©Bert Gildart: This month’s issue of Native Peoples Magazine features a story of mine about the World Eskimo Indian Olympics (WEIO). The magazine is on the newsstand and is now reminding me of what an adventure Janie and I had last July in Fairbanks, Alaska, where the event is held annually.
The story was illustrated with my images and because I worked so hard obtaining the pictures thought I’d share some in this posting. With the exception of several of the pictures that focused on the arts from remote villages, all were action images and several were taken with natural light but at incredibly high ISOs.
ISO is the digital equivalent of ASA in film, and for those of you who can remember way back to the year 2000 when film was still in vogue, you’ll recall that when you used Ektachrome 400, grain started to appear and could be a real problem. Not so with digital images, which you can further enhance using Lightroom and PhotoShop.
The image of Manny Curtis was taken at an ISO of 2000 while the one of Clyde Brown was taken at an ISO of 800. In the magazine, there is no grain and the colors are intense.
Janie and I are departing in several days for the East Coast for a number of reasons. We’ll be visiting family in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. Along the way we’ll be gathering material for a number of stories. After Labor Day, we’ll pull our Airstream to Shenandoah National Park and spend about a month updating a book published by Globe Pequot about hiking and exploring this beautiful park. The book is going into its fourth printing and we have sold over 24,000 copies, which is pretty good for an outdoor book.
Rich Luhr and family may join us in their Airstream in Shenandoah in September and if so, we plan to climb Old Rag, the park’s highest peak. Though not particularly difficult (at least, Rich, for a man 20-plus years your senior!), what makes the ascent so meaningful is the ancient rock. The rock reposes near the summit and dates back to the Precambrian.
As we make our journey back east we may stop for a night in Wisconsin and revisit a lovely couple whom we’ve gotten to know from the Airstream crowd. Ken and Petie Faber are also an extremely talented couple, and they’ve been here in Bigfork the past few days.
Ken is a retired insurance man and now devotes his time to refurbishing old Airstreams, creating what the industry calls “Vintage Airstreams.” Petey is a retired teacher and now an artist extraordinaire. Though they are a few years older than Janie and I, they are active cyclists, and think little of striking off on a 50-mile day-long trip.
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
There are some other good people we’d like to visit along our way, several of whom we rendezvoused with this past winter in Anza Borrego. And then, too, we have family in Minnesota, but we’ll just have to see how our serendipitous travels unfold. Several story assignments are pending and if they work out then our route may change, meaning that we’ll have to try and make stops on the way back.
Life, however, is about the present, but because it benefits from the past, I’m hoping my WEIO images stir some atavistic recollections, which is what the four-day event is intended, at least in part, to evoke.
The event has become one of our favorite memories not only because of the superb athletes, but also because we were able to revisit so many wonderful native peoples, whom we count as very good friends.
See you from along the road.