Sunday, September 26, 2010

Upper Kananaskis Lake

Upper Kananaskis Lake is within Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, and part of a larger region called Kananaskis Country.  (If you aren't confused, you should be).  The area itself is between Calgary and Banff off of the #1 in Alberta.  I'm sure if you're a local, you know exactly where it is.  If you're not, and you use google maps to try and find it, you'll end up in exactly the wrong spot...  You want to hone in on the provincial park name to be successful.  Learned that the hard way!

One redeaming part of the drive was the heard of goats we encountered on the way up!

The area itself is beautiful, we did a great hike around the lake (I wish the weather was a little clearer), and I'm sure if I lived in Calgary, I'd spend lots of time in Kananaskis Country.  If you're in the area, and would like an alternative to Banff, check it out!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jasper National Park Photography

After visiting the Southwestern United States, it was time to take in some of Canada's national parks...  It was really interesting to see similar "styles" of rock formations in the Rockies - only with a huge abundance of green (and of course lots of water).  It was quite the contrast from the desert landscapes I'd seen weeks before.
The wildlife in the park this year was amazing.  Bears of all shapes and sizes were roaming all over the place, and all over the roads.  Of course the one issue with that is bear photography, and driving don't go very well together...

 The only down side to the whole visit (beyond the fact that the weather was dismal as we drove through Banff) was that their were ranging forest fires in British Columbia at the time, and as a result there was some haze during the day.  Thankfully the smoke wasn't completely set in, but you can still see it in a couple of my pictures. 
Regardless, I still thought Jasper was and is a stunningly beautiful place! I wish I lived closer.  If you're interested in seeing more, please check out my all of my Jasper National Park Photography.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Route 66 - The end of photography?

Well, not really.  But it was the end of our Southwest trip.

After spending a number of days traveling all over Utah, and Arizona (and a few thousand travel photography pictures later), we drove back to Vegas, on our way home.  I'd seen all sorts of references to Route 66, but had no idea how close we were.  After grabbing the map, I realized how close I was to the iconic Route.  We of course had to drive it!

The trip itself was a blast, while we didn't eat at the road kill cafe, I'm really happy we took that route.  Seeing the place, and the little stops along the highway way really takes you back in time.  I think it's sad more people don't drive it!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Photographing Mesa Arch

Many have seen the epic pictures that have been captured over the years at Mesa Arch, which lies within Canyonlands National Park.  (Even windows 7 shipped with a Mesa Arch desktop background picture.)  The whole Canyonlands National Park is a majestic place, and I think watching the sun appear beneath the arch is something that everyone should experience.  It’s also seemingly become a bit of a rite of passage for landscape photographers to make the trek and capture that gorgeous orange light.
Mesa Arch lies is about a 45 to 60 minute drive from Moab Utah in the Island in the Sky district of the park.  In our case that meant a 3:45 AM wake up to be on time for the roughly 6:00 AM sunrise experience.  My photographer's assistant wasn't a very happy hiker.  (In August 2010, the turn off to the park on SR-313 of the main highway wasn’t marked headed northbound on Route 191 - Google says this is about 15 miles on 191 from Moab).

We arrived at parking lot (left hand side of the park road) for the arch, and made the short hike down to the arch itself.  I had plenty of time to spare to get setup, and amazingly I was the first photographer.  Apparently I was one of a handful of people that were crazy enough to wake up so early..

As for shooting the arch, I used my widest lens for 99% of the pictures I took, and remember to stop down if you’d like a sun star (f22?).  For me, I was happy with the soft orange light which in my case lasted for twenty minutes to half an hour.  I’d also suggest looking for alternative angles.  I’m actually really happy with the picture below, because it’s an angle you don’t see as often as some others.
If you'd like to see more check out my pictures of Canyonlands National Park.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Southwest USA (Photography) Road Trip

In late June I had the opportunity to go to a conference in Vegas (Cisco Live - AKA - Hard Core Nerd Fest).  As soon as I heard where the conference was, I started looking into if there were any sites to be seen around Vegas to make a bit of a vacation of the experience.

Of course as it turns out, Las Vegas is a short drive away from some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen - An amazing array of national parks are contained within Utah.  Zion, Bryce Canyon (Yes - Bryce!), Capital Reef, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are absolutely amazing.

I took this picture about half way through the trip as I thought it perfectly summarized the whole experience - looking at all sorts of rocks.  You can check out the gallery of the adventure here.  (The conference was great too!).

Thursday, September 9, 2010


So, I must admit this feels odd - after many years of shunning technology like this, and making fun of blogs, here I am typing something into a box in what will become my first blog post.  Yes, I'm even making a "First Post" post...  What has the world come too?  The next thing you know I'll be on Facebook!

This site is going to become the place where I post various anecdotes of my (often daily) photography.  My travels, a little bit of what's going on with me, and probably some pictures that capture moments that won't appear on my photography site.  In the next couple days, I'll be making a few posts to catch up on things.  I'm also launching a new website with a new host - completely different look and feel.  As much as I used to love white for it's simplicity, I've found often my photography really stands out against darker colours.  So, welcome to my world!