First Post! Night on the Icefields Parkway

Well, this is it, the beginning of my photo blog. Welcome, I’m glad you’re here. My new found interest in photography in the last couple years has lead me to this point of creating an outlet to share what I’ve been up to. Here you’ll find stories of my travels with my camera, see images I’ve made, and hopefully enjoy yourself along the way. Feel free to have a look around, browse through the galleries, or leave me a comment on a blog post. I’m excited to finally get this site up and running and looking forward to sharing my photography with you.

With that out of the way, let’s look at some images.

Here’s a couple from a night I spent out shooting on the icefields parkway in Banff National Park a couple months ago. There isn’t a lot of traffic out there in the middle of the night, so I had to improvise a little for this first shot I was trying to make. I wanted to see headlights and tail lights streaking around the curve in the road, but waiting for 2 cars to come by at the same time would have left me up there all night… and I still might not have gotten it. I remembered seeing a post a while back on Wayne Simpson’s blog where he did a similar shot and just used his camera’s timer and simply drove through the shot himself. What a great idea! Plus you get the added benefit of using your parked car’s headlights to help you focus. So I decided to give that a go and climbed up the little cliff and composed the shot, set the timer, climbed back down, then drove down the road, turned around and drove back. I tried a few different exposure times and settled on this one which was about 2 minutes. Lastly, I opened up the aperture to 2.8 to get a shot with the stars sharp and then added that layer in Photoshop. With a nearly full moon in the sky that night, it was so bright out that the stars really didn’t show up all that well. Oh well, at least it left me with lots of light on Mt. Chephren in the background.
Speaking of moon light, this shot of Herbert Lake was lit entirely by the moon. It’s just out of the frame and you can see its reflection in the ice on the lower left of the photo. I decided to go black and white for this one and then add a slight blue tone to it.
Before I settled into my seat for some sleep for the night, (which by the way I’ll be doing much differently next time… the reclined front seat of my truck is a long way from being a comfortable bed) I decided to set up a star trail shot. I’ve never done this before so I wanted to give it a try. I got things all set up then let it run while I slept (well, tried at least). I don’t know exactly when the batteries ran out, but I ended up with 55 4 min. exposures and once I stacked them Photoshop, this is how it came out.
I can’t say that I’m overly thrilled with the picture, especially with the moon being so bright and the stars not showing up all that well, but at least everything worked out with the timer, the exposures and then in processing. I’ll be better prepared now to do this again when the conditions are better for it.

When the sun came up I was sitting on the shore of Lower Waterfowl Lake looking up at Mt. Chephren. A beautiful cool, clear morning to be out in the rockies!

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