Posts Tagged "winter"

Northern Lights over Highway 4, Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park

Posted by on 2. December 2012 in Saskatchewan | Comments Off on Northern Lights over Highway 4, Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park

Northern Lights over Highway 4, Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park

Northern lights (Aurora Borealis) over Highway #4 at Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park. Photograph one cold November evening around 2 am. I set my camera to ISO 1600 and exposed the scene for 30 seconds. The charged particles of the aurora were constantly moving and long exposure captured the dense curtain of light across the sky. Return to the Saskatchewan photo gallery....

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November skies on the prairies

Posted by on 26. November 2012 in Blog / Journal, Saskatchewan | Comments Off on November skies on the prairies

November skies on the prairies

There is something special about November skies close to sunrise or sunset. I have quite a few images that capture the warm, soft light above the horizon around the magic hour. A friend of mine commented once that those pictures are part of my “Lavender Landscapes” opus. I have been travelling to Swift Current on a weekly basis since since early November. On my last trip I was driving through gently rolling farm fields along Highway 4 just north of town, when I noticed the skies changing colour. An opportunity to capture one more Lavender Landscape image. I pulled on a grid road and took just one photograph. Here is the image:     Return to the Saskatchewan photo...

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Winter in Grasslands National Park

Posted by on 22. November 2012 in Blog / Journal, Grasslands National Park | 1 comment

Winter in Grasslands National Park

Canadian Prairies were hit by a strong snow storm in early November. We received between 20 and 30 cm of fresh powdery stuff. I happen to be in Grasslands National Park as the storm was passing through and spent two days photographing snow-covered prairies. I have photographed in the park during winter before. However, I have not seen the park so white and pristine. Snow storms come and go, and in this part of Saskatchewan the fresh snow cover does not last too long. It is either blown away by strong winds or partially melted by warm chinooks arriving from Alberta. Driving conditions were so bad that we decided to stay at home until the storm was almost over. I wanted to photograph the snow fall with something dark in the background (so I can see individual snow flakes). The first place we visited were large cottonwood trees growing along the Frenchman River south of Val Marie. Weather was not cooperating – it snowed heavily while we were driving south and then stopped soon after we arrived to the park. I will have to get my “snow storm in the grasslands” images some other time.   It was still foggy and overcast the next morning and we just wandered through the park. The scenery felt eerie stark and desolate. An endless snow desert; the only other living creature I was aware of was my buddy Larry, appearing as a small speck on the other side of the hill. Clouds cleared out later that day and we were able to see further out in the valley. Our world expanded; Seventy Mile Butte on the west horizon, Frenchman River meandering through the pristine white landscape.  I have not seen the park so clean and beautiful before.       On the way back to Val Marie we saw a coyote hunting at the black-tailed prairie dog colony. The animal did not seem to be alerted by our presence. It continued sitting in front of one burrow, listening intently to any signs of movement below the surface. The scene reminded me of the iconic image of a lone polar bear in the Arctic by Thomas Mangelsen, “Born of the North Wind“.     We returned to the park later that evening for more photography. Here is one image from this set that conveys the feeling of isolation and frigid environment that can be experienced on the prairies in winter. Temperature dropped to -28 C over night. A bit too cold for early November....

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Early winter in Grasslands National Park, East Block badlands

Posted by on 25. April 2012 in Grasslands National Park | Comments Off on Early winter in Grasslands National Park, East Block badlands

Early winter in Grasslands National Park, East Block badlands

Early winter in Grasslands National Park (East Block badlands). I love photographing fresh snow on the prairies in early winter. The grass still standing from the summer season has not been pushed down by the weight of snow yet, providing a gentle texture to the  rolling prairie landscapes. This photograph was taken in in the badlands of East Block. We were located very close to the north edge of the park, near the McGowan’s campground. It was cold enough prior to our trip in early December that we did not have any difficulties crossing several frozen creeks to reach this viewpoint. Back to the Grasslands National Park photo...

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Mistaya Canyon in winter, Banff National Park

Posted by on 20. March 2012 in Blog / Journal, Photography | 2 comments

Mistaya Canyon in winter, Banff National Park

At the end of the winter photography trip to Kootenay Plains, I made a short stop in Banff National Park to photograph Mistaya Canyon covered in fresh powdery snow. Mistaya Canyon is a little brother to the better known Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park. It is a twenty-metre deep slot canyon carved out by ice scraping and water erosion in the underlying limestone rock. The Mistaya Canyon does not receive as many visitors as the Maligne Canyon. However, deep pothole depressions, underground water outlets, and swirling water provide endless opportunities to a photographer who is willing to explore beyond the obvious. The surrounding landscape is more natural looking, and hiking trails along the river provide many beautiful vistas. The light wasn’t great when I reached the river – it was already very late in the day and persistent snow fall made the whole canyon feel a bit claustrophobic. Because of the subdued lighting conditions, I focused my photography on the patterns in ice formations along the river. I used a polarizing filter to reduce water surface reflections and extend the exposure times. This allowed me to capture a very soft flow of water percolating between the ice sheets. I left the white balance slightly on the cool side, to retain the feeling of cold and ice.   Mistaya Canyon is approximately 30 km north of the Bow Summit and 6 km south of the Saskatchewan River Crossing. Look for a small parking lot on the west side of the Icefields Parkway. The canyon can be reached by a short hike from the parking lot. After about 0.5 km and elevation loss of only 35 m, the trail will lead you to a bridge spanning the canyon. You can stop and photograph there, or continue along the Sarbach Lookout trail (5.2 km one way, elevation gain of 590 m). From a photography perspective, maybe a more interesting option is to follow the Howse Pass Trail splitting off in north-west direction, to reach open flats at the confluence of the Howse and North Saskatchewan Rivers (4.5 km one way, elevation loss of 85 m)....

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