This is a short section of the Ashnola River in British Columbia’s Cathedral Provincial Park. I saw a wonderful diversity of riverscapes as I went up and then back down the gravel road that runs closely to the water. This section drew me in but I look forward to going back with the luxury of more time to explore them.
Winter at Red Rock Crossing
Winter at Red Rock Crossing
Canon 5D Mark III + 24-105mm f/4 lens at 24mm: 1/8th of a second at f/16 on ISO 200
Winter in Sedona is a relative term. I spent the morning scrambling over the odd icy patch but was in shorts for most of the day. It can snow here but only a few times a year. Coming from Canada’s frozen lands, I find this part of Arizona’s version of this season very appealing. I hiked around for much of the day and ended up at Red Rock Crossing in the afternoon. Cathedral Rock is a siren’s call for artists and I spent hours enjoying the views across Oak Creek and up to the red rocks. I love the colour palette with the gray branches of the dormant trees, the colourful rocks above and below with the yellow grasses providing a nice bridge to tie them together. A beautiful place to spend time.
A blizzard and a stream
I was walking along a forested stream that runs parallel with the Elbow River where they run under Highway 8 near Discovery Ridge on the western edge of Calgary on Saturday morning. When the snow started to fall, it took very little time for the flakes to grow in both size and frequency.
The trees were soon cloaked in white, leaving the water alone to provide a little colour in the landscape.
It was quiet with only the sound of the snow falling. And a serene walk along this tributary to the Elbow River among the trees that edge its length.
Near the end of the walk, a raven flew overhead – the snow visible between us.
Sunset at Cathedral Rock
(please click on any image to open a higher resolution version)
Bobbi and I are in Sedona, Arizona for a few days this week. We drove into the town yesterday and went exploring down at the Red Rock Crossing for a couple of hours until nightfall. I haven’t been here before so Bobbi is in the role of guide and I am the happy follower.
We went to this location which is split by Oak Creek. The cool waters drew a number of small groups and families offering respite from the 42°C (108°F) heat of the day. We hiked along the riverside trails and photographed reflections in the water, the towering red rocks that backstop the area as well as a couple of lizards. A beautiful place to escape the heat.
What makes this place a destination for landscape photographers are the views of Cathedral Rock and the opportunity to work with its reflections in the creek. At sunset the last sunlight of the day makes the rocks glow. Last night did not disappoint and I had a wonderful time playing with the elements at hand.
Kootenay Landscape: Along the Vermilion River
Bobbi and I drove with the kids up to Lake Louise for a hike on Sunday. The walk around the north side of the lake was nice and the kids had a lot of fun. Not much time to photograph, too busy throwing rocks in the water with Kian and Kezia, but there was some interesting light on the mountainsides when I did stop for a minute.
On the drive back we went on a detour along Highway 93 into the Kootenay National Park. We turned around before Vermilion Crossing at the point where Floe Creek joins the Vermilion River which runs down the spine of the valley. Kootenay National Park has had several large forest fires in the past 40 years and there are huge stretches of matchstick trees. Under these ravaged trunks, evergreens have taken hold and bring color into the hillsides. In the rivers, glacial silt paints the water a lovely blue. Strong lines in the river’s canyon walls and in the burned out forest. A lot of great elements to choose from and work with.
Here are a few images from this bend in the river.
A Cold Dawn at Elbow Falls
Following Saturday’s snow storm, we had a beautiful day today. Sunrise came along at 6am sharp this morning and I drove up to Elbow Falls early and met the day there. The snow was still holding onto the trees and rocks so the landscape along the river had a strong winter tone. I was hoping for the early, pink light to reflect off of the clouds stacked above the mountains into this scene. That did not happen, some clouds eastwards blocked the sunlight until the sun was well clear of the horizon. When the sunlight did reach into the valley, it was beautiful.
On the way up to the falls I even had a minute to take a nice photograph of a moose sitting up in her bedded down spot from the quick ending night. A pretty great morning in my photographic book.
Hawaiian Landscapes: Limahuli Stream
I have been to the island of Kaua’i a couple of times before and each time I have enjoyed exploring the north shore particularly along the Na Pali coast. If you drive up to Ke’e Beach and the trailhead for the Kalalau Trail, right near the end of the road you will cross over the Limahuli Stream.
On my last trip on one trip I passed the creek and I was captivated by the scene and wished we had time to stop. Unfortunately, at that moment, we could not stop and I have honestly had many dreams about this location and photographing here over the past three years since that trip. On this last visit, we made time to stop and I really enjoyed having a little time in this beautiful place. Here are a few images from Limahuli.
Kayak Training Session in Kananaskis
Kayaking is a sport I’ve always been interested in. On the weekend, my friend Jeff and I met up with a team of kayakers at Canoe Meadows on the Kananaskis River. We had arranged with their coach to meet the team during one of their training sessions and photograph them while they practiced on the water.
Good guys, strong athletes and great water made for some fun photography. Here are a few images from the session.
An aggressive charge by the kayaker and a longer shutter speed created an image which suggests the power of the sport and of the water.
The fast pace of the downstream sections provided a nice opportunity to drag the shutter and abstract the action a little.
Photographed just after dropping into this hole, the paddler drives in his oar and pulls himself up and out.
The course at Canoe Meadows is highly configurable and the setup on Saturday appeared to be a good challenge that these guys had fun attacking.
A lucky break in the sheet of water splashing up affords a window into the concentration needed when you are playing in, wrestling on and fighting with a strong river.
Elbow Falls – Metallic Duotone Collection
Following on from the color images of Elbow Falls here are a set of duotone images from the same evening up on the river.
I created the metallic effect using Lightroom’s Split Toning feature. Using gold for highlights and navy blue shadows gives a look that works really well with water.
This is a hard place to leave.
Late Spring Runoff at Elbow Falls
I went out for a photo shoot of the Elbow Falls in Kananaskis, Alberta with a couple of fellow photographers last week. The flow of the water and the textures created by the currents and the rocks were mesmerizing.
The river is still rising from the spring runoff from the snow. Spring was late and so is the peak of the high water from the melting snow and ice in the mountains. The flow is very different from the rest of the seasons. The waterfall is engulfed right now so that the normal lip is overrun. This creates a very different face for the falls which is great to explore with a camera. Here are a few from the edge and around.
As night took hold, blue colors were accentuated creating a cool, dreamy feeling to the long exposure images. This is one of my last from the evening.
Elbow Falls: Winter’s Last Gasp?
I went up to Elbow Falls on Sunday following a heavy snowstorm over the weekend. There were a few warm days leading up to the blizzard so I was hoping for heavy snow in the trees and on the rocks with some good stretches of open water on the river. I was not disappointed.
I’ve tried to stay away from this section of the river but haven’t been able to do it with any consistency. It is a beautiful place and a very special location for me to photograph.
The Chief of Elbow Falls
(Click the image above to open a larger and more detailed version)
The flow of water above, over and below the layers of rock that create Elbow Falls is a beautiful photographic subject at any time of the year. In winter, with the ice and snow draped around the waterfall, I find the magic a little easier to work with and creating some compelling images a bit less elusive.
For as long as I have been photographing this spot, I have always seen the face of a chief in the rock outcropping that sits just below the waterfall. Not only a face in the rock, the lines that draw the lips, the cheeks, chin and nose outline a sketch of the man who watches over this stretch of the river west of Bragg Creek in Kananaskis Country.