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!

©John Smeeton

Abraham Sunrise

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.

©John Smeeton

 Aspen Impression

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.

©John Smeeton

 Aurum Vista

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.

©John Smeeton

Canyon Study

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.

©John Smeeton

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.

©John Smeeton

Waterfowl Confection

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.

11 Responses to “Fall in the Canadian Rockies Photo Tour Results – John Smeeton”

  1. Gorgeous work. John, you are a master of light and form.

  2. Mary Alston Says:

    Spectacular images! I like your detailed descriptions of how you got the shot.

  3. Great shots! The mountain in the Waterfowl Lake shot is Howse Peak

  4. Wonderful images, love them all, but particularly the last one.

  5. Awesome photos John! It’s really a pleasure to see all these places again through other people’s eyes. I’m glad you got that little bonsai tree in “Aurum Vista”.

    Best Regards,

    Doug

  6. Spectacular! Thanks for trekking out in the cold whilst half asleep so that we can enjoy your clicks!

  7. Great shots John. It was a great pleasure shooting with you that week!

  8. Mike Boutin Says:

    Excellent work. The texture in Canyon Study is supperb. The descriptions are detailed and poetic.

  9. I am at loss for words. Spectacular shots. Reminds me again why we continue to love the WEST! We need a nudge like this now and again Thanks John

  10. Très belle gallerie.

  11. BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS. I particularly like the last one with the mountain reflection. it is stunning.

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