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High in the Arctic !! Eskimo....!

David J. Eves

New member
Thank you so much Asher !!

The Inupiat people never harpoon a mother with cubs or a pregnant whale, how to tell the difference > ?? I have no idea, but they know the difference between a female from a male.

Remember.. (most people forget) The whale gives itself over to the captain of its choice, and a female pregnant whale will not do that !

Yes the death of Arnold Brower Sr. was sad for the entire community, he will be sorely missed in this community! but life goes on, anything can happen at any time here without any type of warning !

Now I am using a truely 'gem' of a camera Panasonic DMC FZ50.

The one thing about this camera that I just can't say enough about is the Leica lens (It is not interchangeable) a fixed lens 35 mm - 420 mm !! 10.10 megapixel

Outrageously razor sharp images when enlarged to 17 x 25"

for the price (under 600) you just can't go wrong with this camera !!

Here is an image of the "first" share we got on Oct 4th, we received 4 times that much more on Oct 7th.


That is quite a chunk of whale blubber, now to prepare it for cooking.

When the whale is first harvested and received, it cannot be eaten in the traditional manner, i.e. raw & frozen, this (maktak) muck tuck = blubber is too fresh, it must be boiled for a half hour or so..until they start to 'float' !!


This is difficult work, a very sharp Ulu must be used, this is all fat, flammable fat ! It is extremly difficultl to get a good grip, the blubber is melting, and it coats the hands and makes work truely difficult & messy. Card board is the material of preference to use when cutting native food(s).


Slurp, yummy, boiled maktak is delicous (grey in appearance) when cooked, taste sorta like maypo /clams - it is delicious w/ mustard !! (frenchs') is the preferred mustard for maktak !!

Kathy Rappaport

pro member
Whale Hunting


You are such a descriptive writer - aside from the photography.

Two years ago I was whale hunting with Captain Larry out of Juneau - only to be shot with my Canon. (It was a tourist excursion) The people of Alaska amazed me how they could find the various whales. We had a mother and baby breech for us- the baby new we were watching him as he rolled over and over again until the mother had enough. We sat their in the boat watching the show in awe. My old 75-300 died and my shots didn't come out. but what an experience.

David J. Eves

New member
Well thanks so much for your comments. "Descriptive writing" ? ha ha.. surely you jest!

I have no skills with word usage, and my foreign use of terms and phrases are because of my lack of skills with proper grammar. I butcher the english language, I know I make a lot of mistakes.. but the point is.. I do get the point across. in broken english.

I have lost lots of language skills that I used to possess, but living among Inupiaq people for close to 30 years, I make many of the same mistakes they also employ.

i.e. mixing languages, or putting our word endings on an Inupiaq word.

But all in all, I have (through typing in so many forums) have started to gain much more readability of my thoughts and sentences. 3 years ago on a few forums not photography related, people could not understand my way of writing or presenting a clear thought.

Practice makes "better" and that is for writing as well as photography or any other endevor we choose to practice at frequently !!

We recently purchased just over $6,000 worth of FOSSIL IVORY, for making bracelets and ear-rings here at home in the arctic.


Fossil walrus Ivory, Mastodon Ivory & Mammoth Ivory



Disclaimer: NO animal was hurt or injured acquiring this material, These animals perished thousands of years long ago, before this ivory was ever discovered !!

Mike Shimwell

New member

I referred to your report in another thread, but thought I should just say thanks here. You offer us a window into the life of your community, which I think reminds the rest of us of what things are important in life.


David J. Eves

New member
Arctic Sunsets .. .. .. ya gotta wait !!!

And of course, it is darn cold outside. Waiting is the hard part, you better have some very warm clothes to stand out here in these sub zero arctic temps. You pockets need to be filled with 'patience'. Wait, the wind is always strong. A rock solid tripod is an absolute must.





David J. Eves

New member
The hard part is finding something around my area to use to frame an image with. Ice, snow, flat tundra doesn't lend itself well for being creative !!


I love the soft pastel colors in this image. I froze, waiting and waiting for this. but it was well worth the effort.



The image below is taken in Point Lay Alaska, Fresh Caribou grazing just a 100 yards away, makes filling the freezer with fresh meat, an easy task. Caribou meat is delicious. absolutly no fat.


Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

I can see it's a challenge to compose. Still, your pictures are impressive and I think they might work best printed very large so one can easily see the grazing caribou. I wonder whether they put on fat when the grasses are more plentiful?

You are our link to this great beauty. Thanks so much!


BTW, do Eskimo communities get proper attention from the governor and the legislature?

David J. Eves

New member
Well I am making the plunge to get into wide format printing and we are buying an epson 7800 44" wide printer.

We are going to purchase LED outdoor signs to place these images in here in Barrow.

My purpose is to change the look of Barrow. for tourists, the Mayor loves my idea(s).

I want to turn "Barrow" into the "Broadway" of the Arctic. with huge lit signs all over the village with huge prints .. . printed on 'FILM' and backlit !!

Caribou have no fat on them. very little.. but the meat is just meat, there is no fat !

The state & legislature do their part to make sure the laws regarding Native peoples are not trampled on, they are held in great respect.

The native village of Point Hope adopted "their' constitution, which is the same as the federal constitution in the U.S. of A. in 1934 !

They have the same 'power' as the feds, cept they cannot override the fed, but the feds can override them. ??? I dunno, but this is how it was explained to me a few months ago by an elder.

Politics is not my thing.. Photography is much nicer !!! (chuckle)



David J. Eves

New member
Moon .. .. .. over Barrow !

I created this image.. .. last month in November. tommorrow the moon will be full again, this morning I am told, it was huge and blood red !!

Tommorrow I will be up early, trying to find a place to create an image that is worthy !!


David J. Eves

New member
The camera I am using now, sorta looks just like this : I made this 'copy' in 3D studio max, it took me a few days !! But it came out well .


Panasonic 10.10 mega pixel w/ Leica Lens 35mm -- 420 mm I just LOVE this camera, it has everything I need / want. at less than $600 bux

I love to play and create in 3d studio max, and this camera of mine presented a challenge to draw something and render it and have it look photo realistic !

David J. Eves

New member
I have Mail.. ..

In the most remote portion of the top of the world here in Barrow Alaska !!

I just love the emptiness of the arctic, quiet, pristine, clean and no noise, that is unless some blood is spilled on the ocean ice, then magically, zillions of sea gulls appear out of no where, to scavange and nibble on small bits of food in the area. I don't like the constant noise they make..


I have another great story to insert here, with pic's of course.

check out the 'footprints' (web prints)? all over the place walking around looking for food to scavange !!

What does an 8 year old boy do out here, when he is 'bored'? Set up a trap.. .. .. for a sea-gull. (chuckle) coming soon,

David J. Eves

New member
Out on the frozen ocean ice pack, some 7 miles out, it is pure quiet, the sound of the wind, ice cracking, and peace & quiet everywhere for miles in every direction, Unless someone harvests an animal and begins to dress it or prepare it for transport back to the village, Once the smell of blood escapes that animal, Sea Gulls magically appear by the thousands out of no where.
they walk around looking to scavange some portion of the scraps.

.. .. .. and what does a 5 year old boy do, when he is bored out here ? Why, try to set a trap & catch a sea gull !!
Aquiilaq, is this young boys name, He had me laughing for a long time, making a loop out of rope and waiting patiently for a sea gull to step into the loop.
He gave up, after a couple of hours, I sat down to take his place.

It is late in the evening (chuckle) as in about 11:30, you can tell by the 'warmth' of the light.
That dumb bird finally walked over and stepped in and took the bait I had laid out inside the loop of rope, YANK as he stepped in and the bird became 'air-borne'. I reeled in the slack and gently caressed the bird in my huge mittens and went to the nearest tent.
I asked what are you cooking to night ? they said nothing, we are cleaning up. I said (as I extended my arms.) How about some sea-gull soup ???
they all said Yuk and laughed. OH well time to let this bird go, but first I have to give it to Aquiilaq, and show him what a great job I did .. .. in not giving up !!
Aquiilaq is trying to sneak up on his prey. they flew away ! (chuckle)

He was so suprized when I had that bird flying at the end of the rope after making the initial catch.

I gave the rope over to him to release the bird.

David J. Eves

New member

All in all it was a good photo opportunity, something a bit 'different'

Just a little something to break up the slow part of the day, midnight here in the arctic is wonderful,
you can tell by the long flat shadows that it is very late in the evening .. ! just one long continous day that lasts for over 3 1/2 months with no darkness ever !!

Disclaimer, no birds were hurt or injured in photographing this event ! but we had some fun for a short time, @ 30 below zero !!


David J. Eves

New member
It is not un-common for people to break down here in the village, there is always someone to help.


But as you have heard me say many times, anything can happen at any time without any warning here in the arctic, or anyplace else in the world for that matter, but when your out on the ocean ice, alone, and your machine breaks down, now you have real problems, unless your traveling with an 'expert'.
We are preparing to get some supplies from the village for our crew out here on the ice. And as usual I have my regular spot for this ride, not on the snowmachine, but on the ever dreaded sled of pain & bumps and snow sprayed in my face as we travel along.

Well for this trip, I can take you along, with the miracle of the internet, I can show you, what happened, and how the disabling problem was ingeniously fixed and repaired, many miles out on the frozen ocean ice pack.

We are headed to camp to pick up a passenger to bring back to the village, we enounter some problems


The left ski, the support or linkage to steer it properly, broke, the ski is warbling all over the place and Joe cannot steer the machine. So we have to stop, assess the damage and see what or how HE can get this machine working again. Anything can happen, and it just did. How do you fix a snowmachine, out here, in the middle of no where, I am puzzled and thinking, oh oh.. we gotta walk for miles, many miles.. Joe laughs

David J. Eves

New member

He walks over to the sled, and breaks a piece of wood, from the frame.. .. this I just gotta see.. .. click , click
How clever.. !!


Taking a knife out of his pocket, Joe begins to cut a notch in one of the ends of the wood.

He fits this notch into the right hand 'good' ski, Marks it and then begins to notch the other side.
Make one ski.. .. do the work of both, by tying them together. That is simple and yet brilliant, I
do not think I would have ever thought about that.

Aquiilaq is having fun as usual, always making the best in every situation.

David J. Eves

New member

Finally it is all tied off, tested, and off we go.. back on the trail

Whew, we finally made it back to the village, we see the first signs of 'land' and the exciting feeling of almost being home.. .. .. .. Ahh.. finally, a nice hot shower, and change clothes before we head back down.. .. to paradise in a frozen ocean ice pack, in the middle of the Chukchi Sea !!
There is no way I can possibly describe the 'feeling' of being out there, for extended periods of time, I can only show you what it looks like, and yes, it is darn cold, but you see absolutly no sign of that, by looking at the people and their expressions. happy happy happy people !! Food shopping in the arctic.. This is 'take out' food in the extreme !!

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

A great hug from all of us in OPF, spread out all over the world, to you and all of your and the entire village for a great and healthy holiday season full of blessings and joy!

You bring us such wonderful stories in pcitures. It's a different universe on the wilderness of snow. It seems to make people more responsible and caring!



Well-known member
Joe's solution with that piece of wood is remarkable. What a creative and ingenious person!

Thanks for showing these.


David J. Eves

New member
Ah yes, thank you, (once again ) Asher !!

I sure hope that one day, you might visit Barrow and see first hand the arctic in all its beauty !!

Yes the 'solutions' that are used to repair, fix, and maintain certain items is always done in an ingenious manner which leaves me so impressed at the capabilities and simple skills that these people possess.

That is what keeps me here, in paradise, "The simple Life" !! I do not want to be part of the world 'system'. We have 'freedom' here, that is so precious and yet adventurous !

There is nothing else out there, in this 'world' - that would ever hold any interest for me, I will never leave the arctic. and to think. I was j sent up here, once, for just 3 weeks !! That was almost 30 years ago, and I still to this day, I am as excited and impressed as when I first arrived !!


If you ever need a new 'hood' ornament, this is the place to visit !! - Kotzebue !

Cute tiny maklaks (muck lucks) displayed in a 'creative manner' !!


Jeff Donovan

New member
The camera I am using now, sorta looks just like this : I made this 'copy' in 3D studio max, it took me a few days !! But it came out well .


Panasonic 10.10 mega pixel w/ Leica Lens 35mm -- 420 mm I just LOVE this camera, it has everything I need / want. at less than $600 bux

I love to play and create in 3d studio max, and this camera of mine presented a challenge to draw something and render it and have it look photo realistic !

David, I know we chatted long ago about how to read light and I found your advice a great help. How I missed this amazing thread I have no idea.

I have an FZ-30, which I think is exactly the same body as the FZ-50, though is only has an 8mp sensor. I find that it's not the best in low light, but in good lighting situations it is a very sharp camera indeed.

Looks like you have some kind of protective rubber sleeve over your FZ-50, right?

David J. Eves

New member
Hello Jeff: !! Yes I remember yew !! I am glad that bit of information has helped you create better images.

As far as that image of the camera, it is NOT a photograph but a 'drawing' in 3D. I had a 'texture' placed on that 'rubber area' your speaking about, but when I made some adjustments to that area, I lost the texture, and quite frankly I haven't had the time to get back into this 3d scene and fix and finish other things I had planned to use for this camera scene. i.e. A character using the camera and explaining functions !!! (chuckle) !!

I have a friend from Randolph due to arrive here in Barrow in two days time for two weeks.

This is his third trip to Alaska once in 83 - Point Hope for whaling - 97 Anchorage and now in 2009 for two weeks in Barrow !!

We have plans to turn Barrow into the 'Broadway' of the Arctic with colorful lit LED signs with large images printed on 'film' !!


Happy New Year Barrow Ak 2009 !!

Jeff Donovan

New member
I look forward to seeing some photos from your friend's visit.

I have a grad school friend who grew up in southern Alaska and he's given everyone an open invitation to visit so hopefully I'll get out there at some point.

Rene F Granaada

New member
David what an amazing story, and how human these images are! It is wonderful to see how resourceful people are, when living in groups. And by the way, I admire your courage to hang around after the first year, and decide to live with the Inuit. I have photographed in Canada, mostly Cree by James Bay, there were a few Inuit women there, but nothing like what you are seeing. My compliments on your work!


David J. Eves

New member
Here comes the Sun !!

Thank you so much Rene, but the Inupiaq people are not Inuit ! ( a common mistake) by most people.

HERE COMES THE SUN !!! (finally) !!
In Barrow Alaska, top of the world, the sun dipped below the horizon on November 18th, it rose today for the first time in 2009 !!

On the roof, of the Suvat Center, trying to capture images of the upcoming sunrise.


You would never think it is almost NOON here in Barrow, but that is the time of day !!


11:30 a.m. Barrow Alaska, we had to leave this site because they close @ noon !!


People busy about their business walking, driving, the temp is 40 below w/ 20 mph winds

David J. Eves

New member
Here comes the SUN !! (continued) !


Here comes the SUN .. .. (insert music here) !!

For the very first time in 2009 - we finally see the SUN !!!


Now there is enough light for a while, to dig out this old tent and begin to get ready for the spring hunt (soon) !!
4 cameras on 4 different crews this spring hunt will bring you right out on the ice, to enjoy the beauty and splendor of the frozen far north, gathering food !!
We will be creating movies, images and I am sure there will be a lot of stories that are all easily verifiable !!
Stay tuned to this ongoing thread of life in the Arctic ! I promise you spectacular images .. ..


David J. Eves

New member
Thanks very much for your continued interest, I promise to leave you spell bound with this years images !! ( I still have thousands of images from previous years - still scanning them all) !!

fahim mohammed

Well-known member
David, sorry I am a little late in offering my thanks to you for bringing this amazing lifestyle to our attention.

I can only gaze and imagine in awe, and the greatest of admiration, at the brave community of
which you are now an integral part.

As a story it would be amazing..as a real life living it is salutable.

Best regards to all the brave people out there with you.