Behind The Shot: Midnight Sun

Outdoor Photography

Photo By Randy Traynor

It’s not every day you get to camp on a beach in the shadow of a 200-foot high, 2-mile-long glacier. In 2018, I called this area at Nellie Juan Glacier “home” for a week as I spent time exploring the glacier and wilderness of Prince William Sound with National Forest Service rangers as an artist-in-residence for their “Voices of the Wilderness” program.

Summertime in Alaska is home to the midnight sun, and for this Florida boy, what an amazing treat it was having 24 hours of sunlight. Each night, the sun would skim the horizon only to rise again at about 3 a.m. It was a photographer’s dream to have full light in the middle of the night, and I took advantage of it.

On the morning I made this picture, it was low tide. The rocks seen here are usually under 8 feet of water. I set up my camera and tripod watching the sun’s glow just behind the cliff. It was so peaceful sitting on the shoreline. In the distance, I could hear a family of sea otters cracking open urchins, and what waves there were made a soothing sound. Pure serenity.

The 16 days I spent in Alaska and camping in remote areas of Prince William Sound were priceless. I’m very thankful for my time spent with the National Forest Service rangers. I learned so much about this fragile ecosystem, and the pictures I took are currently on display at various ranger centers in the region for all visitors to enjoy. 

See more of Randy Traynor’s work at

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM at 17mm. Exposure: 1/15 sec., ƒ/19, ISO 100.

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