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Fall 2012 Photo Tour in the Canadian Rockies

September 9, 2012

Wow, what a fantastic time we had on the Fall 2012 Photo Tour! It was a fun group, and we had an amazing time photographing at locations along the David Thompson Highway, in the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Plus we also had back-to-back day trips to locations a bit further afield. Co-lead Daniel Wheeler and myself took half the group up to the amazing and beautiful Lake O’Hara — properly thought of as the gem of the Rockies — while Alan Ernst of Aurum Lodge took the other half of the group to Moraine Lake, Emerald Lake and other spots in the vicinity of Lake Louise. We then reversed the groups the following day. It was a fair bit of driving, those days, so we stayed closer to home the rest of the time. All through-out, we had some of the warmest fall weather I can remember, enhanced with calm air, a variety of blue skies and clouds, an absolutely killer sunset one evening, and great fall color each day. Everyone was super pleased with the variety of photo opportunities that resulted!

I’m still cataloging my images from the tour, in between finalizing work on other projects I’ve got running, but my results will start coming soon. Just look for posts here on the blog with the tag Fall 2012 Photo Tour. We’ve also got a Flickr group going for group members to contribute to, so check out the Fall 2012 Photo Tour At Aurum Lodge image set. Also, see these posts with a few favorite images from tour participants:

If you would like to experience the spectacle of fall in the Canadian Rockies next year, spending a few days with a group of like-minded photographers who will visit a mix of locations both iconic and off-the-beaten-path, check out the information on our Fall 2013 Photo Tour at the events page here. Dates are already announced so you can reserve them in your calendar! 🙂


Event: Fall 2012 Photo Tour at Aurum Lodge
Co-leaders: Royce Howland, Daniel Wheeler & Alan Ernst
Group size: 7 participants maximum, intermediate to advanced photography experience
Dates: September 15 – 20, 2012
Highlights: 6 days / 5 nights at Aurum Lodge & David Thompson Country, including a day trip to Lake O’Hara
Travel on location: Car-pooling with the group
Fee: $1749 CDN including all accommodations & meals; not including travel to the lodge
Registration info: The photo tour event page at the Aurum Lodge web site
Contact: Royce Howland (royce at vividaspect dot com) or Alan Ernst (info at aurumlodge dot com)

Fall at Abraham Lake 2 // David Thompson Country

In just a few days time, I’ll be heading up to the wonderful region of David Thompson Country in the front range of the Canadian Rockies, to start scouting for this year’s Fall Photo Tour at Aurum Lodge. We have a sold-out group this year, and I’m looking forward to working with my co-leaders Alan Ernst (proprietor of the lodge) and photographer & good friend Daniel Wheeler, to take the group around a beautiful part of the Earth at an exciting time of year.

As I’ve written before, Aurum Lodge is ideally positioned in a photographically rich area. I expect that once again, our group will enjoy excellent opportunities for fall photography over our run of 5 nights and 6 days. We will cover locations along Highway 11, also known as the David Thompson Highway. This will include Abraham Lake, pictured above. We’ll also reach towards the Rockies along the world-famous Icefields Parkway, including a special side trip to stunning Lake O’Hara, one of the preeminent gems of the Rockies.

We call this a photo tour which means our primary goal is to provide field-intensive photography opportunities to participants. This isn’t an introductory workshop that emphasizes theory or classroom time, but getting into the field during any & all usable light and making the most of it. Now, having said that, we will provide hands-on “learning by doing” in the field, focused on what each participant’s needs may be. We expect everyone to be suitably equipped and to know the basics of using their gear, but we can cover equipment, technique, composition, processing, and other topics for anyone who’d like to pick up some extra approaches to highly productive field photography.

We will also provide site orientations as we hit each new or different type of location, because part of getting good photographs is always improving how to see and respond to the unique opportunities at each location based on the time, seasons and conditions. Photography subjects will include landscapes, wildlife and macro, among others. We’ll definitely photograph at iconic “big mountain” scenes, but also introduce the group to other locations rich in intimate compositions… scenes that are equally important to a full appreciation of the Canadian Rockies.

As on every tour, outside of Lake O’Hara which is driven by scheduled access, we otherwise don’t have a locked-in itinerary each day that is followed no matter what’s going on. Instead we’ll be very dynamic in arranging where we go considering weather, local conditions, and participant interests. Transportation to the photography locations will be based on car-pooling amongst the group. We try to avoid burning up excess road miles whenever possible, but time in the vehicles is also a good opportunity to chat with the event leaders and other group members about anything & everything photography! 🙂

I mentioned above that the Fall tour is sold out this year. Each of our tours has been summarized with nothing but positive responses by all participants. If this kind of intensive photography experience sounds like something interesting to you, please see the event page at the Aurum Lodge web site for information and dates on next year’s Fall 2013 Photo Tour. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me (royce at vividaspect dot com) or Alan Ernst at Aurum Lodge (info at aurumlodge dot com). Also see the Vivid Aspect blog Workshops & Events page for information.

Check back in coming days for tour updates, including photo results from the group!

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