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Silverton Falls texture

The texture of falling water matches the rock faces surrounding Silverton Falls in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Silverton Falls textures

Speaking of shutter speeds and water texture, for this image I used a fast shutter speed (1/640th sec at f/8) to freeze the motion of the falling water. It’s interesting to me that you can see how the water was accelerating as it fell—the texture gets blurrier near the bottom of the fall. I also like how the texture of the water matches the patterns in the rock faces surrounding the falls.

For printing this photo, I tried to make sure to retain detail in the shadows and in the highlights while maintaining the high-contrast nature of the scene. In the final print I did notice the highlights wash out just a bit in one spot of water (far right, about 2/3rds down), and when I checked the image on my monitor it also showed almost no detail, although it was not quite clipped. Funny how I didn’t notice it as a problem on-screen, but it stood out in the print immediately. Lesson learned…

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Yellow-rumped Warbler in Banff

A male Audubons Warbler watches for flying insects from his perch on a freshly budding willow sapling overhanging a small creek in Banff National Park, Alberta.

Yellow-rumped Warbler on budding willow

I don’t normally photograph much wildlife (I don’t have the long lenses and patience usually required), but I couldn’t resist this little bird (a Yellow-rumped (or Audubon’s) Warbler) that I watched feeding along a small mountain stream for nearly a half hour. It was very early in the season and there had been a little snow overnight so the air was cool and damp, and the insects this bird was after were moving really slowly. He would perch on these willow saplings over the creek, turning his head to watch and then dart out to grab his meal from the air or the underside of a new leaf. It was a lot of fun to watch, and—employing the time honoured, fine-art, “shotgun” approach to composition—I filled up a good portion of my memory card trying to get just the right shot.

I know this photograph breaks a couple “golden rules” of composition—you’re not supposed to centre your subject (rule of thirds) or have the subject looking out of (rather than into) the frame. But I think it works this way (I even cropped in a little from a more “traditionally” framed shot). I think the shadowed area in the top-left balances the light, empty area at the bottom, and for me, the bird’s out-of-frame gaze gives a bit of the feeling that he’s just about to leave the frame himself (which in fact he did). Let me know what you think—just click below to add your thoughts. Thanks!

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Johnston Canyon waterfall

Lower Johnston Canyon falls I

I had a great time camping and photographing in Banff National Park, and now I’m back in town for a few days and then off again to do some bird surveys in the boreal forest of north-western Alberta.I haven’t had much chance to go through the many photographs I made while there, but I thought I’d quick share this one to tide you over until I get back to posting more regularly.

I took this photograph along the lower section of the gorgeous Johnston Canyon, just a half hour north of the Banff townsite. The path through the canyon is normally packed full of tourists, but I had the pleasure of being there mid-week and early-season, giving me plenty of time (and room) to do some photography. This photo shows the beautiful clear, green colour of the water flowing through the canyon, and gives a feel for the almost claustrophobic closeness of the overhanging rock cliffs.

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Off to Banff…

View from Wilcox Pass

I will be away from posting for a little while (although to be honest, I haven’t been posting a whole lot anyways—sorry), as I’m off to Banff National Park to go camping for a couple weeks. I’m pretty excited—I spend most of my time photographing in the Rocky Mountains in Jasper National Park, so it’ll be fun to explore some new areas (with my camera along the whole time, of course).

Hopefully, I’ll be able to share some new work with you once I get back, but in the meantime I thought I’d post this photo taken half-way between Jasper and Banff, along the Icefields Parkway (one of the most beautiful drives in the world). We parked near the Icefields Interpretive Centre, and climbed up along the Wilcox Pass trail on the other side of the valley as the glaciers. What I love about this photo is the scale of the view. If you click to enlarge the image, you can just see the trail running down to the right, and there’s even a couple of (very small) hikers on it.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $