Monday, June 30, 2014

June Views

For this month's "views", I decided to do a sunrise and sunset each day.

So you get the same scene, two photos per day, one of sunrise and one of sunset. Most morning shots were taking around 6am, and the sunsets were taken about 9.30pm ... except today's, which was about 4.30pm because I need to get this project wrapped up!

Zoom View North(ish) from our Back Deck - Click to Enlarge

Yes, if you're counting, you'll noticed that I missed a couple of sunrises/sunsets - and a day or two, too! ;-)

Click to Enlarge

This is the last of this month-long per episode project - unless I have a brainwave between now and tomorrow!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Inspiration in the Neighbourhood

Sometimes it just takes a change of routine to reopen the eyes! After the excitement of the shoots over the past couple of weeks, I hit the adrenalin hangover this week ... couldn't "see" anything for the life of me!

This morning, we did something we don't often do these days ... we took a stroll around the neighbourhood. We moved into the area in late October, so by the time we were settled the wintry weather wasn't conducive to walking! Our spring has been pretty miserable, bar a few days here and there, and summer's non-existent so far!

The first thing I noticed was that there are actually some wildflowers around at  the moment.

Our subdivision is perched atop a ridge. This is the view out the "back" of the neighbourhood:

And this is out the "front":

Almost by accident, we noticed this recreational area in a depression in the landscape - bet it'll be as buggy as all out in the summer (if it ever gets here). I don't think the pond's supposed to be as extensive as it is, but liked the reflections in it!

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Branch Out Bike Tour 2014

Every year at this time, the Branch Out Foundation, which works towards finding a cure to the 600+ diseases of the nervous system, has a fundraising event in the Columbia Valley. It's called the Branch Out Bike Tour.

Participants leave Panorama Resort and ride their bicycles down the mountain to the valley town of Invermere, do a circuit of Lake Windermere, and ride back up to Panorama again! About 100km (62 miles) round trip. You'd be even more impressed if you could see all the uphills involved!

This spring's weather has been a bit, shall we say, dodgy. Yesterday, I went down the valley looking for shooting locations, and then crossed my fingers that it wouldn't rain on event day. Naturally, the forecast was for clear and sunny weather with temps in the mid-20Cs.

What did we wake up to? This:

Fog To The Deck

I got to my station and this is what the faster/early arrivals at my vantage point got for a background - at least the tops of the trees were free of fog:

The First Rider To Pass My Ditch Shooting Station - Click To Enlarge

And, happily for them, this is what the less speedy riders got:

The Last Shot I Took (But Not The Last Rider) - Click To Enlarge

The pro's in the race arrived about 30 minutes earlier than predicted, forcing me to grab my camera from the rear of the truck seconds after we arrived, and just rip off a few shots - happily, I'd already saved the camera's settings for just this eventuality, so I did manage to catch some of the lead group:

The Leaders At Halfway - Click To Enlarge

Over the next few days, I'll be working through the over-800 images I captured - I am uploading them in small batches, as soon as they're ready. Here's the link to the gallery on my website.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Kootenay Krusher 2014

Just a quickie to pass along the link to the gallery ...

I spent several lovely hours out in the backcountry at Nipika yesterday ... taking photos of the action at the Kootenay Krusher cross-country mountain bike race:

The view from my shooting station - click to enlarge
One of the intrepid competitors - click to enlarge
Down by the riverside - click to enlarge

Here's the link to the whole gallery.

Watch for a new and exciting shooting location coming in 2015!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Highway 1A: West to East

A few days ago, instead of taking the usual Trans-Canada Highway 1, we decided to take "the back road" to Calgary.

It started when we turned off H1 at Castle Mountain onto he 1A, and followed that slow, winding road for about an hour. No wildlife to be seen, besides a few crows and a pair of suicidal squirrels, but the speed limit is very low so it was an enjoyable ride watching the scenery trundle by. It was pretty heavily treed, so not many scenic opportunities until we popped back onto H1 just before Banff:

Click to Enlarge
I also took a panoramic series from the lookout here - it's currently the banner image on my photography Facebook page, so pop across and have a look! (I'm running a contest over there, if you're interested in a chance to win a pet photo shoot!)

At Canmore, we (after a short unscheduled trip around one of the neighbourhoods) got back onto 1A, also known as the Bow Valley Parkway. The scenery was pretty but I knew the "must have" shots would be on the way back, with the Rockies in the background. We did find a small herd of horses, though, so had to spend a few minutes there ...

One of the Herd Stallions

Click to Enlarge
View more of these horse photos in the horse gallery on my website.

After a hectic time finding our way around the city, country bumpkins that we are, we headed home. The plan was to do the 1A in reverse, but we ended up in one of those darned "right turn only" lanes that pop up with no warning in Calgary. After navigating around the university district for about 20 minutes before landing back on H1, by which time we (or rather, I, the driver) were too stressed to try to find the Bow Valley Parkway, and decided to head straight home.

On our way back through Kootenay National Park, this black bear crossed the road right in front of us, so we had to stop to watch it for a while:

Click to Enlarge

I confess, I have saved the best for last, so I hope you kept following along! About 8.30am, literally minutes out of Radium Hot Springs, in Kootenay National Park, less than an hour after we left home, we come across this grizzly sow:

Click to Enlarge

This is only the second time I've seen a grizzly in the wild - and she had twins with her!!!

View more of these bear photos in the bear gallery on my website.

Next time, the BVP will definitely be driven east-to-west! And this wasn't the last time that it was driven west-to-east, either!  ;-)