Monday, September 30, 2013

Eight Reasons to Live in Alaska
The people that live in Alaska are some of the toughest, most independent individuals you will meet, yet honest, helpful to their neighbors and friendly. Why are they willing to endure the long winters and cold? Here are the top 8 reasons to move to Alaska.

1.      Quality of Life. Alaska offers a lifestyle with very little traffic on the freeways, huge inexpensive homes on large pieces of land, clean air, clean water, good schools and is an awesome place to raise a family. It is a slower, more relaxed pace.

2.      Alaska, the Final Frontier. Many parts of Alaska remain unexplored. There are mountains and waterfalls that are unnamed. Vast areas in Alaska have no roads, and can only be reached by boat, horse, sled dogs, hiking or plane. It is more than twice the size of Texas, and there are forests, glaciers, mountain streams, waterfalls, lakes, islands, mountains and tundra for you to enjoy.
Photography by Dennis Davis

3.      Sportsman’s Paradise. Hunters have big game like moose and bear to hunt, but also wolverines, caribou, mountain goats, wolves, and musk ox. Fishermen can fish everything from Salmon and Arctic Char to Lake Trout or Halibut.  The town of Homer, AK is known as the Halibut capitol of the world. Some of the best hunting and fishing in the world is in Alaska, and if you are willing to go out and get it, you can have plenty to eat without going to the store.

4.      No State Taxes. Alaska has no state taxes, and many cities have no sales tax. Revenues from the oil pipeline have allowed Alaska to do away with state income tax. In addition, they state government has enacted the Permanent Dividend Fund (PDF) which allows residents to receive $300-$2,200 a year from the state’s oil revenue.

5.      The Never-Ending Adventure. If you enjoy change, excitement, travel and interesting experiences, Alaska is your new best friend. Snowboarding, cross country skiing, mountain climbing, flying, biking, and hiking – the wilderness never ends, and so adventure is just outside your door.

6.      Photographer’s Dream. Landscape photographers could spend their whole life capturing the mountains, lakes, rivers, glaciers, forests, oceans, islands and other landscape features in Alaska, and never get bored. Wildlife photographers can photograph wolves, lynx, moose or Dall sheep in breath-taking, natural settings. Lifestyle photographers can capture rugged, athletic people enjoying the outdoors. Everywhere you point your camera is a beautiful picture, and fine art photographers never run out of inspiration.

7.      Easy to buy Property. The American Dream to own your own home is out of reach in many parts of the United States. The same three bedroom house on a one-acre lot that would cost over $1 million in Los Angeles could cost $195,000 in Alaska. $330,000 is the average cost of a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house with a two car garage in the Anchorage area. There are many first-time home buyer programs, low income loans, single parent loans, etc., to make it easy and attractive to move here.

8.      The People. There are only 731,449 people living in the entire state of Alaska as of 2012. That is less than many people in Los Angeles or New York has living within a mile of them. The low population makes for a small-town community feel throughout the state. People greet each other on the street. Families are important units, and family gatherings are a regular thing. People take the time to be courteous at the stoplights and on the freeways. The people in Alaska are more independent, adventurous, kind, generous, helpful and hard working than many other states I have visited. Homeless persons and people that make begging a career tend to travel south, where sleeping outdoors is more comfortable. Lazy people don’t like it here; there is too much work to do. That leaves lots of people you would like to get to know as friends, all over Alaska.

I am visiting Alaska for the second time in my life, and I have to say I love it. I live in Los Angeles with an ocean view apartment. I can walk to 40 restaurants, 6 grocery stores, coffee houses, bars, churches, schools and almost anything else I could want. However, there is never a time in my home when I cannot hear traffic noise, TV, music, fire trucks, and other sounds of the city. Peace and quiet difficult to come by.

As I write this article, I am looking out the window at a snow covered mountain peak. I am in a beautiful large home surrounded by a forest of birch, spruce and cottonwood trees.Chickadees and Stellar Blue Jays take sunflower seeds and peanuts from the bird feeder on the deck, where a warm fire waits for me to join my family members talking and enjoying snacks and drinks. This is paradise, and it amazing that unspoiled wilderness property is still available for sale at affordable prices in Alaska. To learn more, contact my niece Cindy Wilson at

Keywords: Real Estate, Alaska property, Anchorage homes, Eagle River property, Eagle River Homes, Alaska Adventure, Alaska Travel, Alaska Airlines, Alaska Cruise, Alaska Photography, National Parks, wildlife, quality of life

Friday, September 20, 2013

Alaska Wilderness Photography

Commercial Photographer Goes 
Wild in the Alaska Wilderness

This is only the second time in my life to visit Alaska, and my departure date is September 27th, one week away. The excitement is building; this is going to be big! This is a place that’s twice the size of Texas, but has about the same amount of people living in the state, (731,449) that live within 5 miles of me in Long Beach, California. That’s a whole lot of wilderness, and lots of room to meet moose, bear, wolves, caribou and many other wild animals. I can’t wait!

The first time I saw a moose in Alaska I could not believe how huge the thing was. It was walking on a train track near Eagle River, AK, and my head would not have reached his shoulder. The largest of all the moose races is the Alaskan subspecies (A. a. gigas), which can stand over 2.1 m (7 ft) at the shoulder, has a span across the antlers of 1.8 m (6 ft) and averages 634.5 kg (1,396 lbs) in males and 478 kg (1,052 lbs) in females. The largest confirmed size for this species was a bull shot at the Yukon River in September 1897 that weighed 820 kg (1,800 lb) and measured 2.33 m (7.6 ft) high at the shoulder.

Like me, the moose is a vegetarian. However an adult moose needs to consume 9770 calories per day to maintain its body weight. That’s about 5 times the calories that a human eats, and if I eat that much, I would be the size of a moose! Their diet is mostly fresh shoots from trees such as willow and birch. They also eat aquatic plant life in lakes and rivers. In winter, moose are often drawn to roadways, to lick the salt that is used to melt the snow and ice. This leads to many car / moose accidents in Alaska.

I will be posting pictures on this blog from my Alaska Wilderness Adventure from September 29 – October 5. Although there are only about 150,000 moose in Alaska, I hope to photograph a good number of them here for you to see. Watch for images of pristine lakes, majestic mountains, blue ice glaciers, and tundra, and animals, lots of animals.
On the other hand, I will also be posting lots of pictures of the wild and rugged people in Alaska, including my nieces and their families. I am shooting lifestyle advertising photography for my niece Cindy Davis Wilson, to use on her Alaska Real Estate website if you are buying or selling property in Alaska; Cindy Wilson is who to see. So watch for people pictures as well as wilderness and animals.

So what would you do with a 10 day visit to Alaska? Where would you go? Would you go dog sledding, on a cruise ship around the harbors? Denali is the highest mountain in North America, with 20,156 feet (6,144 meters) in height, creates its own weather patterns. Do you want to see bears, lakes, forests, natives, towns – what would you want to photograph, and what would you want to see? Follow my blog, and experience Alaska Wilderness from your Laptop.

Keywords: Travel Photography, National Parks, Landscape photography, Alaska, Alaska Wilderness, moose, animal photographers