I wish I’d known about this little red lodge before our trip to Canada! Just by Bow Lake it must be the perfect place to stay for a couple of nights in Banff National Park. This was our third stop along the Icefields Parkway and we still had so much more to explore.
Unfortunately it was pretty windy and the water was very unsettled. I didn’t have a tripod with me for a long exposure so I decided to focus on taking longer shots of the surrounding mountains to avoid having too much unwanted texture at the bottom of the image. I’m not sure why but I never like that in photos!
Just before we set off we heard another group shouting – “Look, a bear!” – and just a few metres away from us was a black bear right by the parking area! Equal parts terrified and excited, we moved away slowly to continue our journey along the Icefields Parkway.
Have you ever seen a bear? Where’s the best place you’ve been for wildlife spotting? Maybe you know something about this lodge?! Please get in touch!
Respect for the environment and preservation of its natural beauty was clearly evident throughout our time in Banff National Park. Vistas like this, an endless sea of trees with not a road or mountain chalet in sight were all around us as we made our way along the Icefields Parkway.
It’s a huge contrast to what I see here in the French and Swiss Alps, with many mountains scarred by switchbacks, clearings for ski slopes and holiday homes. I certainly know which I prefer – I’ll take raw and inaccessible over inhabited and well-travelled every time!
The untouched nature of the landscape also made it much easier to take uncluttered photos, and we stopped at almost every opportunity between Banff and Jasper. How anybody can drive past a view like this without stopping for a few moments I will never understand!
What’s the most untouched place you’ve ever visited? How did it make you feel? Could you drive on past a view like this?! I’d love to hear from you!
Before I visit somewhere new I always try to spend some time researching shooting locations, so I knew I wanted to get something a little different to the common shots I’d seen of Waipiʻo Valley on the Big Island. Since we’d decided not to hike down to the black sand beach I had to get creative with some foliage around the lookout point.
Fortunately I found these trees which provided a fantastic frame for the beautiful coastline. It might not be the grand vista you can see with no obstruction just out of shot, but I always think putting something in the foreground that’s almost close enough to touch helps draw you into an image.
Whilst I enjoy scouting a place before I’ve been there, I love to see other photographers’ work of somewhere I’ve visited myself even more! It’s so interesting to compare and contrast the composition, the light and the weather when you’ve been standing in the very spot that a photo was taken from.
Short of taking a full on tour with a professional, I actually think it’s one of the best ways to learn and improve your photography. I’ve been on the lookout for photos of Hawaii ever since we got back, so if you have any of your own or have some favourites bookmarked please get in touch!
When I reached Lac Blanc to find I was sharing it with only one other hiker, I knew the 5:30am wake-up call was worth it. This popular lake in the Aiguilles Rouges range of the French Alps is swarming with people for much of the day. But arrive early enough and you can have the place almost to yourself.
What’s the main attraction? The stunning views of the Mont Blanc massif, seen here reflected in the water. It’s been a bit of a dream of mine to see this lake. As I stood here looking out at what must be one of the most magnificent views in the Alps, I felt slightly overwhelmed by the grandeur of it all.
I thought I was aware of the beauty I’d find at Lac Blanc, but there is no substitute for being there in person. Seeing it with my own eyes, breathing the air and enjoying the silence. It made me fall in love with the mountains all over again. I wouldn’t hesitate to set my alarm for 5:30am and do it all again next weekend.
I’d been shooting with a wide angle lens all morning, but decided it was time to focus on the detail of the majestic mountains I could see in the distance. I sat down, switched to a long zoom lens and scanned the surrounding landscape for interesting features.
Something about this peak in the Mont Blanc massif caught my eye. I loved the leading line created by the mountain’s ridge. Following it from bottom to top I felt like I could imagine it climbing higher and higher as it was created, forged from the earth.
Mountains at high altitude often make great subjects for black and white photography. There’s so much contrast to play with between the snow-capped peaks, perfect blue sky and dark rock formations. I had great fun experimenting in Lightroom!
Although I never found Lac du Roy as intended, this fantastic unnamed lake was right next to the car park at which I ended my hike. Before I left to head home I spent a while just taking all sorts of different shots around the water’s edge.
Unfortunately there was a chap just out of shot fishing, which made it impossible to get a great reflection. He clearly wasn’t very good because he kept creating ripples in the water. I’m no fishing expert, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the best approach!
This was the most balanced composition I found around the lake, but I’ve no doubt there’s a better one out there. The shot was taken late in the afternoon, but I still had some harsh lighting in the foreground that I had to correct in Lightroom by adjusting the exposure.
As I hiked up to Lac de Peyre I was slightly disappointed by the overcast weather. It wasn’t unexpected, but I couldn’t help feeling that some sunnier skies would make for better photos. I also couldn’t have been more wrong! I think this might be the first full colour shot I’ve ever published which doesn’t have some blue sky.
I spent three hours at the lake shooting from all angles and getting my feet wet in the process. The whole experience has completely changed my outlook on the weather and I won’t be letting overcast skies put me off in the future. Once you get up into the mountains and closer to the clouds they really create a fantastic mood!