Alberta

Aurora Abstract

The Northern Lights were soft on April Fool’s night. There were a number of photographers lined up waiting for the show but the joke was on us with a subtle display. I didn’t mind, it gave me pause to think about the scene differently and try out a few things. This longer exposure, 8 seconds, with a little movement of both the camera and the grass in the foreground had an interesting look.


A goose and his territory

A couple of weekends ago it was a beautiful, sunny morning at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Ducks were quacking and swimming around the open water in the ponds. Two Canada geese flew in and paddled towards the edge. The scene was hectic but peaceful… up until a nearby goose took exception to them coming into his territory. He flew over and then chased them away. This image is when the defender was attacking his perceived intruders with hissing, splashing and general malevolence.


A winter scene

The hoar frost encrusted the fields across Springbank over the past few days. I like the serenity of these scenes.


Inglewood’s Goldeneyes

A run of warmer weather preceded the latest dip of the thermometer here in southern Alberta. That opened up a couple of the ponds at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary last weekend. The calm, open water drew in dozens of Canada geese, mallard ducks and a few common goldeneyes. A steady cacophony of quacks was the soundtrack by the water. Some calling out to partners, occasional angry exchanges and seemingly random squawking here and there.

The sun was low enough that the light was still warm and, to my eye, a bit buttery. I focused on moment of action – flapping to dry wings, short flights across the pond and a couple of chases.


A winter night in YYC

Alberta has been thrown into the freezer this week. The temperature, -26ºC/-15ºF and colder, has felt like winter asserting that it is truly here now. It is a shock but I went outside last night while one of the boys had an appointment downtown just to thumb my nose at the chill a little bit. The fingers got cold but I didn’t mind too much. There is something about photographing landscapes when it is really cold that adds to the images – almost a clarity and a stillness – that I really like. These are images of Calgary’s downtown from Discovery Hill as the day slipped away.


Silhouettes and city lights

Watching the dusk fade from the east side of Calgary, the color in the sky softened into pastels. The city’s lights glowed and cast tall stalks of grass into silhouette. It strikes me a little melancholy looking at it now – and beautiful.


A fawn through the trees

We had a pair of mule deer fawns hanging around our backyard for most of the summer. From wobbly little babies to bouncing youngsters, they entertained us as they learned how to be deer. This was a rare moment where one stood still.


A smoked sun

Before rain cleared out the smoke from wildfires, the air was thick and hazy. We were at Chain Lakes for the afternoon and when the sun descended towards the horizon, the smoke intensified the color. Against the layers of the hillside and the silhouettes of the trees along ridges, it was an incredible sunset to watch.


Summer lightning over the Elbow

The gods were bowling in the clouds late last night. The rolling thunder was preceded by steady sheets of lightning and a downpour that reminded me far more of a rainstorm in the tropics than one on the prairies. Once the rain died down, we walked to the banks of the Elbow River and watched as the storm moved eastward out of the low mountains around Bragg Creek. Forks of lightning peeled across the sky every couple of minutes for over an hour. It was a really beautiful summer storm to photograph.


Those eyes…

We had two wonderful encounters with great gray owls yesterday. The highlight for me came when the second owl flew across the field to a tall post about 30′ away. I took some good flight shots there. Then he glided down and landed 2′ away on a fence post beside me. When he was there, it was incredible to share the space. Being that close I was awed by the power and wisdom that I felt from him.

He stayed there for around 10 minutes before I moved further down the fence. The wind picked up as the clouds covered the sun. The owl remained focused on finding dinner in the long grass but after several more minutes, with his feathers whipping around, he flew off into the trees.


Waterton – a look back at the landscape

Kian and I went camping at Waterton National Park in 2015. I had not realized that it was almost six years ago. When a prospective client asked about my favourite landscape images from the area for a print, I put together this little set for her review.

Link to the portfolio: click here

The Northern Lights color the night sky above Waterton National Park

It brought back fun memories. Looking forward to getting back there with my kids to create a bunch more.


Flaring to land

This great gray owl dove at something in the hillside grasses behind this sign. I wasn’t in a good position for that attack but I was when it returned to the sign post it was hunting from.