Posts Tagged ‘ice’

Mount Cheam Sunset from Harrison Hot Springs

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and sunset light on the Mount Cheam Range. Photographed from Harrison Lake at Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada

harrison hot springs resort with mount cheam in the background at sunset

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and the Cheam Range at Sunset

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   A few weeks ago I posted a blue hour photo of Mount Cheam and the town of Harrison Hotsprings. While that photograph may well turn out to be my favourite from the day, it was not really what I was after when I set out. Pre-trip research using Google earth and other photographs on the internet can only get you so far – sometimes you just have to go somewhere to see what is there. This was certainly one of those days.

   Through my trip planning and time spent in Google Earth and a few other applications, I had thought I would be able to make a photograph that is somewhere in between the one above, and the one posted earlier. The grand plan was to photograph the Mount Cheam Range above (directly above) the Harrison Hot Springs Resort with some night sunset light. A few things would have had to occur for this to happen. 1) A place to stand where those two things line up and 2) nice light at sunset. So I set out up the Whippoorwill Point Trail along the western side of Harrison Lake in the hopes that the point near the outflow of the Harrison River from the lake would provide this angle. I had climbed about 200 feet or so up the hill before I realized that this was not a place I would want to climb down in the dark, alone, and with some ice on the trail. It also seemed completely possible that I would be able to walk along the lake shore and get to the same area with less actual effort. The water in the lake seemed fairly low, and water along the shore itself was frozen (though I didn’t really test how much so with my body weight). So I walked on the “beach” past Whippoorwill Point to Sandy Cove. I then walked further along the water and rocky shore towards the Harrison River. I wasn’t able to make it to the river, but it was clear that this would have been a moot point anyway. The way the shore curved, I was losing more and more of my view of Cheam Peak. The best spot turned out to be just south of Sandy Cove. It was from there that I made the photograph above.

   The photograph I had hoped for (I try to avoid the term “previsualized”) turned out to not actually be possible without a boat. I would not want to try to photograph in early February on a boat on Harrison Lake anyway, even without the high winds and cold I faced. There are plenty of other angles on Mount Cheam I have on my list of places to check out. Stay tuned for those!

 

Frozen Eureka Falls

A frozen Eureka Falls “flows” into Silverhope Creek near Hope, British Columbia, Canada

frozen eureka falls and silverhope creek near hope british columbia canada

Eureka Falls frozen in a recent cold snap (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   I visit Eureka Falls several times a year on my way to Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia. This was the first time I had been there in winter, however, and the place looked much different than I am used to. Normally I visit Eureka Falls in early spring when the water levels are higher and of course the foliage is green. The ice on the waterfall was quite thick, but you could still see water flowing underneath the ice. The lower water levels on Silverhope creek at this time of year also allowed me to try some new angles and get closer to the water than I normally am able. Now that I have some more appropriate cold weather clothing I have many locations I want to photograph this winter now that hypothermia is less of an issue! Now all we need is to get some actual snow…

Chilliwack River Winter Panorama

winter panorama of the chilliwack river near chilliwack lake provincial park
The Chilliwack River
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3 exposures stitched, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM @ 17mm

Now that I have written a post about getting away from solely using wide angle lenses for landscapes and to look for the details I thought I would post a wide angle panorama!

This is the Chilliwack River near Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park taken at the same time as some of my other Chilliwack River shots.

One thing I keep noticing with this shot is that the majority of longer exposure river shots I see are looking upstream while this is looking across/downstream. Does this make it look unnatural or different in a negative way?

Focus on the Details

the chilliwack river in winter
The Chilliwack River in Winter

   When I first started getting serious with a “real” film camera I had a 28-90mm kit lens. Eventually I wished to move on from just taking random snapshots and actually gain more skills and take better photos. I read a bit on the internet about lenses and bought a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4. The “nifty fifty”. It was at this point that I realized the difference lens quality can make. I couldn’t believe how sharp and clear the shots with the 50mm were.

   A few years after buying the 50mm I upgraded to a DSLR – A Canon 30D. Wow not only could I take 100’s of shots at one time, I was not paying for film and developing so I could actually afford to experiment and try new things. The 28-90mm kit lens was a bit better on the DSLR (cropped out some of the edge anomalies) but still had nothing on the 50mm. On the APS-C sensor of the 30D (1.6x) the 50mm was more like an 80mm lens. I really wanted to go wider so that I could get more into a shot. I saved up and bought a Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5. Good quality and really wide compared to the 50mm. I shot with the 10-22mm and the 50mm (the kit lens now relegated to a drawer for bad behaviour) for quite a while. I wanted to determine what I was missing the most before I went in that direction with a new lens.

nodoubt peak - part of Mount Redoubt - alpenglow
Alpenglow on Nodoubt Peak in North Cascades National Park

   A year or so after I bought the 10-22mm I filled in the gap between my lenses with the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. At that point I had opted for crop sensors over full frame (largely due to price of both long lenses and the FF cameras) so the 17-40mm was not on my list. From there I went to a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM to get a bit more reach for wildlife. What I had not really anticipated is that I would be using this lens so often for landscapes.

the chilliwack river in winter
Abstract Chilliwack River

   Often as a beginning photographer I read about wide angle lenses as the be all and end all of landscape photography. Walking in to a camera shop and being asked what I like to shoot – the answer of landscapes would push wide angle lenses in my direction. I was rather surprised to learn what I had been missing in a longer telephoto lens for landscapes. In some scenes I have found it difficult to use the wider focal lengths in that they actually get too much into the frame. Ironic considering this is why I earlier had thought I needed a wide lens. The details of the scene are there, but are drowned out by distracting elements that take the viewer’s eye away from what is important. So my initial impression that I would always want to be at a wide angle all the time has actually changed to looking at the details and what is more essential.

eureka falls in spring
Eureka Falls

   I never would have predicted this sort of outcome when I started. I see many posts and articles devoted to gear and purchasing wide lenses for landscapes. I wonder how many of the beginners reading these thing will eventually start to favour longer lenses for their landscape photography? Would they be better off getting a telephoto lens before a really wide angle one? Maybe this is just a normal evolution for a photographer. Regardless, I am happy I have moved away from all wide angle all the time – the variety of shots possible at longer focal lengths is liberating.