I won’t be posting a picture for the next couple days, but here is a December sunset to tide you over. Taken on the trails at Chickakoo Lake. Hope you all have a great holiday!
Often sunrises and sunsets are the best light. This light is more unusual, so it adds interest to a scene, as long as the light is not competing with other elements of your composition. I often feel like sunrises or sunsets are bandages though – something to fix an otherwise boring scene. So if you’re taking a photo of a sunrise or sunset, make sure you consider the composition as well, and what makes the foreground interesting.
Taken at sunset in Cooking Lake Rec Area last summer.
People often say that direct sunlight in the middle of the day is not acceptable light for landscapes. There’s a small bit of truth to that, but don’t let that stop you from taking awesome pictures. When the light is contrasty, look for things to shoot that look good with that amount of contrast, or things that create interesting shadows. When there are clouds, look at the shapes of the clouds and look at the subtle details brought out by the soft light. All light (and lack of light) is good to shoot in, you just have to look at things differently and be aware of the light.
I’m not the guy who waits for 8 hours for the right light for a scene picked out days in advance. I’m too impatient and there’s too much to see. In that 8 hours I would have missed twenty different compositions that were perfect for the light at the time. Don’t get me wrong, being at the right place at the right time is a beautiful thing. I’m just not often willing to sacrifice a day of exploring for one good photo. Maybe someday I’ll grow up and calm down.
Shot in Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba at 1:45 in the afternoon.
Wednesday night as I was driving home from a day of hiking an owl decided to sit in the middle of a dark road — in front of my car. I braked and swerved, as anyone would who likes owls at all. Despite my efforts there were two casualties. The first is obvious (the owl didn’t make it), but the second is a little more strange. When I got home, I opened the door of the car to grab my camera from where it had been sitting in the back seat. I got the camera, but strangely there was no lens attached. Or more accurately, there was part of a lens attached. My Sigma 150 macro had broken in two. The lens is held together in the middle by three small screws in plastic. After seeing this, I’m not sure how it stays together at all. So here is the last photo taken with this lens for now.
The tourist information people in Crowsnest are very helpful. They photocopied exact directions for the hike up to the Chert Mines on Livingstone Ridge for me. It turns out that the directions mislead me slightly. So instead of driving around on horrible roads trying to find the spot, I stopped at the base of a big hill and started climbing. This was in the evening, so I was expecting to stop on a convenient rock, eat my supper, and watch the sunset. Well, my plan commenced flawlessly, but after eating supper the sun still wasn’t setting so I climbed higher. And higher. It actually wasn’t that high of a hill, because I got to the top before the sun set, and puttered around there for a while, enjoying the light on the mountains. From the top I got a bit better idea of where I was, and where the directions might have been pointing me. I headed back down after enjoying the sunset, and found a place to sleep that I’d scoped out earlier in the day.
In the morning I drove to the base of Turtle Mountain and climbed it. I took the wrong path at first, met some other people who also took the same wrong path, and together tried to find the right path. After a little bit of scrambling, we found the real path and continued up the mountain. It’s actually a pretty simple ridge walk to the north peak, although the loose scree over solid rock can be slippery. The top is great, and offers a good view of where I went (and was supposed to go) the day before. You can see out to the prairies on the east, and mountains all around on the other sides. From the north peak the trail to the south peak looked treacherous, but I’ve heard it isn’t too bad. But I was tired and had to get home, so maybe I’ll do that next time. The walk down actually seemed longer than the way up, which is kind of weird, but I got down all the way on the correct trail. I found out at the bottom that the trailhead is very clearly marked with brightly yellow painted rocks.
The drive home was uneventful and enjoyable. Holidays like this make you appreciate showers though.