Around the Lake

I made several trips around the lake over the three days.  The weather and the time of day can have a dramatic impact on the type of capture available.

Probably the most helpful hint I was given was to consider framing a landscape picture by keeping in mind elements to highlight in the foreground, mid-ground, and background.  This will help to provide a larger sense of depth to the image.  Vertical images provide a lot of room to add foreground elements with my 12mm wide-angle lens.  Also, the polarizer is a nice trick to cut through the reflections to reveal the foreground rocks below.

Lake O’Hara Fall Colours

Fall colours in Banff National Park doesn’t have the same range of colours that can be seen in Ontario.  I didn’t realize this before I visited.  Larches are the most common form of tree in the Lake O’Hara area and they only change colour to yellow.

It’s still impressive especially at key times of the day and when they’re back-lit.  We spent the Saturday on an 8 mile hike with plenty of ascents and descents.  I highlight this because the highest point we reached was only 250 metres above our starting height… and that doesn’t feel like the same journey that wiped me out.

The hike took us to just over Hungabee Lake and Moor Lake then back to the farther side of Lake O’Hara.

Lake Louise

I’m back now from my quick trip out to Banff.  This post will be the first in a series of pics that I took while visiting out west.  The landscape is so different from Ontario with the ever present Rockies.  I stopped several times on the Trans-Canada Highway just to enjoy the view.

Below are the photos from Lake Louise.  The lake itself has a unique turquoise colour due to the rock flour carried into the lake from the glacier runoff.

It was raining sporadically throughout the day.  That didn’t stop people from jumping in the (freezing) lake or renting a canoe.

CNE Long Exposure

The last weekend of the Canadian National Exhibition should be avoided if you’re claustrophobic.  I didn’t realize how busy it would be.  I saw a lot of long exposure shots on the web of the CNE and I wanted to try my hand at it as well.  However, dense crowds and tripods mix as well as fire and water.  It’s far too easy for someone engrossed in conversation to trip on one of the tripod’s legs and send the camera crashing down…

We were able to take the below shots from behind this Ferris wheel.  It was a nice out-of-the-way spot with a view of two spinning rides!

SpinningThe below shot required around six to ten seconds for an exposure to capture a good rotation for the vertical spinning ride.  However, the lights on the Ferris wheel would overexpose when exposed for more than four seconds.  So, the game began.  I would test various settings to underexpose just right while waiting for the rides to spin.  I used Lightroom to recover some of the highlights but the detail was mostly lost.

Ferris Wheel

What fair isn’t complete without fireworks? You have to be prepared though. It doesn’t last long.

Fireworks

Vscocam workflow

I’ve been experimenting with a simpler and more mobile approach to editing photos.  My Note 3 can read an SDHC memory card with an OTG USB cable.  I can then import photos one at a time into my mobile photo editing software of choice, Vscocam.  This process is a bit clunky and slow especially when compared to a desktop solution using Lightroom.  However, the benefit is that I have an extremely light and compact image editing process I can use when I’m traveling… or when I’m at a coffee shop afterwards.

Below are some garden shots I took while testing out my new RX100 ii.

Below is my phone connect to a simple SD card reader using the OTG USB cable.  The phone recognizes the card immediately and there’s no additional apps to install.

VSCOCAM + RX100 + Note 3 + OTG

All of this fits into my old Canon G9 pouch with plenty of room to spare!  I’m planning on attaching the 49mm filter accessory so that I can use a circular polarizer and an ND filter.

Old Canon G9 pouch

The one drawback with this approach is with uploading directly to WordPress.  The file size and resolution of my jpegs are maintained when uploaded to WordPress which consumes more space than I’d like.  It’s easier to upload to Google Plus or Flickr and let the sites take care of the resolution.  WordPress has a nice embed feature for Google Plus galleries.  Although, I still prefer the native WordPress gallery.

I’m very impressed with the image quality coming off this camera.  The last (not-so) compact camera I had was the Canon G10 and the image quality and dynamic range of the RX100 ii is in a different league.  I’m going to have fun with this camera.

Bluffers Park 2014

Bluffers Park is a popular spot for Photography MeetUps.  I’ve been there tons of times for a morning sunrise event.  This was the first sunset event.  I prefer the early morning time though.  There’s too many people late in the day and I’d prefer to capture the landscape with as few people as possible.

I also tested out the My Tracks app.  Here’s some info the app collected:

Total distance: 2.26 km (1.4 mi)

Total time: 2:07:19

Moving time: 2:04:10

Average speed: 1.06 km/h (0.7 mi/h)

Average moving speed: 1.09 km/h (0.7 mi/h)

Max speed: 9.10 km/h (5.7 mi/h)

Average pace: 56:23 min/km (90:44 min/mi)

Average moving pace: 54:59 min/km (88:29 min/mi)

Fastest pace: 6:36 min/km (10:37 min/mi)

Max elevation: 48 m (158 ft)

Min elevation: 34 m (112 ft)

Elevation gain: 82 m (269 ft)

Max grade: 13 %

Min grade: -11 %

Recorded: 8/17/2014 5:36 PM

Certainly not the most strenuous hike.

Hilton Falls Conservation Area

I made some serious rookie mistakes on my hike.  First, I didn’t listen to anyone that said mosquitoes will be particularly bad this time of year.  Second, I forgot my camera was set on manual focus from my previous long exposure nights.

For the record, I did wear bug spray.  It didn’t help.  I suspect horse flies are immune or able to find the areas where the bug spray mist did not touch me.  Others apparently listened to their wise friends as I was the only one hiking the trails that day.  Although I brought a tripod, the moment I stopped there were all manner of bugs landing on me.  Setting up a two-minute long exposure of the waterfall with a neutral density filter was absolutely out of the question.  I’m too much of a wimp.

I’ll leave the hiking for the autumn when the leaves change colours and the horse flies are gone.

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