Mar 23/18 Field Trip

On Friday March 23 there will be a Field Trip to Elbow Falls in the Kananaskis. I will be at the parking lot at 8:00 am and proceed to the viewpoints with my tripod to try and catch the sun shining on the rock face on the opposite side of the viewing area.

The Calgary weather forecast looks promising for March 22 night and March 23 morning. Periods of snow ending overnight then clearing. Local amount 2 cm. Low minus 1. In the morning sunny. Now that is no guarantee for the foothills and Elbow Falls. But I will be there nevertheless and take what comes.

Click to enlarge, use Browser Back Button to return here

According to the Photographers Ephemeris the rockface will get sun from sunrise at 7:35 to 9:15 am. So 8 am is a good time for a quick setup. The sun should be just high enough I hope. We will see. If anything with a bit of fresh snow and the soft light of the early morning it should be an interesting scene.

Hope to see at least some of  you.


Well it was just Me, Myself and I that met at the Elbow Falls parking lot at 8:00 am March 23, 2018. It was pretty well trail breaking through virgin snow past the ranger cabin. An absolutely beautiful morning, I could not have wished for anything better. It felt a bit nippy at -7 deg C. After stuffing my photography gloves with “handwarmer” heat packs I headed off to the lookout overlooking the falls. There is something special about stepping into a fresh layer of snow, and being the first to witness a scene. I got to the lookout just before the sun rose over the foothills.

Early morning sunrise at Elbow Falls. The Photographer’s Ephemeris was dead on !
What a great planning tool.

The sun rose quite quickly, within minutes after taking the picture above, the first trees on the north side of the canyon got their first sun rays.

First sun rays hitting the lodgepole pines.

I like the composition above for it’s leading lines. The gold colour drawing attention, the tree trunks leading the eye down to the the cool waterfall scene.  Nice contrast between the blue white snow and the darker blue reflections in the open water.

Elbow Falls – Looking West – Early Morning – Long Shadows.
Click to enlarge use Browser Back Button to return here.

The composition above, gives an early morning feel with the long shadows and warm early sunlight. I had to correct this image with a perspective crop to straighten the trees on either side. I like the framing of the lit tree line on the right and the river and the dark trees on the left. There is also a balance aspect between the dark mountain and the snowy floodplain being in the shadow with it’s cool blue white color tone.

Below are the falls at maximum sun illumination. The wall stayed mostly in the shadow.

Elbow Falls Rock Wall at maximum sun illumination.
Click to enlarge, use Browser Back Button to return here.

Below is an attempt at pure abstract composition. I liked the long shadows and the contrast in this picture. There was a strong diagonal line as well. I also liked the balance between the tree trunks and the field of snow in the foreground. The strong foreground lines of the shadows lead into the top right, and counter balance the strong lines of the tree trunks in the left top corner.

Abstract – diagonal symmetry and balance.
Click to enlarge, use Browser Back Button to return here

Here is a “painterly” representation with the palette filter of photoshop.

Abstraction with “Palette” filter.
Click to enlarge, use Browser Back Button to return here

Below a diagonal composition in rich golden hour colours. I tried to pay attention to balance and 1/3 rule. The low angle sun reveals lots of subtle detail.

Early morning sunlight brings out subtle colour.
Click to enlarge, use Browser Back Button to return here.

Below a composition of leading lines, curves and balance.

Composition in leading lines, curves and balance.
Click to enlarge, use Browser Back Button to return here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *