Friday, October 1, 2010

Banff and Jasper Trip, Part 5

Read my earlier posts on Banff and Jasper as well.

My third day of vacation was a real treat, photographically.

Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
    The location of the first photo today is Medicine Lake, which is a 15-20 minute drive from Jasper along Maligne Lake Road. When I arrived at this location the lighting conditions were incredible to say the least. The reflection of the mountain on the lake was breathtaking, much more so in person than any photo can hope to capture. This was one of the occasions where I wish I had a wider angel lens, and that is saying a lot since I took this photo with my Tokina 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, that's a 18mm equivalent for a 35mm frame. As a result framing the image I wanted was tough and I tried a number of different perspectives, but this one ended up being my favorite. I also took the following HDR image at the same location, composed of 5 different shots.
Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
    I was hoping not to have to do HDR, but the light was changing quickly and I wanted to get a balanced exposure and using HDR was the only way to do that. I'm currently using free HDR software that only works with jpeg files, so the image isn't as good as it could be. If I want to seriously attempt some HDR I'm going to have to buy a plug-in for Aperture 3. This photo's composition is suffering again because I felt like I needed a wider angel lens. I could have backed up, but I didn't like what that would have done to the foreground so I had to work at this distance.

    20 minutes down the road from Medicine Lake you arrive at Maligne Lake, which I didn't find overly interesting from a photographic standpoint. I took a few shots of boats around the lake.
Maligne Lake
Overall, I think I enjoyed photographing Medicine Lake far more, and I would like to shoot at that location again.

Kayaks at Maligne Lake
    This second photo at Maligne Lake was one that I liked even before I took it. The colours of the kayaks stood out to me, and shows part of the appeal of visiting Maligne Lake. Most of the visitors of the Lake either walk around on one of several trails, or take the several hour long boat tour from one end to the other. Taking the boat tour was not in my budget, so I just walked around the north side of the lake. 

    Following my visit at Maligne Lake I made my second stop at the Maligne Canyon, and took advantage of the improved lighting conditions over the day before.

Maligne Canyon
    The mostly overcast sky allowed me to take more balanced exposures than I had been able to achieve on my first visit. I know many photographers feel that overcast skies make landscapes look flat and uninteresting, but that is not always the case. Not to mention the fact that you don't get to pick the weather conditions you are working with when you only have a short time at any given location.

    Here are a few more shots from the Canyon on the third day, and I'll end with them. I'll have more on the trip next week.
Maligne Canyon