I took advantage of the last couple of weeks of warm Chinook winds by scrambling up Anklebiter Ridge today as much of the snow was melted on its south facing slopes. It was tough going and very windy but nice to be out getting moving again. I didn't write up this hike as it's a short hard climb I've done a few times just for fitness reasons. I've included a captioned gallery below for interest and the main shot is of a bend in the Bow River where the rail and roadways follow the same contours, I've noticed it from up here before but never had a train on it at the time so it lacked interest.
A couple of weeks ago I made my first ever 'star trail' shot, I liked it but thought it would be better with a foreground of some sort to enhance the overall image. Tonight was a lovely clear night so at 10pm I went out to the back garden and set up my gear to make my second star trail image. Tonight I wanted a wider angle than the last time so I could get in the north star and the city together. I set up with my 16-35mm F2.8 lens at 16mm with an ISO of 100 and shot 136 images using a remote release, I then stacked these in photoshop and adjusted the brightness of the foreground to provide the finished image. I really like the finished shot and think it's something I'll do more of, I can imagine some nice shots of desert, mountains, buildings or many other things as foreground interest with perhaps some different angles on the stars (Achieved by not centering on the north star) Watch this space......
In winter time we grow our own glaciers very close to home as the surface of Bow River freezes solid from one side to the other. But when the chinook wind brings the usual warm spell the water breaks through again leaving huge thick ice formations along the banks. This afternoon Sarah and I took a walk along the river to view our home grown 'glaciers' and grab a few shots for the memories. It was a lovely walk in warm weather with some exploring over the ice at times (for one of us at least) We almost got a full circle sundog around the sun but a low cloud was in the way. By the time we got home I was worn out, I guess the viral infection that I thought was gone is still lurking in the background. There are no captions today as the gallery is just made up of shots along the river, a click on the main image will give you a better perspective of our home grown glaciers.
I finally managed to get out of the house today, with temperatures reaching a balmy +7 degrees it was positively warm. Even though the dry air had me coughing I made a circuit around Beaver Flats from the winter gate on highway 66 just a few km's south of home. I had a nice hour and half wandering in the boot deep snow and got to make a few images along the way as usual. The main shot below is ice on the rocks in the Elbow River, melting due to the relative heat of the day. The gallery has captions though I'm not sure it actually needed them.
Since the turn of the year I have been 'confined to barracks' with some sort of miserable virus that saw me coughing uncontrollably and losing my voice entirely. The constant coughing meant I got very little sleep which I think prolonged things due to lack of rest. Anyway, whatever it was has subsided considerably and I'm looking forward to getting out again very soon. Tonight with mild conditions and a clear sky I made my first ever 'Star Trail' photo and I'm very pleased with the result. I only ventured out onto the balcony so there was no foreground to include as the lights of the city would prevent that. I used Ursula Major to point me to polaris (the north star or pole star) and centred the image on that tiny point of light in order to make a neat circle with the movement. I confess that trying the star trail shot was just to cure me of my camera withdrawal symptoms, I needed to shoot something. I set up the camera with a 24mm f1.4 prime lens at ISO 100 and used a remote release to make 116 exposures, each 30 seconds long which took about an hour. I then stacked them on top of each other in photoshop to get the final image. It's not the most engaging photo I've ever taken but I think I'll try a few more of these on a clear night when I can get out to the mountains and give myself a nice foreground, I'm still not sure about star trail shots but they are a new and interesting challenge if nothing else.
We arrived in Calgary, Canada on 29th December 2011 to continue our journey. This blog is intended to keep our family and friends informed whilst we explore Canada.You can use the RSS feed below to stay updated.
The Shaman, West Texas