Back in September I looked out before the sunrise and saw what was coming, a bright sunrise. Grabbed what I needed and headed out. Found a location next to the river, the water was calm, I was ready and waited for the sunrise. For several minutes it kept getting brighter and brighter and I kept busy taking pictures. Once done, it was time to go to work.
Getting the picture before the storm clouds took away the light and brought in the rain. Mount Rundle and the fall colours.
This is why I like walking to work.
Many who see me regularly, will see a pack on my back, does not matter if I'm working or on my days off. Does not matter if it's a cold day middle of the winter or the warm day in the summer, there's a pack on my back. Does not matter if it's raining or minus 30, snowing and wind howling, there's a pack on my back. It does not snow contain my lunch or full of chocolates. It's easier to get around without a pack, it's an easier hike with less weight on my back. But not wanting to miss an opportunity when a moment comes and I need the camera. Few weeks back giving myself lot of time to get to work, with the camera in the pack, I was able to stop and enjoy the sunrise and take pictures.
We have been having some wonderful sunrises, I have been watching them along the Bow River and in this case from the Vermilion Lakes. Mount Rundle, one of the most photographed mountains in Banff National Park, centre of this photo. With the mild temperatures, the water is still wide open at the lakes, helping out with the reflection.
People were gathering at the Vermilion Lakes to take pictures as the sun was making its way down. All trying to find the location that would work for them, for many it was their first time in the park and were looking for memories to take back home with them. I have been there hundreds of times, always enjoy being out there. With more and more out there taking pictures, I just find my location and take in the sights and get the pictures.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
It snowed yesterday and last night, this morning with the sunrise the place looked like a postcard. While making my way to work, I saw the beautiful light toward Mount Rundle, I quickly got my camera out and started to take pictures. After this picture from top of the Bow Bridge, it was time to look for other opportunities.
The last few weeks I have been going around taking pictures of fall colours, front and in the back country. I have been going on hikes to get the pictures, for these two pictures I just had to make a stop along the road. In both cases I knew where I wanted to take the pictures, I was just waiting for the right moment.
Few weeks back when there was still some reasonable amount of snow on the north side of Mount Rundle, I was out taking pictures in the morning. Always my favourite way to start the morning, watching a sunrise next to one of many beautiful lakes in Banff.
Just before taking this picture, not much light was getting through the heavy clouds and the light that did, had no warmth to it. After taking the picture, much of the light was gone and the wind picked up, taking the reflection with it. Nature photography is all about timing.
It was an another beautiful quite morning in the Rockies. The water was calm for a while and the reflection was beautiful to watch and to take pictures of. After taking few pictures, it was then time to look for birds.
Less then a week ago the night sky was lit up with Northern Lights, they were so bright in Banff National Park, one could see them in the town of Banff surrounded by street lights. It seems like half of the town was up to watch, while the other half slept, only to find out in the morning what they missed. There are far more reliable place to watch Northern Lights in Canada, but that night you would have thought Banff was on that list. When you can look south and or stand in town and still see the lights, then it was a special night.. If you missed it, eat chocolate everyday until the next aurora borealis night.
The last few weeks I have been spending lot of time around the Bow Valley, near the water. That's where many of the birds can be found, they are my main focus during the spring bird migration. But I do cheat. I was hanging out by the Vermilion Lakes, waiting for the sun to rise. Bird photography does not start until I have light, until then I can take pictures of the sunrises. There was a light breeze creating ripples in the water. I kept my fingers crossed the wind would stop. This time mother nature listened, the clouds lit up, water was clam and the mountains were covered with fresh snow in April.
Until next moment,
We have been getting more snow in April, many of times waking up with the mountains and as well the bottom of the valley covered with it. Few weeks back before looking for and taking pictures of birds, I decided to get few pictures of the sunrise at 3rd Vermilion Lake. It was a great morning, not only in the direction where the sun was rising but as will in the opposite direction.
Until next moment,