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.
A night at the Athabasca Glacier – sparkling stars, blurred clouds, glowing skies and jagged peaks
When I ventured up to Jasper National Park in May, I spent the first night at the foot of the Athabasca Glacier. After laying my sleeping bag across the reclined passenger seat, I set up my tripod and camera along one of the trails that lead up to the edge of the ice.
Looking up the glacier, between the clouds as they slid by, a subtle green-blue glow was visible above the ice, rock and snow. With long exposures, the glow was more pronounced. I first thought it may be the Aurora Borealis but I was facing towards the southwest so I would have expected a show behind me more than where I was looking. It was a new moon that night so I’m not sure was responsible for the glow. Could it be the starlight on a clear night, free from light pollution, reflecting off of the ice? Maybe, but I really can’t explain it. It was hauntingly beautiful and I enjoyed spending a couple of hours in that place within this immeasurably vast universe – a night with the stars will get you thinking such things!
It was a great auditory experience as well, the ice cracks and rock falls echoed off the mountains and down the glacier field irregularly through the night which broke up the steady cries of the racing winds.
Sparkling stars, blurred clouds, glowing skies and jagged peaks – it was a special night.
Calgary commutes: driving out of downtown
Fuji X100s + 23mm lens: 1 second at f/11 on ISO 200
The Plus 15 walkways which are ~5 metres above Calgary’s street level connect the majority of buildings downtown. This allows people to avoid going outside during cold winter days and provides a great vantage point for watching the bright, orderly retreat of workers from their offices to their homes.
Fuji X100s + 23mm lens: 1/4 of a second at f/5.6 on ISO 3200
I played around with longer exposures (wishing I had a way to counter the slight bounce in the skybridge due to my fellow Plus 15 pedestrians) and had a moment to appreciate a benefit of the early sunsets that come with the winter months and daylight savings time.
Moonlight over Mount Rundle
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.
Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens: 658 seconds at f/11 on ISO 400
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.
Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens: 238 seconds at f/11 on ISO 1000
Just a couple of nice abstracts from a stretch of water near my home. It was well after sunset so I was able to get a very slow shutter speed to really stretch out the lines traced out by the moving water. These are two of the long exposures both were 30 seconds at f/16, creating smooth edges to the small rapids in this creek.
Myrtle Beach: Nighttime over the Intracoastal Waterway
I was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a few days last week. Great weather and very good golf courses. The area is bounded by the ocean and the land off the water has been recovered from swamp. I had a good vantage point of a major canal, the Intracoastal Waterway, that is about a mile back from the beach and runs parallel to the ocean for a very long stretch. At night, the sodium vapour lights provided most of the illumination and when mixed with stray Christmas lights and other types of lighting made for some interesting landscapes.
This boat, The Barefoot Princess 5, looked like a half-hearted re-creation of an old sternwheeler – without the wheel. Designed for sightseeing, it has maximum seating but at the expense of a bit of character. At night though it looked very nice with its blue lights and the street lights streaming through the decks.
Ice and Water Forms at Elbow River
I spent Sunday morning working upstream of the Elbow Falls in Kananaskis. I really enjoyed looking for patterns and shapes in the ice and the water.
I used a macro lens to get close to the ice and a tripod to keep the camera steady during the longer exposures that I used vary the blur of the water.
Edges of the day at Elbow Falls
I have been up to Elbow Falls in Kananaskis a couple of times over the last while. It is a beautiful spot and it had been a few months since I spent any serious time up there with my camera so I’ve enjoyed these outings immensely.
This image was made well after sunset using a tripod, a long exposure and a bit of light painting on the water. I went crazy over the moonlight reflecting in the water, it has such an incredible tone to it.
I took the following photograph this morning with the falls at my back, looking east towards the brightening sky. I waited to see how the morning light would develop ahead of the rising sun and was rewarded with some clouds that moved in from the west and caught the early light.
Midway at the Calgary Stampede II – Dan Pichette’s Imagery
I mentioned Dan Pichette’s photographs in my previous Midway post. He and I went down to the grounds together and had a great time wandering around. He’s a fine photographer and I really love the focus he has put on individual subjects in many of these photos. His images with the fireworks playing in the midway scene are fantastic.
I’m glad to get out with Dan whenever we can, it’s always a lot of fun.
Thanks for sharing Dan – great set!
Edges of the day in Cabo San Lucas
We were in Cabo San Lucas last week for a few days of vacation time. It was our first time to the Baja Peninsula and found it to be a beautiful spot. We spent a lot of time on the water or very close to it. After a few years on the Prairies, the ocean has an incredible pull for both Bobbi and I.
I got out for a couple good shoots before sunrise and again before sunset while we were down there.
We stayed along Sunset Beach, just outside the town on the Pacific side. Very quiet beach with wonderful rock formations the only breaks to the stretches of sand.
Definitely a place I am looking forward to shooting again.