The Continental Divide

When you take in the view from the top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park, you can admire the mountain range to the South, if you turn your back to Banff and the Bow Valley to the North. These rugged high peaks in the Sundance Range reach well above the tree line are about 2 miles high. The Sundance Range is part of the Continental Divide.

Looking south from the summit of Sulphur Mountain near Banff, Alberta, Canada. The chutes on these peaks show where avalanches have cleared a path by taking down trees.

The Continental Divide is also the border between Canadian provinces Alberta and British Columbia. We were told that it is particularly hard to predict the weather on the east side of the Divide, not knowing if the weather systems flowing eastbound from the Pacific will cross this mountain range. We were lucky to have a clear day to take in the view.

I checked the Sulphur Mountain webcam, and found these peaks covered in snow today!

Is the Banff Gondola Worth the Price?

For my birthday this year, I got a ride on the Banff Gondola, which included an easy hike along a mountaintop boardwalk with views in all directions. At $51 to $63 per person, the excursion is pretty expensive, but I’d say it was totally worth it.

As long as the valley is not fogged in, the views of the mountains, the Fairmont and the town of Banff are amazing from the top.

I will be posting some of my photos from the summit of Sulphur Mountain. Today (and everyday) you can check the webcam there to see how the view changes with the seasons. As of October 10, the mountains are covered in snow.

Snowstorm Photography

The “street photographer” in me cannot resist taking photos of my fellow photographers when I find myself on location in an amazing landscape. Shooting Bryce Canyon National Park in a heavy snowstorm was one of those occasions. My colleagues Joel and Dennis perched themselves with their tripods pretty darn close to the edge of the cliff.

#snow, #photography, #workshop, #lookout, #cliff
My friend Dennis shooting landscape photography in Bryce Canyon National Park. Dennis lives in Hawaii, where he tries not to fall into lava tubes.

Both Dennis and Joel are very talented photographers. We have kept in touch and swapped stories over the years.

#snow, #bryce, #brycecanyon, #hoodoo, #careful, #cliff, #dontfall, #tripod
My friend Joel spotted a hoodoo with a lone tree growing on top, a formation that made a great composition.

 

 

Snow in the Forecast

Winter storm Benji is blanketing the Northeast of the United States with fresh snow today. Thoughts of fresh snow on the landscape remind me of a very cold morning in Bryce Canyon National Park.

#snow, #bryce, #brycecanyon, #nationalpark, #winter, #landscape, #landscapephotography, #cold, #windchill
The wind chill was super freezing here on Sunset Point (at sunrise), but the snow made Bryce Canyon National Park even more beautiful.

After that morning shoot, I went shopping for a second layer of gloves. I am not a Morning Person!

First Day of Winter

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Niagara Falls, from the United States pier on a wintry day.

The first day of Winter may be tomorrow December 21, but the icy cold weather is already here. When I go outside to walk my dog in Sewickley PA, I think about what Niagara Falls looked like after an exceptional winter in April 2015. Brrrr.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I see green grass out my window today, but it’s starting to snow, and the blustery wind blew my hair up and in every direction. I was so cold, I had to come inside and take a hot shower!  I’m reminded on this photo I took six years ago today after a fresh snow fall.

I used a textured brush tool in Photoshop to reveal the image through a layer of solid white for a notecard. It almost looks like I have scraped the fresh snow off my window.

#winter, #snow, #december, #tree, #howto, #pennsylvania, #sewickley, #photoshop, #cold
Brushstrokes reveal a wintry scene of a snowy tree, shot in December 2010.

January Snow

“In January comes the snow, when trees are bare and wild winds blow.”

Shakespeare’s words are bouncing around in my head, and this scene in Sewickley Heights brings them to life for me. I was driving past Allegheny Country Club’s golf course last evening just before sunset, when I saw the sun, partly obscured by the moon behind this bare tree. I stopped the car and hopped out with my iPhone 6 to take a photo.

Today I brought that image into Photoshop and experimented with a few filters. I settled on the saturation and contrast I could achieve with Nik HDR Efex and some dodging and burning of my own.

Enjoy the coming snowstorm, friends in the Northeast, and don’t forget to get outdoors and take some photos!

January 21, 2016 Tree at Allegheny Country Club
January 21, 2016
Tree and setting sun at Allegheny Country Club