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Fall 2012 Canadian Rockies Photo Tour Results — Craig Brown

September 30, 2012

I’ve just recently returned from what was probably my last organized photo expedition of the year — and it was a nice one! Working with a great Fall 2012 Photo Tour group and event co-leads Daniel Wheeler (based in Peace River) and Alan Ernst (proprietor of Aurum Lodge), we ventured to photography locations around the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies in David Thompson Country. We also had back-to-back day trips to the wonderful Lake O’Hara and locations around Lake Louise.

Photographer Craig Brown is the first past the post with photo results this time around. Based in Ontario and a frequent traveler, Craig is a multiple survivor of photo tours out of Aurum Lodge. Maybe it’s the peace & quiet of the lodge, the great hospitality of Madeleine & Alan Ernst, or the fantastic scenery that brings him back… or maybe he’s just addicted to early starts, late nights and going hard all day carrying a pack of gear! 🙂

Either way, it’s interesting to watch what catches his eye in locations where the novelty of first impressions is no longer a factor. Often, repeated exposure to a location can bring opportunities to see, experience and experiment with image-making among the different layers of what makes a place special. Of course, as Craig said himself after this tour, experimenting beyond the obvious doesn’t stop him from cashing in those “grand vistas” when the conditions line up at iconic places! 🙂

Five of Craig’s favorite tour photos and notes about them are below. To see more of his work, check out the Photobycraig blog. Tour group members are also adding photos from this event to the Fall 2012 Photo Tour At Aurum Lodge group on Flickr. Be sure to stop by there and have a look!

Pathway Through The Larches, Lake O'Hara area. Copyright © 2012 Craig Brown.

Pathway Through The Larches, Lake O’Hara area. Copyright © 2012 Craig Brown.
Canon 5D MK II | 17-40mm L Lens at 31mm | ISO 50 | 1/15 sec @ f8 | Singh Ray Warming Polarizer

Everyone that was on the hike stopped to photograph this lovely pathway. The colours of the Larch trees were vibrant and the stone pathway leading off towards the mountains in the distance did it for me. I just love the way my eye is drawn into this scene.

Clouds Over Abraham, Abraham Lake area. Copyright © 2012 Craig Brown.

Clouds Over Abraham, Abraham Lake area. Copyright © 2012 Craig Brown.
Canon 5D MK II | 24-105mm L Lens at 28mm | ISO 50 | 1/15 sec @ f8 | Singh Ray Warming Polarizer + Singh Ray 4 Stop Graduated ND Filter

We stopped alongside the road to photograph this spectacular vista of Abraham Lake. The wispy clouds, deep blue sky, green water and yellow aspens just make this image wonderful! I love all of the leading lines in this image.

Moraine Lake, Lake Louise area. Copyright © 2012 Craig Brown.

Moraine Lake, Lake Louise area. Copyright © 2012 Craig Brown.
Canon 5D MK II | 17-40mm L Lens at 28mm | ISO 50 | 1 sec at f8 | Singh Ray Warming Polarizer + Singh Ray 4 Stop Graduated ND Filter

When we arrived at Moraine Lake it was already starting to get busy with the tourist buses. Normally I avoid the “iconic” Canadian spots as they are incredibly over photographed. However after hiking up to the top of the lookouts, a place I had completely missed on previous visits to Moraine, and even though sunrise had already come and gone, the light was still spectacular on the lake and surrounding mountains. I took 3 bracketed images (correct exposure, -2 stops and + 2 stops) and ran the images through Photomatix Pro HDR Software.

Lake O'Hara Reflection, Lake O'Hara area. Copyright © 2012 Craig Brown.

Lake O’Hara Reflection, Lake O’Hara area. Copyright © 2012 Craig Brown.
Canon 5D MK II | 70-200mm IS L Lens at 160mm | ISO 50 | 1/10 sec @ f8

On our way up the mountains we hiked around the base of Lake O’Hara. We made a few stops and I decided to try something a wee bit different. Rather than just take this shot and run it through software to give it the abstract “painterly” effect, I on purpose knocked the focus out on the lens. I just love the way it turned out!

Rock Art, Natural Bridge. Copyright © 2012 Craig Brown.

Rock Art, Natural Bridge. Copyright © 2012 Craig Brown.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 | 14-42mm G Vario Lens at 42mm | ISO 200 | 1/160 sec at f7.1

This was shot at the Natural Bridge parking lot. When we arrived at the Natural Bridge, I simply did not like anything I was shooting due to the harsh light. So I put the big camera away and pulled out the Lumix. All of the scrape lines and embedded stones in this rock face, undoubtedly left during the last ice age, just make this image amazing from my point of view.

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