At last the fall colours are peaking. Leading a photo hike in kananaskis yesterday it was great to be rewarded for the effort with shot after shot of the stunning larch transformation. The skies could have been better for photography but the snow flurries and cool air really sold the autumn feel.
The weather today for kananaskis is snow with a high of 4C, overnight temperatures are falling to -4C. I'm sure the few remaining trees that haven't turned will be well on the way by this weekend. So, if you have the opportunity to get out there, this weekend would be an ideal time (unless you have the availability to go on weekdays when it will be less busy of course)
The colours right now are perfect and the snow today will linger in the cooler temperatures so there will be more than a light dusting on the summits. Parks Canada have listed some larch hikes around Banff if you aren't familiar with the area, but a drive down highway 40 in kananaskis will reveal plenty of colour.
So, wrap up warm, grab the camera and the bear spray and get out there this weekend.
Regular visitors to the site will be aware of my 'lucky photography' section under the tips & more tab. That's where I have a little moan about the amount of effort that goes into making an image only to be told how 'lucky' we were to have made it.
Sometimes though, we are lucky. Sometimes the stars align (pardon the pun) and a low effort excursion results in a pleasing shot. On september 11th I was out in the rear garden of my home in Cochrane attempting to shoot the aurora, as I always do if it's visible. There was a stubborn cloud bank to the north that was obscuring those wonderful green night lights and I was looking around killing time and waiting for the cloud to clear.
A good sized opening appeared in the cloud overhead and I could just see the milky way to the west. Rather than stand around shooting nothing I decided to turn my attention to the milky way and my home as I thought it would make a nice memory. I had turned the camera on the tripod and was framing a shot when I saw a shooting star burning into the night sky, I immediately grabbed the remote trigger and fired off a single frame, a 5 second exposure with ISO of 1250 that was set for the aurora.
Luckily for me that was enough to capture a nice trail from the shooting star as it broke up, there's a hint of the milky way to the right of frame and my home almost perfectly sited on the left. Nothing special in photography terms but a lovely memory which is why I got into photography in the first place, to capture memories.
So, below is the shot and one I openly admit, in this instance was very lucky.
The Wedge Pond on highway 40 in Kananaskis is a great place to capture sunrise. For anyone who enjoys the early mornings it's a fantastic location to shoot a beautiful alpenglow reflection on a mirror like pond. Mt Kidd stands opposite and catches the sunrise for about 20 minutes on it's east facing flanks. Further south Mt Galatea and 'The Fortress' will also capture the light but for only a short time.
Usually I will have clients shoot the image below and then move south a little on the east side of the lake to shoot a fully centralised shot of Mt Kidd. The lake will often have a light mist providing a break in the near perfect symmetry.
When the sky has a good high cloud covering, the image is very different, without high cloud it is a clean line of colour isolating itself against an empty sky. With the cloud in place catching the sun the colour is spread widely across the frame. Either way it is a stunning location and this week the haze from forest fire smoke brought a deeper red to this beautiful shot.
The Wedge Pond is one I return too quite often both with and without clients and no doubt I will be returning again soon.
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