Travel Scrapbooking: Alaska

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Article Courtesy by Denise Gormish

Alaska is the largest state of the United States by area. It is that vast area of land and water that makes a wonderful vista for photographs and scrapbook pages. In a trip to the state of Alaska, I was able to experience the wonder and beauty of this immense land.

Photography. Make sure you take the best camera you own. An SLR will give you more capabilities and options in lenses. A back-up camera is valuable as well. Make sure you have batteries and rechargers as necessary. There are many lens possibilities. To get scenic and landscape photographs, bring a wide-angle lens such as a 16-35mm zoom. For photographing people and as an overall good lens, bring a mid-size lens such as a 24-70mm zoom. For shooting wildlife use a telephoto zoom such as a 70-200mm zoom. Having a lens with lens stabilization will help prevent camera shake. For the best in distance photography, try a fixed-lens telephoto like a 400mm. Use a tripod when you are able, in order to avoid camera shake. If you don’t own an SLR or a certain lens, consider renting a camera or lens.

Journaling and Memorabilia. Keep a journal and notes of cities, areas and places you visit. Keep notes of your photos. Include stories in your journal. Record things that happened to you, things you notice that are different to you and descriptions of the things you see. All these notes will make it easier to do your journaling when you are home and ready to scrap your photographs. Pick up memorabilia as you travel and keep it all together in a special place.

Page Ideas. The scrapbook pages you design will depend on what areas of Alaska you visit and what you do. The following are suggestions for page ideas:

  • Alaska’s Coastline. Alaska has a longer coastline than all the other U.S. states combined. This coastline provides great photographic opportunities including glaciers, islands and tides. At Glacier Bay National Park we watched and photographed Holgate Glacier calving into the water.
  • Alaska’s Interior. The vast interior of Alaska makes a great subject for scrapbook pages. Interior pages can include the towns, lakes and landscapes of Alaska.
  • Cities. Make pages that reflect the diversity of the various cities in Alaska from the state's most populous city of Anchorage to the smaller cities such as Seaward.
  • Climate. Reflect on the climate you experience in Alaska. Did you experience rain or snow? Was it cold? How did the climate surprise you?
  • Parks. Alaska is covered with public land saved for the future. From the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the various national parks, the parks remind visitors of the beauty of the land.
  • Wildlife. Alaska’s wildlife abounds. After my vacation to Alaska, I came home with so many photographs of the birds, land mammals (including bears and moose), and marine mammals (including sea otters and whales). Showcase the types of wildlife in your scrapbook pages.
  • Landscapes. Consider the landscape that you saw on your trip. Make pages that showcase them. One way to show a landscape is to enlarge a photograph so that it stretches across the entire page.

  • Wildflowers. The variety and color of the Alaska wildflowers is outstanding. If you are there to see the great wildflowers, make a page about them.
  • Housing. Where did you stay while in Alaska? From bed and breakfasts to hotels, there is a variety of housing options. Include a description of the housing you experienced in Alaska.
  • Activities. What activities did you do in Alaska? Include hiking, kayaking, fishing or other activities you enjoyed while visiting.

  • Culture. Did you experience anything special to Alaska, such as the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race? Make pages that highlight those unique things about Alaska.
  • Stories. Remember those stories for which you kept a journal? Here is the time to use them. With supporting photographs, tell your stories of Alaska. Tell stories of what you saw, who you met, and things that happened that were funny or unusual. These stories are the heart of your trip.

Page Design. Your page design will depend on your photographs and your stories. Considering the colors in the photographs will allow you to effectively choose a color scheme. In my layouts I used a lot of blue, white and green because of the scenery.

The arrangement of the photographs will depend on their size. For subjects that have a lot of photographs, consider reducing them in size to get more of them on a page. For landscapes, consider enlarging the best ones.

Also consider the amount of journaling you have for each page as you design the page. Large titles can provide interest to the page. Don’t forget to include memorabilia in your layout designs.

Album Ideas. If you have a lot of photographs or page ideas you may want to break your Alaska trip into several albums. You can arrange them by subjects such as wildlife, stories and scenery. Pick a division that works for you and arrange your pages accordingly.

Alaska is a scenic wonderland. Take your camera and your notebook and enjoy it. When you return, scrapbook your photographs and remember your fantastic trip!

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