Archive for Kootenay Plains

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) ūüėČ

©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 ( to for more information.

Canadian Rockies Fall Photo Tour Results – Fran Maletsky

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2011 by Darwin

Below are the six favorite pictures from Fran Maletsky on the Fall 2011 Photo Tour

Photo by Fran Maletsky

 Sunrise at White Goat Lakes, Kootenay Plains  

Nikon D300; 16-85mm lens; 1.0 sec @ f/11; ISO 200

Photo by Fran Maletsky

  Allstones Creek, Kootenay Plains  

 Nikon D300; 105 mm lens; 1/80 sec @ f/6.3; ISO 400

Photo by Fran Maletsky

   Sunrise at Upper Waterfowl Lake, Banff NP  

 Nikon D300; 16-85 mm lens; 1/10 sec @ f/11; ISO 200

Photo by Fran Maletsky

  Sunrise at Hoodoo Creek Bay, Abraham Lake 

 Nikon D300; 16-85 mm lens; 5.0 secs @ f/11; ISO 200

Photo by Fran Maletsky

  Yoho National Park  

Nikon D300; 16-85 mm lens; 1/8 sec @ f/5.6; ISO 200

Photo by Fran Maletsky

¬†Preacher’s Point¬†¬†

 Nikon D300; 16-85 mm lens; 1/250 sec @ f/8; ISO 200

Canadian Rockies Fall Photo Tour Results – Mark Maletsky

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2011 by Darwin

Below are the six favorite pictures from Mark Maletsky on the Fall 2011 Photo Tour

Photo by Mark Maletsky

Sunset at Reflecting Ponds    

 Nikon D700; 14-24mm lens; 1/125 sec @  f/8; ISO 400

Photo by Mark Maletsky

  Wilcox Pass hike
Nikon D300s; 70-200mm lens; 1/640 sec @ f/7.1; ISO 400

Photo by Mark Maletsky

 Wilcox Pass hike
    Nikon D300s; 70-200mm lens; 1/640 sec @ f/7.1; ISO 400

Photo by Mark Maletsky

Natural Bridge Yoho National Park   

 Nikon D700; 24-70 mm lens; 0.4 sec @ f/11; ISO 400

Photo by Mark Maletsky

 Sunrise at Abraham Lake, Kootenay Plains   

Nikon D700; 24-70 mm lens; 1/20 sec @ f/11; ISO 400

Photo by Mark Maletsky

 Sunrise at Upper Waterfowl Lake Banff  NP    

Nikon D700; 24-70 mm lens; 1/60 sec @ f/11; ISO 400

2011 Tours and Workshops – Something for Everyone

Posted in Art of Photography, Artistic Development, Good News, Instruction, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2011 by Darwin

Below is a listing of tours and workshops available for 2011 and into 2012. Their are only a few spots left in these events so if you want to boost your learning in photography then come join us for a great time:

Fire and Ice Photo Tour – November 10 – 13, 2011

This event is sold out but to be added to the wait list contact the Aurum Lodge or sign up for the 2012 photo tour. This is one of my favorite tours because of the short days with great light and the intersection of new ice with the fiery skies of late fall.

Just Announced! Do to popular demand we have added a second Fire and Ice as of Oct 10. Tour starts Wed. Nov. 16th 5pm to Sunday Nov. 20th 1:30 pm (four nights at Aurum Lodge!), with the option to join a day later (Nov. 17th) for those who cannot make the four nights, but wish to come for three nights only. Cost is C$ 1,359 for the four night tour or C$ 1,019 for the three night tour all in. Contact Alan at Aurum Lodge to book. Only two spots left

©Darwin Wiggett

Ice Bubbles on Abraham Lake – Winter Magic Tours 2012 – Feb. 23-26, and Feb. 29 – March 4, 2012

It seems that the Ice Bubbles out on Abraham Lake have now gotten a bit famous especially after my 2008 Travel Photographer of the Year Win which featured my Abraham Lake shots. I have taken many photographers out on the ice at Abraham Lake and now their great photos are circulating around and getting lots of views. I have been leading these tours since 2005 (see the results from back then when almost everyone was still shooting film!).

It might seem an easy proposition to just drive up to the lake in winter and get great shots on your own; and yes that is possible. But the ice bubble locations change from year to year, and most people are unaware of the extreme dangers of Abraham Lake and of the other great locations near the lake. That is where your guides (Alan who lives on the shores of Abraham Lake) and I can make sure we get you to the best spots in the best light no matter the weather. And plus you get the fantastic accommodations of the Aurum Lodge which is a nice retreat after a few hours out on the ice at -25 degrees C!

In 2012, there are two tours available; Feb 23-26, and Feb. 29 – March 4 (this latter tour is already sold out). So if you are keen to photograph Abraham Lake and other great spots this coming winter, then sign up for the Feb23-26 tour before it sells out!

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett - could you find this place on your own?

The Weekly Photo – June 13

Posted in Lens Review, Photography Gear, TCBlog, Weekly Photo with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2011 by Darwin

On my spring photo tour early in June, I took out the Sigma 50-500mm lens for 6 days of rigorous field testing. I will post the results next week. In the meantime here is a photo from the lens shot at 167mm.

©Darwin Wiggett

The photo above is of the Kootenay Plains in fog which is a rare event. Just to show you how much zoom range the Sigma 50-500mm lens has check out the two photos below: the top one is at 50mm, the bottom at 500mm. The two photos are of the same scene. See if you can tell which part of the 50mm picture I zoomed in to for the 500mm shot.

©Darwin Wiggett - Sigma 50-500mm lens at 50mm

©Darwin Wiggett - Sigma 50-500mm at 500mm

The Weekly Photo – April 11

Posted in Image Processing and Software, TCBlog, Techniques, Weekly Photo with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2011 by Darwin

The photos below were taken on April 1st at the Kootenay Plains about 55 kilometres west of Nordegg, Alberta. This spot which I call the Kootenay Plains Reflecting Pools is one of my favorite spots along Highway 11. Anyone who comes on one of my photo tours is bound to get introduced to the reflecting pools which are great at sunrise if there are clouds to under light and again wonderful at sunset when the peaks in the background light up. Usually April is a bit of a tough month for photography in Alberta because the snow is old and dirty or mostly melted and the vegetation is bare and brown. But on this day a  little colour in the sky, no wind and some open water worked well  to make an engaging scene.

Often on a good sunrise day you’ll get three waves of colour, the first is magenta, then second red-orange, and the third is yellow-orange. Nature shared all three waves of colour with great intensity on this sunrise. I shot these photos with a Canon Rebel T2i and my Sigma 8-16mm lens at 8mm. Each shot is a hand-blended exposure of three images bracketed at meter, +2 and -2 EV. I tried to blend the exposures to give a result like my eye remembered the scene. It was an intense sunrise! Let me know if you prefer one image over the others and why.

©Darwin Wiggett - 5.0s at f10

©Darwin Wiggett - 4s at f10

©Darwin Wiggett - 1.6s at f10