While undertaking some one to one tuition in Banff National Park I thought I would end the day at Vermillion Lakes. There was little chance of a good sunset owing to low cloud but with Mt Rundle standing opposite there's usually something to find down by the water. As it turns out there were some lovely blues across the clouds which reflected nicely in the semi frozen lake. We were able to chase around the mud flats making images of reflections, leading lines, 'S' curves and more until the light faded.
There's a small gallery below showing a selection of the shots from the final hour of the day when the slate grey and blue skies looked their very best.
Storms almost always see us running for cover (or not even setting out in the first place) but if you don't venture out in the poor weather you risk losing some great images. At the very least a good storm will bring a different perspective to areas you have shot repeatedly, as is the case with the image below.
This image was made during a photo tour when I was leading a group around a small lake in Kananaskis that I have visited a dozen times or more. The day had started well with good light and we had made a number of images but the weather took a sudden change as a winter squall blew in. Fortunately my group were a hardy bunch and wanted to carry on which really adds to the pressure when trying to find images for people to make.
As it transpired I found some nice shots that were as new to me as they were to the group. The image below is a real favourite, it is a small group of summits I have tried shooting several times before but the lack of separation always put me off making the shot. With the storm blowing through, the cloud and snowfall caused a perfect haze that left the foremost summit clear and sharp and the background two in haze. I did try this shot in the past with a wide aperture but didn't like the outcome, yet here the cloud has imitated a wide aperture and provided separation but also added some interest in the sky above the range making the image much more pleasing overall.
Every now and again I get the urge to go out at night and mess around with lights in the wilderness. Sometimes it's LED's, sometimes fire, and sometimes just a flashlight. On this cold november night I tried all kinds of light in the darkness around Elbow Falls, just a short journey from my home in Cochrane Alberta. It was an enjoyable night and I got some nice images that were great fun to make and will be very useful in tuition.
I had finished messing around with lights and walked to an open space to capture the Milky Way (which had caught my eye as total darkness engulfed the area). Once that was done I turned around to return to my truck when I noticed Ursa Major above the tree line. I maneuvered myself so I could see all of the constellation through the treetops and made an image. It was nice but the forest in the foreground was just too dark, street lights from miles away were painting the clouds with their sodium yellow glow and the trees were just too dark in comparison. My solution was to stand close to the forest with my flashlight and 'paint' light onto the trees as the long exposure was made. In doing so my silhouette was always going to be in shot so I made the most of it by flooding the area directly in front of me, making me more prominent. In the end I liked this shot much more than the first, it seems to capture the 'feel' of the evening quite well and though it is a very simple image it's one I really like.
After taking a student to Vermillion Lakes for a sunset shoot last week (see previous post) I decided to try a different venue for the next lesson. This time I headed 100km south of Banff to Lower Kananaskis Lake where I have repeatedly found great sunsets in the wintertime. Thankfully the predictions were correct this time and high cloud brought the perfect 'alpenglow' effect to the towering summits of the Opal Range on the east side of the lake.
It is such a beautiful location with an almost endless supply of potential images. The frozen lake in winter, reflections in spring/summer and incredible colour in autumn. The Kananaskis Lakes area is my favourite place in Canada, not just for it's endless possibilities photographically but because it's just a wonderful place to be and as I tell everyone; if you take the time to drive to Kananaskis Lakes you will be rewarded for your efforts, on this day my reward was stunning.
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