I was at Moraine Lake for Sunrise on the first day that the road up to the lake was open for the season in 2008. This popular Canadian Tourist Destination is only accessible to vehicle traffic during the summer months, usually from the May long weekend until the end of September. We were staying in the village in nearby Lake Louise, and I had originally intended to shoot the sunrise at the Chateau Lake Louise, but when I saw that the road to Moraine Lake was open I immediately changed my plans.
Although there are many incredibly beautiful places to see and explore in the Canadian Rockies, Moraine Lake is absolutely one of my favorites. I was very excited to see that part of the lake was actually free of ice, and when I saw the beautiful golden light reflecting off the mountains and glittering across the water I was ecstatic. Moraine Lake is truly a jewel and I try to visit at least a couple of times every year.
Although I created this image almost two years ago, I recently printed a large version of it and I really liked how it came out. I’ve also entered it in a couple of recent photo contests and I realized that I had never shared it here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Castle Mountain is in the Rocky Mountains about half way between Banff and Lake Louise. It is a very scenic spot that looks good in all sorts of light and weather conditions. I love to see it when it is being lit up from the side because the shadows in between each of the parapet like peaks falls into deep shadow and makes the mountain look even more rugged than normal.
We were passing by at just the right time the other day to enjoy the sunrise. It was a particularly beautiful thing when the Alpenglow dropped down the face of the mountain. I love the Rockies!
My family and I recently camped in Banff national park at the Two-Jack main campsite. Banff is an amazingly beautiful place and we are very lucky to have it so close to us. We really try to take advantage of that as often as we can, but it never feels like we get there enough. Two-Jack Lake is our preferred campsite, but unfortunately everyone else prefers it too. Two-Jack Main is much larger and we ended up staying there instead. Although it does not have a lakefront view, it has plenty of campsites and it is a very nice place to stay.
Two-Jack Main is in the middle of the Minnewanka loop and it provides easy access to the town of Banff, Johnson Lake, Lake Minnewanka, and of course Two-Jack Lake. The loop is pretty much a sure-fire location to find Bighorn Sheep; I’ve only driven the loop (or hiked at Lake Minnewanka) once without seeing them, and they usually show up in large groups of a dozen or more.
After finishing a short hike around Johnson Lake without seeing any birds or animals (there were far too many people enjoying the lake), we decided to take the longer drive around around the loop on our way back to the campsite. It was an amazing blue-sky day and the wildflowers were in full bloom. We saw several groups of sheep and a few of them even stopped to pose for us!
During a recent family camping trip in Banff we rented a canoe and paddled into the first Vermillion lake. It was one of those beautiful blue sky days that we haven’t seen nearly enough of this summer. We were lucky to see a large adult Bald Eagle perched in a tree near the edge of the lake. We were able to paddle all along the shore past the tree and then loop back through a channel to get to the sunny side. The eagle calmly watched us the entire time.
I spotted another Eagle high up in a tree on the far side of the lake so we gradually made our way across to get a better look. We came upon a Belted Kingfisher perched on a log. We didn’t get very close before it launched… We also saw a deer resting under a large evergreen tree, but it was mostly obscured by the long grasses surrounding the lake.
I’m always amazed by how many more birds and animals you can get close to while in a canoe than while hiking. I’m going to have to get one of my own!
The sun rises very early in Banff at this time of year and it was quite painful to be up early enough to make this image. I was there as part of a massive group of photographers assembled for Darwin Wiggett’s edition of the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk last Saturday. We started out with an unofficial sunrise shoot at Vermillion Lakes. If the light and the atmoshperic conditions are just right then iconic images of Mount Rundle reflecting in the pools of the Vermillion Lakes can be made, and almost 50 people showed up to do just that!
There were many more people there than I expected for such an early start and it was quite a spectacle. Everyone spread out all along the road in front of the three lakes to try to get their own piece of the reflection of the mountains at sunrise. The light was good, but not as spectacular as I had hoped. I managed to make a few good images despite the early hour and the lack of sleep.
The official photowalk didn’t start until 8:30 so there was plenty of time to kill between the sunrise at 5:15 AM and the start of the walk. I took advantage of the time to enjoy a very large cup of coffee!
I spent the majority of my time during the walk shooting in the downtown core in Banff. This was quite a different experience from the photography I normally do. In fact I specifically chose to wander around town (instead of the other, more nature oriented, options that were presented to the walkers) simply because it was different. It took me a little while to get inspired but once I got going I got into a nice groove and I really enjoyed doing something a little different!
Here are a bunch of my favorite images from the day.