Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dragons and Clouds - July 23, 2013

On the way home from work found myself driving through Bridgeland. There is a dog park on top of the hill there and I stoped to look for wild flowers. Instead I found that there were dragonflies about. This fellow sat on the twig and was reasonably still. I was using my 300mm lens with extension tubes on it. This was the first time that I'd tried the tubes out after picking them up more than a year ago. After a bit of wrangling with the equipment I was able to get a few macro shots of the dragonfly. In the original pic you can make out the lenses on the dragonfly's eyes which is pretty neat. I enjoy shooting macro shots like this not always for the end result but because I'm able to sit and focus (ha ha.. focus) on one thing for a while and forget everything else, like having a bit of tunnel vision. It's a nice escape from my mind - plus you get to stop, slowdown and look closely at something that you normally wouldn't see.


Then later in the evening it looked like there would be some interesting clouds and maybe a rainbow out east of the city so off I went.. reminds me of that aloof person that's always off chasing butterflies and rainbows. Hey, that's me! Anyway, as I was driving down the gravel road following the rainbow but it wasn't very strong and I couldn't find a composition to put it in on. There was this cool light coming from the west where the sun was making its way down to the horizon. I spotted this line of trees that were creating cool shadows on the ground in my rear view mirror so I stopped made a photograph of it.


Further down the road, I came across this farmers field where they had started harvesting. I liked the curves the hay makes on the ground and the interesting sky in the background. I tried to capture it using a couple of filters to block the light from the sky a bit so the camera could also capture the darker-in-shadow foreground.

First Harvest

I left here and while driving back stopped to photograph big storm clouds in the sky. As of yet, I've not posted any of those photos, but if I do, they'll show up here.

Thanks for looking,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Morley Flats, again - July 18, 2013

Tonight I went back to Morley Flats in an attempt to try and capture the wildflowers with sunlight instead of shade. What's kind of cool is the mountains in the photo include both Mt. Yamnuska and Door Jamb mountain/Loder peak, which I've climbed recently. I used made two photos that I joined together to make a panorama.  I wasn't sure this would turn out when I shot it, but I like the results.

Two days ago I tried to take some photo's here and was attacked by mosquitoes and was bit on my hands by ants after bracing the camera against a fence post for stability. Today, in preparation I doused myself with bug spray to try and ward off the mosquitoes. This worked OK on my exposed skin but after the sun went behind the mountain the mosquitoes came out in force and were biting me through my shirt! Also, I was wearing sandals and ants were crawling onto my feet and biting my toes. There were ants everywhere,  it wasn`t like I accidentally ened up on an ant hill for a few minutes. I moved around a lot and every where I stopped the ants (and mosquitoes) were there. I would not recommend tenting on Morley Flats or lying down on the ground for any reason. However, if your looking for lots and lots of bluebells and brown-eyed susans with some mountains in the background this is the place to be.

Morley Flats

Any other shots from today that I upload will be here.

Thanks for looking

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Morley Flats - July 16, 2013

On the weekend I'd driven out to Kananaskis to climb the Wedge and on the way I'd passed Morley Flats and noticed the fields of wildflowers. I wanted to go back and try to capture them with some nice sunset light. So, after work on Tuesday I drove west towards the mountains. It was still a bit early and I figured I'd have lots of time to get there so I drove out on highway 68 towards Sibbald and stopped a few times to shoot some wildflowers along the side of the road.

Either it was further than I thought or I spent too much time dwindling because by the time I got to Morley Flats the sun had slipped in behind the mountains casting a shadow across the field. I wasn't going to get a field full of back-lit flowers that I'd hoped for.

As I balanced my camera against a fence post to make some shots I was attacked by swarms of mosquitoes and a few ants that had crawled up the post to bite my fingers. It made for a stress-full situation and I didn't hang out too long before I jumped back into the car. Unfortunately I'd left my windows open and a bunch of mosquitoes had flown into the car. I drove home with the sunroof and all windows open hoping that the wind inside the car would somehow suck the bugs out.

Morley Flats

I need to go and try again before the summer flowers fade. This time I'll get there early and spray down with bug spray. Any other photos from today can be found here.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Wedge - July 14th, 2013

After reading lots of on-line trip reports on the Wedge scramble route I thought it'd be fun to go and try as it seemed to be within my skill level. I was nervously excited about crossing from the false summit to the true summit as there is a narrow path between the two and I imagined capturing incredible pictures from the lofty peak. The recent floods in southern Alberta had washed out some bridges in Kananaskis and last Thursday they had announced that the bridge over Evan-Thomas creek had been restored to single lane traffic which you have to cross to get to the trail head at Wedge pond.

A lot of the trip reports I read are from the late 90's or early 2000's when everyone seemed to be cutting their mountain-scrambling-teeth on the routes that I'm just starting to discover. There was a bit of information about route finding and getting through the trees to the shoulder of the mountain. The approach trail was easy to find and after 15 years (since some of the earliest posted trip reports) of people climbing the Wedge that the trail was very well defined. There were a couple of washed out sections on the way up due to recent heavy rains but they didn't pose much of a problem.

I walked through the forest, up the shoulder and got to the base of the summit in about two and a half hours. On the way there was a spectacular view of Mt. Kidd and the Kananaskis valley.

Mt Kidd

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rainbow - July 4, 2013

The clouds were directly overhead of the house and I was on the driveway out front when I spotted a rainbow in the sky.  Hopped in the car and started driving east on McKnight blvd towards Conrich. The rainbow wasn't fully formed but the left leg was pretty strong. I stopped at the side of the road and made a couple shots with a longer lens to compress the landscape and zoom in on the horizon. I drove east some more, getting closer to the storm front. As I got closer the rainbow started to get stronger and soon I could see the whole thing. Next was to find a vantage point from which to shoot from. The fields are just starting to turn yellow so I turned off the main highway and onto a gravel road heading north to try and find a composition that would include the fields.

Rainbows are positional in that if you move or change the angle between you, the sun and the rain that's falling, the rainbow will move. If the angle changes too much the rainbow can disappear. As I drove north I was hoping that the rainbow wouldn't up and vanish. I came across this side road, stopped driving, hopped out and started making photos.


I like this one because of the access road in it. I had a few where I was further to the left and it was just field but this one has some nice leading lines and the access road helps break up the foreground. There are also some power lines coming in from the upper right. I thought about cloning them out but decided to leave them in as they also help to direct the eye towards the center of the frame.