My Home Away From Home
In this article, I will talk about a few images from my most recent trip to the Canadian Rockies, My Home Away From Home! When you look at one specific image, you can probably notice every little detail like how nice the light was or how I used some elements of the scene as foreground interests in my composition but I don’t always share all the behind the scene aspects of my images. So, in order to show how difficult and challenging landscape photography can be, I will share those experiences with you and maybe you will learn a thing or two about my passion!
Even though the main view point at Medicine Lake offers a spectacular view, I pushed myself further to find a better angle of this mountain. I thought it looked odd from the main view point…so I drove further along the lake and parked at a safe spot along the road and walked by the lake. I love pyramid shaped mountains and from that angle, the mountain had a triangular shape which really speaks to me. Those rock slabs always grabbed my attention as I think they create some really strong leading lines. I first photographed this scene a couple of years ago in September but this time it was different since we had some lovely wild flowers to use as a complementary foreground interest. I know those flowers because I grow some in my personal garden…they looked like chive! I got my nose a bit closer and they smelled like chive too so what was the next step? Taste test! They were in fact Wild Chive! How cool is that right? You can try to grow these in your personal garden with the perfect soil, water them, care for them and they will die on you…Wild Chive were growing everywhere in between the rocks in the mountains! Nature is crazy awesome right? Oh…one important thing to remember is to never try to transplant wildflowers into your garden as they will most likely die…flowers growing in the mountains like that specific environment and probably won’t survive in Calgary as the weather is different enough to affect them. Wild Flowers are beautiful in their natural habitats! If you want flowers for your garden, go to a garden center and buy some!
Moraine Lake has always been an iconic location one must see when visiting Banff National Park. If you go back to as early as last year, visiting Moraine Lake at sunrise was a real challenge. You would literally need to wake up at 1:00 AM and drive to Moraine Lake Parking by 2:00 AM max or the parking would be closed. Park authorities would close it until later in the morning. Since there are limited parking spaces at Moraine Lake, the parking fills up fast! That was until the park authorities would decide to close Moraine Lake Road to general traffic. And they had two main reasons in mind why they went ahead with that decision. First reason was because all the car traffic was becoming more and more of a nuisance to the wildlife. You know you have to do something when human activity becomes a nuisance to wildlife! So from June 2023, the only way to experience the beauty of this jaw dropping location was to take a bus. And that’s exactly what I did! I had mixed feelings about this option…I booked a ride with Moraine Lake Bus Company and I was pleasantly surprised with how good my experience was! Buses were clean, on time, bus drivers were courteous and had a lot of interesting facts to say about the whole area…a truly positive experience! And since, at the time of writing this article, this company was the only one I could find that would offer sunrise bus tours to Moraine Lake, it’s fair to say that the overall experience at the lake was nice and quiet with very few people!
Bow Lake will definitely be on most people’s must see list when visiting the Canadian Rockies! And for so many good reasons! The place is truly epic! In most cases, Bow Lake will be still at sunrise and will offer amazing reflections of Crowfoot Mountain! The area offers countless trails along the lake, some of which will bring to you to glaciers. Most trails are fairly easy with very little elevation gain. When hiking, always make noise, talk loud or sing so you can announce your presence to wildlife. It might sound crazy but just the fact that you are making noise will warn wildlife and they will simply walk away so they can avoid meeting you. One thing you must always keep in mind when ever hiking in the Canadian Rockies, you should always bring bear spray! You never know when you will encounter a bear in its natural habitat! And for the most part, bear encounters will always end up being very peaceful experiences that will end up with great memories! But in some rare occasions, the bear might want to protect her cubs so she might make a bluff charge at you…you definitely want to be well prepared and have a way to protect yourself from the wildlife. I am far from saying that wildlife is dangerous…but if they feel threatened, they will defend themselves!
So you are near the lovely city of Jasper and are looking for a breathtaking location to photograph? You should consider Sunwapta Falls! The parking is fairly big and the trail to the waterfall is quite short. I wouldn’t even call it a hike! You will basically walk a few minutes until you reach a bridge. This scene can be photographed from so many different angles but the one I tend to prefer is in between a couple of trees near a cliff. Just make sure you use extreme caution when standing at the edge of a cliff as you never know if what you are standing on is solid enough. Always standing a couple feet away from the edge is going to be safer. A photograph isn’t worth risking your life. The main reason for visiting the Canadian Rockies during the summer was to photograph wild flowers in all those scenes I love! One of my favorite wildflowers is Cornus Canadensis or also known as Bunchberry or Dogwood…and these grow everywhere in the forests! I was so happy to have timed my visit perfectly and was so happy to see a couple near the cliff edges! As an artist, we must constantly re-invent ourselves…so I definitely wanted to do a different composition of this favorite location of mine! And the light on that evening just happened to be perfect!
So in conclusion, I hope you enjoyed this article! I plan on sharing more behind the scene stuff like this in future articles. Please let me know how much you enjoyed it! You can also let me know if you would like to know more behind the scene stuff about specific images I recently published! I would be happy to share with you the content you want to have!