“You should go to the Canadian Rockies” …

Mount Rundle Reflection in Vermilion Lakes - Banff, Alberta, Canada. (Thierry Carlier)

Mount Rundle Reflection in Vermilion Lakes - Banff, Alberta, Canada.

I met professional photographer Jon Cornforth in Death Valley National Park last year during our spring break vacation in the Southwest. My family and I woke up very early that day. We drove about 40 minutes, hiked another 20 and casually met Jon at the top of the Mesquite Sand Dunes. We both were there, waiting for the sun to rise, with great expectations as to capturing a dramatic desert landscape image at dawn. Light ended up being very poor that morning. We chatted for a while about our common passion, our respective gear, the kids, etc. I remember very well Jon saying “You should go to the Canadian Rockies” …

We didn’t schedule any long vacation this year at spring break. We had been dreaming about Yellowstone for a while and decided to keep our budget and few vacation days to head to Wyoming during the summer. We booked flights to Seattle for the end of August. We were planning to visit the Pacific Northwest city and further drive along the scenic road through Montana, Idaho, visit Yellowstone and fly back from Salt Lake City. We were really exited by the idea that we would soon come over the geysers, the canyon, the falls … and wildlife: grizzly bears, bisons, and maybe even mooses.

We were disappointed when we had to reschedule our long waited Yellowstone trip under short notice for professional reasons. There was no way to rebook accomodation in the park earlier in the summer. We basically had to find another destination.

My wife Valérie had long kept in mind Jon’s statement about the Canadian Rockies. A friend French family from Philadelphia had spent 3 weeks over there last year during the summer prior to moving back to Paris and they really enjoyed it.

On July 29 we were on Board Southwest flights 725 & 1429 bound to Denver, Las Vegas and Seattle, on the eve of a 2 1/2 weeks trip through Washington State, British Columbia and Alberta.

I will never forget the beauty of the Canadian Rockies Landscapes … this place is genuine and you can feel that wilderness is still prevailing despite human activity. We have been amazed by how often one can see wild animals: black bears with cubs, grizzly bears, huge elks, foxes, white tail deers, mountain goats, bobcats, etc. Wolves and mountain lions are not easily seen as they very much avoid human presence. Canadian Park Rangers even told us that the bears use to be wilder in Canada …

I like the pastel tones of this picture as well as the shape of the pine trees. This is one of my first “reflection” image and I’m really amazed by the result. I also started using Graduated Neutral Density Filters to balance the sky exposure … I’m now convinced that there’s no way around the use of such filters and will no longer rely on post-processing only.

Still dreaming about the Canadian Rockies, we will now head to Yellowstone …

I created this image with my CANON EOS 5D Mark II, using my EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens. Focal length: 35 mm. Exposure parameters: iso 100, aperture value f/22.0, shutter speed 0.5 s. I have balanced the sky exposure by using my 3-Stops Soft Graduated Neutral Density LEE Filter. I have used my GITZO GT3531 Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripod. It required limited processing using Adobe Lightroom 3.

Explore all Images by Thierry Carlier Photography.

6 Responses to ““You should go to the Canadian Rockies” …”

  1. Christine says:

    4h du mat, déjà réveillée,alors internet. Je suis revenue sur ton site, je lis ton texte, je regarde ta photo, hypnotisée par tant de beauté….
    Cette photo, elle est belle car le paysage est magnifique mais elle est belle car elle est prise par un pro!

    Ma décision est prise Un français propose des stages de photos à Chennai, je pense que je vais m’inscrire au prochain ! pour au moins avoir quelques notions…

  2. Remy Carlier says:

    Pourquoi as tu mis Wyoming dans le post?

  3. Carlo says:

    Very nice picture, I’ll be going to that same area next year as well!
    However you might want to be mindful when using Gradual ND filters when photographing reflections, as you don’t want the reflection to be lighter than the sky itself…

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