Blue Hour at Lake Louise

Making this long exposure (1.6 seconds) of Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada after sunset inspired me to read about the blue hour.

While the scene was quite dark to the naked eye, a long exposure made while the Sony camera rests motionless on a tripod allows the sensor to collect all the blue light present at dusk, or nautical twilight.

A scientist named Chappuis discovered that the ozone layer absorbs ultra violet light, and after sunset this Chappuis absorption has a significant effect on the color of the sky. I’m going to have to learn more about light wavelengths to understand this in depth.

As a photographer, I will remember the soft and soothing effect of this blue hour. Some artists enjoy photographing city scapes featuring yellow incandescent light during the blue hour. Have you tried it?

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. 

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.

I Wish I Were There

I know: the typical line on a scenic post card is “Having a great time, and wish you were here.” This weekend the opposite was true. My daughter Erin was hiking and loving the scenery in Grand Teton National Park, and I wished I were there!

My memories are fresh and sweet from Grand Teton National Park, because I was there recently in late September 2018 for six days of photography from before sunrise to after sundown. I’ll look up an image that I haven’t already shared with you.

The majestic Grand Tetons in early morning light. A patch of golden trees reveals the season: Fall.

Jackson Hole, I will be back! While some of roads are inaccessible in winter, I’m sure the Tetons are beautiful in all four seasons.

Discovering the High Desert

As a part-time Floridian, I’m in love with the coastline, the ocean, tropical plants and birds. I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy an adventure into the California desert, but I did!

My daughter booked an Airbnb in Yucca Valley for a couple days’ visit to Joshua Tree National Park, and we got to hike and explore the “high desert,” something new to me. I found the Joshua Trees to be really funky, and the sandstone boulders fascinating too.

We could see the snowy peaks of the San Bernadino Mountains in the distance, while taking in the textures of the high desert terrain at our feet. Just a short time after sunrise, the sunshine was brilliant.

We were lucky that the temperatures were moderate for our May 20-21 visit, and that we stayed close to the national park, in order to get there for sunrise. Stay tuned to this blog for more photographs from this special national park, Joshua Tree.