A Return to the Beginning
By Adrian Zupp
1984 was a turning point year for Peter Lik. He was a young, up-and-coming photographer from Australia making his first trip to the United States. And it was on that first trip that he went to Alaska and spent a few months, working as a fish packer in a cannery and taking photographs of “The Last Frontier.”
It’s well documented that it was in Alaska he met the photographer Allen Prier who introduced him to medium format photography – a key moment in Peter’s evolution as a landscape photographer – and impressed upon him to “go big or go home.” Peter fell in love with America on that trip and Alaska became particularly special to him.
“That time in Alaska was definitely a turning point and I’ve had a fascination with the place ever since,” said Peter. “In this week’s episode of the show, ‘Alaska Melt,’ I actually go back to a spot where I took a photo in ’84. I think people will find that part of the episode particularly interesting.”
The premise behind this week’s show is that glaciers and fjords are not only ever-changing, but with global warming coming into play, they are disappearing. Peter, being a born environmentalist by virtue of his love of nature, sees this as a serious and tragic state of affairs.
“If you look at time-lapse shots of different glaciers, you can see what’s going on,” added Peter. “Nature is fragile and we have to look after our environment or we’ll all pay the price sooner or later. Which is another reason that I tell people to get off the couch and get out there. I want them to see the beauty of Mother Nature and enjoy it but also see what we’re losing.”
The next two episodes of “From The Edge with Peter Lik,” sees Peter return to Alaska — and face some pretty harsh conditions. It makes for great viewing and, of course, a little nostalgia.
“From the Edge with Peter Lik” airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The Weather Channel.