Currently browsing posts tagged with "Canada"



Jasper’s Fall Colors


Fall colors in Jasper, Alberta, Canada


Fall colors in Jasper, Alberta, Canada

After all the recent lake shots, I figured I’d post something a little different. This is an aerial view of the Athabasca River and a train snaking through Jasper town amidst splashes of brilliant Fall colors.

PS: I’ve been too busy lately. If I am late in replying to your question/request, my apology. I do try to answer emails and post new photos when I can.


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Peyto Lake


Peyto Lake -  Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada


Peyto Lake under the midday sun – Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

Peyto Lake is one of those rare locations that is best photographed under a brilliant midday sun to get the full impact of its turquoise water from suspended glacial flour in the lake refracting the green spectrum of the sun’s light. The three most famous glacier-fed lakes with bright turquoise/emerald water color in the Banff-Jasper area are Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and Peyto Lake. Each has its own beauty, but perhaps this view of Peyto Lake seen from Bow Summit is the most visually striking of them three.

This is a single exposure shot at 16mm with a two stops soft-edge GND filter.


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Storm Clouds over Herbert Lake


Herbert Lake, Icefields Parkway -  Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada


Passing storm over Herbert Lake, Icefields Parkway – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Woke up on a rainy morning, wanted to stay in bed; but couldn’t go back to sleep, so I put on my rain gears and headed out. I took refuge from the rain staying under the trees on the shore of Herbert Lake. The rain stopped for a while, and Herbert Lake’s surface settled as the morning light broke through just enough to add dramatic colors to the storm clouds passing over the Bow Range. Standing alone in the woods, I thought perhaps I should have stayed on Lake Louise, but I was bored from shooting sunrise there with over a dozen other tripods. On Lake Louise, I felt like a tourist, on this small Herbert Lake a few miles away, I felt like a traveler. The difference between a tourist and a traveler? Not so much in term of semantics, but state of mind. Perhaps G.K. Chesterton said it best, “The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” On this cold and rainy sunrise, this was what I saw.


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First Light on Pyramid Mountain


Morning light on Pyramid Mountain -  Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada


Golden sunrise light on Pyramid Mountain – Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

I waited for nearly two hours to get this shot. It wasn’t a spectacular sunrise, but eventually, first light lit up the side of Pyramid Mountain for a few minutes. I love catching first light on mountain peaks mirrored by a perfectly still lake surface.

There is a sense of separation in this composition: the distant cloud formation seems to mimic the rock formation under water, and a piece of driftwood serves as a lone element connecting with the distant trees on the other side of the lake. The ethereal light on the mountain is the force that binds these displaced elements together. As I wrote in my previous post, light is what you see. I hope you see what you seek.

PS: Perhaps this scene looks familiar? It is the same location where I shot Every Man Should Paddle His Own Canoe.


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Patricia Lake Autumn Sunrise


Golden aspens awaiting first light as the morning mist rises from Patricia Lake -  Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada


Golden aspens awaiting first light as the morning mist rises from Patricia Lake, Jasper National Park – Alberta, Canada

I shot this image about fifteen minutes prior to my previous photo, Layers of Stillness. From this view, turn 120° left to see the alpenglow on the Triden Range. Patricia Lake is small and easily accessible, but when those aspens turn colors on a crystal clear lake water surface, this place is incredibly photogenic. Throw in a moody cold Autumn mist rising under a colorful sunrise sky, this place can take one’s breath away. The best part about this beautiful morning sunrise? I saw only two other sunrise watchers enjoying this scene in silence. Out on this small lake, I found my own space and time, and I loved the absolute stillness of this quiet sunrise. This was one of those rare intangible moments that I can’t described nor captured with my camera. I think of myself as a “light chaser”, but it is not just about the light, it’s about finding those “pauses” that make time stands still. “Light” is what you see.




Layers of Stillness


Sunrise on Patricia Lake, Jasper National Park - Alberta, Canada


First light on the snow-capped peaks of the Trident Range reflected in the stillness of Patricia Lake, Jasper National Park – Alberta, Canada

I mentioned in my previous post that I spent two hours on Patricia Lake for a sunrise that didn’t materialized; undeterred, I went back the next morning and caught this beautiful sunrise: first light struck the snowy peaks of the distant Trident Range as the Autumn fog slowly rose from the stillness of the lake water surface. Everything seemed to move in super slow motion in the quiet dawn hour. Being a city dweller, my sensory gets assaulted every day from every possible directions; thus being out here in this quietude was nirvana as I found myself lost in these layers of stillness …




Every Man Should Paddle His Own Canoe


Morning light and autumnal reflections on Pyramid Lake, Jasper National Park - Alberta, Canada


Morning light and autumnal reflections on Pyramid Lake, Jasper National Park – Alberta, Canada

This photo is one of my favorite landscape shots that I’ve done to date. Technically speaking, this shot was difficult for me to pull off. I went to Patricia Lake for a sunrise shoot. After two hours of flat light and choppy water, I decided to move to Pyramid Lake where I found calm water just as the morning light began to light up the aspens on other side of the lake.

I setup my tripod inside this canoe, thinking that I’d get plenty of opportunities to experiment with different compositions; but every single movement I made caused ripples in the calm lake water, ruining the reflections. Then the wind started to pick up, sending ripples across the lake. So I sat inside this canoe and waited patiently for my shots as the morning light dappled in and out of the clouds. To get a good exposure was also a challenge. I stacked a two stops soft edge and a two stops hard edge Lee GND filter to keep the highlights in checked and to prevent the mountain details from getting lost in the shadows.

I love this shot not because of the technical challenges, but because how I felt so connected to this scene as I sat inside this canoe with my tripod and remote shuttle release cable. The wind was a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to contemplate about what I wanted my image to convey. Since I was in Canada, it’s fitting to quote Wayne Gretzky, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” In this shot, I aimed the canoe not at the light directly, but where I anticipated the light would be when I reached the other side of the lake. I’ve been paddling my own canoe since I was sixteen. Although my canoe might be old and leaky, it always takes me to where I want to go. Of course, I am speaking metaphorically. This canoe didn’t move at all during the time I sat in it, but it took me on a journey, a self-discovering journey that I will always remember.


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Twilight Sky over Maligne Lake – Jasper National Park, Alberta


Twilight Sky over Maligne Lake


Spent a week in the Canadian Rockies during foliage season and came home with many beautiful photos. Out of seven days there, I was able to photograph one good sunset. The Canadian Rockies have so many beautiful locations that I would love to be able to spend a few weeks there. Between Banff and Jasper, I much prefer the quiet beauty of Jasper. For this evening, I had all Maligne Lake to myself. For hours, our car was the only vehicle in the parking lot.

Will post and write more about my trip. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this image. I captured many different variations of this beautiful sunset over Maligne Lake’s boat house, but like the soft pink clouds in this shot as opposed to later shots that feature intense red skies.

To get a good exposure of the sky and the foreground – including those trees that might have been in deep shadows, I stacked a 2 stops soft edge GND filter and a 2 stops hard edge GND filter. To get extra vertical coverage of the beautiful soft pink sky while maintaining my favorite rocks in the foreground, I took two horizontal exposures at 16mm and combined them in Photoshop. To capture the cloud movements, I lengthen my exposure to five seconds.





Once Upon A Time …


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An alpine chalet on a glacial moraine, The Prince of Wales Hotel – Alberta, Canada


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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


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