Beauty in the Light Before the Storm


cameron-lake sunrise storm sky cloud rain light mountain alberta canana waterton snow alpine-lake photofool

Sunrise light before a heavy rain storm on Cameron Lake – Alberta, Canada


As I mentioned in my previous post, I targeted three locations for sunrise during my trip to Montana and Alberta. The first was Swiftcurrent Lake, the second was St Mary Lake (more photos to come), and the third was Lake Cameron in Alberta Canada. After posting a series of photos shot in Montana, I thought I’d jump ahead and post this sunrise over Lake Cameron in Alberta’s Waterton Lakes National Park.

During my first few days in Montana, I shot practically everything I saw in Glacier National Park. I even posted photos shot during the day when I normally don’t touch my camera. In Waterton, I was able to slow down and not to rush to “get the shots”. I scouted out Lake Cameron during the day and picked out my potential sunrise compositions. The next morning, I returned to the lake. I met a Bulgarian retiree who slept out on the lake shore with his sleeping bag. He told me about the glass-like lake surface during a brilliant sunrise that he saw just a few days ago. He also suggested a trail leading up to the top of the ridge with a stunning view looking back into the USA. We chatted for a while, then he looked at the sky, “It will rain. I’m going back to my truck. Good luck!“. I put up the rain sleeve on my camera, lined up my frame and waited, and waited, and waited … the light came out just long enough for me to take a few shots, then the rain came pouring down.

Although I didn’t get the reflections and the sky colors that I had hoped for, this picture is one of my favorites from the trip. I actually had time to construct a photograph. I normally don’t explain my photographs and let the viewers come up with their own interpretations; however, in this case, here are a few points to consider:

  • the bright foreground rock personifies a person
  • the other rocks represent companionship
  • the light on the mountains offers inspiration, hope and dream …
  • the water implies isolation and obstacle to one’s dream and hope
  • the fast moving and threatening clouds suggest that life comes at us fast, and one never knows what the future might bring.

I could go on and on, but I hope that my “new” audience realizes that there’s more than meets the eyes in some of my photographs. This is the hardest thing to do for me as an artist: how to inject emotions and thoughts into a photograph that can connect with my viewers. To me, the difference between a snap shot and a photograph is that a photograph resonates its story with its viewers.

Although a picture is worth a thousand words, and perhaps I shouldn’t “disclose” my underlining theme in this shot, I decided to be a little more explicit because when I showed Broken Kelp to one of my friends, he didn’t understand it. He thought it shows weakness, I told him it implies strength and courage and freedom. After I explained to him my intepretation, he gave me a very strange look: “You are not the engineer that I know for eight years. You are an artist, and you think very differently.” I didn’t get a chance to tell my friend that some one wise once said, “There is an artist in each and every single one of us.”

If you read this far, I hope you find this long post was worth reading. My schedule is a little hectic now, I can’t post three per week, but I hope to be able post at least once a week. Until my next post sometimes next week …