Last week I was back at the Vermilion Lakes taking pictures of Mount Rundle and Fairholme Range toward the end of the day. The water was slowly rising and some shaded areas still had some snow and or ice. But spring is here and everyday there is less snow and ice.
I took this picture this evening, it was a beautiful end to the day. Hard to tell from this picture, but a Bald Eagle is perched on a tree, elk are grazing and near me two Canada Geese are hanging out in the water. I watched all this as the Sun set.
Nature photography is lot about timing, always looking for the right combination of light and shadow. I was around the Vermilion Lakes, still a couple of hours before the Sun would be setting, when the golden light would be hitting the peaks. But I noticed the clouds were moving in from the west, they would soon block direct light to the peaks. I looked at the scenery before me, thanks to the broken up clouds, the combination of light and shadow was appealing and as an added bonus, the water was still. I took the picture and converted into a black and white for the added drama effect
Another picture from one of my visit to 93 North. Spent much of the first half of the day taking pictures of various locations before going for a hike.
I got this picture when it still felt like winter, the morning Sun was hitting the south side of Cascade Mtn.. Now I have to wait until next winter to get a similar picture as Earth changes it relationship toward the Sun. The Sun, the clouds and other weather factors play a big role determining what the picture I'll get and what it will look like. As so often said by photographers, you can never get the same picture twice. Even the mountain is changing, might be hard to see from a distance, unless something dramatic happens like it did in 2013 when large amounts of rain fell and at the same time heavy snow pack melted. Get close enough to Cascade Mtn or sit on top of it and listen to the sound of small rocks and sometimes larger rocks making their way down the mountain every now and then. Nature is dynamic, at smaller and at large scale.
A picture taken during one of the cold evening this winter. Standing along the Bow River, where I had found some open water. Lowered the camera enough to get the rocks and snow covered with frost. The clouds were lit up and top of the Castle Mtn with warm light. Lot easier to handle the cold when you get the picture.
I headed to 93 North in the morning, with the plans to do some exploring on snowshoes. The temperature was minus 17 in the Town of Banff, when I reached Lake Louise it was minus 23, by Hector Lake pull-off it was minus 16 and by Bow Lake it was down to minus 24. The temperature was too cold for slow walking and exploring, so I decided to go for a drive toward the Columbia Icefield, with the hopes of exploring on my way back with warmer temperatures. It was a beautiful drive, lots of snow on the mountains and the sun shining. I got into black and white landscape mode, stopping and taking pictures from several locations. This one was my favourite from that morning.
It was the morning after a good amount of snow had fallen onto Banff National Park. I had the day off and I was out taking pictures of beautiful winter scenery. I have taken many pictures of Castle Mtn from the road, I never get tired of it. For a while it was just me on the road, the few times I stopped along the way to take pictures of the morning light.
From the bottom of the valley to the top of the mountain, it's winter wonderland.
Castle Mountain is one of the more viewed mountain in Banff National Park. Millions of eyes gaze at it each year, while travelling on Trans-Canada Highway, Bow Valley Parkway and from few while travelling on the waters of the Bow River. Most of the pictures I have taken of it are from the east of the mountain, it has more character from that direction. Over the years I have taken pictures of it from several locations, but most of them along the Bow River. I still have other location in mind, just waiting for all the parts that make a good photo to come together. For this image I was back along the Bow River, finding a location where there was open water during a period of cold temperatures.
If you have some clouds and some clear sky, there is a good chance of an interesting sunrise. Its worth heading to the Vermilion Lakes for, setting up the camera equipment and waiting for the sun to rise. Did not get he reds or the oranges, but got some bright warm yellows, a nice contrast to the cool blue on the ground.
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.
With longer nights during winter, it does not mean I'll be sleeping that much longer each night. When the conditions are good I like to take advantage of it by going outside to take night pictures. It was a cold night, but it was clear and the wind was calm. I stayed out until it was too cold, come back with few good pictures.
Before the snow arrived I was standing along the Bow River in the evening to take pictures of Castle Mountain. I always look for open water, I found this small pool of water, just what I needed to get the pictures I wanted. I took few variations of the picture being posted, moving slightly left and right, back and forth until getting what I felt was the best picture for me.
Few nights back the temperature was minus 30 degree celsius and the forecast was for the winds to pick up and take the temperature to minus 41. Perfect time for night photography. I put on as many layers as I could and then headed out. The plan was to take 16 thirty seconds consecutive exposures, then return home and combine them all together with the magic of software to create star trails. With first quarter of the moon out, not all the stars were going to be visible, which was what I wanted. What was a nice surprise were the low clouds, they add to the mood. After setting up the equipment and taking few test shots. I let the camera handle the rest while I did my best to stay warm by dancing in the dark. I should have called it a night after the last image, but I decided to play around more with few different locations and shots before heading home as the winds started to pick up.
Many parts of the Bow Valley open water has been covered with ice and due to lack of snow, I have been busy looking for ice bubbles to take pictures of. Checking to make sure the ice was safe enough to stand on and to walk on. Any where organic matter was decomposing releasing methane gas, bubbles were to be found. I found many places, but only few gave me the pictures I wanted.
I did not think there was going to be a bright sunset. For most of the day the sky was clear, in the last couple of hours all that changed. I was outside all day, so instead of heading home, I decided to wait to see if the clouds would light up. I was getting cold, but it was worth the wait.
The picture of Boom Mountain was taken before we received the snow and melted away. I normally look toward Boom Mtn when I'm driving west on the Bow Valley Parkway. This area is wide open, the morning light reaches Boom Lake area well before rest of the valley. Every winter I get few good pictures.
Sunrises are about scattering light. During sunrises and sunsets, sun is low on the horizon, sunlight has to travel through more of the atmosphere. Colours like blues and violets with shorter wavelength get scattered out by small particles, droplets and molecules in the atmosphere. But letting in longer wavelength colours like yellow, orange and red. The clouds catch the longer wavelength colours and reflect them to the ground.
I do lot of exploring by foot, learning about the areas I visit and looking for new photography opportunities. No matter if I have been there before or not, there is always something different to see, During one of my adventure I came across a place to take different view picture of a popular mountain in Banff, Castle Mountain.