Focal Point

Focal Point is an evolving blog from the ADN photo staff, Bob Hallinen, Erik Hill, Marc Lester, Bill Roth and photo editor Anne Raup. Email your ideas and news tips to | About the blog

Mobile kitchens draw lunch crowds to Spenard - 6/11/2013 11:08 am

Hundreds gather to show support for family of slain Cambodian couple - 5/29/2013 9:37 pm

Party like it's 1922 at Sullivan's Steakhouse - 5/24/2013 10:37 pm

Launching the Classic Sailboat Orca at the Homer Boat Harbor - 5/21/2013 5:54 pm

One of state's best gymnasts headed to Junior Olympics - 5/9/2013 2:37 pm

A train ride across Anchorage - 5/9/2013 10:58 am

A Pool for Pooches - 5/2/2013 10:19 am

An Airports Heights family portrait - 4/13/2013 2:58 pm

At Hostess store, a run on snack cakes and a bittersweet goodbye

Rita Woodard stocks up on bread.Rita Woodard stocks up on bread.Joan Grundhauser checks out.Joan Grundhauser checks out.With the activity this week inside a small Spenard store, one might think there's a looming carbohydrate crisis in Anchorage. Lines have been forming up and down the partially empty store inside the Hostess bakery on Spenard Road. People have been gathering armloads of Wonder Bread, and Twinkies by the basketful.

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Magnificent moonrises

It's hard to resist the magnetic draw of the moon sometimes. Over the last couple days I've been darting around town trying to capture its dramatic rise over classic Anchorage scenes. Conditions have been just right: a full or nearly full moon rising at sundown in a clear sky.

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College basketball, ink

These days, where there's a lot of basketball players, there's bound to be a lot of tattoos as well. Here's a closer look at a few works of ink on display at this years Great Alaska Shootout.
Northeastern's Chris Avenant.Northeastern's Chris Avenant.Damen Bell-Holter shows Alaska pride.Damen Bell-Holter shows Alaska pride.

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Dance collective guides a jazzy journey

Moments before taking the stage for their opening night performance, the dancers of Momentum Dance Collective breathed deep and brainstormed to solve the best kind of last-minute problem: not enough chairs for their sold out audience.

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Audio: Brigade redeployment is an emotional moment for commander

Col. Morris Goins at the conclusion of the ceremony.Col. Morris Goins at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Thursday's Army redeployment ceremony was an emotional moment for Col. Morris Goins. As commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, he paused to collect himself a couple times as he addressed the troops and their families in attendance at the Sullivan Arena.

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Video: Loving Halloween

Halloween is the favorite holiday of the year for Kristen Schwarz and she celebrates by having decorations up the entire month of October at her Kempton Hills home and drives around Anchorage with a skeleton riding shotgun and license plates that read MORB1D.

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Remarkable Places: Freezeup at Potter Marsh

Potter Marsh is a special place in any season. On Tuesday, October 23, I took a few minutes to explore it in one of its most inviting states.

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Service football team performs haka

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Shrek Tech Rehearsals

Jeremy Gaston (Donkey) and Perry Sook (Shrek) rehearse a scene for Shrek The Musical.Jeremy Gaston (Donkey) and Perry Sook (Shrek) rehearse a scene for Shrek The Musical.Matty Burns, right, works with Dance Captain Susan Leilani Gearou in a hallway adjacent to the stage.Matty Burns, right, works with Dance Captain Susan Leilani Gearou in a hallway adjacent to the stage.

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Audio: Road inspector assesses damage near Seward

Jim Conner looks at bridge damage on Forest Road.Jim Conner looks at bridge damage on Forest Road.Kenai Peninsula Borough road inspector Jim Conner talks about how flooding has affected subdivisions just outside the city of Seward, Alaska, on Friday, September 21, 2012.

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Musher undeterred by Seward flooding

Travis Beals was forced to evacuate his dog kennel along Exit Glacier Road in Seward as water began to flood his property on Wednesday, September 19, 2012. Beals operates his 47-dog Turning Heads Kennel with Sarah Stokey.

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Three Days of Wind

Former Anchorage Daily News photo editor Richard J. Murphy documented three days of wind on the Anchorage Hillside in a collection of iPhone photographs. Winds in the Potter Valley drainage were clocked unofficially at close to 100 mph on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012.

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By candlelight, households ride out storm's aftermath

Amanda and Brian Walch.Amanda and Brian Walch.On the main roads, you might not notice that there's still large patches of the city without power. But take just a couple turns from Muldoon Road, Raspberry Road or the Old Seward Highway and streets are eerily dark. It's the result of a massive windstorm that hit the Anchorage area late Tuesday. It toppled countless trees and wreaked havoc on power lines.

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Remarkable places: Arctic Valley in autumn

Adam McCullough helps his daughter, Lily, across a creek. Dogs Cu and Daisy wait at left.Adam McCullough helps his daughter, Lily, across a creek. Dogs Cu and Daisy wait at left.Fall colors are creeping from the peaks and alpine tundra of the Chugach Mountains down into the Anchorage bowl. It won't be long until the snow gives chase. Until then, Arctic Valley is a bright and beautiful place to enjoy autumn. About a dozen cars made their way to the end of Arctic Valley Road for a morning of hiking and berry picking on Labor Day, September 3. Though the skies were gray, the ground cover seemed to glow blueberry bushes, fireweed and false hellebore in varying degrees of red, yellow and orange.,

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Butte residents say the Matanuska River threatens their home

Dan and Pat Huddleson.Dan and Pat Huddleson.Butte residents Dan and Pat Huddleson have a beautiful overlook of the Matanuska River from the top of a dike at the edge of their property. The view, near mile 13 of the Old Glenn Highway, got a little more peculiar and much more alarming earlier this week when a house fell into the river about a mile upstream and came to rest a few hundred yards from their 6-acre parcel. “I’m going to lose all my property if they don’t do something up here real soon,” Pat said Wednesday.

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Hostel guests leave their creative mark

Shannon Lusk.Shannon Lusk.It's one little letter that makes a big difference. The Alaska Backpackers Inn is a hostel, not a hotel. Assistant property manager Shannon Lusk is happy to explain the difference to visitors, and often does. But if a visiting vacationer arrives expecting upscale lodging, the mural featuring three creepy heads facing the parking lot might be a giveaway.

"We're not a hotel by any means. You won't find a small soap on your pillow," Lusk said.

For travelers expecting more quirk than comfort, the hostel at the east end of downtown Anchorage has much more art to discover inside.

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Jesus Food

Produce ripens in a vegetable garden dedicated to growing food donations Friday, August 31, 2012 at Turnagain United Methodist Church in west Anchorage. I have seen the garden progress every day as I come and go from home past the church, and the sign always brings a smile to my face. I finally stopped for a photo after the plants got large enough to fill the scene alongside the sign. The small crop will be given to the Downtown Soup Kitchen, and the church hopes to expand the garden next year.

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Senators tour Campbell Creek Estuary project

Great Land Trust executive director Phil Shephard led a walk to the Campbell Creek Estuary on Anchorage's western coast. The tour included U.S. senators Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, U.S. Fish and Wildlife director Dan Ashe and others. Shephard said he hoped to show the dignitaries a successful example of a public-private partnership in conservation of important wildlife habitat and wetlands.

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Remarkable places: Port of Anchorage Boat Launch

There are countless places to watch the sun set over the coastal waters near Anchorage. The overlook at the Port of Anchorage Boat Launch might be one of the least welcoming. The small parking area is at the end of a bumpy, unpaved road that’s nearly hidden within industrial Anchorage. It has an urban flavor you won't find on Turnagain Arm or Point Woronzof.

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Ordinary commute turns extraordinary

An unknown artist made a daily commute to work into a joyful experience. Tiny cairns had been painstakingly built in Chester Creek, making for an unexpected sculpture garden. Photos by Anne Raup

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