Sundogs

One of the reason I still venture outside on very cold days, is to see something I may not see other days. In this case it was seeing sundogs, I had been seeing them over number of days as the cold temperatures had settled in Banff. The day I got this picture, I went for a quick hike with the hopes of finding a spot where I could get a clear pictures of both sundogs. Once I got the picture, it was a quick walk back to the car before the cold air got to me. 

Sundogs

Cascade Mountain

When driving through the mountains I often comes across beautiful views from the road, I would tell myself I'll take that picture another time. I stop waiting for the next time and started taking those pictures as the opportunities come. I was returning on the Minnewanka Lake Road loop, Cascade Mtn and the surrounding looked great with the snow that fell the night before.

Cascade Mtn 180115 Amar Athwal.jpg

Light and the Fog

The temperature was around minus 35 Celsius in the morning when I was out there looking for things to photography. I was hoping to come across wildlife or perhaps see something around the river that would be interesting. Wildlife opportunity came after I saw the fog that was created by the cold air moving over the much warmer running water in the Bow River. And I liked the way light was coming through the fog around the trees located next to the river. I grabbed few pictures until it got to0 cold, this one was my keeper.

Until next moment,

Amar

Light and the Fog

Cascade Mountain

Its always good to get back to landscape photography, that's where it all started for me many years ago.  Around the town of Banff there are two mountains that get most of the attention for landscape photography, Mount Rundle and Cascade. I have hundreds of pictures of Rundle but only in the tens for Cascade. In my effort to change that balance, I have been looking at different ways I can take pictures of Cascade. Cascade Mountain always looks better in winter, this one is during a sunrise

 

Until next moment, 

Amar

Cascade Mountain

Nature's Art

Nature was putting on a art show, the medium was ice. Using methane gas bubbles and crack to come up with unlimited variety of abstract images to look at. One could spend days and still not capture what was there. This picture is just a taste of what I saw.

Until next moment,

Amar

American Marten

The American marten, a North American member of the Mustelidae (the weasel family).  Sometime it's referred to as a pine marten, a name which came about from the slightly different Eurasian species of Martes. The Mustelidae family includes the very small  least weasels to the very large giant otters. The martens are entertaining to watch year around, this one was hanging out on a branch, keeping its eyes on me. More then likely it saw me first and made its way up the tree for safety. As much as I wanted to hang out and watch it, I'm sure it was hoping I would make my way so it could come down the tree and carry on with its business. I moved on.

Until next moment,

Amar

Near Helen Lake Trail

Most of my landscape pictures are taken with the light of a sunset or a sunrise. This low light produces a better contrast between shadow and light. Sunset and sunrise light is horizontal, parallel to the horizon, giving the landscape a three dimensional feel. The horizontal light also has to go through various layers of dust, haze and in some cases pollution. This reduces the intensity of the light, producing a softer look when it comes in contact with the landscape. The filtering of light going through various layers, removing much of the green and blue part of the visible light, leaving mainly the red part of the light, thereby producing light with warm look and feel. 

But with that said, the camera should not be put away between sunrise and sunset for landscape photography. In the winter the sunlight is hitting the northern hemisphere at a much lower angle then it would in the summer, producing a longer window for landscape photography. As well snow and rocks produce nice contrast between each other, contrast magnified when the colours are removed.

Until next moment,

Amar

Hoar Frost

Hot Springs, even on the coldest days the water runs, producing amazing hoar frost. Longer the cold lasts more amazing it looks, layer upon layer of frost. Earth is full of wonders and this is one of them. 

Until next moment,

Amar

Still Standing

It was early in the morning and the sunlight was starting to make its presence as I explored along the Vermilion River area in Kootenay National Park. There were clearly visible few days old bear tracks in the area, felt safe having my bear spray. Took few pictures as the light was coming down on Mount Verendrye. The river was starting to open up in the area with the several days of  above freezing temperature, stayed closed to the edge.

I was making my way toward Honeymoon Pass Trail as I enjoyed nature's ice sculptures along the river. Shortly after leaving the trailhead to head up the trail, I was surrounded by some of the 12.6% burned Kootenay National Park, caused by the fire that took place in the summer of 2003. I can still clearly remember driving through the area with a friend days after the fire had subsided by hard work from many and the changing weather. The once dominate forest green had given way to the grey colour everywhere we looked.

But fire is an important natural process of the ecosystem, takes life on one hand, giving back on the other.  Even on this day walking on knee to thigh high deep snow, among the standing dead trees, I could hear the sounds of wildlife and see tops of young pines that rely on fire to regenerate. Sun was starting to make an impact on the trail, I stopped to remove a layer before continuing my journey. On the trails my eyes were free to wander, taking in the visual images created by the light coming in contact with shapes and curves created by fire some seven years ago. I reached the location where I want to take my pictures I was hoping for. After taking in food and water, I went to work.

Until next moment,

Amar

Mount Chephren

I started the days adventure at upper Waterfowl Lake, with the goal to snowshoe to Mistaya Lake. Snowfall in the mountains has been below average this winter, but here along the Waputik Mountains below average is still enough to play with. But first thing first, need to capture the morning light. Standing on the east side o the lake, I started to take pictures of the mountains across the lake, as the light made its way toward the bottom of the valley.

It was a cool morning, I wanted to start moving and to get back some of the heat I lost taking the picture of the sunrise. Was hopping to head for the other side of the lake where the sunlight would be hitting soon, but was having way too much fun exploring the side of the lake I was on. Exploring places I wanted to come back to take pictures in winter and during the summer. 

I made my way toward the small section of the Mistaya River that connects Waterfowl Lake to the Mistaya Lake. Due to low temperature mist was rising from the open running water, visible from a distance as the the sunlight came in contact with it. Being careful to stay on solid surface as I walked along the running water, open in some area and covered by ice and snow in others. Water was cool and clear as the surrounding landscape reflected off the water. Walking with snowshoes, made it easier to walk on the snow and at the same time carry the camera on the tripod.

So many place to take pictures, would be great to return and capture the early light on the mountains being reflected in the water. I was seeing so many possibilities for pictures, every few steps produced a unique opportunity for pictures. I was so involved taking pictures of the landscape , did not the mountains were holding a surprise for around the corner. A surprise that heard me coming. To be contuined... .

Until next moment,

Amar

Sunrise and Melting Ice

Some 14 years ago I got my first camera, original owners were my parents. I purchased few lens to create a system and off I went. I would chase the sunrises and the sunsets by riding my mountain bike to the Vermilion Lakes Road, Sundance Trail, Vermilion Lakes Road and more Vermilion Lakes Road. Vermilion Lakes were not far away form home, and easy to get to. As well I was not too far away from a warm home when I was taking pictures in November or December, stopping only when the snow arrived.

 Got to know the area well over all these years. Even today when I have more options and using a DSLR, I find myself at the lakes. Last year I got into bird photography, and the lakes are great for that as well. This winter was the first time I did not stop taking the pictures when cold and the snow arrived, and again the lakes were great hosts. This last week I had visited the lakes several times, including few mornings. It still shows me views I have not seen or captured before.

Until next moment,

Amar

Boom Lake

It was a blue bird day, decided to hike to Boom Lake. The snow on the trail was packed well from previous users, providing great traction. When reaching about a kilometer into the hike, I passed a high school group having a break. They were all on skis, the trail was excellent for it. I nodded as I passed them and after another 4 kilometers I was at the lake.

 It was bright, the Sun was sending rays of vitamin D in all direction. I quickly got my gear out and started to click away with my camera. I wanted to get my pictures before the school group reached the lake. After five minutes I followed snowshoes tracks, on top of the lake to get pictures from different viewpoints. The group had still not arrived, Clark Nutcrackers were keeping me company with their calls.

 After about 40 minutes I decided to head out, no sign of the school group. From the ski tracks on the trail I found out the group had turned back after going for another kilometer or so. Its too bad, they missed a beautiful day at Boom Lake.

Until next moment,

Amar

Frost

I was working at the Cave and Basin, the day started with the temperature in the minus mid twenties with sunshine. It was lunch time, had my apple and for a walk  I went. Wanted to take pictures of the frost on the lower boardwalk. The sun light was now able to make it over Sulphur Mtn, and add to winter wonderland look alongside the warm running water of the Cave and Basin hot springs. On the lower boardwalk I met a lady and her son. She said she been living in Banff for 35 years and could not believe how beautiful the area looked that day. I introduced myself and explained how lucky we were with all the factors working together to create that day.

After few minutes we separated and I started to take  pictures of the frosted branches before heading toward the Marsh Loop. Attached is one of the few pictures I got that day.

Until next moment,

Amar