I love visiting Rockies in summer! Just the fact that one can explore without layers of clothes to keep one warm is so appealing. No need to worry about road conditions and closures, no need for heavy winter gear. There are things, of course, one needs to prepare for such a trip. Bug spray, sun screen, lots of water, snacks and a jacket or a sweater - we are visiting mountains, after all, are a must. Good pair of shoes and a bear spray are a good idea as well, especially when one thinks about hiking.
I'm not very happy that summer passes so quickly in these parts.. There is not enough time to take full advantage of it, however, we do what we can. This year we have had a rare opportunity to take some of my family and friends along for a trip to the Rockies. It was a wonderful adventure, though there was not much time for fine art photography. There is simply not enough time to wait for a perfect light / conditions, especially when you try to cram as many places to show your visitors as you can. However, one can always practice a bit of travel / family photography while visiting all those beautiful places in Alberta Rockies.
Here in Alberta, we suffer quite a delay when it comes to arrival of spring. Even if we lose all the snow for a bit, we usually get another dump or two in late March, beginning of April, accompanied by quite a drop in temperatures as well. Winter does feel long here on the prairies. It is hard to stay put for such a long time and I drag Mac, quite often, out of the city, even if it is only for a short trip to Elk Island National Park.
Some say that Elk Island National Park is one of the most boring parks in Canada and, to some extend, they have a point. We don't have dramatic mountains or oceans, we don't have desert, cool rock formations, hot springs or geysers. What we do have, however, is peace, quiet beauty, a bit of wildlife and a lake that can reflect sunset colors and often does an awesome job of it.
Well, apparently, it's spring... It is difficult to believe it somehow with snow falling and wind blowing outside. It's going to be a few more weeks before we will see anything green around. But I will not despair. I will simply look at my pictures from last spring and enjoy them with a hope to witness similar views soon.
Yes, we got snow! It seems it's been a regular occurrence at the beginning of November for the past few years.. Well, can't do much about it but try and enjoy the event, so we have taken a trip to Elk Island with a group of photographic friends and went exploring. Here is a few shots from that outing. Must say, the world looks quite beautiful in a fresh layer of white! Hope you enjoy :D Kasia
It's been a while since we last visited and posted something from Elk Island National Park (Spring at Elk Island). We went for a short trip there to capture a sunrise a couple of weeks ago. The sunrise was not very spectacular due to the thick layer of clouds, but soon after the sky started to clear a bit and we decided to stick around for a moment longer to go and check a few of our favorite places. We got lucky and spotted a few animals as well. The thing about nature photography is that it really brings me a lot of pleasure to be able to capture some animals in their natural environment, but it also allows me to experience that environment. And if I'm lucky it is as spectacular as it was that day! Here is a few shots from that trip. I must say, I really like Elk Island dressed in fall colors ;D Kasia
The last time we've ventured to Elk Island National Park the world was covered in deep snow.. (Hunting for Bison at Elk Island). Now all this snow has melted and turned the land into one almost everlasting wetland.. There was no silence when we arrived there about a week ago in the evening. The music of frogs and mosquito buzzing, interrupted on occasion by a bird call or two was everywhere.. Thank Goodness for bug spray!!! If it wasn't for a heavy layer of it we would have been eaten alive!! But, we were rather well prepared, having a tube of the heavy stuff stashed inside our vehicle at all times :D. And it was great because if we weren't prepared we would have missed all the sights we've seen: beavers going about their supper, lots of birds and a surprisingly beautiful sunset - which we didn't really expect due to the clouds gathering on the western horizon. All in all, it was another wonderful trip, made better by the fact that when we started our drive we never planned to arrive at Elk Island.. It just happened ;D.. And, since today, the sky is rather heavy with dark clouds a little bit of colorful sunset and vibrant spring world will do us good, I think.. So enjoy! Kasia
As I have mentioned before, in my post Night Skies at Elk Island - Catching a Comet, we have visited Elk Island National Park a few times recently. It is a great pleasure to be able to visit a wild place without having to drive for hours on end.. Escaping the civilization is a wonderful way to relax and if you are lucky enough, you not only see some gorgeous skies, but get a glimpse of some animals as well. We have been lucky this time to catch a few shots of bison. We have started our search for animals with Bison Loop, alas there was no bison there. We did manage to capture a couple of lovely sunset pictures, though (some of them shared by Mac in his post Two Sunsets – Alberta Landscape Photography) but we had to move a little bit deeper into the park before we saw any animals. The world looked beautiful covered in the golden glow of setting sun. The shadows were long and the light just great and it was a pleasure to spend some time in a peaceful place... Here is a few shots I was able to take. No blood was spilled during our hunt, and that's the way I like it! ;D Kasia
Oh I know that this is already 2013. I know we should all get a fresh start to everything, but I still have so many images from last year that I haven't posted. Like this set, for example. Taken during the early fall, morning at the Elk Island National Park. Me and my wife went out in the early hours to see if we can catch a sunrise in the park. We got lucky with wildlife as well. Not only we found some silly bison, but a sneaky coyote as well. At that time I was testing the manual 70-210 Vivitar lens on the Sony NEX-7... and ended up with a few missed shots, but also quite a few good ones. Here are the best of the bunch, from that lovely day. Enjoy!
Coming back from a wedding in British Columbia, we managed to get to Banff National Park, just when the sun was going down. We stopped at one of the most pictured lake, Lake Louise, to stretch our legs after a 8h drive. I figured that since we are here, might as well add some more images to the huge collection already on the internet. Why not? :) This time I decided to leave my Fuji behind, and try out the Sony Nex-7 with a Canon adapter and a 70-200 F2.8. This setup, looks quite funny. It's like placing an LCD screen on the back of the big white Canon lens. Even though the setup looks ridiculous, it works quite well. The lens is very easy to manual focus, with the Sony's focus peaking function. The only minor problem is that because the Canon lenses aperture control is done electronically through the camera, mounting it on an simple adapter makes changes to the lens aperture impossible, it's stays wide open. It's not a huge problem for me, as I like to shoot wide open, but it is annoying at times. Next I tried my 8-15mm Canon fish eye lens with the Sony Nex-7. I think both combinations work exceptionally well, even though the aperture stays open at the widest setting. Here are some images from that evening. Enjoy! Mac
We got a little lucky this time around in Jasper National Park. We did manage to see a bear, which is usually rare for us, plus some possessed molting mountain goats. Both great opportunities to try out my 200mm f4 Pentax lens. I find that even though the lenses are manual, it gives me a lot more creative freedom on a great camera. The 200mm lens is really easy to focus, smooth, and light, making it perfect for hand holding. Here are some wildlife images from the park, shot with the 200mm. The last set of images are of an amazing sunset we encountered on our way back from Jasper. A perfect ending to a perfect trip. Enjoy!
We were very lucky this summer to be able to travel through the Rockies twice - so far :D. The first time we have visited only Jasper National Park in Alberta visiting some of the places we have not seen yet. The weather, again, was on our side and in spite of the very strong wind the temperature as well as the sky cooperated and allowed us to stop by and take lots of pictures... It was a very wet beginning of the summer and the lakes and rivers were full of water (as you can see on pictures of both Jasper and Talbot Lakes below). We have made a little detour before we entered the park to visit another site in the mountains, but the roads were closed due to flooding... There was still quite a lot of snow high in the mountains and we have been granted wonderful views of glaciers and snow covered peaks (Mount Edith Cavell with her glaciers, below). Here is a few shots from the first trip:
It was a wonderful trip, filled with great views and animal sitings that are always a pleasure...
Our second trip took place just a week ago and it took us a very long way through the mountains to British Columbia and back home to Alberta. We were a bit short on time and could not stop too often to take pictures but we have still managed to take a few stops here and there admiring the views and the abundant flora. It's amazing how of the wild flowers full the mountain meadows were this time of year!! It was simply gorgeous and since I did take my macro lens with me I took advantage of it and here are some of the results:
On the way there we could not resist a short stop at the beautiful Moose Lake, B.C. It was a gorgeous day, the clouds providing a lovely background to the mountains surrounding this lake and the wild flowers bloomed with abandonment making the views even more appealing...
As before we have decided to take a different way home and could not resist stopping at Lake Louise (since we were travelling through Banff National Park this time). After we left there, the views became even more beautiful... We rarely have a chance to travel through the mountains with setting sun and moon accompanying us. This time we were granted both of these and it was such a gorgeous set of views that, regardless of a long travel ahead, we have decided to stop a few more time to capture the wonderful scenes. I hope you like them as much as we did :D