Currently browsing posts tagged with "snow"



Ruth Glacier Landing


Ruth Glacier Landing, Alaska

Ruth’s Glacier landing during McKinley flight from Talkeetna, Alaska.

During a sunny summer day, Alaska is as spectacular as it gets, especially from the air. Here’re two sample aerial shots: a pilot view of McKinley and one of the many snow peaks along the Alaska Range. After I finish posting other Alaska photos shot during my trip, I might return to this series and select more to post as I shot many aerial photos during our flight from Talkeetna to see Mt McKinley up close.


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Passage To Heaven


Denali Park Bus and Mt McKinley, Denali National Park

Denali National Park bus and Mt McKinley in the morning light, Alaska.

This is a classic view of Denali. I love how the park road seems to connect to the base of the Alaska Range and extends up to the Harper Glacier splitting Mt McKinley North and South Peak. I converted this image into black and white to heighten a sense of darkness and light hinting by the dark foreground shadow and the brilliant morning light on the Alaska Range. Prior to this shot, I had been shooting for nearly two hours, but could not find an interesting foreground object to frame Mt McKinley. Then our bus slowed down, and this story telling composition showed up out side my window. All I had to do was to steady myself for a few shots to catch that bus.

The majority of Denali visitors take a six hour school bus ride into the park, have lunch, then spend another six hours on a bus ride back out. Statistic says only 30% of park visitors see Mt McKinley since Denali is typically shrouded in clouds. On our way into Denali, a park ranger informed us that only 5% of park visitors decide to stay over night inside the park. Of those 5%, I am not sure how many get to see Mt McKinley at sunrise or sunset.

Aside from Mt McKinley, with two million acre of wildlife preserve, the main attraction of Denali is wildlife viewing. Occasionally, our bus driver would point to a small dot far way, “See that rock there? It wasn’t there yesterday. Its a caribou!” We saw young caribous and adult male caribou with massive antlers. I took a few wildlife shots, but my main interest was the Alaska Range since there is only one Mt McKinley on earth. I suggested to our bus passengers, “This is a very rare opportunity to see Mt McKinley in this beautiful morning light.” Our bus got quiet; everyone sat back in their seats and took it all in until we lost sight of the mountains. “Its gone now!“, the gentleman in front of me quietly whispered to his wife; she nodded.


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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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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 …




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.




Mono Contemplation


Fading Light on Mono Lake- Eastern Sierra, California

Normally a popular spot for photographers, but in the middle of a cold winter, solitude can still be found for intrepid travelers seeking a few moments of clarity before darkness comes. Mono Lake – Eastern Sierra, California


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Great White Fang Winter Sunrise


Winter Sunrise over Mt Morrison - Eastern Sierra, California

Winter sunrise over Mt Morrison – Eastern Sierra, California


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Frozen Twin Lakes Twilight


Frozen Twin Lakes Twilight

A two minutes twilight exposure of a frozen Twin Lakes – Eastern Sierra, California


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Road to White Mountains


Road to White Mountains

Looking West on California State Route 120 from a few miles East of US-395


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Motion in Stillness


Motion in Stillness

Early morning winter light on Mono Lake, California.


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