Al Dixon Photography

Our World. Our Heritage. My Passion.

Old Dog... New Tricks

A couple of weeks ago I packed up my camera gear and hit the road.  My first stop was in Calgary for a workshop with Darwin Wiggett of oopoomoo.  The topic up for discussion was tilt-shift lenses.  While my Nikon 24mm PC-E has become one of my favorite pieces of glass, these highly technical lenses can be a bit of a handful at times.  After spending a few hours working with Darwin, and with a few new tricks in my bag, I set off for Banff. 

Although Ma' Nature didn't cooperate and allow me to shoot star trails that night, I was still able to get out for some night shooting.  Perched high above the Trans Canada Highway, I was shooting "trails" of another sort.  Utilizing long exposures of up to 90 seconds, I was able to capture the light trails created along the highway by the night time traffic.

The following morning, with Timmie's in hand, I was up and out in the field before first light.  I was off to one of my all time favorite shooting locations in Banff National Park.  For several years now I have visited this location in the late fall to catch the sun rising behind Mt. Rundle.  The forecast called for increasing morning cloud and showers turning to snow.  With fingers crossed, I got set up in the dark and anxiously awaited sunrise.  Much to my surprise, Ma' Nature cooperated and gave me a very brief window before the clouds and snow rolled in.  The under-lit clouds made the sky look like it was on fire, and reflected nicely in the partially iced over lake surface.

Another favorite shooting location in Banff National Park is along the shores of Bow Lake.  Its calm tranquil waters, intriguing shoreline, and rugged mountain peaks all lend themselves to dramatic images.  After leaving the wind, clouds, and snowflakes in Banff town site, I was pleasantly surprised to find it calm, warm and sunny in the Bow Pass.

The weekend was great little getaway.  I got the chance to learn from a photographer that I greatly admire, hit the "field" in the Rockies to test out the new techniques, and even got a couple of "keepers" for my troubles.  Many "thanks" to Darwin for helping this old dog learn some new tricks, and to "Ma Nature" for cooperating for a good portion of the weekend. 

Fall sunrise over Mt Rundle and the Vermillion Lakes. 

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