An Alaskan Summer


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Kendall Rock and I met in Denmark in 2013. I figure enough time has passed now that I can talk about the night she destroyed her brand new Nikon DSLR.

We had a small gathering at a friend’s apartment, for which I prepared a dank traditional Danish dream cake. Look it up. When we were all about to head out, Kendall put her camera and an unopened beer inside a dry bag. Later, on the bus back to our house, she reached in and realized the beer had somehow become punctured and her camera was bathing in a pool of Tuborg. Panic ensued from everyone in the group, but we were useless. Somebody actually took the lens off and started blowing on the camera aimlessly. Cringe-worthy stuff. RIP.
Bottom line is, Kendall always has a camera. She effortlessly captures the world around her, traditionally the PNW or Colorado. This summer, however, she made her way to Alaska. She’s going to tell us a little about her trip, her family and friends, and how she saw Russia from her house.

monster-children-kendall-rock-2Photo by Tyler Lavoie

Here I am, Kendall Rock, atop Harbor Mountain in Sitka, Alaska. I studied film at Colorado College until this May, when I graduated. To cope with the trauma of leaving all my friends and home of four years, I shipped straight off to Alaska, the majestic home of my mother’s side of the family. I spent the first month working and living at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, and the second month traveling all over Southeast Alaska shooting a short documentary titled “We Eat Fish” for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC). The documentary focuses on celebrating the seafood culture of the Southeast and the clean water that supports it. It’s a photogenic place.

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Fireworks happen on the third of July in Sitka.

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This is Lee, a media storyteller for SEACC. Lee and I spent two weeks traveling the Southeast for the “We Eat Fish” movie, with me filming and Lee photographing.

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Emily picked us up in Ketchikan in her giant truck and took us onto her boat and into her home. Here she looks through photos of her fishing and hunting trips with her son, Nate.

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My cousin Dylan looks out at his girlfriend, Abby, from the freezer of the Seaminer. Dylan started the fisherman-direct wild Alaskan salmon distribution company, Seashaken, a few years ago.

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Gregg, here on the Seaminer, is always smiling.

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Even when upside-down in a box of frozen fish.

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Kylie was the only girl at the overnight Culture Camp in Kake, Alaska. I love the pink of her fingernails getting into the pink of the halibut in this photo. The Elder women had to remind her to pull her hair back in a bun each time she tackled a new fish, but she was a natural with that knife.

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Seal blood in a wheelbarrow in Kake. The seals were caught by community members and donated to the Culture Camp so that the kids could learn how to process the animal, using each piece of its body.

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My four-year-old cousin, Lola, on a hike from Gavan to Harbor Mountain in Sitka. It was too misty to see any of the mountain, but it created this eerie, yet peaceful mood for the hike.

 

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