5 Days in Waterton

Sunrise at Maskinonge Lake

First off, I need to apologize for the lack of activity here on the blog lately. Life has been racing by at an alarming pace lately and time for shooting photos and sharing them has been tough to come by. After an extremely busy couple of months, I was able to get away last week for a much needed break and joined my good friends Samantha Chrysanthou and Darwin Wiggett for a backpacking trip in beautiful Waterton Lakes National Park. We had a great time together exploring some new areas of the park that none of us had visited before and were blessed with unbelievably great weather for the week. I really enjoyed the fact that, despite being photographers, this wasn’t a photo specific trip and we were able to just enjoy our time appreciating nature and each other’s company. Of course, we did do a little bit of shooting (like I said, we are photographers after all) but it was at a much more relaxed pace, and without any kind of hard core agenda. Personally, I find that this kind of pace feeds the creative process in a very natural way and encourages me to slow down and really observe things before racing to click the shutter.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip with just the right balance of hard work, exploration, relaxation, photography, and especially good company. Thanks Sam and Darwin, I’d take to the backcountry again with you any time!

Stay tuned, I’ll be sharing more images and stories from the trip soon!

Waterton – Home of the Foggy Sunrise

I really enjoyed my recent trip to Waterton Lakes National Park back in July with Sam and Darwin. I haven’t spent a lot of time in Waterton, so it was great to get to know the park a little more and do some exploring in new areas. It’s quite a unique little park with a lot to offer so it’s definitely a place I want to spend more time exploring and photographing. I’ve shared a few of my images from the trip already which those of you following along on Facebook and Google+ may have already seen, but I thought I’d share a few more here and elaborate a little on the stories that go with them. Also, make sure you check out the 2 part series of posts (part 1, part 2) over on oopoomoo (Sam and Darwin’s blog) that feature 2 collections of images from the 3 of us.

Over the course of the 5 days of our trip, Darwin and I were up early each morning (well, Darwin was at least… I slept in once) to shoot sunrise, and we noticed some interesting patterns in the weather… namely the mysterious fog that seemed to consistently roll in each morning during the peak light. Only 1 of the locations we photographed (shown below) appeared to be exempt from this phenomenon.

Sunrise at Lone Lake

We were particularly baffled while shooting at Twin Lakes the two mornings we spent there. On both days, we awoke to crystal clear skies, only to see the fog start to drift in right as the light was kissing the tops of the nearby peaks. Within minutes, as the light made it’s way down the mountains, the fog would follow and before long, completely fill in the entire valley. The first time this happened, we at least got a little bit of light and made a few images before things closed in, but on the second morning it rolled in even quicker, and before any sunlight had made an appearance, so we just shrugged it off and went back to bed. After just an hour or so, the fog had moved out and the sky was completely clear again. As I mentioned in my earlier post, this wasn’t a hard core photo trip for us, so we just kept things pretty relaxed and if the light happened, we went for it and if not we just took it easy. Here are a couple of frames from that spot:

Sunrise at Lower Twin Lake

Sunrise at Lower Twin Lake

The first morning of the trip was a similarly foggy experience. The image I shared in my previous post was made that morning and just shortly after that was taken, the fog made it’s way in. Often, when I’m faced with less than interesting skies or obstructed backgrounds, I’ll just simply look down and see what I can find to make an image that doesn’t require the grand view. That’s exactly what I did for this next image as the fog obscured the mountains beyond the lake. There was still plenty of colour in the sky so I composed this little scene and made use of the reflections in the surface of the water. I think this one just might be one of my favourites from the trip.

Grass and reflections in Maskinonge Lake

I’ll leave you with one more from this spot on the shore of Maskinonge Lake. This one was taken just as the fog was on it’s way out, and before Darwin and I headed back for a much needed cup of coffee!

Sunrise at Maskinonge Lake

Thanks so much for stopping in and having a look. I hope you’ve enjoyed these, and will make a trip to Waterton and experience this beautiful gem of a park for yourself!

Fall Colours on the Kootenay Plains

It’s been a little while since my last post here on the blog so I thought I’d share a few photos from a trip out to the Kootenay Plains earlier this month. It was just a quick trip starting with an early (3:30 am!) departure from Calgary, a full day of shooting, and then heading back towards home the next day. While brief, it was great to get out and see some more of this wonderful area of the Rockies. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time in this area, and what time I have spent has only been during the winter months, so it was nice to explore some new locations and experience fall here for the first time.

Mt. Peskett and Siffleur Mountain in fall

I was also fortunate enough to run into the unofficial master of the Kootenay Plains, my good friend Darwin Wiggett of oopoomoo who was leading his annual Glory of Autumn in the Canadian Rockies workshop. I joined up and shot together with him and his group for a couple hours and had a great time. They were a fun group of folks and very talented photographers too. Check out this post to see some of the work they produced while on the workshop.

Here are a few more images. The conditions were mostly overcast while I was there which was great for working these type of detail scenes in the trees.

Aspen trees with fall colours

There was also plenty of wind, (something this area is known for) which made for some interesting images using long exposures. In this next image, the wind was just steady and strong enough to create some nicely blurred colours in the leaves while keeping the tree trunks still and sharply focused.

Aspen trees with fall colours long exposure

I couldn’t resist making some panning and zooming motion blur images as well. The conditions were just perfect and these are always a lot of fun.

Aspen trees panning motion blur

Aspen trees panning motion blur

Prayer flags in forest zoom blur

Thanks for stopping in and having a look!

2013 Year in Review

As we head into 2014, I thought I’d look back at the last year and share with you some of the highlights and the images that go with them. This isn’t really what I’d call a top 10, top 13, top 20, etc., but simply a look back at the year that was. This was a very busy year for me that included a few pretty big changes, not the least of which was a complete career change. I’ve moved away from my finishing carpentry business of 10 or 12 years to become a real estate agent and am now working together with my wife. Finishing the courses, studying, and exams all while continuing to work and balance my wife’s busy schedule along with family life was quite a challenge, but I think the worst is over! We also sold our house and moved to the opposite end of our city, sold my truck and trailer, bought a minivan (definitely didn’t see that one coming!), and adopted a couple of cats. As you can understand, I had significantly less time to get out and shoot photos this year which is definitely something I hope to change for 2014.

So, I’ll start at the beginning. In January, we took a family holiday to the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kauai. Did I mention it’s beautiful? I’m pretty certain that Hawaii is one of the most gorgeous places on Earth. I’ve been there twice now, and each time I’ve been blown away by the landscape and it’s beauty. While this wasn’t a photo specific trip, I did manage to sneak in a little bit of shooting here and there and came away with a few keepers.

Hanakapi'ai Falls, NaPali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii

Rocky shoreline near Brennecke's Beach

Ocean and sky long exposure image near Brennecke's Beach

In March I had to say farewell to my very good friend Wayne Simpson as he packed up his family and moved across the country to Ontario. Many of you will recognize his name as it appeared quite frequently here on the blog over the last couple years. We had many adventures, made a lot of photos, broke some gear (wait, that was just me…) and of course, lots of laughs and good times. This next image was taken the last time we got together to shoot up at Spray Lakes right before he left. Miss ya Wayne!

Cracked ice on Spray Lakes and the Goat Mountain Range

I was very honoured to be invited to join the IRIS Photographic Society of Alberta this year. Working together with members Peter Carroll, Royce Howland, Samantha Chrysanthou, Darwin Wiggett, and Kerry Smith has been a fantastic experience. This next image was taken on one of the workshops we led at the Calgary Lilac Festival in May. This was just a fun little abstract image I made at one of the street vendor’s booths. Rows of brightly coloured woven bracelets captured during a longer exposure while panning the camera gave me this result.


In July I went on an awesome backpacking trip down in Waterton National Park with good friends Sam and Darwin. We spent 5 days in the backcountry with beautiful weather, stunning scenery, sore feet, and lots of good times. While this wasn’t really intended as a photo trip, we were still a group of photographers after all, and made a few images along the way.

Sunrise at Maskinonge Lake

Grass reflected in Maskinonge Lake at sunrise

Sunrise at Twin Lakes

In the fall I made a trip up to the Kootenay Plains area for a couple days and thoroughly enjoyed exploring some new area for me at that time of year. I’ve only been up there in the winter a couple of times but never the fall. It was definitely worth the visit and I hope to spend more time up there getting to know the area in the coming year.

Sunrise at Whitegoat Lakes with Elliot Peak, Kootenay Plains, Alberta, Canada

Aspen trees in fall using motion blur technique


On a cold day in December, I jumped into the car with Sam and Darwin and we headed east of Calgary to do some exploring on the prairies. We didn’t get out of the car much that day, and mostly just explored and chatted along the way. When we did get out and shoot towards the end of the day, I found this little scene in the ditch beside the road.

Snow drift pattens on the prairies

As I mentioned earlier, I’m now a real estate agent. So it only makes sense then that I would be taking the photos of houses for our listings, right? Right. There’s actually more to this and it’s something I’ve been working on for a little while. When my wife started working in real estate a few years ago, I was just in the very beginning stages of my photography addiction career and it made sense for me to take the photos she needed because I had a camera, and I was into doing it. Of course, the photos were terrible and didn’t have any idea what I was doing. Over the last couple years, I’ve taken much more of an interest in this area of photography and have been delving deep into learning as much as I can. I photographed over 30 homes last year, and feel like I’m finally starting to get the hang of a few things. This is the first I’ve mentioned that this is something I’m working and these are the first images I’m sharing here on the blog. I guess I just haven’t felt like it’s been really ready to share yet, or had any images I was all that confident in. After setting up a shoot with a former client of mine who’s house I’d worked on in the past, I made a couple images that I’m quite happy with. This is something I want to do a LOT more of, and I hope to have much more to share in the coming year.



Lastly, I want to share some of the best news of the year and that is that my wife and I are expecting our second daughter this spring! This is probably my favourite photo of the year and it’s one I didn’t take.


Thanks so much for stopping in and having a look! I appreciate the support from all of you who’ve, liked, followed, plus 1’d, voted, or just taken a peek at my posts on social media the last year. I wish you all the best in 2014, and look forward to connecting and sharing more with you.