Many of the progressive Alaska blogs listed to the right-hand side of this column feature photos by the blogs' creators. One of the bloggers, An Alaskan Abroad's Robert Dillon, is a national award-winning press photographer. I'm sure if some of the best photos taken by some of the other bloggers were entered in photography contests, they'd win awards too.
The relatively newfound flexibility of taking digital images and posting them as important parts of blog essays is part of the enormous revolutionary potential of this medium. During the past week, hundreds of fantastic images posted by Alaska bloggers have been featured at their sites to help illustrate one point or another.
Both Dennis Zaki at Alaska Report and Steve Aufrecht at What Do I Know? often feature videos that they have made of events they've attended in the community. Of the progressive Alaska blogs, Steve has been the most assiduous in covering Anchorage arts events, especially films and plays.
And Steve often incorporates captions or text into the photos themselves. He sometimes uses maps or satellite photos to emphasize a point about distance or communications.
Many other Alaska blogs, not listed here as progressive - because they don't delve into political, social, economic or cultural issues in a progressive way - also use brilliant photography to illustrate essays about bicycling, rock climbing, sailing or whatever.
Although I take a lot of photos for my own blog, I often use other bloggers' pictures, because they help tell a story really well. Or, the photo strikes me as a fantastic piece of art that can stand on its own merits.
No political statements today, though. I'll be back in Alaska late tomorrow. Dennis Zaki e-mailed me overnight, with photos of some of the Russian River Sockeye he'd caught on a trip with David Shurtleff, cooking on a grill, telling me, "Get your butt back up here Phil. The reds are running!"
This has been my longest trip outside of Alaska during June in my 35 years up north. I'm so glad Judy and I came down here for our daughter's athletic events and college graduation. It has been wonderful seeing relatives and friends. And it has been a special joy seeing so many rural areas in California, Oregon and Washington during the most damp, coolest early June in recent history. Everything is so green.
dead salmon and flies - Robert Dillon
David Shurtleff and Sockeye - Dennis Zaki
reeds on Goose Lake - Steve Aufrecht
Russian River flies and corks - Dennis Zaki
Lenin and Friends - Philip Munger