Kodiak is a well-known hot spot for adventurists and nature enthusiasts, attracting folks from all different walks of life and far corners of the world. One such adventurer traveled from San Francisco this summer to explore parts of the archipelago via kayak.
California-based writer, explorer and Wilderness Systems sponsored kayaker Daniel Fox is the founder of the Wild Image Project, a website dedicated to inspiring connections with nature using images, video and written narratives.
“I consider myself kind of an artist and the wilderness is my studio. And I go out and try to get whatever inspiration from the environment that I explore, and each is usually different. I was for a month in Utah doing photography of bisons or buffalos. So that was one story. And then Alaska last year, and then this one – Kodiak. I wanted to come here and get the sense of it.”
Through his photographs and writing, Fox said he tries to bring back teachings from the wilderness.
“Nature has become this concept – it’s a thing we put on the wall. Everything is cute, everything is wonderful, it’s from the comfort of our office or living room. We watch on TV on the computer and it’s all beautiful. But nature, primarily, is a place that makes you humble. Things are bigger than you. You realize that you are not the master of the world, there are a lot of things that are out of your control and it’s an exercise of humility. And there’s a lot of teachings that you get by spending time in nature. So I try to bring that back through my stories.”
Fox has been coming to Alaska for two years now, first when he kayaked from Sitka to Hoonah in Southeast and then around Juneau. He said he’s drawn to the state because he feels Alaska has an honest relationship with nature because people live closer to it. This year he came to Kodiak and spent 10 days kayaking to Afognak Island, where he spent time documenting the natural scenery and wildlife.
Then, Fox spent two weeks kayaking from Pasagshak to Alitak and was able to document old Native villages for the Alutiiq Museum and the Akhiok-Kaguyak Corporation. “I was talking to Patrick at the museum and he doesn’t have the opportunity to go on land and visit these sites that he usually flies over or sees from Google Map, so for me, with my ability to be right there I could take pictures and at least he’d have something to work with. And plus he also had a couple questions on what could be at certain places along the way.”
Fox also worked with Discover Kodiak during his two trips to help capture the “spirit of Kodiak” for future tourism marketing. Much of his time in Kodiak will be documented on the Wild Image Project’s website, including six episodes of a video series he produces weekly. Each “Minute of Nature” episode includes 60 seconds of unedited video footage.
“And the exercise behind it is that we constantly do everything – several things at the same time during our day and we have difficulty breaking away, even just for 60 seconds. So the minute of nature is this moment in your day where you have to kind of just disconnect. So I’m asking people to kind of force themselves to zone out all the distractions and just watch something that is not made to capture your attention, it’s just made for you to kind of disconnect. So it’s 60 seconds of the day and it’s unedited piece of nature – something that usually I find inspiring, either an animal or a scenery that I thought was nice.”
Fox was in Kodiak for about six weeks and is now on his way to Victoria, British Columbia, where he will begin a 1,000 mile kayak trip to San Francisco. You can find out more information about Fox, the Wild Image Project and other projects he is working on by visiting his website, wildimageproject.com .
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