In the Winter 2015 issue of Outdoor Photography Canada magazine, which should be on the newsstands any day now, we are privileged to have published an article, Tonquin Valley Photo Adventure by Horseback, that we wrote about our trips into the backcountry of Tonquin Valley in Jasper National Park, Alberta. This is a magical place for photographers and outdoor lovers in general, with spectacular scenery and lots of wildlife. Here are a few more images from our trips into Tonquin Valley, and to learn move about our horseback photo adventures make sure you check out our article in Outdoor Photography Canada magazine. – Mark
Back in July one evening during our “Women Only Photography Workshop” at Aurum Lodge, a thunderstorm rolled through and a lightening strike started what became known as the Spreading Creek wildfire. Spreading Creek is on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River near the Banff Park boundary. The wildfire grew rapidly spreading both east to the slopes of Mount Peskett and west into Banff National Park on the slopes of Mount Murchison up to Highway 93 at Saskatchewan Crossing. At one point the wildfire jumped the Saskatchewan River and the David Thompson Highway (Highway 11) into an area that had been burned previously as a prescribed burn in 2009. At least the firefighters were able to attack that part of the fire and douse it right away before it had a chance to spread further. It was over two months that the firefighters battled the wildfire, which burned an area approximately 9000 hectare in size. To see some images of the wildfire in July have a look at our previous blog post from July 17th.
In October Mark and I returned to the area and spent part of a day taking some images of the burnt forest. Three months after the fire started, we were surprised to see it still smoldering in at least three places and in some other area there were some plants starting to grow up from the ashes, signs the forest is already beginning to regenerate. – Leslie
When we travel we are always on the look out for places that we can take our dog K’san for a walk. Last year we discovered another park in south Nanaimo, and it is a real gem. Called Colliery Dam Park, it has a number of pathways that are all amongst the trees, big beautiful Cedars, large old Maples and statuesque Douglas Fir trees. On hot and sunny summer days the trees provide some relief from the heat with their shade and the water in the small reservoirs is clean so K’san can wade in them to help cool down even more. It is also a great place to take some photographs of the trees and the rest of the forest found there. – Leslie and Mark
A couple of years ago Mark and I were in Banff National Park at the Vermilion Lakes, the light had not been very dramatic that morning as the sky was cloudy to the northeast and clear to the south with no cloud to under light and give more interest to the scenes that we photographed. Some of the photographers there that morning, were already packing up and leaving, maybe they did not see the potential or maybe they needed to get a cup of coffee into them to warm up but Mark and I weren’t done with it quite yet.
When out photographing at any location Mark and I try to be aware of the changes happening around us. One of the things that we watch for is how the light might potentially change. Is there a gap in the clouds or is the sun about to come out from behind the mountain ridge? We try to envision how the light may affect the scene in front of us. If we think it has potential we will stay and wait to see if it will pan out.
Some clouds had begun to break to the northeast and in the south a few clouds were drifting in from the west. We both noticed the light was about to change and so stayed a bit longer. The resulting images have there own strengths the first image has a cool, calm and relaxing mood while the image taken 3 minutes later has a warm, vibrant and inviting mood. The light and how it changed made a world of difference between the two images, they are the same but different.
So when you are out take the time to observe the changes around you, sometimes it can be worth the wait. – Leslie
A few days ago I was searching for an image I had taken in Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, Seeing the other images in that folder instantly brought back some fond memories of that trip, so right then I made a note that I needed to return to that folder to process a few of them. Here are some of those images. – Leslie
A couple of weeks ago we were in Banff National Park to do some photography and regain some of our sanity back. While driving along the Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy. 1A) we stopped at the Muleshoe Picnic site as there were still some leaves on the trees. I thought it was time to relax a little and play so while Mark worked (too bad for Mark as he had to work on some OPC magazine gear reviews), I grabbed my Olympus camera and went for a short wander and created a few dreamscape images, here are a few keepers from what I took. – Leslie
In June Leslie and I were on Vancouver Island and while there we visited one of our favourite city parks in Nanaimo, Bowen Park. Wandering around the park it didn’t take us very long to end up back at the unique resting totem poles that we mentioned in a previous blog post. This time I decided to give myself a little assignment and only photograph the totems using one lens only – a telephoto lens. I had with me the new Pentax K-5 IIs DSLR camera body and a number of Pentax lenses that were loaned to me for review on the K-5 IIS that I was working on for my Gear column for an upcoming issue of Outdoor Photography Canada Magazine. I paired the K-5 IIs with the Pentax-DA* 200mm F2.8 ED[IF] SDM lens, and since the K-5 IIs has a APS-C sized sensor the 200mm lens is equivalent to a 300mm telephoto lens on a full frame (35mm) camera. The combination worked really nicely and I got some great results with it. It was lots of fun doing my mini self-assignment and it is something that every photographer should do on a regular basis. Mark
During our Beyond the Basics Workshop at Aurum Lodge we take the participants out in the field to put to practice the lessons that were talked about. This year one of the locations we visited was the Mistaya Canyon in Banff National Park. Along the bank of the river at the start of the canyon we came across these small inukshuks, built by someone who must have had some fun balancing the rocks on top of some boulders out in the river. Leslie