The Weekly Photo – January 31, 2011


©Darwin Wiggett - Athabasca Glacier

I just returned from a winter photo tour in the Canadian Rockies. The conditions this year ran the gamut of extremes. The first day we had a powerful and warm Chinook roll through the region creating a vortex of winds that slapped us hard while out on the ice of Abraham Lake. Have you ever seen a 40lb camera bag skirt across the ice at 30kms an hour? The high temperatures of +10 Celsius literally melted the ice beneath our feet. We were soon walking on a layer of water above the ice. I felt like Jesus  minus the sandals… and the super-powers. The crystal clear ice  of Abraham Lake soon clouded to milky white in the high temperatures. And then the rain came (in January!). After the rain, big snowfalls followed and then the temperatures plunged to a low of -24 degrees under crisp blue skies. We had almost every type of weather imaginable. But everyone managed to pull off some really nice photos. I just downloaded my take and plan to edit them over the next day or two. More to come.

For now, here is an image taken in September of the serac of the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park. It’s a 4 km hike on the glacier to get to this ice-fall area. You’ll need to hire a guide to take you out on the glacier and I highly recommend Ice Walks for this service. For this image I used the shift feature on my Canon 17mm tilt-shift lens to make a vertical panoramic image of the ice. With the camera in  vertical orientation I shifted the lens down to get the foreground ice-hole. Then I shifted the lens up to get the  distant background. The result of merging the two-shifted photos is a 2:1 pano. In September the ice has had all summer to melt and it looks grungy and old.

Speaking of photography field techniques, tomorrow (Feb 1, 2011), my six-week on-line course, The Essentials of Digital Landscape Photography: Field Techniques starts. As the title suggests I give detailed lessons  and image critiques relating to field techniques. For more information click here.

And for those photographers who wish to improve the ability to ‘see’, I highly recommend Samantha’s course which also starts tomorrow on Learning to “Speak” the Language of Visual Expression.


8 Responses to “The Weekly Photo – January 31, 2011”

  1. Beautiful image Darwin.

  2. Great image as always Darwin! Thanks for sharing.


  3. I look forward to seeing your new images! I’ll be heading out to Jasper and Banff possibly as early as next week. I don’t know what would be worse the warm Chinooks you experienced or extreme cold.

  4. So I guess the ice is all messed up now at the lake? Do you still think it’s worth to go?

  5. If rain in January shocks you, you should definitely avoid Vancouver ;o). Other than that, the temperatures in your part of the country sound pretty crazy. Oh yeah, and nice image.

  6. Well, you may not be Jesus, but you do have some superpowers of your own to get a masterpiece photograph like this one. Wonderful. I love all the textures and shapes. It has a HD feel almost but I imagine that is just the lighting, which is also quite interesting. One of these days I would sure like to get up there to that snowy, icy Northland for one of your excursions.

  7. This is just amazing…love this image and the way it just draws the eye into it…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: