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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: $