Early Morning Solitude

McKinley Lodge, Alaska

One of the challenges of being a photographer is getting up early, sometimes well before dawn, to get the shot you have in your mind. This is especially true when shooting landscapes when the light is at its best. It is also true when trying to shoot the insides of a building without having people getting in the way of your shot or simply ignoring you even when you just need about 4 seconds to shoot.

When I stayed in the McKinley Lodge in Alaska, I knew the second I walked in that I wanted to shoot the inside lounge. The lounge is quite rustic, as you would expect, with great windows that look at the highest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley in Denali National Park. The stream of people parading through the lounge was constant from early morning to well after midnight. I knew that, in order to get the shot I wanted, a pre-dawn shoot was required. So on the last morning of our stay, I wandered down to the lounge at 5am. I had the lounge mostly to myself, although a couple of early risers were sitting on the sofa reading.