One early summer night I wanted to go out to Elk Island for some nighttime photography. I wanted to shoot Milky Way, despite of the fact that one has to wait a long time for the sky to darken sufficiently. Imagine our surprise when instead of stars we saw a lovely display of northern lights.
It is hard to only be able to see winter for months on end. It lasts so long, here in Alberta, that the need to turn to memories of warmer, more colorful months is often overwhelming. As much as the weather is nice right now, we still have a lot of snow on the ground and I find myself missing colors and warmth of summer months. I'm quite happy that I am able to easily indulge in seeing pictures I took during those months
A while back we took a day trip to the mountains. We like to do this from time to time, even if it means that we end up spending most of a day driving. We get up early, pack sandwiches and snacks, winter gear and cameras and take our family out to the Rockies. There is just something that draws us there over and over again...
It is an interesting experience to visit Elk Island at night. We are a city creatures, not very comfortable with being in nature without the ability to see. And then, there are the noises. It is so eerie to stand in the middle of nowhere, where it is pitch black and so quiet that every noise carries a long way. Hard to judge the distance separating us from the animals making that noise.
As the weather becomes colder, I find myself missing summer more and more. It is a good thing, I have so many pictures from our travels to look at. With my family visiting from Poland we were given a perfect excuse (not that we ever needed one, really ;D) to travel all over our province to show them around. This time, we have taken them to visit Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta.
It has been a few years since we have taken this ride into the rural Alberta one May evening. The weather was good, the prairies called and we went to visit one of our favorite places to see what was happening. It wasn't the most beautiful of a sunset, but we still enjoyed ourselves driving along Alberta roads,
It's funny, how I almost cured myself of digital GAS, and how quickly I fell for the analogue GAS. It's really easy to forget about actual photography, when scouring eBay for old cameras. The amount of old film cameras is just staggering. The prices are decent for the most part, although so old cameras fall into the "collectible" or "famous" category, which drives their prices through the roof. I try to keep to the cheap side.
When we go out at night we never know if we come back with something usable. Our weather here in Alberta, changes very quickly and even if we leave the city with clear skies above, by the time we reach a specific location it all might change (mind you, we need to travel quite a distance away from the city in many cases - sometimes more than 100km, which can make quite a difference as well). Landscape photography does require certain amount of sacrifice and hard work..
She can be very elusive. She can show up where you don't expect her to be and don't show up, when you count on her. Sometimes, it's only a pale green hue of the night sky, sometimes - a line across. Some nights, you can only spot her out in the country, where city lights don't obscure the views, but some nights, you can clearly see her from my own back yard, covering most of the sky and showing off for everybody to see.
One of the most wonderful things about Alberta, to me anyway, is the sky. It's huge and always changing and I love watching it and photographing it. The sunsets, sunrises, middle-of-the-days and, of course the storm clouds have been fascinating me for a very long time. At night, you can see million stars, different phases of the moon, Milky Way and, if you're lucky, amazing aurora. Over the last several years I must have taken more than a thousand pictures of the clouds which, to me, are a huge part of the landscape, sometimes, the most interesting one (I do live surrounded by flat prairies after all ;D).
y decision to shoot everything with old film cameras this year, still makes my wife shake her head. I've been asked by friends, why do I want to create images strictly on film. The interesting thing is, I don't know. Is it because I'm tired of perfect images coming out of digital cameras? Or maybe it's the need to slow down, learn patience and enjoy the whole manual process of creating an image.
Photographing flat prairies presents a challenge. It's easy to take a good photo of mountains, since all you need is good light and the pictures take themselves. Rockies are just too beautiful and full of interesting views. Prairies, though, require a bit more of an effort, since one has to find something to catch one's eye, to create an interesting composition.
This time of year I seem to be missing summer with all its colors and warmth. I miss the easy travel around the countryside, long days that allow for frequent trips outside the city, even in the middle of the week. And it does not matter if we bring only one picture from such a trip. The fact is, we are out in the world, under the big Alberta sky, not closed in the city.