Fall in the Canadian Rockies Photo Tour Results – John Smeeton
Below are John Smeeton’s six favorite photos from the 2011 Canadian Rockies Fall Tour. Great having you on the trip John!
The adage “f/8 and be there” was surely intended for this shot. One of the many great things about a photo tour is that a skilled guide, like Darwin or Alan, can interpret the local weather conditions and take the group to where they can get the most out of it. Half-awake I hiked by headlamp with the rest of the group to the shore of Abraham Lake, set-up low looking eastward and came alive as the underlit clouds progressively exploded with colour over the next 20 minutes. It was a pleasure to stand there, cable release in hand, and admire nature’s artistry. Canon 5DMII, TS-E 24 f/3.5L II, 100 ISO, 0.8s, f/11.
A long exposure captured the leaves’ and branches’ motion in the light breeze at this aspen grove near Preachers Point on Abraham Lake. I remember thinking at the time that a landscape painter would surely find this vista every bit as irresistible as did this landscape photographer. Thanks to some post-processing, I met the painter halfway. Canon 5DMII, 24-105 f/4L, 100 ISO, 65mm, 0.4s, f/11, Singh-Ray 5-stop ND.
We walked down the hill from Aurum Lodge to capture the sunrise over Abraham Lake. I twiddled about and made some OK shots but I just wasn’t feeling the love. I decided to head back to the Lodge for a hot cup of coffee. I shouldered my tripod, took a dozen steps up the hill, glanced up and over to my left and voila! The majesty of the trees standing witness to the fog-shrouded mountains was not only a scene I just had to capture, it also energized me for another great day of photography in the Rockies. Canon 5DMII, 70-200 f/4L, 100 ISO, 200mm, 0.3s, f/11.
This was taken under an overcast sky in the late-afternoon at the Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park. It’s a three-shot HDR that looked pretty good in colour but the black and white conversion really emphasized the incredible texture in the rock formations. Canon 5DMII, 24-105 f/4L, 100 ISO, 40mm, +/- 2 EV bracket mid 1.3s, f/8, Singh-Ray 5-stop ND.
Mistaya State of Mind
I’ve lived in Calgary for 17 years, less than three hours drive from the Mistaya Canyon. I’m at a loss to explain how, until now, I was unaware of this photographer’s treasure trove that lay just a short walk beyond the tree cover along the Icefields Parkway. This was taken on the Mistaya River just upstream from the Canyon. Getting a bracketed three-shot capture while keeping the lens surface dry of the wind-blown rain was a challenge. Canon 5DMII, 24-105 f/4L, 100 ISO, 28mm, +/- 2 EV bracket mid 1/15s, f/11.
Even in the pre-dawn shadow the silent vista that greets you as you emerge from the trees to the edge of Upper Waterfowl Lake is awe-inspiring enough to almost make you forget to capture the images you came there for. Then, like a kid in a candy store, the challenge is to choose something to savour from amongst the limitless (but, at sunrise, time-limited) visual confections offered-up by nature. I like this shot, taken on a frosty morning, because it combines the serenity of the reflection and low-lying fog with the nobility of the sunlit mountain. Canon 5DMII, 24-105 f/4L, 100 ISO, 40mm, +/- 2 EV bracket mid 1/8s, f/11.