First Friday: ‘At Road’s End’ Photographs at Homer Council on the Arts, May 2024

Photos on display as part of 'At Road's End: Analog Photography by Clay Duda' exhibit in the Homer Council on the Arts gallery in Homer, Alaska. May 2024.
Photos on display as part of ‘At Road’s End: Analog Photography by Clay Duda’ exhibit in the Homer Council on the Arts gallery in Homer, Alaska. May 2024.

I’m pretty blown away to announce that my first solo gallery show opens this week at Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. ‘At Road’s End: Analog Photography by Clay Duda‘ will hang in the HCOA gallery for the month of May, and in the main hall at South Peninsula Hospital for June and July 2024.

The First Friday opening reception is tomorrow, May 3 from 5-7pm at Homer Council on the Arts, 355 W. Pioneer Ave. in Homer. If you’re in town and interested in that sort of thing, please stop by and say hi.

That Time I Scanned Some Slides from the Thrift Store and Unearthed Historic Photos of the Kilcher Family

Siblings Bennet and Kathy Smith stand in front of Portage Glacier in this undated photo.
Siblings Bennet and Kathy Smith stand in front of Portage Glacier in this photo dated May 1985. Photograph from the Kilcher Homestead Trust Archives.

In the summer of 2023 I was cruising the aisles of the local Salvation Army thrift store in Homer, Alaska and came across some old slide projector carousels and a Crown Royal bag sitting on the shelf. I peaked in the purple bag and pulled out a couple dozen old slides with pictures of family, mountains, glaciers, and other Alaska stuff.

“Pretty neat,” I thought to myself, “maybe I’ll scan these and see what’s on them.”

I paid $1 for the bag and tossed it in my truck. Little did I known the histories and memories it contained.

Old Timey Photos from Homer’s Old Timey Winter Parade

Photos from the 2024 Winter Carnival Parade in Homer, Alaska. Photos by Clay Duda,
Welcome to the two-tone world of the 70th Anniversary Winter Carnival Parade in Homer, Alaska. Photo by Clay Duda.

I was walking back to my car with the wife and kiddo at the end of the parade when some guy in a mini van pulled up next to us.

“What’s going no here? What is all this?” he asked, gesturing to the swarms of people and barricaded streets.

“It’s a parade!” I said. “Actually the 70th Annual Winter Parade,” I added, like I knew what I was talking about.

“Huh,” the guy said. “What’s it for?”

I had never thought about that before… “I don’t really know. They do it about this time every year — probably because it’s winter time and everybody is looking for something to do.”

Halibut Fishing on Kachemak Bay with ‘Gone Walk About’

The first video on the ‘Gone Walk About’ YouTube channel — Ash and I fishing for halibut out of Homer, Alaska.

My buddy Ash (AKA ‘Gone Walk About’ on YouTube) and I try to go out fishing together every spring. Things get hectic in Homer, Alaska when the snow finally melts. Boat work kicks into high gear ahead of the summer fishing seasons, and the whole town seems to awaken from its winter slumber.

This past week Ash and I managed to sneak away for an afternoon of halibut fishing on a flat-calm, blue-ish sky day in Kachemak Bay. It was late April, which is still considered off season for halibut fishing in Alaska, but we cared more about being out on the boat than we did catching fish, and with such nice weather it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Fishing ended up being pretty good, too.

I Took My Holga Down to the Homer Boat Harbor

Fall time in the Homer Small Boat Harbor with my dog Turtle. Homer, Alaska.

The Holga crappy plastic film camera has a sort of cult following. It’s been a staple in art kid backpacks for generations now, and for pretty good reason. It’s cheap construction, simple lens, and penchant for producing unique images with vignetting, light leaks, and soft focus lends itself to the artsy fartsy side of photography. You never really know what you’re going to get, and that’s the fun of it.

The camera’s plastic construction even feels like you’re holding a toy, and in turn I find myself taking my photography a lot less serious, taking more chances, and often being surprised by the images that come out the other side. Does every shot come out perfect? No. Not even close. Some of them aren’t even usable (Although that’s not really the camera’s fault. It’s simple make means that if you hear the shutter “click” then it took the photo. The rest is up to you.), but the vast majority of the frames seem to have a lot of beauty in their imperfections.