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Of Spring and Ghosts

May 22, 2011
Early Bloomer, David Thompson Country

Early Bloomer, David Thompson Country

It’s been a busy few weeks! After a relaxing break in the Caribbean, my wife and I returned home to a suddenly frenetic level of activity. I then headed out of town again to lead the Spring 2011 Photo Tour at Aurum Lodge, which has just completed. Over the course of several days, I took a small group of photographers to locations through David Thompson Country and along the Icefields Parkway. The weather was mixed, since it is spring after all, and the days were long. But the group was undeterred and hit the road well before 5:00 each morning, with cameras at the ready. More will be coming on this as we go through our photo results.

When I arrived in the area a few days early to do some location scouting, I made a side stop in the town of Nordegg as I usually do. Historically a coal mining town, Nordegg’s current, small incarnation is one of the few anchors along Highway 11 between Rocky Mountain House and Saskatchewan River Crossing. Part of Nordegg is ghost town, showing remnants of the buildings and mining operation from when the Brazeau Collieries was a going concern.

The mine closed in 1955, but the Brazeau Collieries site is currently maintained as a Canadian registered National Historic Site. Guided tours are run during the late spring and summer months. Whether visiting the museum & current shops, touring the old mining operation, strolling among the remaining ghost town buildings, or reflecting on the past in the old cemetery, I always enjoy spending a few hours around the town of Nordegg.

Old Engine Fitting, Nordegg

Old Engine Fitting, Nordegg

Chimney and Window, Nordegg

Chimney and Window, Nordegg

Abandoned Door, Nordegg

Abandoned Door, Nordegg

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 22, 2011 22:54

    Nice look into the past Royce… glad the trip went well and looking forward to seeing some of the results in due course… best wishes. Al

  2. May 31, 2011 01:01

    Hey, the first image is a very good macro shot. Could you please tell me what camera you used and what lens? Thanks.

  3. May 31, 2011 08:09

    Thanks Ali…

    Cyndall, the flower close-up was done with a Panasonic LX5 point & shoot camera. I use this camera for a lot of exploratory close-ups because it’s quick to frame and shoot a variety of compositions. The camera has a good focus tracking mode so I can set the focus point on a spot I want sharp, then move the camera around to recompose the scene. Auto-focus will track and lock in on the spot I selected. By getting extremely close to the subject (focus can be locked as close as about 1 cm away), and using a wide aperture with the builtin lens, I get a nice blurred background with just the focus point itself crisply detailed…

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