Meet Heather Meader-McCausland, Whose Alaskan Photos Make SFO Less Depressing

Freeze-Up in the Brooks Range Mountains

Heather Meader-McCausland grew up in rural Alaska, 100 miles above the Arctic Circle, and in Sonoma County, Calif. She was born to Elaine and Fred Meader, the filmmakers who produced the Alaskan documentary “Year of the Caribou,” so nobody was surprised when she picked up a camera. Her photo exhibit, “Alaska: Moving Through the Seasons,” will be shown at San Francisco International Airport's Terminal 1, B3, Gate 36, February 8 through May 4.

What are some of the practical challenges involved in photographing above the Arctic Circle?

Temperatures in the winter easily drop to 40 below zero and often much lower. At these temperatures, batteries last about 15 minutes. Grabbing the camera or tripod without gloves can freeze your fingertips. Breathing on the camera can cause lenses to crack.

The terrain is also a challenge. With no roads or trails, photographing in a land of rivers and lakes and shale-covered mountains gives ample opportunity for plenty of expensive mishaps when camera equipment takes a tumble.

 

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