Photography and Photographic Art by Michele Cornelius


Joys of Winter

Although taking photos of  snow and ice are on top of my list, a big ‘joy of winter’ in Alaska is downtime.  When the weather gets snotty with slush and rain (like this week) and there are no grand photo ops to be had, it is time to finally process the backlog of photos from brighter days.  It is time to get creative with textures and overlays, a process which doesn’t  flow until time stretches out unspoken for and my mind can stray where it will.  The light is already returning and soon the whales and birds will arrive ushering us madly back to the frey, but for now I am fully enjoying these slow winter days.

I finally updated my portfolio site, which is still at  I’ll try to stop by here now and then with a post, but hate to make any promises given my poor track record!

Frozen Flow

Sailing Away…

I have sadly neglected this blog, but there is still hope I will return to regular posting one day.  Not soon though, since we have bought a sailboat on the coast of B.C. and will be sailing in back to Alaska in the next three weeks.  I am hoping to finally get an epic breaching humpback whale shot, or maybe a pod of orcas.  I am not the best at photographing anything that moves, but will get some practice.  With the sailboat in the Haines harbor, we should have many summer trips in the future to explore the wonders of Southeast Alaska.  Such a fantastic place to live with so many things to do that it is hard to sit in front of a computer.  I am still processing 10 photos a week to submit to stock agencies, some artistic, but have a huge backlog and have all but dropped out of G+, Ello, and social media.   Maybe I will drop by now and then in the winter, if it doesn’t snow….


space ship



Rise Above

Another of my images has been posted at Gnarled Oak, an online literary journal.  It is the one below, titled “Rise Above”.  I plan to submit more poetry and images to Gnarled Oak.  I am glad to be a part of it.

Rise Above

Published at Gnarled Oak!

I am very excited and honored to have one of my poems published at Gnarled Oak, an online literary journal.  I have been writing a lot of poetry lately, and am working on a book with poems and images of the forest.  There is fantastic old-growth hemlock, spruce, and birch surrounding our property on two sides, and wandering about in it has been inspiring me.

Bent But Not Broken

Snow and ice

No much snow at sea level, so we headed up the Chilkat River last week.  It slipped below zero a few times, and it was hard to keep fingers warm enough to take many photos but it was so beautiful with snow on the trees, ice floating on the river and rising mist.  We have a little wood stove in our 1966 VW bus that helped keep us warm.




Out with the old

With a new governor in Alaska, there is hope for the new year.  Walker has halted spending on destructive mega projects including the Juneau road!  Fighting the mines that threaten the salmon rivers will be the next battle around here.  In the new year, I hope to get out and explore more of the wonderful wilderness around Haines by boat, plane, and on foot.


Don’t Pave Paradise

I have sadly neglected this blog, being swept up in the flow of life.  I feel more alive out wandering in nature than sitting at a computer, and give a choice there is no question.  Plus my introverted nature doesn’t help make my online efforts ‘popular’, which doesn’t particularly bother me but there is no encouragement to continue.  I know I should try harder to put my work out in the world.  It isn’t just trying to sell prints, which will happen if it does, but to share the beauty of wild places I visit in hopes to help protect them.

Haines Alaska is an amazing place to live, and I hesitate saying that for fear the crowds will come and ruin this sleepy place.  So few people read this blog that there is no danger I will spill the secret! I like it best in winter, when there is no wait to turn left at stop signs and strangers wave.  No traffic lights, fast food or malls here, and if those show up it will be time to move on.  Haines is surrounded by magical forests, fjords filled with salmon, and vast rugged mountain ranges.  The air and water is pure, and you can easily find blissful silence except for the lapping of waves, wind in the trees or birdsong.  Having traveled around a bit searching for my idea of paradise, I am painfully aware of how hard this is to find.  The lower 48 was so disappointing and supposedly wild places were not longer wild.  It seems obvious that we should protect the precious bits of wilderness left, but even here in my paradise there are threats.  Mines threatening the pure water and eagles of the Chilkat River and they are determined to widen the Haines Highway to accommodate trucks hauling ore. A road is planned that would be blasted across steep slopes along the Lynn Canal supported by Juneau residents who want a new day trip route in summer.  It makes me sick to think that this might happen before my eyes and ruin this place I want to call home.  After moving 27 times, I am ready to put down roots and will fight to keep greedy development from ruining this place.   If you are interested in helping, support Lynn Canal Conservation or Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.

Haines in Winter

The Mountains are Calling

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir



Alaskan Spring

An Alaskan spring is slow to unfold but each sign is welcome.  At the end of March it is light enough at 8 pm to wander through the woods without a headlamp, which is appreciated since we are still walking in to our little house through the snow since we don’t plow the road.  In places the snow melts during the long day and freezes again at night, making fascinating random abstract art creations.  There is something more fantastic about those patterns than from someone’s imagination, somehow.  The Chilkat river is starting to flow again, and we walk out on the river flat to examine  ice patterns and hear booms as large chunks break free to flow down the channel.  The sun is bright, the wind is brisk and fierce.  Each day is glorious.

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A Place Without a Postcard

I was excited to learn that one of my stock UFO images has been used as a book cover, and I just finished reading the book and it is fantastic!  Just the sort of story I love to read with quirky characters and a surprising plot.  I highly recommend reading A Place Without a Postcard by James Brush.  James is in Austin Texas, and I am glad to learn he is working on another novel since I would love to read more from this clever and talented author. His blog is Coyote Mercury.

Book Cover

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