Landscapes

From the archives: Port Angeles sunrise


I have to admit to missing the ocean badly right now.  The pandemic has interrupted a couple of trips to the coast but a stroll through my image library helped.  I landed on some images from a morning two Aprils ago where I was on the narrow strip of land where the Ediz Hook Reservation for Native Birds borders against a US Coast Guard Air Station.

The sun rose just after 6 am.  I was on the shore by 5 and enjoyed watching twilight brighten the night sky.  The hour seemed to glide quickly past – as is often the case when I’m out photographing landscapes.  Not before I had managed a few different scenes of the blue hour on this interesting spot along the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

When the sun was up, I did a little beach combing.  Walking through the wash of the tide, I found a few interesting miniature scenes.  This one was a favorite of mine.

 


The start of summer lightning

We had a massive thunderstorm roll directly over our home last weekend.  A warm night met with heavy clouds with rain, wind and lightning all in large measures.  We have some incredible storms in the summer – this one felt like the first of those.  Here the forest in my backyard is silhouetted by lighting arcing across the clouds in the storm.

 


Archive images: Sol Duc Rainforest

Last April, I was on Washington’s coast photographing in the Olympic Peninsula west of Seattle.  The Sol Duc Rainforest was one of the incredible forests that I spent time photographing in.  I found the old growth with the density of wilderness to be stunning.  It’s a beautiful location to get lost for days.  I had a few hours and look forward, down the road, to get back for more.




Archive images: Summer snowstorm – Kootenay National Park

Last June I traveled to Radium with my children.  On our travels there we passed through the Kootenay National Park during an early summer snow storm.  We stopped along the Kootenay River to photograph the icy blue water and bright green of the young forest being met by the white blizzard.


Evening towards Kananaskis

A night on the western edge of Bragg Creek in January.  The clouds had incredible texture all afternoon and when the last light caught them it threw incredible pinks and purples across them. A cotton candy sky glowing to see the day off.  Same scene above and below – two versions.

 


Aurora Borealis in the Yukon

Last summer we went to Whitehorse to visit my girlfriend’s family.  One of the nights, we noticed a few lines of color waving in the sky above our patio.  We hopped in the car and drove out of town.  Whitehorse is a pretty small city but the urban lights were too bright for the display to stand out.  We followed a gravel road up a forested hill to a stony field that opened up.

The moon had not quite set when we set up so the first half an hour had the bright moonlight, illuminated clouds and muted northern lights blending across the night sky’s canvas.

The moon set and the aurora display intensified as well so that the greens, blues and traces of purple rippling above were mesmerizing.  We stayed there for a couple of hours.  That was my first time to the Yukon and it was wonderful to be able to enjoy the Northern Lights that far north.  I hope for the same kind of luck when we visit there next.


Evening over Sulphur Mountain

With the day slipping away from the Vermilion Lakes in the Bow Valley, the clouds began to light up in the last light of the day.  This column started out bright white and soon burned into a hot pink.  It hung over the valley between Sulphur Mountain and Sunshine Peak brushing them with a faint pastel hue before dimming as night took hold.


Happy New Year’s Day

January 1st has been a good, and wonderfully relaxed, start to 2020 for us.  The fireworks at the Redwood Meadows community sports field last night did a great job of ushering in the new year.  All the best to you and yours in this new year.

The fireworks were great.  Thank you to the people involved in the evening’s light show.

 


Dalemead dawn

West of the hamlet, Desirée and I watched the sunrise over the frozen prairie.  Despite the slightly wicked cold, the beauty of the snowy fields, black tree silhouettes and the deep hues in the sky was overwhelming.  The lens was in my trunk so when I put it on, it frosted up.  That was partially by design and partially due to a lack of planning earlier in the morning.  I loved the haze around the frame that resulted and had a lot of fun shooting with that for a bit.


Image

Winter forest abstract


A pair on the prairie

 

I enjoy the backroads on the prairies.  This afternoon I found a pair of ravens perched on the peak of this weathered homestead east of Dalemead.  When they flew I tried to compose their flight against the field and the house.


Photography in silhouette

A photographer's silhouette - © Christopher Martin-8554

I spend a lot of time photographing on the edges of the day.  On this morning, as the winter sun cleared the horizon, I found my shadow watching me from the side of a hay bale.


Autumn in the trees

It has come too soon but I am enjoying the beautiful colors that fall has brought.  Snow is falling this weekend so autumn may be cut short this year – we’ll see.

I’ve had fun playing with longer shutter speeds and moving through the focal length during some of those.  Some of the images have an abstract, painterly quality which I love.  I still like photographing the changing landscape in more straightforward ways too.  Most scenes I end up shooting in a few different ways to see which works in that moment. Here are a few from the past couple of weeks in and around Bragg Creek.

On a side note, it has been a long time since my last post.  I have kept shooting but haven’t made time to publish anything for a little over two months.  A lot went on through the summer.  The biggest change has been falling in love with a wonderful woman.  Aside from my children and how they continually amaze me, that has been the highlight of a summer that has absolutely flown by.


Evening night morning in the Valley of the Ten Peaks

A good friend and I went up to Moraine Lake at the beginning of June.  We photographed from dusk into dark, crashed out for a couple of hours and then shot the sunrise.  These are a few of the photographs as the time rolled by.

Into the night…

Rising with the sun…

 

 

 


A walk along Second Beach

When I visited Washington state’s Olympic National Park in April, I visited Second Beach on one of the afternoons.  This was one of the first photographs after I exited the trail onto the beach.  Shooting into the sun silhouetted most of the elements which helped to isolate these two people as they walked near the water.


Sea spray and the setting sun

 

I visited Second Beach on the Olympic Peninsula in April.  It was my first visit to this picturesque stretch of the Pacific Northwest.  Heavy waves rolled in with sunset and I had a great time framing them amid the sea stacks, along the beach and against the rocks.  When the sun was sinking into the water, one wave exploded inside the keyhole.  The silhouette of the spray had me imagining figures and forms.  It was a cool moment to recall a great evening on the ocean.

 


Forest panoramas in a storm

(Please click on any image to open a separate window to see these panoramas in a larger version)

I have been enjoying creating panoramas by merging a number of shots into one wide image.  The workshop that I went to on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington recently brought that approach back in to my plans.  It’s been a while since I shot them with any regularity.  The rainforests there are well into spring and were amazing to photograph for panoramic concepts.  Forests have incredible depth, details and patterns and that was a focus while I was in the Pacific Northwest.

When I returned home, a cold weather pattern was knocking around Alberta.  When a snowstorm blew in, I headed out to photograph the forest and see if any pano opportunities jumped out.  The storm grew into a blizzard.  It was cool to have the increasing density of snow as a variable to the images.  We’ve had a few really good days in the week afterwards.  Before the next one comes in this weekend.

 

 


Port Angeles – the ocean in motion

 

When I was on the west coast a couple of weeks ago, I spent one morning photographing along the Port Angeles shoreline.  It had been a little while since I have been on the ocean and I was hypnotized by the ebb and flow of the waves along the beach.  I always am.

 


A snowstorm’s abstract

Greedily, Old Man Winter has snuck past Spring once more and released another day-long blizzard across southern Alberta.  The snow fell in thick flakes, speckling the sky then blurring the forest as it neared the ground.  I’m looking forward to greenery, especially given how lovely Seattle was when I was there last week, but this was a storm which cast a beautiful spell over the landscape west of Bragg Creek.


Cedar bark abstract

I’m in Seattle for a dear friend’s photography workshop on the Olympic Peninsula this weekend.  I was lucky enough to wander the gardens and forest around his wonderful home yesterday.  Coming from Alberta, the blossoms, warmth and greenery was almost a shock to me.  Certainly a glimpse of a future we will hopefully see within a couple of weeks.  The light on the bark of this cedar danced well with the abstracted shapes in the background.  Those were thrown out of focus by the a shallow depth of field using a 24mm lens at f/2.0.


Mornings at Radium’s Sinclair Canyon

My family spent a few days in Radium at the end of March.  I had not been that way since last fall.  Driving through the Sinclair Canyon’s narrow opening into the Columbia Valley this time, the steep rock walls grabbed my attention.

I went there early on three of the four mornings to play with those solid forms.  Lights from passing traffic traced bright lines through the long exposures.

The last morning was the earliest I arrived – a little after 4am.  I had some ideas for images with star trails through the gap in the canyon.  The clouds were not supportive of those ideas.  I watched them knit together and block the night sky as I was setting up.  Those ideas will get another chance later this spring I think.


Frozen along the Kananaskis River

I spent the day skiing at Nakiska yesterday.  On the way home I stopped at Canoe Meadows and walked down to the edge of the Kananaskis River.  The failing light of early evening created deep shadows and cast deepening blue tones across the scene.  Chunks of ice floated downstream while the snow fell lightly.  There was a line of ice marking a recent water level, higher than it is now.  It had been a few years since I wandered along this part of the river.  It was not a disappointing end to a great day.


A wintry landscape in West Bragg

The cold which the east has been laboring under reached us this weekend.  Yesterday I was out photographing and this scene illustrated the frigid turn winter has now taken once more.

 

 


Downtown Calgary – Morning along the Bow River

On Saturday I watched the morning arrive on the shore of the Bow River.  I was across the water from Calgary’s downtown and used the Center Street Bridge as a focal point between the sky and the buildings.  I parked along Memorial Drive and checked the sky in a couple of test photographs.  Traffic came by and made for a good start.

On the other side of the road, the rocks, snow and ice along the river bank presented an interesting foreground.  It was a bit hectic teasing out compositions as the light was changing rapidly.  But that’s pretty fun chaos by any measure.

The eastern sky had bundles of pink cotton candy for a few minutes.  To the west the pink was a pastel that looked very pretty reflected in the Bow where it passed Prince’s Island Park.

Mallard ducks and Canada geese milled about flying up and down the river.  The cackling and quacking across the water along with the occasional group of vehicles passing behind me on Memorial Drive joined the river to perform the morning’s soundtrack.