It was a quiet passage into 2013 at our house this year. We enjoyed the Redwood Meadows community fireworks (thank you to the team that put on the show – it was fantastic!) at 8 and then celebrated New Year’s with the East Coast of North America so that our kids could take part. At four and six years old, staying up until midnight in our own time zone seemed unlikely. We said goodbye to 2012 and wished each other and our family the very best in the new year. I would like to extend the same warm wishes to you and yours. Happy New Year!
For those interested, both of these photographs were taken with the camera on tripod using mirror lock up with the lens focused to infinity (works well with smaller apertures). When the firework missile streaked skyward, I triggered the shutter and used longer exposures to capture the explosion and the cascading streaks that followed. For the first image, I had the camera set on manual with a shutter speed of 13 seconds at f/11 on ISO 500 while the second image was 8 seconds at f/11 on ISO 800. As always, you can click on each image to open a page with a higher resolution version.
There is a small pond just across the road from the firehall in Redwood Meadows. Spring is when wildlife is most active in this stretch of water.
It regularly overflows its northern edge at that time of the year and then fills up a much larger area, not even close to a lake but it becomes a much larger pool. This year has had a fair bit of rain so the pond has stayed beyond its borders for the summer so far. The other evening, the light was really rich and warm. With the hot temperatures, it was a draw for the animals. I was happy to watch them for a few minutes.
Thanks to my wife’s persistence and my father’s carpentry skills, we have a collection of framed prints and canvas images on display at a booth in the annual Kananaskis Country Art & Craft Show in Redwood Meadows this weekend. We have images of local wildlife and landscapes ranging from 8×10 up to 24×36 with prices ranging from $85 to $395. If you are in the area, please drop by to say hello. We are in the Redwood Meadows House beside the Fire Hall. Our booth is in the main hall beside the hot food counter.
The images in this slideshow are some of the prints and canvases available for sale at the show that runs 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday.
For anyone not able to attend, just a reminder that I sell prints and canvases directly as well. With the holiday season upon us, I have reduced the print prices for images purchased from me by roughly 20% in anticipation of some volume discounts that should lower my print costs. If you are interested, please see the buy prints page on this website. All images displayed here and on www.chrisphoto.ca are available for printing on paper or on canvas in any size up to 5′ wide.
Have a great weekend!
The deck off of our bedroom looks over the path that runs the length of Redwood Meadows towards the Elbow River. A couple of days ago, I was looking out of the windows towards the water and I saw a large bump in a clearing in the trees just across the trail. I ran out of the house with my 300mm lens to grab my tripod from my car and then walked up the rise. I thought it was a moose and I was really excited to see a young cow laying down in the snow. She seemed to be relaxing in the last sunshine of the afternoon. With the long lens, I was able to stay a good distance from the moose and she was not upset having me nearby. When their ears lay back and they keep their eyes pinned on you then you need to back away and possibly leave. I try to keep that from happening so that they stay comfortable and I can spend some time with them.
After a few images, she stopped nuzzling in the snow and got up to nibble on the twigs and branches. With her slowly walking westwards, I headed further down the path to the trail that leads down to the river. My thought being that if the moose kept moving west, she would come to this path which would allow for unobstructed photographs with the opening in the forest.
Leaving the moose behind, I lost track of her for a few minutes. I thought she might have headed through the forest north directly to the river but then I heard some rustling and soon saw her among the trees near the path. Here she was munching on foliage and watching me. I had set up in the middle of the path as I wanted her to see me and then choose whether to come closer or remain in the forest. With moose, I prefer to make sure they know where I am as they can become stressed if you disappear then suddenly appear or create noise nearby (per the shutter on a camera). She moved parallel to me and then crossed the small clearing and dined on the branches skirting the edge of the path.
Heading down the path, I thought she was going to the river but then she headed east, backtracking into the forest. At that point, I thought she was gone for the day. Evening was coming in quickly so I headed on to the river to see what the sunset might look like. The last one I shot there in December was beautiful so it is always worth checking. There wasn’t too much color to the west so I headed up one of the dried up channels of the river and was very happy to see my new friend once more. She had toured through the woods and then headed to this arm of the river to continue grazing.
I didn’t follow her this time as she trekked through the snow, heading up another path to my house. At the top of the trail, I looked for her and this is the last image I made with her heading north into a stand of trees towards the main part of the river. Possibly to cross into the undeveloped forest there or to continue her eastward trek between the Elbow and our small community.
Moose are not a rarity around Bragg Creek, but this was the first time that I have seen a moose directly in Redwood Meadows. A very special encounter with a beautiful animal.
This squirrel has lived in the woodpile beside our garage for more than three years. I used to think that he poached the bird seed for the woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches that stay near year round that we put out. Now I just put out extra for this little fellow. This afternoon I was throwing peanuts out on the deck and he showed up right after I whistled to the bluejays to let them know their snack was served. In this photograph the squirrel had carried one of the peanuts up to a low branch while a jay above set some snow loose when it jumped off its perch.
I was invited to photograph the children in my community of Redwood Meadows with Santa Claus on Sunday. He took a little time out of his schedule to sit for portraits at the community hall. We had about fifty children come and Santa was fantastic talking with all of them and sharing in their plans for the holidays. It was hectic and a lot of fun. Certainly makes me appreciate the photographers working where there are hundreds of kids in line!
I started the shoot with my children, Kian and Kezia, to do some quick tests but everyone was anxious to get rolling so it was a bit rushed. Kezia, at just under two years old, was happy to stay cuddled in her mommy’s arms. She had no interest in sitting on Santa’s lap so that photograph will have to wait for next year. Here are two that I did get of Kian.
Here, Zac and Ivy Keyser look quite at home on Santa’s lap. They were ready to share their wish list and listen to Santa’s input.
When it was time to put on the smiles, they were definitely ready.
Mackenzie and Parker brought their dog Morris with them and I love the photographs we made.
When it was time to go, Parker was ready.
Probably the best part of the afternoon was working with my Dad. As I was mucking about with gear, he led the set up of the props and the scene. During the shoot, he worked the main reflector and did a great job. It was really fun working together – thanks Dad! At the end of the portraits, I got a nice shot of my parents together with Santa.
On the gear front, I used my Canon 1D Mark III and stayed with one lens. Sadly, my old workhorse, the Canon 70-200 lens, has lost its trustworthiness badge as back focus crept into a couple of images. This tracks back to a drop I’m guilty of from almost a year ago at Glacier National Park but lately it has become more of a problem. This lens has served me well but it is now at the top of the replacement list. I lit the scene with a single Canon 430 EX flash (6′ off the ground on camera left) bounced off of a large silver umbrella with a 36″ reflector close in at camera right and mixed with ambient. I’m happy to report that my new Pocket Wizard remote flash controllers worked very well and I really enjoyed the ease of use and reliability of the system. Looking forward to leveraging them more in my work.
I had a great time and want to thank the Redwood Meadows community for letting me take portraits of our wonderful children.
A young doe sauntered out of the forest and into our backyard this morning. She was in no hurry to pass through as she found a few flowers around our deck that were still available.
We have a small herd of mule deer that stay close to the community year round. It’s always great to see one of the family come around for a visit – even if they always dine and dash.
I was out for a walk with the hound this morning a little after the sun had crested the hill east of our home in Redwood Meadows. I just kept the long lens on the camera and looked for interesting details in the autumn landscape.
We went over to the banks of the Elbow River that run parallel to the road through Redwood Meadows. This yielded some interesting patterns and creative opportunities. We are nearing late fall here in Bragg Creek now. There are many trees with few leaves left to shed. Still a lot of beauty yet to be found before the season draws to a close.
The Tsuu T’ina Nation’s reserve lands run on both sides of Highway 22x, The Cowboy Trail, as you approach Bragg Creek from the east. Every year, the band holds a Rodeo and Pow Wow in July at their Beaverdome and rodeo grounds across the road from the Redwood Meadows Golf Course.
The event is attended by nations from all across North America. The rodeo is a major pull for competitors and fans alike. Drawing on a rich history of horsemanship and true cowboy toughness, these men and women put on an exciting, unpredictable and truly enjoyable show.
Here is a sequence showing a great ride ending with a hard, hard landing…
… I spoke to this gentleman afterwards where he had missed a full ride by less than a second. He told me he almost had him and all he wanted to do was get back on tomorrow. Awesome! Pretty mean looking horse too.
I stayed late on Saturday night, with the sun leaving us in twilight, a moon drifting higher in the east and the bulls seeming to gain the upper hand over the would be riders. It was a relief at the end, as there were a couple of bad tramples. There may have been a couple of broken bones but not many moans. It has been said how tough cowboys are and watching a bull stomp on a rider’s knee or chest, that comes to light in the aftermath.
The breath holding eased as the last of the riders made their way off the dirt. Giving room for the beauty of the area and a great sporting event to take back center stage in the minds of the crowd as we shuffled out of the grandstands.
I already can’t wait for next year’s rodeo (July 22-24). If you can make it, you will have a great time and meet some wonderful people.