Alan Ernst co-leads the Winter Mountain Magic Photography Tour along with myself. Alan and his wife Madeleine are the owners of Aurum Lodge where the tour is based. Here are a few images Alan took during this year’s tour in January. – Leslie
Winter can test our skill of visualizing, but Puiming (Ming) Webber pushed herself to observe her surroundings till she found subjects that were important to her. And usually it didn’t take her long to find something interesting to photograph. She has a great eye for simplicity, shape and form in the landscape and uses a medium format camera to capture incredible images. The following are a few of the images that Ming captured.
In my previous post I mentioned that there was a painter amongst us on the “photography” tour. Martha (Marty) Hill Schafer sketched and painted with watercolors to capture her experiences during the tour. Marty would join us initially at each location capturing to her memory something that she found meaningful and inspirational from there, and then she would head back to the vehicle to warm up and paint or sketch. At some locations we would be there for a couple hours or more and in the winter weather conditions that we experienced you can’t just sit outside and do your paintings.
Besides being an artist, Marty is also an author and formerly the Picture Editor at Audubon magazine. One of her books “The Art of Photographing Nature”, which features photographs by Art Wolfe, is in our personal collection of photography books. It is a wonderful read and contains great insight into visualizing and composing for both photographers and artists alike (unfortunately I forgot to bring our copy along so that I could get Marty to sign it – maybe next time). So far Marty has submitted one completed painting from the tour, hopefully we will see more of her work in the future. You can view and find out more about her work at aquafolio.com
In mid January out at Aurum Lodge in the Canadian Rockies, Alan Ernst, the owner of the lodge, and myself co-lead our Winter Mountain Magic Photography Tour. This year’s participants consisted of five photographers and a painter, each with a slightly different vision of what they wanted to capture. They all were enthusiastic, outgoing and a lot of fun and all worked well together as a group. We experienced a wide range of conditions; the temperatures ranged from – 18°C to +1°C, there were moderate winds, some snow and several cloudy days. From sunrise to sunset we were out photographing at various locations near the lodge, Abraham Lake and further afield into Banff National Park. Overall we had a great time and captured a lot of wonderful images.
Kevin Schafer is a repeat participant of our Winter Mountain Magic Photography Tour; his first time joining us was in 2016. Kevin specializes in photographing rare and threatened wildlife and has been published in National Geographic. Below are a few of Kevin’s images that he captured on this year’s tour (click here to view some of the photos he took while on the 2016 tour). More of Kevin’s work can be viewed at kevinschafer.com and @schaferpho
It might only be the middle of autumn, but winter is creeping up faster than we realize. This coming January 17th to 21th, 2018, myself along with Alan Ernst of Aurum Lodge, are again running our Winter Mountain Magic Photography Tour. This is a small group tour and space is limited to only 6 (six) participants, and it is filling up fast, as we presently have one space left; so don’t dwell on it too long or this opportunity will pass you by. To find more information on this tour check out our Winter Mountain Magic Photography Tour page or go to the photo tours page at Aurum Lodge. Here are a few images taken from places that we may visit this upcoming tour. Make sure you don’t hibernate this coming winter. – Leslie
On my trip to Churchill, Manitoba, in July to view the Beluga Whales I ended up with a bonus attraction that wasn’t expected, which really made the trip for me. While we were out on the water viewing the Belugas the tour boat operator said there was some pack ice close by and asked if we were interested in seeing it? The consensus was yes, so we headed over to see the pack ice in Hudson Bay. The diversion was well worth it as I found the pack ice to be really cool (pardon the pun), I just wish we had more time to explore and photograph it.
Churchill is where the Arctic Tundra meets the Boreal Forest, it is considered a transitional habitat, so both arctic and boreal species of birds, mammals and plants can be seen in the area, which is great for both naturalists and photographers alike. Churchill in the summer is considered to be a bird watching capital and many serious bird watchers go there to add some unique birds to their “life list”. So if you are a bird watcher and/or a bird photographer and happen to be in the Churchill area during the summer months, there is great potential to increase your bird sightings. Myself, I have taken up a personal “Canada 150 bird challenge” trying to see and identify as many bird species as I can in this year of Canada’s 150th birthday. Over the two days spent in Churchill, I was able to add 12 more bird species to my challenge list. – Leslie
One of the main attractions at Churchill Manitoba in the early summer is seeing Beluga Whales. At the end of June and early in July the Belugas gather near the estuary of the Churchill River, where it flows into Hudson Bay, to give birth, mate and to cleanse their skin. Belugas can be seen right from the beach just behind the town of Churchill, but going out on the water by tour boat allows for much better viewing.
As a photographer from Alberta I find the landscape very interesting since the geology is quite different from what I am use to photographing as there isn’t really any Precambrian Shield in Alberta.
Last week I was in Churchill, Manitoba for a couple of days with my dear friend Lee. In the late fall Churchill is famous for its polar bears, but what do you do in Churchill in the summer time? Surprisingly, as we found out, there is a lot to do there at this time of the year. We primarily went there on a Beluga Whale watching tour with Classic Canadian Tours, and discovered that in addition to the whale watching there were plenty of things to see and do. When we weren’t out watching the belugas we walked in and around the town and discovered it is a town full of public artwork, including statues, wall murals, and a couple of large Inukshuk’s. There were also some information signs about the region and the animals in it.
The tour included the Beluga Whale boat tour and a tour of the Prince of Wales Fort on the other side of the Churchill River and also a cultural and heritage tour. The other activities that were offered during our stay were kayaking with Belugas, snorkeling with Belugas, and a tour of the tundra on one of the Polar Bear buggies (unfortunately we didn’t see any Polar Bears on this trip). Here are a few pictures from our walk around town and the Polar Bear holding facility (aka the Polar Bear Jail) out near the airport. I’ll share a few more pictures of some of the other things we did in a future post – Leslie
Spring is finally upon us but it is still in the transition stage. The snow is melting, the ground is still half frozen and there is no new green in sight. Since I needed to choose the next header for our web site, I thought it should be something neutral to the changing of the seasons. Earlier in March I was on Vancouver Island and visited one of the coastal parks where you can walk along the beach on the polished pebbles and rest a while on the logs that are washed up on the shore. – Leslie
Alan Ernst co-leads the Winter Mountain Magic Photography Tour along with myself. Alan and his wife Madeleine are the owners of Aurum Lodge where the tour is based. As you can see they live in a very beautiful part of Canada, no matter the time of year. Here are a few images Alan took during this year’s tour. – Leslie