Hacks and early mornings


It seems that my site alongside a whole bunch of others got hacked over the weekend.  I have absolutely no words for that.  None.  I knew I had a backup of my entire site, and I knew that my host provider has those backups as well.  So was I worried? Nope, not at all.  So in the morning, as planned, I grabbed my gear and headed out to my favourite spot, Elk Island National Park.  Personally I was hoping for more dramatic sunrise, but the skies were clear.  There were some lingering mists, and these provided some nice mood.   So here is one of the pictures taken with my old 1D MKII, as I hardly take the new Canon 7D out anymore.  With all the focusing problems that 7D has..... ah but we'll leave it for the next time I think.... so enjoy the bright sunny morning.

Here fishy fishy fishy

Playing around a little more with the fish eye lens.  What better place to test it out than a lovely Elk Island sunset.  So here is another Elk Island sunset, but this time with the huge distortion of a fish eye lens.  Personally I'm really liking the effect this lens produces.  Makes me wonder if fish really see the world that way :) Enjoy!

Some mornings....

Some mornings are in black and white, with a dash of color.  Sometimes it's the reverse.  That morning it was mostly black and white.  There was a little color once the sun rose above the horizon.  It was cold, and wet.  It's interesting how photos reflect the mood of the time you took them, or edited them.  Making them very personal, specially if you are shooting for yourself.  Here is that melancholy morning with a little smile.  Enjoy.


Enjoy! Alberta landscape, somewhere west of Edmonton.  This was taken during one of my little road trips to nowhere.  Just aimlesly driving the less traveled Alberta country roads, in search of little gems like this one.

Or this one.  The most elusive Sid the Moose.  This guy was shot almost at night.  Had to crank my iso setting to 1600, to get this, thus the noise.  Sid the Moose, lives in Elk Island National Park, and he is very hard to spot.  Comes out in the very early mornings or late evenings.  I've been trying to get a good picture of him for a long time, and so far this is as best as it gets.  Now why Sid the Moose?  Well you should ask this great photog.... she may tell you, or she might not.  :)


Jasper - Day 2

The second day of vacation did not wake up happy.  The sky was full of clouds, promising rain again, but being intrepid explorers we started our day with the decision to check the Jasper Gondola.  On the way there we met a few natives. Unfortunately Whistler mountain, which is the top station of the Jasper Gondola, was enveloped in low clouds.  So we decided to finally visit Maligne Canyon.

We passed it on numerous occasions, but for some reason we never turned in.  Always going to Maligne Lake and then stoping for longer hike around the Medicine Lake.  On the way to those lakes we were greeted by a nice family of black bears.  They were very kind, and cooperative, even though there were about 10 cars and a tour bus parked near by.

At the Medicine lake we went for a little hike on the shores of the lake.  I did manage to get my kids wet in the numerous streams crossing the path around the lake, so we had to make our hike a little short.

On the way back the clouds started to break up, and the sun finally started to show it's face.  So we decided to return to the Jasper Gondola, and try again with the ascend of the Whistler mountain.

We returned to the hotel, a little wet, and very tired, but with huge grins.  Another great day at the Jasper National Park.

Jasper - Day 1

Well it's been almost a month since I posted anything.   A lot of different reason piled up on top of each other.  Finally though I managed to find some time to actually take some, very needed, time off.  So packed up the family, and off we went to the mountains.  I have been there for a long while and I was missing the sight of rugged peaks. The first day we spent mostly in Hinton, which is located about 40Km east of the Jasper National Park entrance.  A good friend told me about the Beaver Walk, located in Hinton.  When we got there it started to drizzle, which very soon turned into a heavy rain.

We got completely soaked.  I guess it was a good test for the cameras, which worked very well all through the rain.  After we got to the hotel, and dried up a little I could not resist going out to see if I can catch a glimpse of the quite spectacular sunset.  I did manage to catch a very nice Mr. Elk who was eating supper at the side of the road.  Completely ignoring 6 or so cars parked on the side of the road, and people snapping pictures of him.  Yes I joined the herd of sheep, but since I had a longer lens I didn't have to fight for space on the side of the road.  This was a great finish to a busy, wet day.


Filtering Elk Island

It was a promising day, for a very nice sunset.  As everyone know sunsets are my weakness.  So I gathered the family, and off we went to Elk Island National Park.  This time I decided to change it up a little.  A while back I have gotten myself a set of Cokin filters. We were discussing them at length with a fellow photographer (whom I admire very much).  The main thing is that they are really hard to come by.  I think the company went bankrupt, and completely disappeared.  I haven't been able to find any pertinent news on the web at all about Cokin filters.  So as a little reminder I took them along, and here are the results.  Enjoy.

Night at the Lake

Last night I noticed that the sky was clearing up nicely, so immediately decided to go down to Elk Island National Park, for some night photography.  I called and texted a couple of friends, but none had the time to go.... so I had to go alone.  When it finally started to get dark around 11pm, I setup my tripod, programmed the remote for the 35 picture sequence, and settled in for a long wait.  Unfortunately there were a lot of activity at that spot.  At 1am couple of cyclists went through one frame, then a car showed up and drove around the parking lot.  The best thing happened when the sequence finally finished at around 1:45am.  Right behind me there was a spectacular display of norther lights.  Here are some fruits of hanging around at night at the lake.  Enjoy. Star Trails

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Elk Island in the snow - Part 1

This year started slow for me, on the photography side.  So I finally decided to break the spell, and after clearing off the snow around the house, I decided it would be a good idea to drive out to Elk Island.  And it was. It is such a peaceful place.  Snow was falling hard, and I could barely distinguish the white, featureless road ahead.  I almost drove into the ditch, because I was paying attention to the scenery.  I didn't see any cars around.  It was absolutely awesome.  I was trying to spot any kind of fauna, and I got lucky.  I found these guys laying about, trying to keep warm. Enjoy! Buffalo



Storm at Elk Island

The other day, I wanted to try to photograph the well known Perseids meteor shower, which usually occurs at the end of August.  Unfortunately there were a lot of cloudy and rainy days, and I had a fear that I might miss it.  Then one day, the skies cleared up, so I grabbed by gear, and headed to Elk Island National Park. Stars and Clouds

Knowing my luck, or lack of it, the clouds started rolling in just as the first stars showed up.  At first they were wispy and light, but soon enough they started gathering in strength.

Gathering Clouds

Suddenly in the far distance I've noticed some flashes.  Storm was coming.  Oh what luck.  To actually be ahead of a large storm.  Maybe I'll be lucky enough to get some nice lightning pictures.  I quickly changed my view point, and waited.  Within an hour the storm was close enough to show off a fantastic light show, but far enough that it didn't rain.  I was giddy as a kid at Christmas. Enjoy!







Brian and his dog

A few weeks ago, and good friend of mine and a vet went out to Elk Island National Park, to see if we can catch the sunset.  We arrived at our favourite spot by Astotin Lake.  I've photographed a lot of sunsets on that lake, and they are always different.  Every one.  One always meets some interesting people either watching the sunsets, or like us trying to capture it.  This time we met Brian.  Very interesting character. On the first glance you would not say he enjoyed sunsets.  It was not the case.  Here are some pictures of Brian, and his little puppy. Enjoy! Brian and his dog

Brian and his dog

Brian and his dog

New toy and Elk Island part 2

Shooting with the Canon 1D Classic is a pleasure.  I really like how it feels in my hand.  It's big, heavy and solid.  The shutter button compared to my 5D is a little sensitive and I found myself firing shots by mistake.  Also adding a  70-200mm lens with a canon 2x extender adds a lot of weight.  Shots at 1/100 shutter speed become challenging unless on a tripod.  Still I did manage to get a few good shots handheld.  Here are the last shots from my trip to Elk Island. Canadian Yoga


I know I'll be showing my ignorance of the animal kingdom.... but I think this is Elk....



What is the best way to finish off a picturesque trip to Elk Island?  With a beautiful sunset of course :)




After "Summer in Winter" idea was exhausted, we moved to the main road of the Elk Island park, to shoot a hitchhiker idea.  Always wanted to use one of these big cases, and this was a good opportunity. Waiting

Good thing was that the main road in Elk Island National park, this early in the morning, is usually quite empty, so we could do what ever we wanted with out worries.



Summer in Winter?

I came up with this crazy idea on a spur of a moment.  I'm always thinking about weird things, things that don't belong, and this summer in winter wasn't any different.  I just needed someone to do it with.  It's not an easy task, to be dressed in summer clothes when it's -5C outside, but I managed to find a willing soul.  I picked up Jenn at around 7am and we headed out to Elk Island National park. Summer yet?

The sun has just risen, and the morning fog left beautiful frost on the tree branches.  I was hoping for a little more snow, but the weather a week before was quite warm, and a lot of the snow had melted away.  Still because of the morning fog, frost, and pale blue skies, it gave an illusion that it was really cold.

Looking for summer

Jenn was a trooper.  Heels, and a summer dress when it was -5C outside.  Amazing.  I had a couple of blankets with me so she could warm up a little between takes.  I'm not that evil.... :)


During the shoot, I've done something I've never done before.  I switched my camera from my usual Av mode to complete manual (btw. this is all because of Christa Meola, and me peeking at the settings on her camera when I met up with her in California!).  I was taken aback with the results.  I was always afraid of the manual mode.  Sure I set the camera on manual when using strobes, but never like this.


There will be more from this shoot with Jenn.... so stay tuned.