Arts & Culture

Winter Scenes - Q&A with Albert Marquez

Written by
Cecil Sanders

A few years ago we visited a remote area of America’s largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias. When traveling to far-off places, you don’t expect to run into people you know.

I was photographing the historic buildings in the town of Kennecott and checked my phone to see who else was currently posting photos from the area on social media. A past contributor to Last Frontier Magazine, Albert Marquez, popped up on my feed. He is an adventurer, explorer, photographer, and all-around great person, and I hadn’t yet met him.

It was a fun coincidence, and prompted me to ask Albert about contributing again, this time with a Q&A, to give our readers insight into his life as a photographer and owner of Planet Earth Adventures.

Q&A  with Albert Marquez

LFM: Approximately how many miles do you travel a year in Alaska doing tours (air, land and sea)?

Marquez: Being a tour guide in Alaska for over 22 years has given me the opportunity to see a lot of my beautiful state, along with our guests who come to Alaska from all over the world. We get to travel by ATVs, trains, planes, boats, helicopters, and dog sled. You name it, I’ve done it. On a yearly average, I travel approximately 15,000 miles a year.

LFM: What is the most remote Alaskan location where you offer tours?

Marquez: We travel to many remote regions of Alaska. By far the most remote areas that we travel to are St. George Island, one of the remote islands of the Pribilof Islands, Kaktovik, a Native Alaska Inupiat Eskimo village situated on Barter Island along the Arctic Coast of the Beaufort Sea, and the rarely visited and stunningly beautiful Kobuk Valley and Gates of the Arctic National Park.

LFM: Is there a place in Alaska where you would like to go but have not yet visited?

Marquez: I love bears, so one of the places in Alaska that I look forward to traveling to the most is Lake Clark National Park. This is a rugged wilderness area southwest of Anchorage on the western shore of Cook Inlet. This is a land of stunning beauty where volcanoes steam, salmon run, bears forage, and craggy mountains reflect in shimmering turquoise lakes.

LFM: Do you prefer landscape, wildlife, aurora, or another form of photography?

Marquez: Wildlife photography can be one of the toughest fields to master. Along with all the challenges of everyday photography, you also have to work with subjects that have no interest in cooperating with you. Timing and composition are subtle arts that come with lots of patience and experience. When photographing wildlife, I like to focus on my subject’s eyes, and animals, just like humans, have a natural tendency to make eye contact. There is something about photographing animals in their natural habitat and making eye contact through the viewfinder of my camera. When the eyes are captured in a compelling way, it creates a bond between the subject and the viewer.

LFM: Describe your most difficult or perilous experience in photography.

Marquez: Photographing sled dog races. Being out in the elements waiting on mushers and their dog teams can be a challenge. Wind chill is an understatement when the ambient temperature is already -30º F.  I’ve spent many hours waiting in the icy snow with howling winds bundled in a parka, wearing heavy goose-down pants, heavily insulated boots and gloves stuffed with hand warmers just trying to capture that one special photo. That being said, with the right equipment and clothing, photographing in arctic conditions for me can be both rewarding and exhilarating at the same time.

LFM: How did you get into photography?

Marquez: My interest in photography first blossomed in high school thanks to one of my best friends, Ben, who also got me involved with my high school yearbook. In the years since my graduation, I have expanded my lifelong interest in photography, now concentrating primarily in Alaskan landscapes and its amazing and abundant wildlife.

LFM: Who has been the largest influence for you in this craft?

Marquez: At first, I don’t have any particular person that influenced me. I am moved by the photographs of those photographers who clearly put their thought into their work. I can’t name any specific person because the best element in photography is the creativity. I am always inspired by creative shots of random photographers.

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Winter Scenes - Q&A with Albert Marquez

Arts & Culture

Author

Cecil Sanders

Inspired at a young age, Cecil has turned his love of photography into a lifestyle and a business, with a desire to capture the beauty and character of wherever his camera takes him. Always primed to set off on a new adventure, Cecil and his wife, Anne, have spent their eleven years of marriage going on road trips, touring Alaska and the country, and planning ahead to their next destination. Cecil has combined his artist's perspective and aptitude for design in order to contribute his talents to the collaborative effort of bringing Last Frontier Magazine into a reality.

A few years ago we visited a remote area of America’s largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias. When traveling to far-off places, you don’t expect to run into people you know.

I was photographing the historic buildings in the town of Kennecott and checked my phone to see who else was currently posting photos from the area on social media. A past contributor to Last Frontier Magazine, Albert Marquez, popped up on my feed. He is an adventurer, explorer, photographer, and all-around great person, and I hadn’t yet met him.

It was a fun coincidence, and prompted me to ask Albert about contributing again, this time with a Q&A, to give our readers insight into his life as a photographer and owner of Planet Earth Adventures.

Q&A  with Albert Marquez

LFM: Approximately how many miles do you travel a year in Alaska doing tours (air, land and sea)?

Marquez: Being a tour guide in Alaska for over 22 years has given me the opportunity to see a lot of my beautiful state, along with our guests who come to Alaska from all over the world. We get to travel by ATVs, trains, planes, boats, helicopters, and dog sled. You name it, I’ve done it. On a yearly average, I travel approximately 15,000 miles a year.

LFM: What is the most remote Alaskan location where you offer tours?

Marquez: We travel to many remote regions of Alaska. By far the most remote areas that we travel to are St. George Island, one of the remote islands of the Pribilof Islands, Kaktovik, a Native Alaska Inupiat Eskimo village situated on Barter Island along the Arctic Coast of the Beaufort Sea, and the rarely visited and stunningly beautiful Kobuk Valley and Gates of the Arctic National Park.

LFM: Is there a place in Alaska where you would like to go but have not yet visited?

Marquez: I love bears, so one of the places in Alaska that I look forward to traveling to the most is Lake Clark National Park. This is a rugged wilderness area southwest of Anchorage on the western shore of Cook Inlet. This is a land of stunning beauty where volcanoes steam, salmon run, bears forage, and craggy mountains reflect in shimmering turquoise lakes.

LFM: Do you prefer landscape, wildlife, aurora, or another form of photography?

Marquez: Wildlife photography can be one of the toughest fields to master. Along with all the challenges of everyday photography, you also have to work with subjects that have no interest in cooperating with you. Timing and composition are subtle arts that come with lots of patience and experience. When photographing wildlife, I like to focus on my subject’s eyes, and animals, just like humans, have a natural tendency to make eye contact. There is something about photographing animals in their natural habitat and making eye contact through the viewfinder of my camera. When the eyes are captured in a compelling way, it creates a bond between the subject and the viewer.

LFM: Describe your most difficult or perilous experience in photography.

Marquez: Photographing sled dog races. Being out in the elements waiting on mushers and their dog teams can be a challenge. Wind chill is an understatement when the ambient temperature is already -30º F.  I’ve spent many hours waiting in the icy snow with howling winds bundled in a parka, wearing heavy goose-down pants, heavily insulated boots and gloves stuffed with hand warmers just trying to capture that one special photo. That being said, with the right equipment and clothing, photographing in arctic conditions for me can be both rewarding and exhilarating at the same time.

LFM: How did you get into photography?

Marquez: My interest in photography first blossomed in high school thanks to one of my best friends, Ben, who also got me involved with my high school yearbook. In the years since my graduation, I have expanded my lifelong interest in photography, now concentrating primarily in Alaskan landscapes and its amazing and abundant wildlife.

LFM: Who has been the largest influence for you in this craft?

Marquez: At first, I don’t have any particular person that influenced me. I am moved by the photographs of those photographers who clearly put their thought into their work. I can’t name any specific person because the best element in photography is the creativity. I am always inspired by creative shots of random photographers.

No items found.

Author

Cecil Sanders

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