Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sudden Splendour

Ten Thousand Years ago natives camping on the shores of Vermilion Lakes beneath the wind swept slopes of Mount Rundle awoke as the dawn broke giving hope that the hunting for moose, deer and possibly a mammoth would prove bountiful on this day. At the time as is true today, a warm spring kept a portion of the lake from freezing over even in the most frigid weather. This allowed for fish to be caught and water to be drawn at any time of the year. With its abundant animal life, clean water and wood for fuel and lodges, as well as stone nearby for tools and weapons, all was well in this place of beauty just as it was on this morning as I found myself slumbering in the heat of my lodge, actually, that is my truck cab moments earlier, with soothing sounds coming forth from the speakers of my radios.
I had left Calgary several hours earlier with Banff National Park in mind as my destination on this day. I had made a list as to what I hoped to achieve while checking out the back roads of the park and possibly a trail that came to mind with a promising waterfall along the way. So as the dawn breaks with great promise as it did 10,000 years ago, my cameras and I are ready for what I hope will be many fine captures on this day.

With the sun now above the horizon and rapidly spreading its magic paint over the landscape, I drove quickly through the seductive morning light seeking out that most elusive capture. I found myself near Baker creek when the sun began painting the ramparts on Castle Mountain and quickly before she changed her mind, I set up for this capture. After thanking the sun gods to the east I once more proceeded west in my continued pursuit of the light.

I hurried before the rushing never relenting light desperately seeking my next capture, when around a bend in the road on a shallow slope a hundred meters away stood several elk. Problem was they were just a tad out of reach of my longest lens. The sun, hearing my thoughts, spread her light further down the slope the elk were feeding on. The elk began feeding lower down on the slope and I had my next capture.

Time was of the essence now as the sun was slowing its rush as seen in the shortening of those seductive shadows that are stunning at first light, then lose their charms as the sun climbs higher into the noontime sky. In all seriousness I find the first hour after sunrise all important for great light and then its all downhill from there till the hour before sunset. A advantage this late in the season is the fact that as the earth tilts further away from the sun, the sun climbs (so to speak) less high in the sky giving a less harsh light at its peak.
So after setting up with my super wide in place on my camera, this final superb light capture of these Trembling Aspen a done deal, I turned to good light photos, but first a stop at the Baker Creek Bistro for breakfast. Who said that you have to rough it while out in the wilds of Banff Park.

I shot this capture at "Morantz Curve" made famous by Philip Morantz the lead photographer for the Canadian Pacific Railway who for many years used this location for public relations to show their Canadian passenger trains with the great Canadian Rockies as a backdrop. Unfortunately at this time of the year the Rocky Mountaineer passenger trains have stopped running, so I settled for this eastbound freight train with its empty sulphur cars snaking its way along the Bow River.

I promised you a capture of a Banff Park waterfall and I have delivered with this cool looking falls (see the ice). Surely you'all have seen Bow Falls that I shot in Black and White at the end of a great day.

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