bad food, one vista to another, stoping in small towns to hit the second hand stores and have lunch in poorly maintained parks. Maybe even more later.

Here's a photo having nothing to do with this post, but I took it recently...

and now it reminds me of one more problem. We asked my mother-in-law to look after our dogs, but she is becoming more and more forgetful, so we have to call every day to remind her...ack.