Posts tagged “Mount Rundle

Dawn at Two Jack Lake in the Banff National Park

Two Jack Sunrise in Banff - © Christopher Martin-2600

With the cooler days that have come with November, we have had some snow fall up in the mountains.  I went up to Two Jack Lake for sunrise on Friday to see how things would look with a bit of snow in the picture.  Facing Mount Rundle and her reflection in the water there was just the odd skiff of snow along the shoreline.  The color deepened in the sky for a few minutes before it started to color the clouds clinging to the mountain.

Two Jack Sunrise in Banff - © Christopher Martin-2610

Two Jack Sunrise in Banff - © Christopher Martin-2607-2

When I first arrived, the sun was still a while away from lighting up the clouds.  The darker scene, below, allowed for a longer exposure and more stretch to the clouds and water.

Two Jack Sunrise in Banff - © Christopher Martin-2585

I love this time of year when snow starts to build up and the scenic opportunities shift to one dominated by the white blanket that settles unevenly across the land.  Winter in the Banff National Park is probably my favourite time of the year there.  It is exciting to be on the edge of it.

Two Jack Sunrise in Banff - © Christopher Martin-2648



Vermilion Lakes Sunrise in the Banff National Park

Vermilion Lakes Sunrise in the Banff National Park - © Christopher Martin-1817

When I set up my gear on the shore of the first of the Vermilion Lakes, it was cold and dark.  I wanted to be there early to catch Jupiter and Venus in the eastern sky before it brightened too much.  The pair, with Mars less visible to the left, were directly above Mount Rundle’s peak when I arrived.

Vermilion Lakes Sunrise in the Banff National Park - © Christopher Martin-1698

As the horizon brightened the stars faded while color started to creep into the clouds.  The lake was frozen with a thin cover of ice which gave abstract reflections of the sky and the silhouettes across the water.

Vermilion Lakes Sunrise in the Banff National Park - © Christopher Martin-1733

(Please click on any image to see a higher resolution version)

Vermilion Lakes Sunrise in the Banff National Park - © Christopher Martin-1772

Early sunshine brought a cloud to life as it stretched and broke up over Mount Rundle.  Before long, bright pink strands hung above the Bow Valley.  It was a beautiful morning and I loved watching it build from darkness into light.

Vermilion Lakes Sunrise in the Banff National Park - © Christopher Martin-1801

Vermilion Lakes Sunrise in the Banff National Park - © Christopher Martin-1808

The pink softened quickly and pastels held the sky until the sun blew away the soft hues of the early morning.

Vermilion Lakes Sunrise in the Banff National Park - © Christopher Martin-1831





Moonrise over Mount Rundle


Moonrise over Rundle - © Christopher Martin-9579

My son and I were in Banff for the weekend and went out for a drive along the Vermilion Lakes just before sunset on Saturday night.  We stopped at the first lake to watch the colors deepen on the face of Mount Rundle as the sun was going down.  Another photographer, Grace Chen visiting from Calgary, asked me where the moon would be rising.  I had to admit that I didn’t know – I hadn’t done any planning as Kian and I were water sliding all afternoon and the drive was a last-minute decision.  I was quite surprised when I next looked in the viewfinder and saw a sliver of white rising behind the mountain!  It was fun to point at the peak as a response to her question.

Mount Rundle Moonrise - © Christopher Martin-9546
I had been a bit disappointed that there were no clouds but that proved to be very fortunate.  I loved the clean elements of the blue sky, white moon and reddish rocks.

Mount Rundle Moonrise - © Christopher Martin-9590


The moon climbed quickly, becoming steadily brighter and I finished shooting less than half an hour after first seeing it.  The sunlight on the mountain moved from deep yellow to a beautiful red while the sky steadily darkened.  It was not quite a full moon, being at 98%, but was still bright and wonderful.

Mount Rundle Moonrise - © Christopher Martin-9588

Mount Rundle Moonrise Reflected - © Christopher Martin-4640

Moonrise over Rundle - © Christopher Martin-4643

Mount Rundle Moonrise - © Christopher Martin-4647

Wind in the mountains

 Wind in the mountains - 2014 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII + 300mm f/4 lens: 1/4000th of a second at f/11 on ISO 400

The winds that came with the weather change last weekend were heavy when I left my home in Bragg Creek for the Banff National Park in the morning.  When I got into the mountains, the Bow Valley was pretty calm but higher up on the slopes, the snow was blowing around in opaque sheets while the clouds raced by above.  Watching from the Vermillion Lakes shoreline, I was mesmerized by the view of Mount Rundle.  The sun catching the wispy snow drawn out over the slopes before fraying into the shadow as it flew over the cliffs was beautiful to watch.

Moonlight over Mount Rundle

Hiding in the clouds - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens: 80 seconds at f/11 on ISO 800

During the tail-end of the full phase of August’s blue moon I went to the edge of the first of the Vermilion Lakes just west of the Banff townsite and set up for a night of long exposures.  I drifted in and out of sleep but my timer remote stayed awake and kept running across the dark hours of the night.  The clouds raced across the sky under pretty steady winds.  With the longer exposures, they were stretched out and occasionally lent a mystical quality to the images.

Moon streaks - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens: 658 seconds at f/11 on ISO 400

A break in the sky for the blue moon - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens: 80 seconds at f/11 on ISO 800

As it drew closer to the morning, the land started to brighten and one of the last images revealed more of the scenery.

The gentle approach of dawn - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens: 238 seconds at f/11 on ISO 1000

Sunrise over Mount Rundle

Sky fire reflected - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The second sunrise at Vermilion Lake this weekend produced some wonderful images this weekend.  There was a break between clouds and mountain peaks farther east so the clouds above Mount Rundle and the lake were painted with this amazing light.  One of the best mornings that I have had in the Banff National Park.

Out of the grasses and into dawn - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The hot springs that seep into the water along the chain of lakes allow for a few pools without ice to remain open through the winter.  These pools pull many photographers to their shores and this morning was no exception.  It’s always interesting how quiet these moments become even with five other photographers nearby.  The better the light gets, the quieter it usually becomes.  It was silent at the peak of this morning’s sunrise.

Rundle winds - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Vermilion reflections - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Starting the rise - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Early morning with Vermilion and Rundle

Dawn at the second Vermilion Lake was beautiful with some lovely colour in the sky around Mount Rundle early in the sunrise.  As the sun climbed, I moved into the contrasts and this one worked well in black and white.

Dawn at Vermilion Lake - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Windswept across Mount Rundle’s jagged peak

Wind blows snow off of Mount Rundle’s eastern peak.  This was the vanguard of the storm that brought snow out onto the prairies over the weekend.

Canadian Rockies Landscapes: Dawn on Vermilion Lake

Yesterday, I went out for a morning photography tour along the Vermilion Lakes just outside of Banff.  I enjoy returning to this area and usually am rewarded by the wildlife, the landscapes or something little thing that draws my eye.  I settled into a favourite spot along the second Vermilion Lake where there are some hot springs that seep out of the mountainside, collect into a network of small streams and keep a few pools of water free of the snow-covered sheet of ice that hides the rest of the lake.

Mount Rundle stands directly between the lakes and the point where the sun rises at this time of the year so you need some broken clouds to be in the right place to catch the warm light.

Patience was rewarded on this morning as the clouds were perfect and the sky burned with fiery reds and oranges for a few minutes.  It was a great morning to be out on the lakeshore.


Rocky Mountain Landscapes: Dawn at the Vermilion Lakes in Banff

Morning with light and shadow © 2011 Christopher Martin-6234-2

It was -14°C on Sunday morning when I walked down the path to the shore of the first Vermilion Lake just west of Banff.  The lakes are largely frozen over after several days of cold weather.  A great benefit to birds, photographers and other wild creatures are the hot springs that bleed into the lake from different spots around the lakes.  For photographers, the warm springs keep patches of water ice-free throughout the winter.

I have a couple of favourite locations across the three lakes including this one.  Arguably it has the best view of Mount Rundle.  On this morning, the warm water had cut a winding path out across the lake and I enjoyed playing with the composition of this element with the sky, the mountain and all of the reflections.  When I arrived it was still dark but the sky was showing great promise.  The clouds pushed up towards Rundle and parked there as the sun neared the horizon catching the warm light beautifully.  A very nice place to photograph landscapes on a very nice morning.

Storm through the Bow Valley

Following a very pretty sunrise and a great walk with an elk, this storm started to build as it moved through the Bow Valley corridor in the Banff National Park.  This great chunk of rock is Mount Rundle which looms above the towns of Banff and Canmore.  It is a favourite subject for hikers and artists.  I am certainly not immune to its siren call – I really enjoy photographing this mountain – year round it always presents an interesting face and is usually reaching into the clouds to create dynamic compositions.

Banff Landscapes: Along the Vermilion Lake shoreline



A photograph from a morning along the shoreline of the second of the three Vermilion Lakes near Banff in the National Park.  Mount Rundle looms above Tunnel Mountain across the water.  The ice gives way to this stretch of open water due to a small hot spring that seeps out of the rock and soil into the lake.


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