Sunset at 41,000 ft, Mount McKinley, 1978
© Bradford Washburn
Silver Gelatin Print
"A climb to the summit of a noble peak is a heroic and exciting undertaking, but most photographic views along the way are usually only a panoramic index of local geography. Brad's aerial photographs... however, are far more. It is astounding to realize what tremendous physical risks he took to get these shots- many, for instance, were taken from unpressurised airplanes or helicopters, often at temperatures far below zero, with the door removed and Brad tethered to the opposite side of the cabin.
Even so, the photographs look almost inevitable, perfectly composed. ...we sense in each one the presence of an individual, highly intelligent eye. The photographs are the result of the explorer's consistent energy of mind and spirit- and so they truly mean something. Add to this the fact that Brad's aerial photographs ...are the very first of their kind and still the finest ever made."
Bradford Washburn is an internationally renowned photographer, cartographer, and expert on Alaska's mountains and glaciers. He was Director of Boston's Museum of Science for over 40 years and served as Honoury Director until his recent death in January 2007 . His images of mountains are majestic, serene and sublime and his photographic work spans over six decades. Working primarily with his Fairchild K-6 large format aerial camera using 8" roll film, the technical and aesthetic quality of his images are exquisite.
Dr. Washburn was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, London's Royal Geographical Society and a leading authority on Alaska's mountains and glaciers. In 1988, Dr. Washburn and his wife Barbara were honored with the Centennial Medal of the National Geographic Society. Bradford Washburn is responsible for definitive maps of McKinley, the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest and New Hampshire's Presidential Range.