Moraine Lake

If one was waiting for a sunny day to hike in this fall, not much hiking would get done. I stopped listening to weather forecaster long time ago, for only so long I could listen to a person in the morning telling me if the temperature and the other elements of weather was just not right it was not a good day. I don't get many days to hike, there's no way I'm going to let a person decide what type of day I will have outdoors. I look up the weather in the morning to help me decide what to wear and then head out to have a great day. The day this picture was taken, we headed out to make the most of the day after snow had fallen and more was on the way and the clouds blanketed most of the mountains. We spend the morning exploring the mountains and got to enjoy great views.

Moraine Lake 181005 Amar Athwal.jpg

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

"Mommoth Peak"

Last year I learned from a former Parks Chief Naturalist Larry Halverson how a mountain in Kootenay National Park was locally named "Mommoth Peak" by a retired Park Warden Hans Fuhrer. Now every time I make my way into Kootenay, I have to look at that peak and being me, try to take a good picture of it as well.  After many tries I was able to take a picture I wanted, and as a bonus while the moon was setting. In this picture the elephant is looking right and the moon is about to tickle its fancy. 

Until next moment,

Amar

Elk

Three tips for a better family portrait in the mountains: 

1. Choose a background where the family stands out. 

2. Check to make sure the background is not blurred. 

3. Have the background and the family in the same light. 

And if you're working with a very large extended family with a language barrier, cross your fingers and hope for the best. 

Until next moment, 

Amar 

Pine Grosbeaks

The attached pictures of the Pine Grosbeaks was taken a while back. Everything was set for me to take the picture, except for the light, it was coming from the back of the birds. So I over exposed the shot to get the details of the birds, in turn I lost some of the details in the snow but I got a beautiful back ground. I was happy with the trade-off.

Until next moment,

Amar

Mount Temple

It's all about the small details, the mountains were covered by snow and the low morning light was providing a nice contrast. The moon was in the right position, but the clouds that were moving in had it covered. I grabbed the picture but wanted to wait until the moon was in the open. Just had to wait few minutes in this case, and it made all the difference. 

Until next moment, 

Amar

Trailhead

Every hike is a small journey, it all starts with the first step. Sometimes you can see where you going to end up, in this case it can be the base of Mount Chephren in the picture by hiking to Chephren Lake. Other times you have to wait until you get there, same trail head as the first to reach Cirque Lake. But so often I find, the important part is not just about reaching the end, it's the discoveries you encounter along the way.

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

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

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

On Helen Lake Trail

Was headed toward Waterfowl Lake to enjoy the afternoon. The weather was changing that day, with cold, wind and snow in the forecast for the next few days, so I wanted to make most of that day. Got on my favorite road, Icefields Parkway. Could spend a lifetime there.  As I was getting near the Crowfoot Glacier lookout, started wondering what the glacier would look like from the Helen Lake trail that day. The seed was planted, I decided to go up Helen Lake trail instead, Waterfowl Lake would have to wait.

Parked the car at the Crowfoot Glacier lookout and started to walk toward the trail head . Few times my feet went through the snow as I tried to stay on the used part of the trail by skiers and snowshoers. With my snowshoes at home, hoped the snow would be packed to carry my weight until. Every few minutes one or both of my feet would go through the snow, a ratio I could live with. Pushed my way as fast as I could go, the snow would be too soft in the open to go further, might as well get a good workout before getting
there.

Reached the open area and did not take long before my legs were covered by the snow, made my way to an area where the wind had blown most of the snow. As I drank and ate, I heard human voices coming from higher elevation. Set up my tripod and went to work with the camera, as the voices got closer. Crowfoot Glacier was not doing it for me, the light was not right, stated to move the camera when I could  hear the sounds of skies and voices just behind me. Looked back and was greeted by one of the skier teleing toward me. We exchanged words about the beautiful day and he mentioned they had spotted a Lynx about 100 meters above me. We said good-by as they went down the trail and I started thinking about the Lynx.

I would have gone further up if I had my snowshoes, the snow was too deep even for my size 11.5 boots. Lynx and I would meet another day.  I was able to get few good pictures of the valley, before I made my way down the trail.

Until next moment,

Amar

Snow Art

 I was sitting back and looking at the shapes created by snow and the wind. I like to call it nature's gallery. Now the great thing about this galley is, the artwork is always changing. The artist would be the weather, as the weather changes, so does the artwork. I took out my camera with the zoom lens, and started to look through the viewfinder for pictures of the artwork. The snow, wind, light and shadow got together to give me the attached picture.

Until next moment,

Amar