Alyson "Aly" Hansen began her photographic adventure while in college at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. In order to pass her freshman year of film school, she had to take a darkroom photography class where she discovered a sense of home. She switched majors and delved into the art of photography. Aly worked in several different mediums throughout college, including alternative and expiremental processes. While at MSU, Aly specialized in portraiture both in the studio and out in the field. After getting her BA, she decided that she was going to focus on landscapes with an emphasis on night and low light photography. She calls the resulting images "nightscapes." All images are available in limited edition prints. Image licenses are also available.
Portraits of the Planet was an idea born out of Aly's first summer after college. "So, what is Portraits of the Planet? I gotta tell ya, all through college I wasn't much of a landscape photographer, and to be honest, sort of looked down on those that were. How hard could it be? I thought. The landscape is there. You don't have to pose anyone. You just have to take the photograph. Then I began my Summer in Yellowstone. My friend Donna and I ventured to Yellowstone very frequently, and started renting various lenses and toys to try new photo techniques. One night at about 3:00, we were at the Great Geyser. All the hype in Yellowstone is about Old Faithful, but it should really be about the Great Geyser. The spray is HUGE, and while it doesn't go off multiple times in a day, it is still a faithful geyser at about every 30 hours or so. So there we were, not knowing when the last eruption had occurred, but still enjoying the full moon reflections in the water around the geyser. A deep rumbling sound started, and I scrambled getting my camera set up in a position to capture what I knew was going to be an eruption. Ten minutes later, I had photographed something that changed my photographic perspective forever. Landscapes aren't just snapping a photo of a beautiful place. Great landscapes are about being at the right place at the right time, with the perfect lighting, with the right equipment, and praying to God that you have your equipment set up to capture the scene just right. In essence, one is taking a portrait of the earth, and the earth is showing herself off to you in that one moment. That night, I realized that I wanted to travel around the world and capture the earth in all her glory. And thus, Portraits of the Planet was born."
You can journey with Aly on her travels via her blog.