Tag Archives: backcountry

Spiral in fall – Three years of patience

I don’t know why…but I like leaves change more than flower season in spring. Maybe because of my personality? It is like after excitements of the short summer, trees set up climax with the perfect stage effect of yellow leaves. After the drama, long enduring winter is waiting. That’s is the reason I visit Lake O’Hara every year.

I tried this idea of flowing needles for 3 years, and eventually, I got a successful image. I used Lee big stopper neutral density filter and achieved 160 sec of shutter speed.

Spiral in fall

Advertisements

Stampede Wstern Gallery Show (2) – Stay on trails

This photo was taken in Lake O’Hara, British Columbiain in early September in 2010. I was walking on a trail and I found a beautiful green moss shinning in the morning sun light in a creek. However, I was with some friends heading to a location for the day. So I decided to come back in the evening. Unfortunately, the day turned to cloudy and we had a shower at the evening. But when I came back to the location I found in the morning, the sky was clearing up. I had still time before sunset.

But here was a problem. The creek was running about 3m below the trail. If I had taken Ninja action, I would’ve been able to go down to the creek. Well…now, I’ve got to tell myself…”No, I can not do this. It is not acceptable”. “Staying on trails”, that was clearly stated by a park ranger. It takes long time to recover once natural habitants are damaged. Photographers tend to bend the rule to get unique shots. But it may result in struggling own neck in long run.

Anyway, I kept walking and I came to cross the creek. Then there was a pass along by the creek. Lucky! I can reach to the green moss without stepping over natural vegetation.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Ultra wide Heliar 12mm/f5.6, my fun lens. Lee 0.9 ND filter. This is HDR image. I used PS to develop the HDR image but the outcome was not satisfactory. Then I tried Photometix, and I am quite happy with the result.

Stampede Wstern Gallery show – need a little help from my friends

Since I have to stay in town for this long weekend in Canada, I am (re)- post processing images for the exhibition at the Western Photo Gallery at the Stampede. These images were taken in Lake O’Hara area last year at the same time, and each image is stitched with 5 images by Photoshop CS5.  The first one shows reflection of mountain in the pond. The 2nd one does not show such a static reflection due to wind and wavy surface of the water. But reflection of trees has a more painterly charactor and impressionism kind of feeling. Interestingly, I did not notice this, until comparing the two images side by side, that the top image is more contrasty and more saturated. The top image, itself has a kind of strong character so it may lead me to add more contrast and saturation unconsciously. On the other hand, the bottom image a little more subtle so it may have made me process the image toward more soft side. What does this tell ya? Although we use many techniques to control conditions of light at a scene, the images opened on a computer monitor first time is kind dull. So we take a lot of time to make photos more attractive. To me, it is not different from wet dark room. My point is this process is strongly affected by mood of image as well as one of a photographer at the location and on a computer. It can be consciously or unconsciously. Don’t you think this is really artistic process?

Actually, I am supposed to submit the 2nd image since it is the one accepted by the gallery. I do not know which image I like, more precisely to say I do not know which one appeal to viewers. If you were me, which would you pick? Any comments are appreciated.

RELATED POST:

Impact of Photography, and Tone – Lisa Mercer

Botany or Landscape photography

This is the photo I took in lake O’Hara in early September. It was my first snow this year. I do not take botany photography since my camera is not capable to take macro lenses.  But still I take pictures of flowers. I think that this image of mine is more like landscape photography rather than botany. 

 

Western Anemone - Lake O'Hara

Now I am waiting for ice and snow covering mountains.

Nature photography – Luck and patient (1)

Surprisingly, I achieved one-two finish in the foothills camera club monochrome competition. Although it is the competition by a local camera club, it makes me feel good.     

The B&W image is the last shot on my lake O’hara trip at the end of September. After 3 days of rainy days, eventually, I got a blue sky… it was a beautiful blue sky….boring blue sky…I need some cloud patterns! I guess photographers are kinds of species who are never blessed. Anyway, while I was hiking up to the Opabin circuit, I found this location. But the sun was already up high. I took some pictures but they are not even close to “okay”.

You know I mean…the blue sky is boring. This is a  HDR image  and I used LEE Big Stopper filter to calm the wavy water. But I failed to bring punch in the image.

I took whole day in the Opabin circuit until the sun disappeared. It was around 05:20 pm. The last bus to a parking lot is 06:30 pm. I rushed to the camping site because I left my tent and I had to pack it up. When came back to the location where I found in the morning, It was breath-taking…nice side light, mirror-clear surface of the water, now some cloud in the sky. I spoke to myself “which photographer misses this shot”. I quickly set up my tripod and camera, and took 5 color images, then took other 2 shots with infrared set up.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I think I was lucky…only 7 shots for about 10 min from setting up to leaving the location, and I got this gorgeous image. What I learned from this experience? …COME BACK LATER…light is more ideal in evenings, and usually you can expect some clouds near the horizon. I will talk about the patient part next time.

Women have better eyes?

I like backcountry camping or staying at a youth hostel because I can meet new people and excellent photographer from all over the places. On my last Canadian Rockies trip, I met a very dedicated photographer from Colorado, Sarah, in Lake O’hara. One evening, I was watching her taking pictures on the lakeshore in the dusk. I found she did not extend her tripod, kept short for most of her shots. I was wondering what she was taking. Later the evening, she showed me the images which she was taking on the lake shore, and I was impressed by her way to compose images. She told me she was looking for lines found in the rock formations, and composed as these lines extended to the mountain. So the rocks will be paid attention first, then the lines in the rock formation lead your eyes to the main subject, which is the mountain in this case. I like this 3D effect and this type of composition is the one, I think, I tend to look for on locations. Here is my photo I took on the lake O’hara trip. 

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
If you find a Japanese guy carrying camera gear, looking down and walking around a lake shore, it can be me. I myself tend to look for rocks lining up to a main subject.

You should check out her blog site, Sarah Fischler – nature photography. I even felt jealous of her outstanding works. Don’t you think female artists often have better eyes?

Backcountry trip to Peter lougheed park

I went backcountry camping in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis, Alberta last long weekend. Unfortunately, it was raining most of the times for whole 3 days. I lost a screw of the tripod head to attach a camera. So photography wise, it was not quite productive.  

I encountered a bear on the trail. The Grizzly was about 10m away, and it was only 200m before the turbine canyon camping site. I turned a corner on the trail and the Grizzly was just raising her head. I guess she saw me. Did I take pictures of the bear? It would be gastroscopy image, I guess.

Creek at the Turbine Canyon Camping site

Lawson Lake

After I shot this photo, the rain started. I had still 7km to my camping site.