In this summer, I visited Canadian Rockies on most of the weekends, and I have not been to prairies for long time. I think Calgary is a convenient city for nature photographers. Driving to west for 1 hour and you can enjoy the beautiful mountains. Going out side of Calgary to east or south and photogenic prairie scenes are found on every country load. Now the autumn season is done; I think it is about to visit prairie areas. The picture below is taken on my way home from the Writing on Stone park last week.
It was overcast on the weekend and I was not feeling like shooting many photos. But I got eventually this image.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After I shot this photo, the rain started. I had still 7km to my camping site.