Posts tagged “water

Evening night morning in the Valley of the Ten Peaks

A good friend and I went up to Moraine Lake at the beginning of June.  We photographed from dusk into dark, crashed out for a couple of hours and then shot the sunrise.  These are a few of the photographs as the time rolled by.

Into the night…

Rising with the sun…

 

 

 


Port Angeles – the ocean in motion

 

When I was on the west coast a couple of weeks ago, I spent one morning photographing along the Port Angeles shoreline.  It had been a little while since I have been on the ocean and I was hypnotized by the ebb and flow of the waves along the beach.  I always am.

 


An icy sunset on the Elbow River

I walked down to the Elbow from my home this evening as the sun neared the western horizon.  Dusk brought some lovely color the clouds stretching eastward.  I found this sliver of open water and the interesting ice around it which anchored the scene nicely.


A common loon swims in front of a low, rocky island on a calm, smoky morning on Upper Kananaskis Lake.  Haze from the wildfires to the west was thick in the mountains and often hid the mountains that ring the lake.

 


Mist in Mont-Tremblant

One morning while I was in Québec, I drove out early and found the mist evaporating off of the Rivière du Diable (Devil’s river) where it flows south of Lac Munroe in Mont-Tremblant National Park.  I only explored a small corner of the park but was enchanted by its beauty.


Morning at a bend in the Elbow River

A morning walk brought me to this scene along the Elbow River a little after sunrise.  With snow falling outside as I write this, it feels like that may have been one of the last autumn landscape photographs for me for the year.


Winter in Lake Louise: snow, ice and water

ice-to-water-at-lake-louise-christopher-martin-3832

Last weekend I spent the morning looking for wildlife along the Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park.  I drove along, stopping several times for short hikes to get a view over the river valley or along a creek into the forest.  None of the animals graced me with their presence but the land made it a good morning nonetheless.  In Banff, the lakes are frozen but there was very little snow on the ground.  Halfway towards Lake Louise, the snow was more prevalent and when I got to the lake, the trees were heavy with snow, the ground was well-covered and winter was firmly set.  It has been a couple of years since I wandered along the lake shore in winter with camera in hand.  I enjoyed the time, working to create some images while listening to the multilingual hum from the other visitors as they came and went.  It was a good time to be up there to photograph.  The snow was falling gently, the river that drains out of the northeastern end of the lake was yet to freeze over and the clouds were moving fast so the peaks were in and out of view.  Lot’s of dynamic elements to weave together into a variety of images.  This was my favourite from a relaxed morning doing what I love.


Mother’s Day Aurora

Mother's Day Aurora Borealis - © Christopher Martin-5949

There was an intense auroral storm that started late on May 7th and rang in Mother’s Day with vibrant ripples and sheets until just before dawn.  This session of the Aurora Borealis was the most vibrant I’ve watched over the past five years.  For three hours I watched the sky being canvassed with impossibly bright streams of spray paint. I enjoyed watching them on the northern edge of my community along the banks of the Elbow River.  I thought it was a great start to Mother’s Day and certainly worth losing most of a good night’s sleep to watch the sky.


A storm over Upper Kananaskis Lake

Storm on the Upper Kananaskis Lake - © Christopher Martin-0825-2

Back in October, before the snow had decided to stick around, I spent a stormy morning along the shoreline of the Upper Kananaskis Lake.  The valley couldn’t decide if it was fall and should therefore rain or winter with its snow.  The compromise was a heavy sleet that came across the lake in sheets.  Above, the clouds stretched apart and welded back together as the wind dictated.

Storm on the Upper Kananaskis Lake - © Christopher Martin-0836-2


An autumn morning reflected in Upper Kananaskis Lake

Upper Kananaskis Lake - © Christopher Martin-0586

I started a great day in Kananaskis earlier this weekend walking along the shoreline of the Upper Kananaskis Lake in the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.  At sunrise I was photographing a pair of moose, a mother and her calf, in a meadow and I ended up spending most of the morning at the Sarrail Falls.  However, when I parked near the boat launch at the lake, the soft light, subtle autumn accents, calm water and brilliant reflection of the mountains in the water mesmerized me for several minutes.  I had the lake to myself for a little while and enjoyed the beauty immensely.

Morning reflected in Upper Kananaskis Lake - © Christopher Martin-0593


A Red Rock Canyon Abstract

Red Rock Canyon Abstract - © Christopher Martin-3217

The Red Rock Canyon is one of Waterton’s popular sites to visit.  My son had a great time parkouring along the slick rock, jumping across the shallow stream that the creek becomes in the middle of summer.  I photographed him mostly but the water, its ripples and the lines in this slab of rock, drew my attention for a minute.


A different tree of life

An abstract tree of life - © Christopher Martin -0619-2

I found this abstract tree form in the exposed bed of Medicine Lake east of Jasper.  I liked how water was running down the branches that led into the dry ground.


Dawn at Elbow Falls

Elbow Falls Dawn - © Christopher Martin-9682-2

The early light worked well with a few interesting clouds hanging above Elbow Falls on the day I was up there this weekend.  The soft pink ahead of sunrise shared the sky with the waning full moon early.  As the clouds turned to a deep peach color I moved just above the waterfall.  From there the reflections of colour on the excited water were beautiful and I watched the morning open up.

Elbow Falls Dawn - © Christopher Martin-9699-1

Elbow Falls Dawn - © Christopher Martin-9722

 


Water skimming Tree Swallow

Water skimming Tree Swallow - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII and 500mm lens + 1.4X extender: 1/2000 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

I was on the edge of the lake at Wild Rose a week ago watching the three loons who were diving in and swimming on the water.  A few different times a small flight of swallows deftly skimmed the water nearby while searching for low flying and water-walking insects to pick off.  These Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) are swift, acrobatic fliers so trying to catch a sharp image is a fun challenge.  This little one had just hit the water but missed the little creature and was just pulling up when I caught up to him.


Wild Rose Beaver

Beaver on the lake at Wild Rose - 2014 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII and 500mm lens + 1.4X extender: 1/160 second at f/8 on ISO 1600

The beavers that live beside the lake at Wild Rose are back to their busy ways now that the water is ice-free.  The other night I watched one swimming along the shoreline and around its lodge.  It was a beautiful evening with warm sunshine and clear skies.

 


Elbow Falls Dipper

American Dipper - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/640 of a second at f/4 on ISO 1600

I went up to Elbow Falls last weekend for the sunrise but I stayed for the American Dippers (Cinclus mexicanus).

Winter Dipper - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DII + 70-200mm lens: 1/1000 of a second at f/8 on ISO 1000

I love watching these aquatically adept birds stalking, diving and swimming in the middle of the rapids.  On the last visit to the waterfall, there were three Dippers flitting about moving between the bottom of the waterfall and the rocks at the top.

Patience - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/640 of a second at f/4 on ISO 4000

An uphill battle - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/1000 of a second at f/4 on ISO 1600

Splashing around - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/1250 of a second at f/4 on ISO 2500

They chased each other down river a couple of times but spent most of their time fishing alone.  On a quiet morning in Kananaskis, it was nice to spend my time watching them.

Dipper Portraiture - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/640 of a second at f/4 on ISO 1600

Let's have a look - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5DIII + 500mm lens: 1/640 of a second at f/4 on ISO 1600


Great Blue Heron Reflected

A Heron's flight reflected - 2013 © Christopher Martin

I went to the small lake in Wild Rose on the weekend to see whether the cooler weather of the past week had scared off the pair of Great Blue Herons who summer there.  The shoreline was empty and I thought the lake had been left by these large birds until next year.  I turned my attention to the small island in the middle of the lake.  Under a stand of mixed trees at the far end one heron was standing a few metres back from the water’s edge.

Wild Rose High Four - 2013 © Christopher Martin

It stared my way for a few minutes and then resumed its previous activity – perched on one leg, standing motionless except for the occasional pull at a stray feather or similar grooming habit.  When a noise drew its attention it would stare for a bit and then continue.  I loved the colours in the bushes along the shoreline and their soft reflections.  I hoped to see the heron fly low against this backdrop so I waited.  And waited.

Great Blue Heron reflected - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Somewhere close to an hour later it finally stretched out its wings, stepped close to the water and took to the air.  It was worth the wait.  Flying low, the feet dragged in the water a couple of times as it crossed the lake.  I love watching Great Blue Herons fly, their wings are so large that it seems like they are barely putting in any effort when they fly yet they move at a good pace.

Slicing the surface - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The heron checked its flight as it arrived on the other side and started walking along the shallows.  I watched it stalk fish for a while and then I headed home to warm up.  I think it will be heading south soon.

Checked flight - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Fishing in the shallows - 2013 © Christopher Martin


Fall sunrise at McDonald Lake

Autumn sunrise on Lake McDonald - 2013 © Christopher Martin - 2358

I drove up to Apgar, a small village in Glacier National Park, this morning.  I arrived at the southern edge of Lake McDonald in the dark and headed past the sleeping townsite for the rocky beach.  The full moon provided a bit of light out over the water and I could see the mist was already rising up into the cold air.  I started getting excited as the eastern edge of the sky brightened and silhouetted the mountain peaks above the north and east sides of the lake.  The glow in the sky deepened and the colours came in beautifully.

Silhouettes on Lake McDonald - 2013 © Christopher Martin

As the intense colour began to fade, I was able to balance this great stem of autumn leaves with the lovely Grinnell argillite rocks under the water (the first image).  A very beautiful morning in Montana’s Glacier National Park.


A secluded waterfall in Kananaskis

 

A quiet place - 2013 © Christopher Martin-7750

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens at 17mm: 2 seconds at f/22 on ISO 200

I have spent a fair bit of time hiking and travelling around Kananaskis Country.  That said, I have only seen a small amount of its beautiful landscape.  It is always wonderful to find a new place.  On the weekend, I was revisiting a few favourite spots that I had not been able to see since the flood.  Along the drive between two such spots, up Highway 66, the morning mists and fog were slowly rising up in the warming air in a small meadow I have passed by many times but never explored.  I stopped this time for a few minutes to photograph the light and shadows playing with one another.  There was a roar of water nearby but it was hidden deeper into the forest and I had another spot on my mind so I headed on.

Forest morning - 2013 © Christopher Martin-0428

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 70-200mm lens at 81mm: 1/400th of a second at f/11 on ISO 400

Morning sunlight - 2013 © Christopher Martin-0342

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 70-200mm lens at 135mm: 1/200th of a second at f/11 on ISO 400

On my return past the same place an hour later, I pulled off and set out for a little exploration.  I found a trail that led down from the meadow and into the woods.  Following that for a few minutes, I walked up to the top of this small waterfall.  It was the source of the roaring heard earlier.  The water drops only a few metres but it falls into a narrow bowl of rock which intensifies the sound significantly.

2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens at 17mm: 6 seconds at f/22 on ISO 50

A bit of mountain goating saw me step and then jump down into the bowl.  Water vapour was heavy in the air which played a little havoc with the front of my lens but it was nothing a couple of cloths couldn’t handle over the time I was down there.  I stayed for more than an hour – at one point just sitting down and enjoying this wonderful little place.

Over the rocks and through the forest - 2013 © Christopher Martin-7599

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens at 23mm: 5 seconds at f/22 on ISO 50

The stream is only a metre wide above and below the falls.  At the base, the pool opens up to a few metres across.  There were some signs of recent high water activity but it seems the flow was not enough to damage the trees and bushes that overhang the channel.

Downstream - © Christopher Martin-7731

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens at 19mm: 2 seconds at f/16 on ISO 50

I believe this stream falls into the Elbow River but I’m not sure if it, or this waterfall, have their own names.  I have to find out from a few of the locals who know Kananaskis Country in a way I hope to some day far down my path.

River rock abstraction - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens at 39mm: 5 seconds at f/22 on ISO 200

So, for me at least, this waterfall remains unnamed.  In truth, I like it that way for now.  I really enjoyed that narrow wedge of rock and water below the forest and will be returning there soon.


Mornings with loons

A Loon's stretch 2013 © Christopher Martin-0305

The small lake surrounded by the Wild Rose Estates west of Bragg Creek is a very nice place to watch wildlife.  I often find Great Blue Herons, eagles, geese and osprey plying their various trades in or around the water.  One of my favourite visitors to the pond are Common Loons (Gavia immer).  Occasionally I will see up to four of them swimming and diving.  However, it is usually one couple who comes back in the spring, who then disappear for a couple of months and then return in late summer for a while before migrating on.  They do not nest on this lake so I assume they disappear while they are nesting and raising chicks.  When they return, that is when I usually see three or four loons together.  The fishing at Wild Rose must be worthwhile.

On the water - 2013 © Christopher Martin-0307


The flood at Redwood Meadows

These clouds dropped massive rain in the mountains and on the Foothills for several days, swelling the rivers that run towards Calgary.

These clouds dropped massive rain in the mountains and on the Foothills for several days, swelling the rivers that run towards Calgary.

Our community of Redwood Meadows is located along the Elbow River west of Calgary.  Normally, the river is a steady flow that winds out of Kananaskis Country through the Foothills and drains into the Weaselhead delta in the city.  For the past week, heavy rain and snowmelt swelled the river far above its channels and in many places along its path expanded well beyond its banks.

On June 20th the water was still rising when I took this photograph along the bank of the Elbow River.  The water continued to rise for several hours afterwards.  The line of the berm created by the rocks, sandbags and the trees along the left side were all eroded by the river and disappeared by June 21st.

On June 20th the water was still rising when I took this photograph along the bank of the Elbow River. The water continued to rise for several hours afterwards. The line of the berm created by the rocks, sandbags and the trees along the left side were all eroded by the river and disappeared by June 21st.

Owing to a sustained fight by emergency workers, volunteers, community members and skilled heavy machinery crews to reinforce the berm that separates the town from the river, the water was kept out of most houses.  I did not stop to take many photographs during the river’s rise, we were sandbagging and racing to shore up the berm.  I did grab a few afterwards to remember how close the water came to making things significantly worse in Redwood Meadows.

By June 22nd, when this photograph was taken, the Elbow's waters had crested.  Here the emergency work to shore up the berm can be seen.  The bend in the river here had carved out the bank and nearly collapsed a wide section of the berm.

By June 22nd, when this photograph was taken, the Elbow’s waters had crested. Here the emergency work to shore up the berm can be seen. The bend in the river here had carved out the bank and nearly collapsed a wide section of the berm.  The small trees fallen over on the left are what remains of the stand that can be seen in the image above. 

The reinforcement of the berm continues with many truckloads of concrete blocks and rock boulders being positioned to defend against the next time the Elbow’s temper flares again.

A member of the Redwood Meadows Emergency Services patrols a weak point of the berm along the river.

A member of the Redwood Meadows Emergency Services patrols a weak point of the berm along the river.

The story of this year’s flood from Bragg Creek and into Calgary (where the Elbow joined the Bow River and unleashed true destruction), is still unfolding.  The waters have crested, many people are back in their homes and the cleaning up has begun.  There is great community spirit at all places affected and we will all need that over the next weeks and months.

A layer of mud blankets the forest near the Elbow.

A layer of mud blankets the forest near the Elbow.

The water ripped away trees and changed the shape of the valley.  It carried mud through the forest and left a heavy layer behind when it receded.  I found this small flower which had weathered the deluge and seemed to be a good symbol of strength and resilience.  Two qualities I have seen in my neighbours, friends and strangers who rallied to save a town and continue to work to bring it back to normal.

Resilience - 2013 © Christopher Martin


A Ruddy Duck Outing

Ruddy Duck - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/2500 second at f/6.3 on ISO 800

The Ruddy Duck is an odd creature.  Blue bill, white cheeks, russet toned back feathers with liberal sections of black and motley brown.  I find them to be a beautiful bird but I wouldn’t take issue with someone who felt differently.

Duck flap - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/1600 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Ruddy flaps - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/2500 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Along with photographing Yellow-winged Blackbirds and Eared Grebes during my last visit to Frank Lake, there were several Ruddy Ducks that swam nearby and were caught within my viewfinder.

Bill cleaning - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/2000 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

The males were more prevalent, swimming in the open away from the reeds.  I’m not sure whether the females were shy or, more likely, staying close to their nests.  A few did pass by, this one came right in front of the blind providing a nice opportunity for me.

A female Ruddy Duck paddling by - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/1250 second at f/6.3 on ISO 800

The males came and went, chasing each other occasionally but mostly just skimming their bills along the water catching insects.

Water chase - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/5000 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Splash attack - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/5000 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

These ducks are known for their spiky tail which they often hold straight up when on display.  They seem very formal, almost like a soldier in uniform and at attention, when they do.

Spiky tail on display - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/3200 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Very cool birds.  I’m hoping to see their ducklings on my next visit to the Frank Lake Conservation Area.

A bubbly greeting - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/3200 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600


Rippling on the water

A pond of abstraction - 2013 © Christopher Martin

From a small pond in Granville Island where a light rain was falling. The circular ripples created by the raindrops hitting the water distorted the reflections of trees above.


Californian wave forms

Wave flow - 2013 © Christopher Martin

I woke to a grey morning on the Pacific earlier this week.  As the sun rose, its light diffused across the dull silver clouds and carried on to the waves rolling in.  In these images I stretched some of these waves out with longer exposures (1/30 to 1/2 seconds) and swung the camera around a bit just to play with the idea a bit more.

Wave form 2013 © Christopher Martin-1787

Rip curl -  2013 © Christopher Martin-1798

Amid the abstract work, a few seals skimmed by.  One of these glided inside a wave as it rolled into shore – which was fantastic to watch.  I hope to share images from those encounters as well as a few with Brown pelicans from the same morning soon.

Seal wave - 2013 © Christopher Martin-2534