The Northern Lights were soft on April Fool’s night. There were a number of photographers lined up waiting for the show but the joke was on us with a subtle display. I didn’t mind, it gave me pause to think about the scene differently and try out a few things. This longer exposure, 8 seconds, with a little movement of both the camera and the grass in the foreground had an interesting look.
Silhouettes and city lights
Watching the dusk fade from the east side of Calgary, the color in the sky softened into pastels. The city’s lights glowed and cast tall stalks of grass into silhouette. It strikes me a little melancholy looking at it now – and beautiful.
A smoked sun
Before rain cleared out the smoke from wildfires, the air was thick and hazy. We were at Chain Lakes for the afternoon and when the sun descended towards the horizon, the smoke intensified the color. Against the layers of the hillside and the silhouettes of the trees along ridges, it was an incredible sunset to watch.
Summer lightning over the Elbow
The gods were bowling in the clouds late last night. The rolling thunder was preceded by steady sheets of lightning and a downpour that reminded me far more of a rainstorm in the tropics than one on the prairies. Once the rain died down, we walked to the banks of the Elbow River and watched as the storm moved eastward out of the low mountains around Bragg Creek. Forks of lightning peeled across the sky every couple of minutes for over an hour. It was a really beautiful summer storm to photograph.
Waterton – a look back at the landscape
Kian and I went camping at Waterton National Park in 2015. I had not realized that it was almost six years ago. When a prospective client asked about my favourite landscape images from the area for a print, I put together this little set for her review.
Link to the portfolio: click here
It brought back fun memories. Looking forward to getting back there with my kids to create a bunch more.
Spring Equinox and the Aurora Borealis
The northern hemisphere’s Spring Equinox was welcomed by an incredible performance by the Northern Lights last night. Desirée and I went out early this morning and watched them dance along high in the sky for hours. It was one of the most beautiful displays that I have seen. It’s made for a slow start in daylight today but was wonderfully worthwhile!
Spaceweather.com has a great article today about auroras and equinoxes which I found really interesting. From their front page, “Around the beginning of spring and fall, cracks open in Earth’s magnetic field–a phenomenon called “the Russell-McPherron effect.” Solar wind pours in to fuel geomagnetic storms.” I didn’t know about that effect – very cool!
No Trespassing Sunrise<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">I enjoyed a beautiful autumn dawn over the prairies northwest of Calgary near Big Hill Springs Park in late September. I enjoyed a beautiful autumn dawn over the prairies northwest of Calgary near Big Hill Springs Park in late September.
Using a headlamp’s red light, I painted this fence and illuminated the sign during one long exposure. There is a juxtaposition of the invitation a sunrise extends at the start of a new day with a sign meant to keep people away that I ruminated on while I photographed the morning.
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.
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.
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.
Happy New Year!
I spent New Year’s Eve at home with my children and one of their close friends. We all had fun and enjoyed the evening. The Redwood Meadows community once more put on a fireworks show.
They always do a great job and this year was outstanding. Kian found friends to watch and hang out with. The other two enjoyed the show from the picture window of a neighbor’s home which provided a good, and warm, view. It wasn’t frigid cold but it was -12ºC and the windchill made it feel like several degrees cooler again.
Some people watched with their kids from their vehicles, some people bundled up and were happy to stand outside. No matter how people watched them, everyone seemed to enjoy the performance. I certainly did.
I set up across the road from the field where the fireworks were set up. I wanted to have the option to silhouette people against the explosions. I used two cameras to have some options. I set one up with a remote control and kept those all at a 10 second shutter speed, lens at f/10 and an ISO of 800. The other one I shot with directly during the show and played with the settings and the composition.
As we have just left 2018 here in Alberta, I wanted to wish you the very best in 2019. Happy New Year!
Late October provided a window of warm weather that gave farmers the opportunity to finish their harvesting. Driving near the Springbank Airport, I saw the dust plume generated by a combine on one field and went to have a look. Often, birds and coyotes can be drawn in looking for any dazed or dead rodents resulting from the harvester passing over their burrows. These ravens were four of a much larger group that were following behind the tractor. I watched these ones as they hopped and flapped around, cawing at one another while searching for food.