"The inspiration for the book came to me while picking berries on Chilkat Pass," says Haines resident Kathleen Menke, who is author, photographer, and publisher of the book. "I had recently returned from my father's funeral services in Wyoming and the themes for the book's double-page spreads just started flowing through me while I was up on the pass picking blueberries last August. I determined then and there to follow through on the idea and dedicate the project in my dad's memory because my father, James E. Kennell, also loved Alaska. He spent a lot of time here in 1950's doing geologic exploration in the Kenai/Aleutian area."
The book, with its first printing of 3000 copies, is being released in June of 2005, and according to Menke, is targeted to locals and tourists and anyone interested in Alaska from the perspective of one person living in one small, spectacularly beautiful community.
"I'm hoping to making a heart and soul connection with people through the images in the book," Menke says.
Edward May, Executive Producer, Alaskan Life Portraits/ Insight Passage Productions comments, "My six-year-old son and I reviewed 'Haines for all Seasons' together. Kathleen's artistic images evoke emotions and fond memories, as well as inspire us to seek out new adventures. Our small Alaskan community's wildness, beauty, and vanishing lifestyle are uniquely documented here with two decades of images representing the values that led us to call this place home and keep us here."
The focus of the book is on Haines, Alaska - "a place where five runs of wild salmon still return to natural, healthy watersheds; a community of individuals with unique skills and talents, generously shared; a place with more than a hint of Northern Exposure; a place where cultural traditions endure; the beginning of the trail and the end of the trail - "Dei-shu."
The book also contains a double-page spread of the Inside Passage and the Southeast Alaska network of communities, a double-page spread on the "Golden Circle (Haines, Whitehorse, Skagway route", and a double-page spread denoting Haines as a jumping off point into interior Alaska and Canada, including images of Kluane, Denali, and the Tatshenshini.
Other themes include northern lights, bears, moose, eagles, migrating birds, people gathering food from the land and sea, the hooligan harvest, Tlingit cultural tradition, children and families, community members, wild salmon, forest, mountains, oceans, trails, energy flowing, to dust returning, and a place of abundance for all seasons, unfolding anew each day.
The book's 48 tightly-edited pages contain 200 original color images. The size is 8 1/2" x 11" x 1/4" with a vertical format. EMenke says she spent a lot of time researching the right printer for her project, choosing quality paper and deciding to have the pages sewn as well as glued with quality lamination on its perfect bound, softbound cover.
"After several months of research, I ultimately chose a print broker (overseas) who was willing to communicate with me directly every step of the way, was capable of handling the large Pagemaker files with embedded color profiles for the high-resolution tiff images my project required (the project shipped on seven CD's), printed the old-fashioned way with film, and supplied me with several rounds of wet proofs, proofs off a press, so that I could fine-tune the images to get the quality I desired. It cost me extra time and extra money to print in this manner, but I am extremely pleased with final print, binding, and lamination quality of the book," Menke says.
Kathleen Marie Kennell Menke has been professionally photographing subjects that capture her interest and her heart for over twenty years. The journey brought her to Haines, Alaska, for the first time in the early 1980's. Ethe friendly community and the wildness of its natural surroundings drew her back many times during various seasons until she decided it would take a lifetime to complete this northern adventure.
She moved to Haines as a permanent resident in the winter of 1995-1996. During the years since, she has been building herself a small home on the edge of town where she also operates her photography and publishing business, Crystal Images.
The book retails for $24 and may be ordered online directly from the author/photographer and will also be available in most Southeast Alaska bookstores and gift shops.