Tag Archives: hiking

What’s wrong with snap shot – Crashed cessna near Takakkaw in 2001

This time, the article won’t be serious. I found this photo when I was archiving slide film. This photo was taken in 2001 when I was living in Kaploops, British Columbia and travelled to Canadian Rockies. I do remember so many things happened during my trip in 2001, but I totally forgot about the crashed Cessna near Takakkaw falls. I searched on Google and I found the airplane was 180 floatplane crashed around August 19th, 2001.

This photo is just a snap shot. But I got back some other memories with this photo like I left eyeglasses at the camping site after I took picure and I had to go back from hiking for 3 km to get them back, or I injured my knee in Lake O’hara, or a pole of the tent broke at Mt. Edith Cavell and I had to give up camping. I barely made parking lot before sunset. We phographers often have discussions like wether photography is art or how original photography should be. But I sometimes think camera is great visual recording tool, and the snap shots please people years later. That’s aslo powerful.

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Autumn landscape in Lake O’Hara – Large format slide film

Another photo from film, but this time is 4×5 color slide. This image was taken at my last autumn trip. When I visisted lake O’Hara, peak of larch trees was a little passed. But I still got some good… actually, some great shots. I will post them in future posts. For this post, I respect the media so I kept the digital processing minimum and only global adjustments were applied. It is nature of slide film. I heard large format sizes of Fuji Velvia had been discountinued in Europe. I hope the supply of the such a legendary film will last longer in Canada.

 Lake McArthur area in Autumn  by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Lake McArthur area in Autumn by Hiroaki Kobayashi

More large format stuff here:

 

My first photo workshop guide experience

Last week end, I visited Lake O’Hara, British Columbia. It was workshop by Brian Merry and I was one of leading guides. We started hike around 2 pm and it was beautiful sunny afternoon. The sky was spotless. This condition is perfect for hikers but for photographers….it is boring. I would be taking a nap in my car or searching  good subjects for  better lighting condition coming up later. Although I took my group to some iconic locations, the condition was not for open-dynamic-view type of images. Needless to say,  I have to show them something we can do without a tripod. As an instructor, I did not have time to set up a tripod. I was looking around and I got an idea.

Well…this is not super creative. Many people try the same thing. But this is fun and still some of viewers can tell where the scene is. I think documentary part of photography is also powerful tool to communicate with viewers. Having said that, I felt I had to add some effects to convey my languid feeling in the bright and warm Indian summer afternoon.

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I tried Darton Drake‘s techniques. I hope the result is more special than Instagram. Lastly, thank you, Brian, for giving me the opportunity.

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.

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Impact of Photography, and Tone – Lisa Mercer

My little one – Pika

Recently, I  have been quite busy for the gallery show and post processing for bunch of photos. But here is my cute animal portrait. This friendly pika was taken in my 2nd Lake O’Hara trip with a bunch of camera club members. I hope you like it.

Hey, I am here!

Oh, one thing I can mention. Do not trust auto focus for these situation. Rather than chasing a target with auto focus, waiting an animal to come into a frame tends to result in more successful shots, in my experience.

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.

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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.

My hiking outfits for photography

This is the photo of myself after hiking to the saddleback trail in the lake Louise area. I am carrying full set up of camera gear to fields including 4×5 view camera. One thing missing in this photo is my digital camera, which was used to take this photo. Since I do not use zoom lenses, I have to carry bunch of prime lenses. So the waist pouches are essential to access and to change the lenses quickly. The backpack is actually a long-lens carrier.  However, I use this backpack to carry my 4×5 lens fitting well in this backpack, and still I can put some film folders and large format lenses. Other things stuffed in the bag are extra clothing, a rain jacket and pants, lunch and bunch of snacks. You can not predict mountain weather so clothing keeping myself warm and extra nutrition are must items. You can see the panorama head built by Greg Nuspel.

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I wish the BMW next me would be my car.

Even I tried the All Souls Alpine route in Lake O’hara last year with this whole sets of the camera gear.  At that time, I did not have a carbon fiber tripod. It was 15-years-old, over 4 kg alminum one. Here is the proof shot.

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Autumn color – Lake O’hara

The best season for photographers has come. I mean autumn season! Trees along streets have already changes to yellow in Calgary so Rocky mountains must be really beautiful now. Another good thing of this season is camping sites are not as busy as summer. Last year, I traveled to Lake O’hara. I met many photographers over there and many of them carried Canon or Nikon DSLRs. But also, interestingly, I could see more unique formats of cameras, such as old film Hasselblad, Infrared film, Kodachrome, and pin hall camera. I brought my 4×5 view camera as well as my regular camera sets. The photo bellow is the one of the images I took with 4×5 in lake O’hara.

The Autumn of Lake O'Hara

Also this is the photo I could sell at the last gallery exhibition. PLease click the photo for the larger image.

Landscape photography in a cloudy day

Thinking of this summer, I had rainy days or at least cloudy days almost every weekends. What even worse is those cloudy days were overcast weather, so I did not see any cloud patterns…. just boring gray sky.  It is obviously difficult to shoot gorgeous landscape pictures in this condition.

One day, I hiked the rockbound lake trail in Banff national park. It became cloudy, really cloudy and sky was plain gray when I got to the lake. But I had already hiked 7 km. I needed to capture some images anyway.  So I changed strategy.

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I walked around the lake shore and I found a rocky area and a weed. This could be a good chance to try the 12mm lens I bought recently! I set up my tripod and I approached the lens as close as possible to the grass. Actually those 3 rocks are only 1 m away from the grass. I could successfully eliminate the sky from the frame.