For many years I’ve proudly called the great state of Alaska my homeland. From the magnificent peaks of the Alaska Range to the vast expanse of the Tanana Valley to the exquisite inlets, islets and islands of the Panhandle, Alaska’s photographic possibilities are nonpareil!
Or so I thought.
Featured here are a collection of images made in the small country of Estonia. Eastern European by reference, Estonia is Northern European by geography. At about 1/40th the size of Alaska (or half the size of Maine) there is no part of this beautiful Baltic State that cannot be reached within a few hours’ drive. Yet, the photographic opportunities are boundless.
I first visited Estonia in 1999. At that time it was only eight years removed from its WWII shotgun marriage to Moscow. Each of the dozen or so return trips have been a treasure. Experiencing the rich culture, epic history and wonderful sights this near-Nordic gem offers has been extraordinary to say the least.
My favorite photographic “trap-line” is found in Estonia’s capital city. Tallinn dates to the 13th century and is known for its large, well-preserved, Old Town area recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Old Town is the wellspring from which much of this collection is sourced.
My introduction to Estonia is a story for another time. For now, it’s enough to say providence was certainly in play. The friends I’ve made and the times we’ve shared could fill several journals. I wish I would have had the foresight and discipline to jot down some words along the way. But, a camera works well too.
The images presented here are not a gritty, hard-scrabble, interpretation of life in a former Soviet Bloc country. Conversely, I would not characterize this as a pictorial travelogue either. Instead, it represents a collection of simple observations that were of interest to this photographer.
My love for Alaska is undying, but I will forever hold dear the opportunity to immerse myself in all things Estonia - if for only a few weeks at a time. And so this collection is dedicated to The 372, particularly those whose gracious hospitality and visitors-bureau enthusiasm for their homeland made it possible.