The spiritual call of the Arctic first lured me into its wild heart in the early 1970s when I staked a 40-acre homestead parcel along one of its pristine rivers. That attraction was initially a misunderstood, romantic notion about living alone off the land in my remote cabin. Throughout subsequent years, however, it became clearer with each return to my northern sanctuary that the Arctic would be a learning place for my art, intellect and spirit, with Nature as master teacher. My identity as a photojournalist would eventually emerge from these rough beginnings.
My wanderings amid the expansive Arctic began a cascade of important discoveries about photography. I began seeing what was once hidden to me, driven to capture in rare moments the essence of a vision’s fleeting existence. One significant experience occurred along the Chandalar River as the northern lights spiraled across the Big Dipper, casting its ever-changing reflection on the water. After years of failed attempts, this most elusive of images finally fixed itself on my film, and fed my inspiration to continue pursuing the magic of Arctic light.
I have returned to the Arctic through the seasons since the early 1970s for reasons that were often about hope, healing, rebirth and peace. Now, a backward glance reveals a glimpse of paths taken that, in fact, always led me to reconnect with a primal place sustained and nourished by the subtle forces of Nature. During the summer of 1998, I made my first trek to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with my wife, Kim, and five friends. We began on the windy shores of the Arctic Ocean, along the coast of Area 1002, and slowly meandered toward the Brooks Range. These photographs celebrate that journey, which I hope will inspire you to witness and protect one of the world’s rarest of wild places and emerge wonderfully transformed by the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge–the world’s last great wilderness.
1987: M.Ed., Community Education, Colorado State University
1978: BA, Journalism/Photojournalism, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Sports Illustrated for Kids
Colorado Springs Sun
Travel and Leisure
The Los Angeles Times
Anchorage Daily News
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
- 10th anniversary commemoration, Exxon Valdez Oilspill Trustees Council
- Photographic wall murals & cultural gallery, Alaska Native Heritage Center – Cook Inlet Regional Inc.
- 1999 Annual Report, Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation
Holland America Cruise Lines
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Tanana Chiefs Conference
1999-2000: Bonnie Award—Direct Marketing Site, Interior, Alaska Native Heritage Center Museum Exhibit
1999: Publisher’s Marketing Association, Benjamin Franklin Award, Juvenile/Young Adult: Children of the Midnight Sun
1999: Independent Publisher magazine, Ippy Award in Juvenile/Young Adult Nonfiction: Children of the Midnight Sun
1998: Children’s Book Council/National Council of Teachers of English, Notable Children’s Book in the Field of Social Studies: Children of the Midnight Sun
1998: School Library Journal, Best Book of 1998; Children of the Midnight Sun
1998: Alaska Press Club Award, Best Pictorial: Chief Peter John
1993: Alaska Press Club Award, Best Portrait
1992: BBC International Wildlife Photo Contest Finalist
1995-: Independent photojournalist
1990-1995: Photo editor, Alaska magazine
Photographs © 1998-2021 by Roy Corral. Used with permission of the photographer.