Rediscovering Adak aims to do exactly what the title suggests. Once a remote, bustling naval air station in Alaska's Aleutian island chain, Adak is now nearly deserted compared to its historical population. It's part of a rich and picturesque wildlife refuge, a birder's paradise, an important part of military history, and an absolute gem that's nearly disconnected from the rest of civilization. I was born on Adak in 1985, where my father worked on the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. We moved away when I was three, but the distant memories, stories from my parents, and photos of being born in such a unique, isolated place stay with me to this day. I feel strongly compelled to return, explore my birthplace, and share my perspective on what it once was and what it is today with the world.
Now is the right time for me to return to the island. I'm a photographer, a backpacker, a writer/blogger, and a nature enthusiast. With a successfully funded project, I plan to travel to my birthplace this August and explore both the town and the island as it exists today. I'll travel as much of the island as possible while I'm there, photographing and journaling my experience the entire time. Adak's weather can be unpredictable, so part of my challenge will be to capture what I find and experience, be it perfect weather and scenery or stormy conditions that are a reality of life on the island.
The Book and Photos
Given the military base shutdown in the mid 1990s and limited inhabitants and visitors since then, Adak has had very few quality photographs published since the invention of the modern digital camera. I aim to change that. The full-color book will be part photo essay and part story of the return to my birthplace. What I find and the emotions I feel when I visit will ultimately determine the book's contents, but I guarantee that it will be inspired and truly from the heart. I'll strive to discover and document what the island means to me, and what it can mean to you. My parents are also skilled photographers, and using their historical photography to contrast what the island was and my photography of what it is today will be a core part of the book.
If I reach my funding goal, the Kickstarter funds will make the trip a reality and allow me to break even on the project by covering travel and printing costs for the resulting book and related materials. If the funding goal is not met, the trip will remain a dream and goal for the future.
Please help me fund this project to rediscover Adak and share it with those who have visited the island in the past, those who hope to in the future, and most importantly, you. Thank you in advance for your support!