For more than 4 years I chased the shot below at a small spillway pond in kananaskis. I first spotted the location as I returned from a hiking trip and thought, "that would make a great shot if the water was calm". Soon after that day the weather predictions were good and I made the 90 minute drive back to the area with the camera gear in tow.
On arrival, what was a beautiful calm day was inexplicably disrupted by a persistent wind over the water. I waited for some time with no sign of change and opted to go elsewhere rather than lose the day. From that moment on the same day was repeated again and again, until I began to think that seeing calm water here was impossible.
The image I sought became something of an obsession and every time I was in the area I would check in, only to find that persistent wind pushing ripples across the surface. One morning I set out early and found the water perfectly calm, but being so early and facing west meant the light was just not right. I came for sunset on 3 separate occasions and got neither the sunset or the calm waters.
Then in october 2016 (my 4th year here in Canada) I set out once more with the promise of calm made by the weatherman still ringing in my ears. When I arrived at the pond the usual wind was spoiling the surface and I thought I'd missed out again, but I waited for a while. As I walked up and down the bank finding my preferred spot again, the water fell calm a couple of times for short periods. Those short periods of calm were enough to give me a huge boost and I knew today was going to be the day.
Once ready I simply waited for the wind to drop again and made 7 landscape images from left to right across the scene. It took only seconds but the last two frames captured the wind returning which initially frustrated me, so I decided to wait for another attempt at the panorama. Unfortunately the wind didn't die down again and I had just one string of shots to stitch together.
Once the images were stitched, the string of high cloud blown apart above the stunning mountains and colour change in the forest below reflected wonderfully in the spillway. My annoyance at the wind in the last two frames turned to joy at capturing the source of my frustration as part of the image I had envisioned.
So, for those of you who suffer the same at your 'frustration spot', keep on going, because when you do make the image it will hold a wonderful story and much greater meaning with every viewing. As for me and this location, now I'm chasing a perfect sunset with calm water, and if it could be in the autumn too, that would be great.
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