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Greyscale tones in a boreal lake

Reflections of clouds, a dark shoreline and ripples in the water combine to create a full range of tones on the surface of a small boreal lake

Grey­tones in boreal lake

I took this pho­to­graph at one of the five lakes in Emer­son Lakes Provin­cial Park, north­west of Edson, Alberta — a great lit­tle place that was almost com­pletely deserted the week­end I was there. If you don’t mind a lit­tle bit of gravel road, I would def­i­nitely rec­om­mend this spot for a quiet boreal retreat.

Although the mid­dle of the after­noon is not nor­mally the best time of day for mak­ing pho­tographs of the land­scape, great pho­tographs are still out there — and (if you ask me) any pho­tog­ra­pher that tells you oth­er­wise isn’t look­ing hard enough. In this image, made at just past 4pm on a nice sunny day, I just love how the lake holds nearly the full range of tones from the nearly black shad­ows along the shore­line to the bright white reflec­tions of the high cir­rus clouds and the mid­tones of the shal­low lakebed itself — all mixed together by the slight breeze caus­ing the rip­ples on the water’s surface.

Add in a cou­ple Bonaparte’s Gulls, a pair of Belted King­fish­ers, and a cho­rus of song­birds — and you’ve got your­self a pretty good spot to sit for a while, mak­ing pho­tographs as the clouds shift by (which is exactly what I did…)

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Mushrooms at Ministik

I took a great walk through Min­is­tik Lake Game Bird Sanc­tu­ary yes­ter­day after­noon — always one of my favourite places to pho­to­graph (click here to see why). The weather we’ve had this year has been just right for grow­ing mush­rooms (warm days, lots of after­noon show­ers), and there was a fan­tas­tic selec­tion of beau­ti­ful species on show. I’ll not write too much, just post a bunch of pho­tos to inspire those of you who — like myself — have both pho­to­graphic and myco­log­i­cal ten­den­cies, to go out and find some fungi.

P.S. My mush­room ID skills are not ter­ri­ble, but do not take my word that these are what I say they are. Instead, I’d rec­om­mend tak­ing the word of Helene M.E. Schalkwijk-Barendsen in her gor­geous book Mush­rooms of North­west North Amer­ica by local Edmon­ton pub­lish­ing com­pany, Lone Pine.

And, on that note, if you think I’ve got­ten the ID wrong on any of these or you can be more spe­cific (latin names would be great!) I would really appre­ci­ate a note left in the comments.

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.

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Alberta's drying lakes

Tracks along drying channel

Tracks along dry­ing channel

Recently, Dan Jurak, one of my favourite Edmonton-area pho­tog­ra­phers and blog­ger, pub­lished an image on his photo blog that reminded me so strongly of this pho­to­graph of mine taken this past sum­mer, that at first I thought they could have been taken at the same place. It turns out it’s not the same loca­tion, but sim­i­lar com­po­si­tions and sim­i­lar sub­ject mat­ter — Alberta’s lakeshores are turn­ing to mud­flats (and our mud­flats are turn­ing to grass­lands). I took this photo at the Min­is­tik Game Bird Sanc­tu­ary, near the loca­tion of the photo in another recent entry of mine, it’s a dif­fer­ent lake, but the same trend. I like the mood­i­ness of this photo, with the some­what threat­en­ing sky and the ani­mal foot­prints reced­ing towards the rem­nant lake.

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Oyster mushroom folds

Oyster mushroom folds

Oys­ter mush­room folds

While sit­ting at the art sale this past week­end a good friend of mine dropped by and asked me to make her a print of this image. It has been a long time since I’d looked at this pho­to­graph, but I’m glad she asked because I’m really enjoy­ing revis­it­ing it. This was one of the largest Oys­ter mush­room clumps that I’ve ever come across. I was employed doing bird sur­veys near Call­ing Lake, AB in the sum­mer of 2004, and it’s one of the best places I’ve been for pho­tograph­ing mush­rooms (and black bears). I like how I was able to fill the frame with the folds and gills of this mush­room, empha­siz­ing the organic shapes and colours. And it smelled absolutely terrific.

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Sunrise at Beaverhill

Altocumulus sunrise and willow

Altocu­mu­lus sun­rise and willow

Here’s another photo that I’ve pre­pared for the Gold­bar craft sale (see pre­vi­ous post for details). I made this expo­sure in the sum­mer of 2008 while work­ing band­ing birds at the Beaver­hill Bird Obser­va­tory near Tofield, AB. I saw many beau­ti­ful sun­rises that sum­mer, although I didn’t always get the chance to cap­ture them in a photograph.

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View from Sulphur Skyline trail

Colour and sun patches on mountain ridge

Colour and sun patches on moun­tain ridge

This week­end I’m going through pho­tos that I’ve taken in the last year or so as I pre­pare for this year’s Gold­bar sale (see pre­vi­ous post for details). It’s great look­ing back at these pho­tos, remem­ber­ing the times I was out to cap­ture them, and real­iz­ing that it’s been far too long since I’ve updated my web­site to share some of these with you. So, per­haps for the next few posts I’ll show you some of the images I have par­tic­u­larly enjoyed re-discovering as a teaser for the web­site updates I’m cur­rently work­ing on (shouldn’t be too long now…).

I took this pho­to­graph while hik­ing the Sul­phur Sky­line trail in Jasper National Park. It’s a shorter hike, with pretty steep (and con­stant) ele­va­tion gain, and the view from the top is incred­i­ble. This one is from the way back down (eas­ier to think about mak­ing pho­tographs once the pulse has slowed down a lit­tle), look­ing south­east I believe – which would make this either Utopia Moun­tain or Mount O’Hagan. Does any­body know for sure? Besides the view, the best thing about this hike is that the trail­head is a few hun­dred meters from the Miette hot­springs – def­i­nitely a great way to end a day of climb­ing, I would cer­tainly rec­om­mend it next time you’re in Jasper.

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