Spirit Island

Spirit Island - Lake Maligne - Jasper National Park (Thierry Carlier)

Spirit Island - Lake Maligne - Jasper National Park

I have struggled to get back with this image of one of the most famous views of the Canadian Rockies. This place is gorgeous but is relatively remote and not easily accessible if one wants to avoid the touristic 90-minutes scenic boat cruise. It requires hiking off the posted trails and the distance is well over 10 miles – one-way – from the extremity of the lake. It therefore requires backpacking … in bear country. Paddling is another option but it is not necessarily much easier. Nothing that can easily be improvised on the spot. We therefore ended up purchasing 5 tickets for the boat cruise, well over $200, which makes this picture my most expensive ever. The weather was really rotten. We had to stay inside the boat during the entire journey. Once arrived in front of the small island, we were granted no more than 15 minutes to scout the area. My son Rémy & myself rushed to the shore frenetically, trying to figure out the best spot and further setting up our tripods, cameras, filters, etc. We helped each other to protect the gear from the heavy rain and started framing. The boat horn soon called us back aboard, a bit frustrated by the very limited time we had to unleash our creativity in front of this iconic view. My image is certainly far away from the usual standards for this view but it features a different sense of aesthetic, a more sophisticated cold beauty: the breakthrough of bright light disrupting the dark clouds, the shape of the spruce trees in the background, the turquoise reflections and the distal part of the lake that looks so perfectly flat.

Maligne Lake – Jasper National Park – Alberta, Canada.

I created this image with my CANON EOS 5D Mark II, using my EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens. Focal length: 31 mm. Exposure parameters: iso 100, aperture value f/16.0, shutter speed 0.6 s, stopped down by 2/3. 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.

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