Dawn at Lake Louise

Apparently I carried my tripod to Canada, in and out of 6 hotels in my 50-pound suitcase, for a reason. The Really Right Stuff tripod is too heavy to hike with, but I set it up in front of our picture window at the Chateau Lake Louise. Which was a good idea, because my husband pointed out the reflection of Victoria Glacier on Lake Louise early in the morning as the sun peaked over the eastern ridge. I was able to make this image in my pajamas!

Using a tripod, I was able to capture this crystal clear reflection in the early morning light on Lake Louise. Using ISO 400 and f/11 for depth of field, my slow exposure of 1/6 of a second captured this image. Notice the gentle morning light on the western slope of evergreens.

Vivid Emerald Lake

Vivid, almost surreal color is the first thing I noticed about Emerald Lake. We arrived on a cloudy day with light rain just starting to fall. On a sunny day, the lake color would be a little different. It is glacial rock flour that is suspended in the water that reflects this vivid blue-green hue, so I’m guessing the lake would look even more green in the sunshine.

The red canoe glides along Emerald Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. September 2019

Rain or shine, Emerald Lake is not to be missed. While it would be stunning to see this lake in winter snow, access to the Lake is closed in winter due to high risk of avalanche along the route.

More photos to come of the scenic Canadian Rockies! I’ve just begun to process my new collection. Have you been there?

Mesmerizing Icefields Parkway

One instantaneous view while riding along the Icefields Parkway. Image captured at 2500 ISO with the Sony a7rII while riding on a bus. Watch for more photos in future blog posts.

Driving the Icefield’s Parkway in Alberta Canada and watching the constantly changing panorama of peaks and glaciers, rushing streams and ever changing sky is like watching a fire in the fireplace. It’s mesmerizing. The peaks are always changing shape. Sometimes the sun pops out to illuminate a small area. Sometimes a green-tinted glacial creek emerges into view, rushing over rocks behind the fir trees. Glaciers hang in the high valleys. Yellow trees punctuate the green space.  We passed bridal veil falls and Mirror Lakes, but we sped past, not stopping. 

The view changes every few seconds along one of the most scenic drives in the world. It’s a long ride from Jasper to Banff. Imagine how long it would take if I were stopping for photos. As we sped along, I felt like a sports photographer, keeping my ISO high, my shutter speed at 1,000 of a second, and hoping I would click the shutter at the right instant without a tall pine tree obstructing the view.

Those who enjoyed the view, listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, had the right idea. I recommend the drive to you.

I hear there is much more traffic during ski season, so September/October might be ideal. 

Big Daddy Moose

moose, canada, Alberta, jasper, horns, wildlife, safety, male, woods, sundog, sony
Evening light was low, and the moose was in motion. With an ISO of 4000 on the Sony mirrorless camera, I was able to capture this image of a powerful male moose with a well developed rack.

This time of year, it’s mating season for moose. Male moose that have grown a big rack, let the younger, less developed males know they are superior. They attract a “harem” of females with which to mate. They may sow their seed and  impregnate several females. Female moose, I’m told  by Derek of Sundog Wildlife Excursions, are attracted to the males with big antlers, by instinct. Perhaps they project that their offspring will be alpha males as well some day. 

Along the roadside near Jasper, Alberta, Canada, we spotted 5 moose — a female, a calf and 3 males. It was tough to get a clear photograph of the male with the fully developed rack since he walked behind the brush. When he did come out to walk by the road where we had a clear view of him, the Parks Canada truck cut in front of us, blocking our view and presumably shielding the animal from spectators in cars. Personally I think the alpha males working for Parks Canada wanted the best view to themselves, as we stayed respectfully inside our vehicles. Anyway, I got one exposure of Mighty Moose in the dwindling light through an open window, and here it is.

Just to show you a comparison, here is my photo of a younger male moose with newly developing horns. Hopefully one day, he will attract a harem of females and enjoy his mating season as the Big Cheese.

This bull moose is large, heavy and dangerous, but no match for the bull moose with the larger horns.

For me the American photographer, I was pleased to have five chances to photograph these enormous wild animals on a random evening in September. Word on the street is that most visitors aren’t as lucky. Derek’s record as a regular guide is six.

Finding Moose in Jasper

Our current trip to the Canadian Rockies has afforded little time to process photos and write blogs, but I wanted to take a hot second in Banff to process and share one of my fun wildlife photos.

We caught this young bull moose foraging along the roadside in Jasper National Park. Had to stay in the vehicle as moose (as well as elk and bear) can be quite dangerous.

Stay tuned for many more photos of the amazing landscape of the Canadian Rockies. I recommend this trip to Lake Louise, Jasper and Banff to everyone I know, especially in the Fall.

Van Gogh Self Portrait

Van Gogh’s Self Portrait was recreated in flowers at Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory. The strong shapes and colors in his portrait allowed the Pittsburgh artists to make a remarkable piece.

Do you recognize Van Gogh with his piercing eyes, red beard and straw hat? The choice of plants in the portrait even reflect the different dots of color found in the background and the jacket. Find this recreation of the Self Portrait at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh.

The current flower show features rooms inspired by other Van Gogh paintings such as Starry Night, the bar with the pool table, and a Provencal house.

My previous blog featured a landscape photo with clearly defined shapes that are different colors. Do these two compositions inspire your work?

California Vineyard

On a summer trip to San Diego, I made a day trip to the Callaway Vineyard in Temecula, California. This view of the undulating hills and the distant mountains caught my eye, and I made this photograph.

I was attracted to the simple shapes in this composition, and the way the brown/green diagonal dividing line broke up the horizontal bands. Temecula, California.

I brought home a delicious sparkling rose wine with strong hints of peach and a Cabernet Sauvignon. I was impressed by several wines I tasted. I hope you enjoy the view in the photo until you can get there yourself.