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Foggy boreal morning

Mist rises from several small mirror smooth lakes in the early morning of a warm summer day in the boreal forest of northern Alberta, Canada

Morning fog over boreal lakes

Here’s another photo that I took from the chopper on my way to work one morning last shift. It’s from a different morning as the previous photo, but from the same general area—near Namur Lake in northern Alberta (~100 km northwest of Fort McMurray).

This was a tricky image to print. I tried to get the balance right between detail in the shadows, but still having the landscape dark with just the top of the fog lightening as the sun first peaks over the horizon. It was also hard to figure out the right white balance to use—the Auto WB on my camera was quite cool (very blue shadows), and setting it to Daylight WB made everything very orange-y. I set a manual balance somewhere in the middle, leaning towards cool—does anyone know a good tip for setting white balance for sunrise/sunset so accurately represent how the scene was perceived at the time?

This’ll be my last post for a little while as I’m going up for another shift, but hopefully I will return with many more new photos to share!

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

Boreal lake sunrise

The sky glows orange and purple in the first light of dawn over Namur Lake. Taken from a helicopter over the boreal forest of northern Alberta, Canada

Sunrise over Namur Lake

I took this photo on my way to work earlier this summer—I just happened to be lucky enough to be commuting in a helicopter out to a gorgeous old-growth boreal mixedwood site about 100km north-west of Fort McMurray to do bird surveys for the morning! It was a neat experience to get to spend so much time flying over the boreal landscape that I know so well from the ground, and to get a bit of a different perspective on things. I’m sure I’ll print and share here a few more photos from my past couple shifts up there.

I notice when I look through my photo archives, that my colour palette tends to be rather subdued, even sombre at times. If I then look through the photographs made by other photographers that I’ve marked as my favourites, (primarily on the terrific photography-sharing website 500px.com (here’s my 500px collection and my favourites from other 500px photographers)) I notice that the overall impression is very similar—I guess it turns out that’s just what I’m most drawn to… So, for today’s print I decided to choose an image with a bit of colour.

I chose this photo in particular because of the bright, highly saturated orange/red band on the horizon. When Lightroom 4 was released (the software I use for 95% of my processing), I’d read about its new soft-proofing ability (here’s another good article as a pdf), but never actually used it before. I was pretty sure the intense warm colours in this image would be out of gamut for my printer and paper combo that I’m using for this Daily Print project (an Epson 3880 and Canson Baryta Photographique). Sure enough, Lightroom was showing me clipping warnings, but with just a little finessing (lower saturation and highlights, increase vibrance and contrast, tweak tone curve, etc), I got it looking good, and not showing any clipping. I ran the print off, and was quite impressed how closely the print matched my monitor. I’m looking forward to seeing the print in the daylight tomorrow…

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

Rain at sunrise at Beaverhill Lake

The rising sun adds colour to banks of rain clouds moving in over Beaverhill Lake, Alberta

Heavy clouds over Beaverhill Lake

I made this photograph back in August of 2008 on a beautiful, calm morning at Beaverhill Lake but which didn’t last long—by mid-morning the clouds had completely rolled in, and I proceeded with getting soaked (all part of the experience).

I printed this photo today, as the first two prints (here and here) in my Daily Print project (explained here) were both highly-detailed, finely textured images with bold colours, so I thought I’d try something different, and a little out of the ordinary for me. It was interesting to see the finished print—the colours turned out great, but let’s say I need to practice printing more soft-textured images… (that’s what this whole exercise is about though, I guess, and I’m having fun doing it too)

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

Golden sunrise on boreal lake

The first golden yellow rays of sunrise light up the far shore of a small boreal lake closely surrounded by dense spruce forest

Golden sunlight on spruce shoreline

This photograph is from a gorgeous morning that I spent in the Obed Lake Provincial Park in western Alberta. This is not actually Obed Lake itself, but one of the smaller lakes in the park. There were loons swimming around, sparrows and warblers singing, and it was too chilly still for the mosquitoes to be flying—perfect.

The yellow colour in the image is actually toned down a little from what it looked like straight out the camera—it was really yellow. (I guess that’s why they call dawn and dusk the “golden hour”.)

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

Sunrise on Mount Edith Cavell

The first rays of sunlight illuminate the southeast face of Mount Edith Cavell on a clear winter morning in Jasper National Park

First light on south face of Mount Edith Cavell

Happy New Year! After a great trip to the west coast for the holidays, I had the pleasure of spending my first photography trip of the new year in the heart of the Rocky Mountains—Jasper National Park. I could hardly have asked for a better way to start the year than to be out there watching the sun come up over freshly snow-blanketed peaks, and freezing my fingers on my camera. I have a bunch of new photos that I’m excited to share, so check back soon!

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