Posts tagged ‘Alberta’

January 9, 2013

Keeping it Simple II

Zoos offer the perfect opportunity to practice photography.  But sometimes the setups are just not ideal for certain kinds of shots.  You may have a zebra standing a few feet from you, but the positioning of the wire or bars or fencing is such that you just can’t get a clear shot.  When faced with those types of situations, it is time to think a little differently and go for the abstract.

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Grevy’s zebra, ISO400, 200mm, f6.3, 1/500 second

That was the situation I found myself in here.  I was getting very frustrated trying to take an image of the zebra’s head without getting the fence in the way.  When I changed my thinking I ended up getting images that I was very happy with.  So, even if faced with some obstacles, think around them, and don’t let yourself be so focused (!) on one shot that you miss the others.

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January 7, 2013

Motion Blur Series: Aspen

I headed into Banff National Park recently with a plan: I was going to play around with vertical motion blurs among the aspens.  It wasn’t a technique I had tried before, so I really wasn’t expecting much.  But I was very happy with the results, and three images in particular stood out for me.

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Aspen I (ISO200, 48 mm, f11, 1 second)

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Aspen II (ISO 200, 58 mm, f14, 1.3 seconds)

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Aspen III (ISO200, 44 mm, f11, 0.8 seconds)

For those not familiar with this technique, it involves simply setting a long exposure and moving the camera vertically while the shutter is still open.  Experiment with quick or slow movements, or varying the speed.  A neutral density filter really helps to keep the depth of field up in bright light (I used one for these images).  I also tried some horizontal blurs, but none of those gave an effect I liked. All images had their vibrance increased in Lightroom and I also reduced the clarity slightly to give a more ethereal feel.

I liked the last image so much that I had it printed up as a 3ft by 7 ft canvas.

January 2, 2013

Ice Festival, Lake Louise

Every year, in mid-January or so, the Chateau Lake Louise hosts an international ice carving festival.  During the day, early in the festivities, you can watch the artists carving their masterpieces.

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But, for me, the real wonder of the ice sculptures can be seen after sunset, during the elusive Blue Hour before the sky turns completely black.  Combine the dark blue sky with the floodlit ice and you have a winter wonderland.

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ISO200, 24 mm, f22, 5 seconds

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ISO200, 12 mm, f22, 3 seconds

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ISO200, 12 mm, f22, 3 seconds

But then, even in full dark, the ice can really standout against the night sky.

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ISO200, 52mm, f16, 3 seconds                                                                  ISO200, 55mm, f16, 3 seconds

So grab your tripod, wrap up warm and wait until the sun sets to really see what ice sculptures look like at their best. The 2013 Lake Louise Ice Festival runs from January 18th through January 27th on the shores of timeless Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta.