Posts tagged “reflection

Relaxing in the sunshine

Canada Goose on Wild Rose Lake - 2014 © Christopher Martin

A Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) surveys the lake from a one-legged position on the water of Wild Rose in Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada.  Before taking up this spot, I watched it walk out on the patch of dirt towards the water – it looked like it was checking out its own reflection when it got to the lake’s slightly abstract mirror.

Canada Goose reflected - 2014 © Christopher Martin

 


A blizzard and a stream

Winter landscape - 2013 © Christopher Martin

I was walking along a forested stream that runs parallel with the Elbow River where they run under Highway 8 near Discovery Ridge on the western edge of Calgary on Saturday morning.  When the snow started to fall, it took very little time for the flakes to grow in both size and frequency.

In the blizzard - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The trees were soon cloaked in white, leaving the water alone to provide a little colour in the landscape.

Little rapids - 2013 © Christopher Martin

It was quiet with only the sound of the snow falling.  And a serene walk along this tributary to the Elbow River among the trees that edge its length.

The blizzard raven - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Near the end of the walk, a raven flew overhead – the snow visible between us.


Autumn glow at Wedge Pond

Morning glow at Wedge Pond - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens (at 17mm): 13 seconds at f/22 on ISO 400

With most of the aspens having turned gold in the lower reaches of Kananaskis Country around Bragg Creek, I was excited to get up to Wedge Pond to see how the colours were around the water and up towards Mount Kidd.  It was a cloudy morning but for a few minutes at dawn the sun broke through in a couple of places.  A strange, soft purple-pink glow illuminated the whole scene fleetingly.  I doubt I will ever get tired of visiting this place.


Great Blue Heron Reflected

A Heron's flight reflected - 2013 © Christopher Martin

I went to the small lake in Wild Rose on the weekend to see whether the cooler weather of the past week had scared off the pair of Great Blue Herons who summer there.  The shoreline was empty and I thought the lake had been left by these large birds until next year.  I turned my attention to the small island in the middle of the lake.  Under a stand of mixed trees at the far end one heron was standing a few metres back from the water’s edge.

Wild Rose High Four - 2013 © Christopher Martin

It stared my way for a few minutes and then resumed its previous activity – perched on one leg, standing motionless except for the occasional pull at a stray feather or similar grooming habit.  When a noise drew its attention it would stare for a bit and then continue.  I loved the colours in the bushes along the shoreline and their soft reflections.  I hoped to see the heron fly low against this backdrop so I waited.  And waited.

Great Blue Heron reflected - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Somewhere close to an hour later it finally stretched out its wings, stepped close to the water and took to the air.  It was worth the wait.  Flying low, the feet dragged in the water a couple of times as it crossed the lake.  I love watching Great Blue Herons fly, their wings are so large that it seems like they are barely putting in any effort when they fly yet they move at a good pace.

Slicing the surface - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The heron checked its flight as it arrived on the other side and started walking along the shallows.  I watched it stalk fish for a while and then I headed home to warm up.  I think it will be heading south soon.

Checked flight - 2013 © Christopher Martin

-

Fishing in the shallows - 2013 © Christopher Martin


Fall sunrise at McDonald Lake

Autumn sunrise on Lake McDonald - 2013 © Christopher Martin - 2358

I drove up to Apgar, a small village in Glacier National Park, this morning.  I arrived at the southern edge of Lake McDonald in the dark and headed past the sleeping townsite for the rocky beach.  The full moon provided a bit of light out over the water and I could see the mist was already rising up into the cold air.  I started getting excited as the eastern edge of the sky brightened and silhouetted the mountain peaks above the north and east sides of the lake.  The glow in the sky deepened and the colours came in beautifully.

Silhouettes on Lake McDonald - 2013 © Christopher Martin

As the intense colour began to fade, I was able to balance this great stem of autumn leaves with the lovely Grinnell argillite rocks under the water (the first image).  A very beautiful morning in Montana’s Glacier National Park.


A Ruddy Duck Outing

Ruddy Duck - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/2500 second at f/6.3 on ISO 800

The Ruddy Duck is an odd creature.  Blue bill, white cheeks, russet toned back feathers with liberal sections of black and motley brown.  I find them to be a beautiful bird but I wouldn’t take issue with someone who felt differently.

Duck flap - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/1600 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Ruddy flaps - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/2500 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Along with photographing Yellow-winged Blackbirds and Eared Grebes during my last visit to Frank Lake, there were several Ruddy Ducks that swam nearby and were caught within my viewfinder.

Bill cleaning - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/2000 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

The males were more prevalent, swimming in the open away from the reeds.  I’m not sure whether the females were shy or, more likely, staying close to their nests.  A few did pass by, this one came right in front of the blind providing a nice opportunity for me.

A female Ruddy Duck paddling by - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/1250 second at f/6.3 on ISO 800

The males came and went, chasing each other occasionally but mostly just skimming their bills along the water catching insects.

Water chase - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/5000 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Splash attack - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/5000 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

These ducks are known for their spiky tail which they often hold straight up when on display.  They seem very formal, almost like a soldier in uniform and at attention, when they do.

Spiky tail on display - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/3200 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Very cool birds.  I’m hoping to see their ducklings on my next visit to the Frank Lake Conservation Area.

A bubbly greeting - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/3200 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600


Prairie Aurora

Prairie Aurora - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The Northern Lights on the weekend were beautiful.  On Friday morning they were active from 10 pm through to 5 am Saturday morning.  Fiery, green ribbons rippled under the stars with faint echoes of blue and purple streaming skyward.

(for a higher resolution version, please click on any picture)

Northern Lights in the city - 2013 © Christopher Martin

When I received an email from Aurora Watch’s alert service, I was in Calgary finishing dinner with my friend Jack.  We headed up to a hill that overlooks downtown to check the sky.  Even with the orange glow in the atmosphere from the city’s lights, we could see shimmering swaths of green.  That whet the appetite and we headed west along the Trans Canada Highway out of the city and into the rolling hills to the west.  A small marsh south of Cochrane being our destination to take in the lights.

Green contoured - 2013 © Christopher Martin

By the time we were at the pond, it was after midnight and the early wisps of color had intensified in color and solidity.  The thick bands stretched west and east, from one horizon to the other. With the Northern Lights reflected in the water, there were some interesting images available.  I also posted another photograph separately called The Phantom Menace which is a favourite of mine from the night.  You can see that image here.

Aurora abstract - 2013 © Christopher Martin

-

A different broadcast - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The aurora was at its most discrete around 2 am with beautiful details etched into the fabric swimming between land and sky.  The Cree named these colourful displays the Dance of the Spirits.  I really like that.  On this evening, the spirits enjoyed a long spell on their dance floor.

A shimmering veil - 2013 © Christopher Martin

With the east starting to brighten ahead of the coming sunrise, we were a bit restless for another viewpoint so we followed the road west for a little while.  This small industrial plant was overlooking the fields and when we stopped to have a look, the aurora was pulsing in what turned out to be the final flurry of the night.

Aurora over flames - 2013 © Christopher Martin


Last Night’s Northern Lights

Phantom Menace - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The Aurora Borealis lit up for a couple of hours last night so Jack and I were out until 5 AM watching the ribbons stripe the night sky.  There were few clouds and it turned out to be a very enjoyable performance.

A few images from the same night can be seen at this post.


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


Pele’s Visit to Hanalei

Sparks from Pele's anvil - © Christopher Martin-0002

Pele is one of the Hawaiian deities and is often associated with the volcanic activities on the islands.  She also holds dominion over lightning, wind and fire.  One evening, I watched her play with lightning, throwing it over the ridges that rise up from the Hanalei Valley on Kaua’i’s north shore.  For almost three hours, beginning at dusk, the clouds lit up with strikes that branched across the sky.

Pele's play - © Christopher Martin-9809

I watched the storm from the Hanalei outlook in Princeville.  That put me at almost the same elevation as the strikes which hammered the far side of the valley.  With each flash, the taro field ponds lit up as well.  The deep blue sky early in the evening tempered the color in the sky.  When the valley was totally dark, each flash illuminated the scene in wild shades of purple.  It was incredible to see the changes in the color, the clouds and the storm through the night.

A silent observer to Pele's storm - © Christopher Martin-0038

-

Hanalei maelstrom - © Christopher Martin-9821

-

Pele's fury - a direct strike - © Christopher Martin-0011

Pele became more ferocious as the night deepened.  Gradual at first, with the wind picking up slowly but steadily and the lightning coming every couple of minutes.  Then increasing quickly along with drops of rain that turned into a downpour after just a few minutes.  I retreated to shelter with the rain drenching me and the lightning tracing arcs directly above me.  It was raw power and I enjoyed watching the goddess at work – by the end there was a determined nature to the storm that made it feel like play had been joined by purpose.

A small window to the stars - © Christopher Martin-9896

-

Storm glow - © Christopher Martin-9935


Back to the reflecting pools in Kananaskis

My friend and fellow photographer Jeff Rhude and I made it up to the reflecting pools which provide a beautiful mirror for Mount Kidd while it was still dark.  While dawn was still only a bit of light to the east, I used an exposure just a bit over two minutes long to see this early morning.

The wind was blowing in short blasts as we were waiting and once it was brighter I took an opportunity to show a bit of that in the blurred water.


Mount Kidd – splashes of colour reflected

 

I am drawn back to Mount Kidd in Kananaskis over and over.  In the morning the eastern light accentuates the crags and patterns in the rocks and dominates the skyline from many viewpoints along Highway 40.  From these reflecting pools a bit further south the mountain doesn’t dominate in the same way but I like the balances that can be found between the peaks and the elements along the shoreline.  Later in the morning, I worked the scene with black and white images in mind but with the first light, I was enjoying the splashes of colour.

 

Green algae under one of the ponds provided a green cast to some of the reflections.  I thought the shapes under the water along with the colour were really interesting.

This pond had a floor of stones which was another detail to play with.

With the pink light receding to warm morning sunlight, I liked how the land still in shadow had a cool tone contrasted with the mountain and its reflection.


Mount Kidd

 

The morning got bright quickly when I was at a set of reflecting ponds just west of Wedge Pond and the Galatea Trailhead in Kananaskis.  I met a fellow Calgarian photographer, Graham McKerrell, along the water’s edge and we watched the most promising cloud slip behind the mountain just a couple of minutes before the sunrise hit the face.  The early light was still beautiful on the rock of Mount Kidd and its reflection.  I really had fun once the morning sun was well established as I switched from hunting warm light to thinking about the sun and shadows for black and white images as seen here.

(please click on the image to link to a larger, higher resolution version)

These ponds are a beautiful location to welcome the morning, I hope to get out there once more this season.

 


Morning loons through the summer

The small lake in Wild Rose, west of Bragg Creek, has been a great place to enjoy photographing birds this summer.  I have spent a number of mornings along the strip of land that divides the pond.  Several of these mornings have been spent with a few different Common loons.  These are a few of my favourites from these times.

-

-

-

-


Autumn at Wedge Pond

(please click on any image to go to a higher resolution version)

The morning was cold as I walked down to Wedge Pond on Friday.  No frost, but very chilly under the clear skies.  I woke early so I was there before the skies had started to brighten.  The only sounds were the splash of the occasional fish jumping and bull elk bugling challenges nearby in the forest.  It was a special moment to take in.  In the darkness the exposures ranged up to five minutes to show the pre-dawn scene as below.  The slowly lightening sky to the east reflected on the upper flanks of the mountain.

As the sun approached, the birds started chattering and a few other photographers showed up for the alpen glow and then first light on Mount Kidd.  Kananaskis lived up to expectations again.  It was lovely to be on the lake’s shore for the morning with the autumn colours coming in.

-


Red-breasted Merganser on the Okanagan

(please click on the image to link to a higher resolution version)

A Red-breasted merganser on the western shore of Lake Okanagan from a quiet morning a few days ago.  The color in the water is the reflection of the late summer foliage in the trees hanging over the beach.

 


Herons on the water in Wild Rose

(please click any image for a higher resolution version)

I have watched and photographed this Great Blue Heron for the snow-free months along Wild Rose’s ponds and lakes in Bragg Creek for four years.  Last weekend was the first time that I have seen her in the company of other herons.  It makes me think that these are two chicks she has raised this year.

I spent an hour watching her perched in a tree across the lake from where I had set up my camera and tripod.  I was in plain sight a couple of hundred feet from a spot where she often hunts for fish.  When I spied her in the tree, I thought I would wait to see if she flew my way.  After waiting for a while, she swooped down into the westernmost pond just below the tree so I packed up and hiked over there to see if I could photograph the hunting.  When I got there I saw her and as I approached, I spooked one of the other herons.  I thought the heron I have seen for years was alone so I was watching her as I moved closer.  Stepping onto the small berm around the pond, I saw a flurry of wings beating as a heron in the grasses near me flew up and across the pond before landing near “my” heron.  I was even more surprised when I saw the third one stalking in the water behind a stump.  All three took flight a while later and went across the main lake into the tree where I have often seen the single heron preening and watching the water.

I went back to my original spot and watched them fly together to another group of trees where they could watch for fish while keeping an eye on me.  They stayed close together and the single heron seemed to be leading their movements around the lake.  I may be wrong but it seemed like a family day on the water to me.  I had my longest lens on my camera so the best I could get was two of the three birds in one frame.  I will have to pull out the second camera with a smaller lens next time to make a proper family portrait!


Wild Rose Loon

I was photographing on the small lake that Wild Rose surrounds in West Bragg Creek early this morning.  Three loons were diving for fish, splashing around and seemingly enjoying one another’s company.  This one rose up to flap its wings and presented a beautiful profile for me to work with.  As always, click for a higher resolution image if you are interested.


Liquid Gold – Abstract Images on the Bow River

River light © 2011 Christopher Martin-3606

I was photographing ducks, geese and seagulls on the edge of the Bow River at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary this evening.  It is a favourite spot and as evening falls, flights of birds come in from all points of the compass to bed down on the rock islands that lie in the middle of the river.  As the sky darkened the street and building lights from the far side of the river appeared brighter and brighter reflecting in the water.

I found a nice bend in the shallows where the light was broken up by the current and the rocks and photographed until the stars stood out against the black sky.  Most of the exposures were 30 seconds with the camera on a tripod to allow the stones to stay sharp while the water softened and stretched the lights.


Rocky Mountain Landscapes: Wedge Pond

Mount Kidd glows in the early light of a fall morning at Wedge Pond in Kananaskis, Alberta in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

I have been spending a fair amount of time in Kananaskis Country as autumn has taken hold across the Rockies in Southern Alberta.  A couple of mornings I have spent daybreak on the shoreline of Wedge Pond just off Highway 40 a few kilometers south of the Nakiska Ski Resort.  Before the sun rises high enough to hit Mount Kidd’s ridges, the whole mountain glows red in the pre-dawn light.

After only a couple of minutes, the sunlight reaches over The Wedge and Mt. McDougal to Kidd and then it quickly runs down the mountainside as the sun climbs into the sky.

The image above with the sun drawing a red band along the top of the mountain was from September 5th where all the trees skirting the pond were still in summer green.  The first two images were taken just under three weeks later.  A couple of cool days got the seasonal change kickstarted and the transformation to yellow and orange was complete in just a few days.


Quartering a Window Taxi

Along 9th Avenue in downtown Calgary, Gulf Canada Square’s dark panes of glass often provide a large mirror that abstracts the traffic heading east on the one way road.

I watched traffic for a while, looking down from the 12th floor of Banker’s Hall, until this taxicab drove by distinctive and separated from the other vehicles in that moment.  The slight curvatures of the glass did the real work to create this warp of a simple scene.


One fast food gull and a mall parking lot

The Ring-billed Gull is sometimes called the fast food gull.   They have earned the name as they will often hang around fast food restaurants scavenging for food.

 This gull was one of two foraging around a mall parking lot.  With the warm, evening light and puddles reflecting the bird and the blue sky, I was happy to spend a few minutes photographing in an unusual wildlife location. 

 


American Dipper on the Ice in Banff

On Third Vermilion Lake where the hot spring creates a break in the ice I found an American Dipper diving for food, hopping in the reeds and seemingly enjoying the warm water.  I caught it during a quiet moment along the edge of the ice.  The Vermilion Lakes are just west of Banff (a 10 minute ride) in the National Park.  Moose, deer, eagles and ravens can be seen year round along the lakes.  And, dippers – where there is some warm water.


Encounters on Inle Lake

I am preparing entries for the Travel Photographer of the Year contest and reworked some of my images from Inle Lake in Myanmar that I made in February.

I have done a couple of posts (here and here and here) on these fishermen before.  I still really enjoy this collection of images from the three days I spent on the lake.

Very good people I met on the water.  I look forward to the next encounters I have on Inle somewhere down the road.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,477 other followers