Alana Ranney stands beside her photo on Friday, Feb. 23, at the Carrabassett Valley Public Library. The shot is her view from her front yard. “I look at it all the time,” she said. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

CARRABASSETT VALLEY — The trek up to Carrabassett Valley is a sight that is nothing short of breathtaking. As your car rounds the bend on Route 16 and reveals the snow covered mountain range, it begins to make sense why Alana Ranney carries her camera with her everywhere she goes.

“You’re constantly just looking,” she shared. “Literally, it’s just sometimes you’re driving and you just see the right spot.”

By day, Ranney travels around Franklin County from library to library helping people with job-related issues as part of her work with the Wilton Career Center, but with every trip she makes sure to bring her camera and keeps an eye out for the perfect shot.

Several of Alana Ranney’s car photos on display at the Carrabassett Valley Public Library on Friday, Feb. 23. Along with nature photography, Ranney has an eye out for old, abandoned vehicles for a different type of nature photo.  Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

“I head up to Eustis, and go up there and look for nature and wildlife and different lights,” she shared. “Just exploring the back road, basically. That’s what we do.”

The journey up to Carrabassett Valley came with a purpose, however, as Ranney had arranged to have her work exhibited at the Carrabassett Valley Public Library from Tuesday, Jan. 16, until Saturday, March 9. Ranney, along with the library, hosted a cheese and wine reception on Friday, Feb. 23, where locals could view her work and meet with the photographer herself.

Ranney’s lifelong love of photography began in high school. She grew up in the Down East region of Maine, where she was given her first camera from her dad as a graduation present. The biggest catalyst for her photography came from her grandmother, who was also an accomplished photographer.


“My grandmother also would come and visit and she’d have a brownie [camera],” Ranney shared. “She lived in California, so she would have beautiful landscapes and I think the two have just kind of meshed, because in high school it was mostly [pictures of] people, but when I started seeing nature and saw some of her work and Yosemite National Park, I was just drawn to outside.”

Alana Ranney adjusts one of her photos at the Carrabassett Valley Public Library on Friday, Feb. 23. A lifelong love of photography started in high school, with her father buying her first camera as a graduation present. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

Ranney moved to the western region of Maine roughly 15 years ago, and joined the Maine Professional Photographers Association soon after. Her ambition was to own her own studio and make a career out of being a professional photographer.

“I didn’t quite work out,” she shared, stating that her full time job at the career center helps her focus on landscape, nature and macro photography. “I’m doing it for pleasure,” she said.

On display in the exhibition Ranney has numerous photos of tree lines, mountains, and abandoned cars. A staple of her work is shots of old, abandoned vehicles that sit resting in a field. With one snap shot, Ranney takes what was once old and dilapidated and breathes new life with bright contrasting colors.

“Now, we are waiting for the snow to melt to go looking for more old cars,” Ranney shared.

Alana Ranney’s photo “Sunrays in the Maine Forest”, seen here at the Carrabassett Public Library on Friday, Feb. 23. Ranney said it took her eight months to recreate the natural light seen in the photo. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

The photo that she was most excited to share was a shot titled “Sunrays in the Maine Forest”, which Ranney said took her eights months of trying to find the perfect time of day and season where the light peers through trees in just the right way.

Another one of her pieces, a shot of Saddleback Mountain covered in snow at dusk, was captured in her own front yard.

“I mean, literally, I look at it all the time,” she shared. “It’s just beautiful.”

For those interested in Ranney’s work, visit her website at Her work at the Carrabassett Valley Public Library will be on display until Saturday, March 9.

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