Memory and Promise

Banff Mountain Sunset

The prospect of backpacking this summer has me pretty excited. It’s come up a few different ways in the past few weeks and it has me studying google maps, reading trip descriptions, dreaming, and remembering past trips. It’s not the most immediate thing, but it is a familiar thing I can come back to. In a couple weeks I’m going ski touring and winter camping for a few days, which will be new for me. New things come with both excitement and nervousness. But backpacking will be like climbing into a warm sleeping bag, like curling up with a purring cat. This photo is from quite a while ago in Banff National Park. I was looking through some old photos and reliving some old trips.

Banff National Park
32mm, f6.7 1/180 of a second

Colours to Brighten a Winter Day

150mm, f2.8, 1/640 of a second

There are so many different things to learn and ways to expand photography, art, and paths of thought. My photos tend to be visual and design oriented. I recently started creating some videos and that’s been pushing me to think about story or narrative. This is an area which I think could improve my photography as well.

I received “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell as a Christmas gift, and have started reading it. It’s a really interesting mix of fairly dense academic writing, ridiculous un-academic assertions, and inspiring observations about human experience. I’m not very far in yet, and I’ll update with further observations, but it does prompt me to think differently about art. And I love that.

Split

From a recent trip to Jasper.

300mm, 1/2000 of a second, f5.6

Enjoying Winter Again

Last weekend Anna and I finally got a chance to get out to the mountains, and it was a trip for trying new things. For the first time ever we tried snowshoeing together, cross-country skiing together, and winter camping. I was also giving my Olympus OM-D a torture test to see how much it could replace my Canon 5D kit for hiking.

Snowshoeing works great and is my new favorite way of getting around in winter. It lets me get wherever I want in any conditions with my hands free for photography, which is perfect for me. Skiing was a lot more fun as an activity, but I found it quite hard to mix with photography. Winter camping actually worked a lot better than expected and we slept cosily through the whole night!

I’ll post a review of my little OM-D in a bit, for now I’ll just start posting pictures from it. This photo is from Panther Falls — icicles forming against an overcast sky. I’m looking forward to printing this pretty large — the details in the ice are fantastic!

f7.1, 1/1600 of a second, 100mm
(I’ll be stating actual focal length here, not equivalent – more on this in my OM-D review)

Playing in the Snow

I just got some excellent snowshoes to make my winter excursions a little easier than in past years (I’m used to slogging it with just my winter boots). And hopefully I can get out to a bunch of new places. I tested them out in Elk Island National Park today and had a lot of fun. I came across this herd of bison hanging out with some unusual friends. Click on the image to make it larger to make it easier to spot them.

300mm, f5.6, 1/200 of a second

Twisting Grass

The curving lines of dry grass provide so much picture fodder.

Taken in Elk Island National Park.


Taken near Beaverhill Lake.

If anyone knows what species of grass these are, I’d be very curious. I’m getting better at my fauna taxonomy, but when it comes to grass, I’m lost.

Fireweed

A couple weeks ago I was out at Clifford E Lee Wildlife Sanctuary. It was dreadfully cold and winter depression had set in. I walked around for a while, not really inspired—just trying to soak in enough sun to stay sane. I hardly even looked through my photos when I got back. Today I was going through them and found this:


Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) has provided me with so much color and so many great curvy lines to work with that I feel compelled to do a bit of a tribute to fireweed.