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Dried grass calligraphy

A single grass stem with a curled dried leaf casts a calligraphic shadow across a rolling bank of fresh snow

Dried grass calligraphy on fresh snow

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny winter day in Edmonton (although a bit too warm—things shouldn’t be melting yet!) and I took the chance to take the snowshoes (and kid, and dog, and camera) out to the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area. I like going into the park from the south end, parking at the Islet Lake staging area.

With all the snow we’ve gotten, the lakeshore topography has been smoothed out to gentle undulations of perfect, smooth snow. That, combined with the low sun this time of year, provides lots of chances for photographs with simple, elegant lines and minimal visual clutter.

Cooking lake post-top snow cones

Cooking lake post-top snow cones

(And then there’s this one—pretty much on the other end of the spectrum—using the same basic elements for slapstick rather than elegance… but can you guess which one my daughter preferred?)

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

Snow-laden black spruce

A thick cap of fresh snow covers the top of a thin, sparsely branched, black spruce tree

Snow cap on thin black spruce

After receiving huge amounts of new snow over the past few weeks, we finally got a day where the sun managed to peak—weakly—through the clouds for a few hours. Since I was already on the west side of town, I decided to head out to the Wagner Natural Area where, I hoped, the dense spruce trees covered in deep snow would provide an interesting photographic opportunity or two.

It was more challenging than I expected—the huge amount of snow often looked like just a big pile slumped over everything, rather than contrasting or complimenting the forms of the trees. But a challenge can be good fun, and I did get a couple images that I’m quite happy with—I’ll share some more over the next little while.

Non-vignetted version


The processing in this one was inspired by an image by a local photographer who I’ve mentioned before, Joel Koop. He posted an image on his blog that was heavily vignetted (darkened in the corners) in post-processing—and it looked great. I had already processed this one with a little bit of vignetting, but his image inspired me to try pushing it a bit further, and I think I like it this way. What do you think? (I’ve included the non-vignetted version here for comparison—use your arrow keys to switch between versions.)

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

Magpie tracks in fresh snow

The imprint of a magpies wing and tail are left behind in fresh snow

Magpie wingprint

After a couple centimeters of fresh, powdery snow, I went for a walk at the Strathcona Science Park along the North Saskatchewan River. In one area there were nearly a dozen spots where a magpie had dropped into the snow, leaving these beautiful impressions of its wing tips and long tail—thrown into beautiful detail by the low angle of the sun these days. I couldn’t tell what it was after under the snow, and I didn’t see any other magpie tracks outside of this one small area. If you have ever seen something similar, I’d love to hear you think this bird might have been up to.

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

Talbot Lake Ridges

Miette range from Talbot lake

Miette range from Talbot lake

One of my favourite photographs I’ve taken, (yes, I’ll have a copy at the show this weekend), is this one which I called “Miette range from Talbot Lake.” I made this exposure back in February of 2007 as I was driving home through Jasper National Park. The dead trees in this photo were killed in a controlled burn forest fire in 2003. The still-standing, blackened trunks contrasted beautifully with the dusting of snow on the ridge. What I really love about the post-burn Talbot Lake area is that you get to see the subtle ridge and valley topography of the hills, which is normally covered by a thick blanket of spruce and fir trees. Combine that with a little side lighting, a dust of snow or blooming fireweed, and me with a camera–I could happily spend all day.

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