Archive for Fire and Ice Photo Tour

Fire and Ice Photo Tour Results – Earl Merrimen

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2011 by Darwin

Below are Earl’s favorite six photos from his time on the Fire and Ice Photo Tour. Earl decided to ‘stretch’ himself and shoot most of the time in black-n-white.

©Earl Merrimen

©Earl Merrimen

©Earl Merrimen

©Earl Merrimen

©Earl Merrimen

©Earl Merrimen

Advertisement

Fire and Ice Photo Tour Results – Roger Raepple

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Darwin

Below are Roger Raepple’s favorites form the Fire and Ice Tour:

©Roger Raepple

©Roger Raepple

©Roger Raepple

©Roger Raepple

©Roger Raepple

©Roger Raepple

 

The Weekly Photo – Nov 21, 2011

Posted in TCBlog, Weekly Photo, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by Darwin

I just got back from the final Fire and Ice Photo Tour this year. We were ‘blessed’ with cold temps (-25 degrees over night) and therefore some nice ice and even a little bit of fire (sunrises and sunsets). The gang of shooters were a blast and everyone was open to the amazing possibilities nature tossed our way.

Part of each tour is a safety meeting about ice conditions. You can see here what happens when someone does not listen to the safety spiel! The good news is with my super long exposure of the scene (5 minutes using a Lee Big Stopper ND filter), the waves and bubbles of the struggling participant did not even register in the image. So let this be a lesson, always listen to your instructor….

This one is dedicated to Joe (thanks for leaving the camera gear on shore) 😉

©Darwin Wiggett

The colour version – Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, Canon 24 TSE, 5 minutes at f11, Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer, Singh-Ray 3-stop soft-edge grad, Lee 10-stop Big Stopper ND filter.

©Darwin Wiggett

The B+W version (conversion done in Nik Silver Efex Pro) – which version do you prefer?

The Weekly Photo – November 14, 2011

Posted in Art of Photography, Image Processing and Software, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2011 by Darwin
Where's the Fire?

©Darwin Wiggett

Here’s the Ice, Where’s the Fire?

This photo was taken on the last morning of the Fire and Ice Photo Tour in the Canadian Rockies which ended yesterday. Unlike most November tours, this tour we were given cloudy and snowy conditions. But even with the lack of ‘fire’ (sunrises and sunsets), the group of intrepid photographers made some great images.

One of the tricks I use in ‘bad light’ (e.g. overcast, grey days) is to set my digital camera to ‘monochrome’ so that the LCD of my camera shows B+W photos. I find it helps to strip away the colour to see compositions in B+W. Often there will be great images out there that speak to be taken even in the ‘crappy’ light. The image is a case in point. In colour it had no life but when I saw how it looked on the LCD in monochrome, I decided the photo was worth taking. If you shoot in RAW format the camera will display a B+W image on your LCD but record a full colour image in-camera which you can use to make B+W conversion later in post processing. I use Silver Efex Pro 2 as my default B+W conversion program (for a 15% discount on the software just enter darwin as the discount code on checkout). Stay tuned for great shots from participants in the following weeks most of whom used the monochrome setting on their cameras to mine wonderful B+W images in the moody light

For anyone wanting to see the new ice in the Rockies and hopefully to get a bit of fire to boot, there is one spot left starting this Wednesday (November 16) until Sunday (November 20). Contact Alan at the Aurum Lodge (info@aurumlodge.com) to for more information.

Weekly Photo – December 10

Posted in Filter, Inspirations, Photography Gear, TCBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2010 by Darwin

Over the last two weeks I have posted results from participants in the November Fire and Ice Photo Tour. I have also posted three of my own photos from the tour on November 19, November 26 and December 3. Theses three previous posts along with the six images below are my favorite keepers from the tour. If anyone is interested in signing up for the 2011 or 2012 Fire and Ice Tour click here.

©Darwin Wiggett

Abraham Lake at Preacher’s Point, Kootenay Plains, Alberta

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, TS-E 17mm 1 second at f11, ISO 100

©Darwin Wiggett

Athabasca River at Old Fort Point, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, TS-E 24mm 1 second at f8, ISO 100, Singh-Ray 2-stop soft-stop grad filter

©Darwin Wiggett

Athabasca River and Gargoyle Mountain, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, TS-E 24mm, 20 seconds at f16, ISO 100, Singh-Ray 2-stop soft-stop grad filter and Lee 4-stop solid ND filter

©Darwin Wiggett

Snowbird Glacier, Mount Patterson, Banff National Park, Alberta

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, Sigma 120-400mm lens, 1/50th at f8, ISO 100

©Darwin Wiggett

Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, Sigma 24-70mm f2.8, 1/5th at f8

©Darwin Wiggett

Mount Chephren, Banff National Park, Alberta

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, TS-E 17mm 1/80th second at f5.6, ISO 100, two image stitch using shift

Fire and Ice Photo Tour 2010 – Dawn Traverse

Posted in Inspirations, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2010 by Darwin

The photos below are images Dawn Traverse created while on the 2010 Fire and Ice Photo Tour.

©Dawn Traverse

Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta

©Dawn Traverse

Athabasca Falls, Jasper National Park, Alberta

©Dawn Traverse

Coleman Creek, Banff National Park, Alberta

©Dawn Traverse

Tree Trunk along Mistaya Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta

©Dawn Traverse

Preachers Point, Kootenay Plains Alberta, Canada

©Dawn Traverse

Preachers Point, Kootenay Plains Alberta, Canada

Fire and Ice Photo Tour 2010 – John Knight

Posted in Inspirations, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2010 by Darwin

Below are John Knight’s images from the 2010 Fire and Ice tour. Be sure to drop by John’s website for lots more inspiration!

©John Knight

Chephren’s Mirror-Mount Chephren and Waterfowl Lake, Banff NP, Alberta

Canon EOS 5D Mark2, Canon TS-E24mm f/3.5L II

Exposure:  1/5 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 100

Filters:  Circular polarizer (Singh-Ray) + 2-stop grad (Singh-Ray)

Tripod & Head:  Gitzo 3540 XLS with RRS BH-55 ballhead & cable release

Description:  Sunrise at Waterfowl Lake along the Icefield Parkway was our first stop on the 2010 ‘Fire and Ice Tour’.  This image was one of my first using a tilt-shift lens.  For this shot, I looked for something ‘simple’, i.e., just the mountain and its reflection.  With my camera in Av mode, I used the camera’s ‘live view’ and the lens’ ‘tilt’ capability (i.e., with a ‘tilt’ of only a couple of ticks with the tripod at eye level) on the lens to make sure that everything was in focus from a third of the way into the image to the mountain top.  Before taking the shot, I adjusted the polarizing filter and inserted a 2-stop grad filter.

 

©John Knight

Fire on Ice, Preacher’s Point, Abraham Lake, Alberta

Canon EOS 5D Mark2, Canon TS-E24mm f/3.5L II

Exposure:  1/5 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 100

Filters:  Circular polarizer (Singh-Ray) + 2-stop grad (Singh-Ray)

Tripod & Head:  Gitzo 3540 XLS with RRS BH-55 ballhead & cable release

Description:  For this shot, I was poised precariously near the shoreline on the thin newly formed ice of Abraham Lake.  I made sure that I stayed close to the shoreline where the water was shallow.  The main challenge, however, was to stay in one place while lying on the polished ice.  Each time that I moved, gravity tried to pull me down slope towards deeper water.  Walking crampons would have been great, but they were in the car.  A polarizing and a 2-stop grad filter were used with a low ISO to slow the shutter speed so that I could capture some of the time-lapsed colour changes in the clouds.  I took some shots with a 5-stop ND filter (Singh-Ray) to further slow the shutter speed (next image), but the colour caste from this filter (magenta) created a very different look to the sunrise.  I preferred the shot here without the 5-stop ND filter.

 

©John Knight

Icy Stepping-stones, Mistaya River Canyon, Banff NP, Alberta

Canon EOS 5D Mark2, Canon EF24-105 f/4.0L IS USM @ 97mm focal length

Exposure:  0.3 sec @ f/16.0, ISO 100

Filters:  Circular polarizer (Rodenstock) + 2-stop grad (Singh-Ray) + 5-stop neutral density filter (Lee)

Tripod & Head:  Gitzo 3540 XLS with RRS BH-55 ballhead & cable release

Description:  This image was selected from within a larger image.  I wanted to capture the detail of the crystalline and amorphous ice types framed by the moving water.  The smaller ice-covered rocks look like stepping stones, drawing your focus into the image and towards the large boulder in the background.

 

 

©John Knight

Autumn’s Tranquil Transition, Whirlpool Point, Kootenay Plains, Alberta

Canon EOS 5D Mark2, Canon TS-E24mm f/3.5L II

Exposure:  1/4 sec @ f/16.0, ISO 100

Filters:  Circular polarizer (Singh-Ray) + 2-stop grad (Singh-Ray)

Tripod & Head:  Gitzo 3540 XLS with RRS BH-55 ballhead & cable release

Description:  Near the end of our tour and just before sunset, we stopped at Whirlpool Point along the David Thompson Highway.  I scrambled down to a small protected lake that had frozen recently.  The gathering storm clouds framed the highlighted mountains in the middle ground. The bluish-grey light from the setting sun helped to create a moody feeling.  The protected tranquility of this scene was an illusion of reality.  Only a short distance away, frigid and dust-laden winds howled down the North Saskatchewan River valley, a stark reminder that winter was just around the corner.

 

 

©John Knight

 

Frozen Orbs, Preacher’s Point, Abraham Lake, Alberta

Canon EOS 5D Mark2, Canon TS-E24mm f/3.5L II

Exposure:  30 sec @ f/13.0, ISO 100

Filters:  Circular polarizer (Singh-Ray) + 2-stop grad (Singh-Ray) + 5-stop neutral density (Singh-Ray)

Tripod & Head:  Gitzo 3540 XLS with RRS BH-55 ballhead & cable release

Description:  This shot was taken with a 5-stop ND filter (Singh-Ray).  The magenta colour caste created by this filter was then adjusted in Photoshop by using the ‘white point eye-dropper’ tool to sample different parts of the image until a pleasing result was found.  The orbs in the foreground were formed from bubbles of methane gas that seeped from the lake bottom and were trapped in the ice as the lake froze.

©John Knight

Bighorn Audio-visual, Bighorn Sheep, Jasper NP, Alberta

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, Canon EF500mm f/4.0L IS USM

Exposure:  1/250 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 800

Filters:  none

Support:  bean-bag

Description:  Even during a tour focused primarily on landscape photography, it is important to keep a camera and longer lens handy for surprise encounters with wildlife. While returning to Jasper from Moberly Flats we found a herd of Big Horn sheep.  With my other camera, I quickly captured several head-shots before everyone started to leave.  In keeping with the principles of ‘first-best-different’ (Bill Marsh), I decided, in collaboration with my son, Eric, to create an unusual image of the sheep’s head that is ‘different’.  The result focuses your attention around curved geometry of the horn and from the ear towards the sheep’s eye.

Fire and Ice Photo Tour 2010 – Marko Kulik

Posted in Inspirations, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2010 by Darwin

Marko Kulik who runs the popular photo blog Photography.ca came along on the Fire and Ice photo tour this year. Here are Marko’s six favorite images from the trip.

 

©Marko Kulik

Icy Sunrise at Preacher’s Point, Abraham Lake

The ice formations at Preacher’s Point were just awesome. I could have easily stayed there the entire day and the sunrise was also one of the best that we had. I spent a good part of the morning on my belly sliding on the ice looking for cool ice formations. Although the ice I laid on was solid, the lake was not totally frozen and I kept hearing ice cracking sounds which freaked me out quite a bit.

 

©Marko Kulik

Ice Cave at Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta

I must have 20 shots of this ‘ice cave’. I kept moving closer and closer and closer until my footwear would not let me move any closer or my feet would have been soaked with ice-water. I was super-intrigued with the ice-forms to the right of the central rushing water as they seemed smoke-like to my eye.

 

©Marko Kulik

Waveform at Coleman Creek, Banff National Park, Alberta

I really dug Coleman Creek and had the 105mm Macro on for close up details. The great thing about the l05 (I have the Nikon version) is that it’s also a lovely portrait lens. When I spotted the interplay between the water and the ice here, I immediately focused a few feet in front of me. I thought of surfing as I captured this waveform.

 

©Marko Kulik

Junction, North Saskatchewan River, Banff National Park

The rushing water, the icicles, as well as the rock faces all caught my attention in this composition. I was also struck by the strong shapes and the interplay between them.

 

©Marko Kulik

Icy Tree Reflection at Waterfowl Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta

I was struck by the painterly feel of this reflected tree in the ice. The cracked ice and textures made for a nice canvas for the tree’s reflection.

©Marko Kulik

Ice Disks, Abraham Lake

This was a challenging shot to get because I cut my pinky finger on the ice maybe 5 minutes before taking this shot. I was bleeding a bit and tried to stop it with kleenex and it worked for a while. Every time I needed real dexterity though I moved the kleenex and it started up again. Anyway it healed up nicely. Sorry if I spoiled any macro compositions for anyone. Wait a sec the interplay of blood and ice – that might have been cool! I chose to convert this image to black and white because the natural colours of rocks in the background were interfering with the form of the ice disks I wanted to highlight.

Fire and Ice Photo Tour 2010 – Sonia Wadsworth

Posted in Inspirations, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2010 by Darwin

Below are Sonia’s favorite photos from the Fire and Ice Photo tour. Sonia does not have a website yet but based on the quality of her images it is time she got one!

©Sonia Wadsworth

Sunrise at Preacher’s Point, Abraham Lake, Alberta

©Sonia Wadsworth

Ice at Preacher’s Point, Abraham Lake, Alberta

©Sonia Wadsworth

Ice along the shore, Abraham Lake, Alberta

©Sonia Wadsworth

Mistaya River at Mistaya Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta

©Sonia Wadsworth

Gargoyle Mountain and the Athabasca River at Moberly Flats, Jasper National Park, Alberta

©Sonia Wadsworth

North Saskatchewan River near the Alexandria River Bridge, Banff National Park, Alberta

Fire and Ice Photo Tour 2010 – Darren Barclay

Posted in Inspirations, Photography Gear, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2010 by Darwin

Below are Darren Barclay’s favorite six photos from the Fire and Ice Photo Tour. Darren has been kind enough to provide technical and shooting information for each photo. To see more of Darren’s work be sure to visit his website.

 

©Darren Barclay

Aspens. Canon 5DmkII, 0.3sec @ f22, ISO 50, Canon 24-70mm lens @ 65mm, circular warming polarizer.

Having talked to Darwin about these types of “painterly” images, I decided to try my hand at making one. As I was walking back up the trail from the North Saskatchewan River, I noticed that these trees were side-lit. I switched my camera to Tv (shutter priority) and chose a shutter speed of around 1/4sec (0.3sec in this case). I composed the image, tripped the shutter and moved my camera up and down fairly quickly. The result is this abstract image of a small stand of aspens. I spent some time trying different compositions and varying the amount of time and direction that I moved the camera, but this is the image that I like the best.

©Darren Barclay

Mistaya River. Canon 5DmkII, 1/4sec @ f16, ISO 50, Canon 24-70mm lens @ 48mm, circular warming polarizer.

I managed to get quite a few grand scenics and intimate landscapes that I was fairly happy with from our stop at the Mistaya Canyon. For whatever reason, this one just jumped off the screen at me when I was reviewing my images. I had framed this scene a bunch of different ways- high, low, left, right, vertical, horizontal and this comp was the one that seemed to work the best, to my eye anyways. With my camera in Av mode, (aperture priority) I adjusted apertures to get different shutter speeds (the higher the aperture number, the smaller the “hole”, the less light that gets in, therefore the longer the shutter speed) to give me the “streaky” look I was hoping for with the water, all while trying to maintain sharpness. As I was playing around with different shutter speeds/ apertures, the sun popped out from behind the clouds and the light was reflecting off of something behind me causing the ice covered rocks to sparkle. I made a couple of different images before the light fizzled out and this was the one that I liked the best. I processed it in black and white as there wasn’t a lot of colour in the scene other than in the water.

©Darren Barclay

Moberly Flats Ice Bubbles. Canon 5DmkII, 25sec @ f16, ISO 50, Zeiss 21mm lens, circular warming polarizer, 5s neutral density filter, 3s soft graduated neutral density filter.

While I had my dSLR shooting 10+ minute exposures, I decided to grab my point & shoot and wander around looking for interesting subjects. I discovered these insanely cool looking bubbles in the ice and shot a few “test comps.” Once I was done with the long exposure shots, I grabbed my dSLR and moved over to include these bubbles in some shots of Gargoyle Mountain. I set my tripod as flat as it would go and moved my camera as close as I could to the bubbles so I could use the bubbles as a very strong foreground element while still making sure that the reflections from the warm light on the mountain were still visible. Once I was able to get the bubbles as sharp as possible while maintaining good depth of field, I tried shooting this with and without neutral density filters hoping that the movement in the clouds would somehow mimic the shapes and patterns in the bubbles. I settled on using a 5 stop neutral density filter to give me the look I was hoping for.

©Darren Barclay

Moberly Flats. Canon 5DmkII, 80sec @ f16, ISO 50, Zeiss 21mm lens, circular warming polarizer, 5s neutral density filter, 3s soft graduated neutral density filter.

While wandering along the shore looking for some interesting foregrounds to go with the backdrop of Gargoyle Mountain, I came across this patch of grass frozen in the ice. I liked the diagonal lines of the grasses and the windswept pattern of the snow. I set my tripod so that I was able to get as close to the grass as possible while still being able to include the reflection of the warm light on the ice. I used a 5 stop neutral density filter to give me a 1 minute & 20 sec exposure to give the clouds some implied movement. I really liked the way that the diagonal movement in the clouds opposed the diagonal lines in the foreground.

©Darren Barclay

Mt. Chephren. Canon 5DmkII, 1.6sec @ f16, ISO 50, Zeiss 21mm lens, circular warming polarizer, 2s soft graduated neutral density filter.

Mt. Chephren is without a doubt one of my most favourite mountains to shoot in the mountain parks. The shapes, textures and lines in the rock are all pretty cool, especially when covered with some snow and with some warm light shining on it. I always stop there, rain or shine to shoot some images. On this day, I worked along the shore making images as I went and thought that this hunk of driftwood looked pretty cool. I tried to arrange the comp so that the limbs of the driftwood matched and opposed the diagonals of the shoreline, rock and grasses while still having them point towards the mountain. I set my tripod so that my camera was about eye height in order to include as much of the reflection of the mountain on the ice as possible.

©Darren Barclay

Preacher’s Point Sunrise. Canon 5DmkII, 5 minutes & 1sec @ f16, ISO 400, Zeiss 21mm lens, circular warming polarizer, 10s neutral density filter, 3s soft graduated neutral density filter.

Pretty damn epic sunrise on this day, without a doubt. I was heading towards a point of land that juts out into the river when I noticed these bubbles in the ice. I thought they looked pretty cool so I set up a comp with the camera as low as possible in order to highlight the bubbles. Somewhere along the line, the ice cracked and shifted and this hunk of ice popped up above the other sheet of ice so I re-composed a shot to include this in the foreground. To my eye, this scene looked best under exposed so I set about shooting this to highlight the foreground and the sky. I made only one image with a 10s neutral density filter hoping to get some decent movement in the clouds. This is that image, shot with a 5 minute and 1 second exposure at ISO 400. I upped the ISO in order to cut down on the exposure time so that I didn’t miss out on too much of the super sweet light.