Kananaskis Country

Desperate for inspiration, I headed towards areas of the city unknown to me. I’m becoming increasingly concerned about the quality and quantity of landscape photo opportunites within the city limits. I’m dying to practice my HDR techniques, but everything is so FLAT and generally uninteresting in Calgary. I sure hope that the spring renews my faith in this place!

On the flipside…

Only an hour or two from Calgary is some of the most amazing scenery I have ever seen… I just hope I don’t have to drive each time I want to release my shutter!!! Below are some pics from Kananaskis Country… about an hour from Calgary…

Kananaskis Country  Kananaskis Country  Kananaskis Country

Kananaskis Country Kananaskis Country

False Alarm

Hello all! I guess it’s been a little while since my last post… (I’m busy with a new job, so I’m not able to chase birds and landscapes everyday!) I’m planning to be able to post something interest-worthy at least once a week (unless you all want to hear about my mundane work-week?)

Seeing as how my spare time is so scarce these days, I’m more inclined to research and plan out a photo shoot as opposed to just driving around aimlessly for hours on end. So there I was gathering ideas for a day-trip on Sunday… I was browsing some guy’s Flickr stream last night, and *POW! There it was… a photo that I had to recreate for myself! He’d just posted it that same day and the weather was supposed to be just as nice (as in his picture) the next day! Not only was this a great scene with forecasted sunshine…. it was only an hour’s drive from home!

Now I’m thinking… “the perfect spot for a picnic”!  So I made lunches, dragged my poor hostage girlfriend out of bed at 7am and headed out, (she hates standing in the cold with a tripod waiting for ‘the light to change’ – *geesh).

I was so excited about this trip; that guy’s Flickr image looked good, but mine was gonna be sweet!

It was the very instant we turned off the highway that I realized that none of this was going to live up to my expectations. That guy’s Flickr photo must not have been taken the same day it was posted!  There were no reflections of mountains in the pond… The whole place was FROZEN!  Needless to say, there was no picnic either!

Wishful thinking for me to have thought that there would be reflections of glaciers and mountains this time of year…. I’ll be ready for when it happens though…. false alarm today!

 wedge-pond-hdr-copy.jpg yote2-copy.jpg wedge-_pond_pano_full-copy.jpg

“…only counts in horshoes & hand-grenades!”

Today was yet another beautiful winter day… these ‘Chinook Winds’ are just fine by me! It was so lovely that Stephy and I decided to escape our chores around the house and go for a walk in Sicome Lake Park. We walked around for about an hour, but on our way out is when the real action started. Stephy is known for finding birds that your average human eye cannot detect. Sure enough… on the drive out of the parking lot, she spots one! A big one! A low one! A Great Horned one!

I’ve never, ever been so close to an Owl before! He was completely comfortable with my presence. I kept coming closer, and closer, and closer lighting him up with my flash in between advances. It was pretty dark and I tried using my 1600 ISO setting for the first time. If I hadn’t been so darn impatient and excited, I would have grabbed my tripod out of the back seat and got some real shots! I was still so taken by how low he was that I just approached him with my camera hand-held.

It was a little tricky getting him to pay any attention to me, despite the fact that I was now directly beneath him by only 5 or 6 feet! By the time I’d figured out my optimal camera settings and how to spark his attention…. he’d flown off to the next tree, where I was able to get more shots, but from a farther distance. Dang… I was so, so close! I guess ‘close’ only counts in horseshoes & hand-grenades though!

(just for the record… I was not chasing a sleeping owl from tree to tree – he was fully alert and hunting… his attention was set on somthing in the distance… food I’m sure)

Great Horned Owl Great Horned Owl