Alaska's Wonderland

  1. In June 2008 my wife and I were fortunate enough to take a 2 week tour of Alaska. In episode 1 we undertake a land tour from Anchorage to Denali by rail. Once there we boarded a plane for a scenic flight around Mt McKinley. We also took the bus tour through the park for some wildlife spotting. We were very fortunate with the weather and got to see both the mountain, and the wildlife, including a number of Grizzly Bears!

    2nd Edition: Uploaded to Vimeo May 2010

    In April and May 2010 I started learning colour grading. This prompted me to re-edit the original footage to improve this aspect of the original footage and complete the series more as a proper set of "Webisodes". As the film was shot completely handheld, often from moving buses/trains etc I have used an image stabilisation plugin called Mercali (from ProDad software) for Adobe Premiere's CS3 editing package. All grading was undertaken internally within CS3.

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  2. In Episode 2 of my Alaska's Wonderland series, our journey continues from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic Ocean along the Dalton Highway. We visit some rustic roadside stops, go rafting on the Kyokuk River, see the local wildlife outside of the national parks (including Moose and Musk Ox) and end with a look at the Prudhoe Bay Oil Fields and the Arctic Ocean.

    The Dalton Highway was originally built along the route of the Trans-Alaskan Oil Pipeline, which is regularly seen along the trip.

    2nd Edition: Uploaded May 2010

    The film was shot with a Sony HDR-HC9 HD Camcorder and was compiled using Adobe Premiere CS3. The 2nd edition contains additional footage including the rafting trip as well as some pictures of our destination, Prudhoe Bay.

    The film was re-edited into this webisode format as part of a colour grading exersize I undertook to greatly improve the quality of the previously raw images. All editing work was undertaken in house in Premiere CS3.

    # Uploaded 1,473 Plays 1 Comment
  3. In Episode 3 of my Alaska's Wonderland Webisode series, we continue our tour of Alaska, first taking a look around the city of Anchorage, and then boarding the train from Anchorage to Seward to cross the Kenai Peninsula. Upon arrival in Seward we boarded our cruise ship and began our 7 day cruise to Vancouver.

    2nd Edition: Uploaded May 2010

    The second edition brings a more complete story together including some of the sites around Anchorage that we saw, as well as the original rail journey.

    This was part of a colour grading edit I undertook (following some study I am undertaking in this area) aimed at improving the quality of the images in the story over and above the original raw camera footage.

    # Uploaded 1,890 Plays 2 Comments
  4. In 2008, during a cruise from Seward to Vancouver (Canada), I had the opportunity to visit the tide water glaciers that abound through College Fjord and Glacier Bay National Park. College Fjord at sunrise and watching glaciers "calving" (shedding ice when they reach the sea) in Glacier Bay National Park are spectacular sights.

    2nd Edition Uploaded to Vimeo May 2010

    This was my first trip with the HD video camera (Sony HDR-HC9) and my first use of Adobe Premiere CS3 for NLE. It was all shot hand-held and I have used the Mercali image stabilisation plugin for Adobe Premiere to "de-shake it" a bit which has left some artefacts visible to those who look for them. The 2nd edition version was upgraded to full 1080p and had some new colour grading skills I have learned applied.

    # Uploaded 3,810 Plays 2 Comments
  5. This was the last part of what was a 2 week tour of Alaska for me and my wife in June/July 2008. It covered a number of weird and wonderful places, including the Hammer Museum in Haines, the Brothel Museum in Skagway, Sled Dog Racing in Juneau and Totem Poles on the 4th of July in Ketchikan all visited while cruising down the Inside Passage along the Alaska Coastal Highway.

    2nd Edition Uploaded to Vimeo May 2010

    The film is shot with a Sony HDR-HC9E and has been post edited using Adobe Premiere CS3 into 1080/25p format. The 2nd edition upload included enhanced colour grading work and also a conversion to the Webisode format I used on the rest of my Alaskan videos. Some additional footage has also been included to give a better ending to the film.

    # Uploaded 2,707 Plays 4 Comments

Alaska's Wonderland

Grant Willis (VK5GR) Plus

Alaska is a very beautiful and wild place, with huge contrasts in landscapes and climates. Getting out into the more remote places is definitely worth the effort by land, and taking a cruise down the inside passage is a great way to see the state by sea.


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Alaska is a very beautiful and wild place, with huge contrasts in landscapes and climates. Getting out into the more remote places is definitely worth the effort by land, and taking a cruise down the inside passage is a great way to see the state by sea.

It is still uninhabited enough by man that the wildlife is realatively easy to find, as you can see on the Denali Park tour video, as well as the tour up the Dalton Highway.

If you were undecided as to where to take a holiday/vacation, then I can definitely recommend Alaska as one place to put on your MUST SEE list before you die!

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