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Banff National

The second part of my trip to Calgary took the family into Banff National Park. I had seen some great images from the area, and I assumed I would be able to get at least a few. As before, this was a family vacation, so there was little time for me to get out to take planned pictures. It will be nice if my kids start getting into photography because I would love to take them along to some of my shoots.

We arrived in the afternoon, driving through huge mountains to get to our hotel in Camore (just outside the park). My oldest was feeling a little ill, so I took my youngest out and into the park.

We decided that for our adventure we would take to gondola up from Banff to get a view from high above the park. The view was very pretty and the air was thinner that I thought it would be. I am a little out of shape, but I did find it a little hard to breath with all the walking at higher altitude.

I was able to get the shot above as the rain started to move into the area. This is sort of (big sort of) what I expect to get from Mont Blanc, but I am starting to feel it is a little less interesting than expected. I think getting in close to the subjects will really start to make it interesting. The lack of foreground in these pictures hurt them a little. Will have to do some research into how others are doing it. It started to rain as we moves our way down the mountain, so we went back to the hotel.

It was still pretty early, so I was able to get out and try to get some sunset images in the mountains. I headed towards Lake Louise/Moraine Lake. Being in Banff, I wanted to get a stereotypical ‘Blue Lake’ photo. A little bit tourist, but you have to.

As I drove, I stopped off at a few places, but you really can’t get any good images right off a highway. I skipped Lake Louise and headed towards Moraine Lake. When I finally got there, I was pretty impressed. It was really stunning. The lake itself was a little choppy and the wind and rain was starting to come in. I walked up a small rock mountain to see if I could get a better look. My first shot was of the stairway up. I love the lines in this image.

My second shot was of the mountain behind the lake. I took it from the edge of the small hill I had climbed. It is sort of funny that none of my lake pictures were really turning out. Most of the time, there was something in the way like a tree, railing or bench. Just views of the mountain range this time.

The final day we spent as a family going to the hot springs, visiting the waterfalls (nothing worth photographing there), and canoeing down the river. It was a great time, but my camera was understandably secondary. I did take a picture before the day started that you see below. Not a great composition, but the kids had fun throwing rocks in the lake while I set it all up.

A Few Comments from the Shoot:

  • Views from tops of mountains may not be all that appealing. Have to look into how others are pulling it off
  • Don’t even try to spot good images from a major highway
  • Tourist areas seem to always have foreground issues with signs, benches, people and other things in the way
  • People are lying about there being animals in Banff National Park. I read the signs, but the only thing that I saw move was a couple of squirrels, some guy with a backpack and a few bushes.


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