Monday, September 20, 2010

Banff and Jasper Trip, Part 2

Read Part 1 of this series

    The second faze of my recent vacation was traveling from Mt.Robson to Jasper National Park, which is only about an hours drive from the former. Along the Yellowhead Highway (16), there are several interesting places to stop and take photos, first along Moose Lake, which is the only lake on the main stream of the Fraser River. The Fraser River enters the Pacific Ocean near Vancouver, which is over 900km away.

Moose Lake
    On the day I was traveling past Moose Lake the weather was cloudy, which didn't make for the most ideal colours or feel for good images. At the same time I would rather have this shot on a cloudy day than one with a clear uninteresting sky. I could see this being an interesting place to spend some time taking photos, because there was lots of open space to shoot from. In evening or early morning light I could see someone getting some great shots at Moose Lake.

    As I continued east towards the British Columbia, Alberta border, I passed through an area were Moose were very abundant, although I didn't see any. I could see why the area was called Moose Lake, and the Moose marsh, the habitat would be ideal for moose! Along the highway there were numerous signs telling drivers to watch out for moose crossing the road, but I read later that most crossing happen in the evening around dusk. There were no suitable places to stop so I didn't get any photos of the marsh.

    The next place I was able to stop was Yellowhead Lake, which is much smaller than Moose Lake. The lake itself isn't overly interesting from a photographic standpoint, but the Yellowhead Mountain that towers over it, is interesting. Due to the persistent low cloud cover I wasn't able to get a clear shot of the mountain, but I like what I was able to capture none the less.

Yellowhead Mountain

    At this point I started to use my D300 more, with Tokina 12-24mm F4 lens mounted, because I was finding the widest 18mm selection on the 18-70mm kit lens mounted on the D40X limiting. Not to mention that I wanted to shoot with my best camera when possible. During the trip I shot 14bit RAW with the D300 to ensure that I was able to get the most out of every shot. I found that very useful when using the curves tool in Aperture 3, as you have more dynamic range to work with than the 12bit files, even if the amount is small.

    In Part 3 I'll cover my first day in Jasper National Park.