Posts tagged “dusk

Sunset over Springbank fields

Sunset over a field in Springbank west of Calgary.


An autumn sunset in the sky

Sunset in the sky over Springbank © Christopher Martin-0767

The sky in late October near the Rocky mountains often serves as a fantastic canvas for clouds, wind and sunshine to paint as they mix, blend and tear apart.  I live on the eastern flank of the Rockies and am fortunate to be able to see a fair number of these beautiful collisions.  This one was just before sunset in the third week of October on a recently paved country road off of Highway 8 between Bragg Creek and Calgary.


Dusk in the Crowsnest Pass

Crowsnest Dusk - © Christopher Martin-3199

I had a wonderful getaway camping with my son in the Waterton National Park last weekend.  Along the way down there, I travelled through the Crowsnest Pass just as the sunlight was slipping off the peaks and giving way to the night.  I stopped for a few minutes to enjoy the transition and this photograph is the one I made from the many peaks stacked around the valley.  A mountain unknown to me but beautiful in its isolation.

August 16th update – my Uncle Bill, Auntie Ann and cousins Chad and Darren, who lived in the Crowsnest Pass area for many years, discussed this peak and confirmed that it is Mount Tecumseh.  Thank you family!


Night Flight

Night owl - © Christopher Martin-4069-4

I found an owl hunting after dusk had settled over Bragg Creek.  It was getting dark quickly and I had go back to my car  for a flash at one point.  I started to photograph this Great Gray around a stand of trees on the edge of a field.  After a while she moved out onto the yellow grass and then went to perch on a fencepost.

Night owl - © Christopher Martin-3923

Retrieving the light, I mounted it in the hotshoe and it didn’t take long to relocate her.  We then spent an hour together as she hunted on either side of the fence line while I watched from 40′ away.  She was very comfortable with me there and flew to a post closer to me on a couple of occasions.  It was challenging to shoot the owl in flight but a lot of fun.

Night owl - © Christopher Martin-4059

At one point we traveled along the fence with her stopping every 100′ until I caught up.  When we had returned to the edge of the trees, the owl flew back out towards the field.  It was a very powerful encounter for me.

Night owl - © Christopher Martin-4049

 


Evening over Osoyoos

Osoyoos Dusk - © Christopher Martin-7035

When we were in Osoyoos in August, we stayed at the Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort.  It is a great place to stay and its location above the lake and across from the city gave us a beautiful view of both as well as the hills to the west.

Sunset from Spirit Ridge in Osoyoos - © Christopher Martin-7045

On our last evening, I watched the sunset from one of the rooftop patios and enjoyed the light and its changes on the land and in the sky.  As the sun sped away, there were interesting scenes that kept my interest sharp through into night.

Sunset over Lake Osoyoos - © Christopher Martin-6948

(Please click on any image if you would like to view a higher resolution version)

Cloud painting - © Christopher Martin-6959

Hiding from the night - © Christopher Martin-7016-2

Sunlight sneaks between a ridge and the clouds above Lake Osoyoos in the Okanangan Valley, British Columbia, Canada.

Western sky - © Christopher Martin-6931

Evening comes over Osoyoos - © Christopher Martin-7013


Sunset across the prairies

Winter sunset - 2014 © Christopher MartinFuji X100S with fixed 23mm lens: 1/45 of a second at f/11 on ISO 800

A few days ago, the clouds were anchored along the eastern edge of the Rockies all afternoon and I was not sure how the sunset would develop.  Well, I guess I was sure that the winter sun would go down early and fast but what the light would do was the question.

Cloud fire - 2014 © Christopher MartinFuji X100S with fixed 23mm lens: 1/70 of a second at f/11 on ISO 800

I found myself on the edge of Springbank, west of Calgary, at 5:30 and the clouds had stretched east across the prairies and were catching and filtering the rich glow from the sun now hidden behind the mountains.

Up to darkness - 2014 © Christopher MartinFuji X100S with fixed 23mm lens: 1/50 of a second at f/11 on ISO 800

It was a scene that didn’t require much input from me to create images.  I did like the reflections on my car’s glass and hood so that provided an opportunity to play around a bit.

A thin slice of sunset - 2014 © Christopher MartinFuji X100S with fixed 23mm lens: 1/60 of a second at f/11 on ISO 800

Sunset reflected - 2014 © Christopher MartinFuji X100S with fixed 23mm lens: 1/40 of a second at f/8 on ISO 1600

Bobbi and I are off to Sedona, Arizona tomorrow for a week – this landscape session provided a nice warm-up for the spectacular red rock scenery I’m looking forward to photographing down there.


Hunting with a Barn owl at dusk

Scouting over Boundary Bay - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Boundary Bay is lovely throughout the year.  Early spring along the levee that runs parallel to the tidal flats, driftwood piles and grassy fields is not an exception.  When we were there last weekend, the rain rolled in as we were watching Snowy owls scattered across the grassland which did contribute to a beautiful scene a couple of hours later.  At the time, it set the owls in their poses as they hunkered down through the showers.

Snowy owl and the heavy rain - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Jack and I waited for the weather to change so that the owls may take to the air.  Dusk was quickly approaching and we had hopes that these raptors would start hunting.  The rain increased and we walked back along the dyke towards the parking lot a couple of kilometers away.  As the car came into view, the rain lessened and when I was at the trailhead, the sun had even hazarded a couple looks under the clouds.  The evening light was beautiful though very soft as it was filtered by the clouds and water vapour in the sky.  A rainbow over the water drew my attention out over the flats and that’s where I first saw a distant bird flying low over the marshes.

After the rain in Boundary Bay 2013 © Christopher Martin

I followed it through the gloom and as it moved closer and into the sunlight, I was able to identify it as a Barn owl (Tyto alba).  This was my first sight of one of these owls in the wild and I fell in love immediately.

First encounter - 2013 © Christopher Martin

They have a chaotic flight pattern where they swoop along and then dive with great conviction downwards at crazy angles when they find a target.  It crisscrossed a large area for about half an hour and all I could have wished for was a bit more light.

Curious Barn owl on a flyby - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Dusk was well entrenched by this time and I was pushing the camera’s ISO and autofocus hard.  The owl was curious too and swooped by on two separate occasions.  The whole time spent watching this bird was a great experience and I’m looking forward to my next encounter with one of these beautiful owls.

In flight - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Barn owl flight over Boundary Bay - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Night flight - 2013 © Christopher Martin

I could still make out the silhouette as it flew further away but my attention was pulled in a new direction by a Short-eared owl that circled by for a couple of minutes and then a Snowy which, freed from its perch by the calm weather, landed on a pile of waterlogged wood less than a stone’s throw away.  I hope to share some of those photographs soon.

 


Magic in the clouds above

Magic in the clouds - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The sunset in West Bragg Creek was beautiful last night.  The warm sunlight alternating with the long shadows striped the land and looked great in every direction.  However it was the same light caught in the clouds above that stole the show.


Palm tree sunset in Wailua

Wailua Sunset - © Christopher Martin-2539-6474

We had a lovely sunset a couple of nights ago.  The western of Wailua, where I am staying, has a few mountain ridges and valleys blocking the view to the ocean directly but the on this night the sky was beautiful.  A stand of palm trees in the courtyard made a great silhouette to anchor the pastel lines.


Midnight Sun – Cochrane, Alberta

Sunset was 10pm last night but the sky was still quite bright in the northwest after midnight.

These clouds were incredible and worth pulling off to the side of the road in the middle of the night.

 


Old Ford Truck: Dusk on the Albertan Prairie

Out at my latest infatuation , this old F350 abandoned beside a country backroad, last night.  The evening light after the sun dropped behind the Rockies was great and with long exposures, light painting with a flash off camera and the steadily darkening sky, I had a great time.

I was so absorbed, I lost track of time and didn’t make it back to Redwood Meadows to enjoy the community fireworks for Canada Day.  I could see the explosions from the truck but with 25 kilometers between me and home, they were just small balls of color.

As night took hold, I finished with a couple of darker images that left more shadow in keeping with the dark sky to the east.


2010 – My favourite photograph from last year

This is my favourite image that I made last year.  Simple composition, interesting patterns, good colour and a great memory behind it.

These monks worked with our small group on and around the U Bein Bridge in Amarapura in Myanmar.  We had gone to their monastery and spoke with the Abbott and then with these monks about the photographs that we wanted to make that afternoon.   They were interested to see the end result and really cooperative through the whole time.

The footbridge runs 3/4 of a mile long and is made of teak columns salvaged in 1849 under the direction of the mayor at the time, U Bein.  He got a bridge named after him and the people got a way to cross Lake Taungthaman from Amarapura to an island in the middle.  The traffic is steady in both directions in the afternoon and into the evening with school children, workers, families and monks crossing on foot and bicycle.

Our guide, Win, used one of the boats that take tourists for a float along the bridge to ferry the monks to a small spit of land about halfway between either end of the bridge.  At this time of the year, in February, the water is low enough that there are a couple of places that stay above the waterline around the bridge.  In the dry season, I was told the lake can be almost empty.  In the wet season, the water has been higher than the walkway!  I hope to get back to see either of these extremes.  From the little island there is a set of stairs that lead up to the bridge deck.  The monks and our guide went up and our group of four photographers headed away from the bridge to frame the scene the way each of us were imagining.   The sun was dropping slowly at that point and I was starting to get excited because the light was warming up and I was hopeful that we were heading towards something special.

Children paddling towards U Bein in golden evening light.  Settings 1/160 seconds at f/11,  ISO 100 at 280mm (70-200 + 1.4X extender)

The scene on the bridge was chaotic and our guide was busy explaining to the people lingering around what we were up to, why the monks were standing between the pylons and when we were hoping to get a break in the traffic.  The crowd built up slowly but everyone was patient and seemed to enjoy watching us waving and shouting back and forth to get the men on the bridge in place.

The evening scene on the bridge. Notice the blue tones in the sky below the sun. Settings 1/200 seconds at f/11, ISO 200 at 98mm (70-200 lens + 1.4X extender).

Win was fantastic sharing what we were doing with the people as they waited, and they in turn were great, waiting for about 10 minutes on both sides while the sun fell in line with the monks and the bridge.  It moved very quickly and as it did the gold colour in the sky gave way to blue and purple tones as the sunlight had to push through more atmosphere as well as the haze rising up from the water and the forest.

The photograph immediately before my favourite was fun because I had just changed lenses to a 300mm with a 1.4x extender to get as much reach as I could.  This was the first image where I was able to isolate the blue and purple section of the sky away from the golds and oranges.  That allowed these darker colours to really saturate.  That’s when I knew I had the background that I had imagined to frame the monks against.

1/250 seconds at f/11, ISO 200 at 420mm (300mm + 1.4x extender)

The last shots of this scene caught the sun as it went under the bridge and then disappeared into the hillside across the plain.  From the moment where the sun was just above the umbrellas to where it is peeking under the bridge took just over three minutes.  It seemed much less as I was photographing the scene – a flurry of shooting, checking histograms and adjusting settings and compositions.  It was a very special opportunity so I was doing everything to make sure that I was getting the best that I could out of the moment.  A great memory of a wonderful place.

 

1/80 seconds at f/10, ISO 200 at 420mm (300mm + 1.4X extender)