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Landscape Photography Magazine

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Read my article in the latest issue of Landscape Photography Magazine or view a scan here.

Published I have an article in the latest issue of Landscape Photography Magazine. I’ve actually written a couple articles for them and although my column is stuck way in the back somewhere I feel really lucky to be in the same magazine as the likes of Guy Tal, Ian Plant, and a slew of other internationally recognized photographers.

If you look at the newstand and are turned off by a bunch of mags designed to fill your camera bag and empty your wallet, with more advertisements than content, you should pick up Landscape Photography Magazine. Simply put LPM plasters their pages in beautiful images from cover to cover. If I were putting together a magazine I would use the same format: lots and lots of really great photos and a couple words to glue everything together. The whole reason I got into photography was because I like looking at pictures. Am I right?

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Elbow Falls Bragg Creek

Life Beyond Buildings

I've lived in Calgary Alberta almost my whole life. As I grew up I watched the city grow to over a million people and saw the prairies become consumed by urban sprawl. I've evolved to sleep in the

perpetual glow of street lights alongside the constant hum of traffic, sirens, and people yelling. Five years ago I moved to the edge of the city thinking I'd be partially removed from the machine but it assembled around me.

A lot of times change starts with an event. For me it was the realization of how fast time passes and a desire to try new experiences. All of a sudden I had a big house that was too big, in a location that had lost it's appeal, but more importantly I had an opportunity to try something different. It started with looking at "one-day" properties and turned into me

buying an acreage in the foothills near the Hamlet of Bragg Creek Alberta.

This morning as I was leaving for work I saw a Moose and her calf grazing on the edge of our land. Deer are common but I haven't seen too many Moose yet so it was special. I'm learning how to become more self-sufficient and there is a new awareness of how we interact with the world around us that's hard to come by in the city. Although I've lost certain conveniences I've gained something too, maybe it's just the tranquility getting to me, but I haven't been happier.

The accompying photo was taken about 15 minutes away from my house. I thought it fit the article perfectly because it illustrates the beauty of my backyard. I plan on creating a Foothills Gallery soon.

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SPRING DEBUNKED

Winters in Alberta are long, dark, and cold. As the seasons transition and the first signs of Spring appear you'd expect much rejoicing. Don't be fooled; Spring is the worst season of them all. Now I know what you're thinking: Spring is an enchanting wonder where birds chirp, dew laden grasses turn green, and fields of flowers bloom. If that's how you picture Spring you're not from Alberta. Allow me to enlighten you.

The weather is literally insane

Spring can't decide if it should be cold or hot and it changes its mind on an almost daily basis. When the temperature shifts past the freezing point it feels extra cold because everyone is starting to expect warmer temperatures. I feel like yelling "WARM UP GOD DAMNIT! WHY MUST YOU TEASE ME WITH SUNSHINE AND WARMTH?" In the colder months you simply put on your parka and go about your daily business.

The flowers are a lie

With so much mountain run-off you'd expect to see lush foliage everywhere but it's not the case. The truth is Alberta is about as vibrant as a cardboard box during Spring. Usually I use this time to work on my website, plan summer shoots, or take a trip South because the local landscape is scruffy and bland. We won't see leaves or flowers here until at least the middle of May... if we're lucky.  Maybe the lack of photo opportunities is responsible for my bitter attitude towards the season.

The real signs of Spring

People think of Spring as a time of new life and rebirth but it's actually the opposite. Rivers and creeks become deadly as they flood their banks with melting snow. The mosquitoe population explodes and we're left to suffer at the hands of the terrible beasts (hate them so much).

The one redeeming quality

It's been too warm to ski and too cold to cycle but Summer is just around the corner. Soon all the mud will dry up, it will stay warm, and we can go camping, hiking, fishing, and all that good stuff. It happens overnight; all of a sudden the grass is green and the trees have leaves. Those four or five days between Spring and Autumn are an absolute treat.

Technical Notes


This puddle used to be on my way to work. On this particular morning the sky was lighting up as I was getting ready for my commute. I grabbed my camera as I flew out the door just in case.

The sky was great so I pulled over in my office attire and the whole shoot took all of 5 minutes. The technique I used was blending 3 exposures in Photoshop. If the light wasn't there this scene wouldn't just be bland, it might actually be ugly.


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The Story of Richard Proenneke

It was good to be back in the wilderness again, where everything seems as peace. I was alone - just me and the animals. It was a great feeling - free once more to plan and do as I pleased. Beyond was all around me. My dream was a dream no longer.

  I don't like shopping malls; the crowds and consumerism make me cranky. It's not that I want to become a hermit, I'm a joyful social person, but sometimes the thought crosses my mind. During these introspective moments I realize that it doesn't take a lot of money to enjoy the things I love (family, friends, my dog, nature) and I wonder why I'm working so hard. Modern society is full of distractions.

  Then one day I was watching PBS and caught the story of Richard Proenneke. At age 51

he relocated to Alaska, where he lived for 30 years in solitude, in a cabin he built with his own hands. His story was amazing; a man focused on the one thing we hardly think about in modern society: survival. With less distractions he found pleasure in simple things like encountering wildlife or homemade berry syryp.

  I'm working to appreciate the simple things more and trying to avoid modern distractions. If you're like me then I'd recommend watching "Alone in the Wilderness".

alone in the wilderness dvd
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The best and worst features of smart phones as they apply to the outdoors and nature photography

nature-photography.ca

  • As an alarm clock

    > Jump out of bed to the sound of an air raid siren and experience awakeness that only terror-adrenaline can provide
  • As a flashlight

    > Brightness and colour can be adjusted in pinpoint increments allowing you to light-paint with the precision of a robot surgeon
  • As a topographical map

    > Now you don't have to make up names for those mountains or creeks in your pictures (I believe that is Mt taco... stand)
  • As an astronomical guide

    > With experience you could probably identify major constellations such as the sun or other outerspace features like the moon
  • As a camera

    > Sharp prints if you're making a stamp gallery
    > In low light situations it compares well to a mid-range DSLR (with the lens cap on)
  • As a compass

    > Using this as a piece of navigation equipment is as smart as scratching your nose with a chainsaw
    > If a scout caught you using this in the woods they'd get a badge for kicking you in the crotch
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Jason Edlund

jason edlund images

Explore the work of Jason Edlund and witness the beauty of the Canadian Rockies through his art!

There are many photographers who enjoy shooting in the Canadian Rockies but I’m sure you’ll agree that the work of Jason Edlund truly stands out.

One of the reasons Jason’s work is so compelling is his tendency to shoot off the beaten path. A lot of the areas he photographs require hiking, camping, and knowledge of the back country to get to. His photos of Mount Assiniboine Park make a visit very tempting and his pictures have brought international awareness to the area.

When photographing familiar places Jason Edlund sees them in new and refreshing ways. I've seen countless shots from Mistaya Canyon but none of them resemble the capture on the right.

To see more of Jason's work check out his Flickr Stream.

jason edlund images

jason edlund images

All images in this entry are © Jason Edlund. Used with permission.

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Choosing Between Lighting and Scenery

Every photographer has different goals and values; some will favor good light while others will favor nice scenery. It's not always possible to have both so which do you choose?

I don't carry a magic eight ball or ouija board in my camera bag but 9 times out of 10 I seem to choose light.  Recently, I was staying at Lake Louise, a very famous place, and the photographers had lined up on shore before sunrise. The lighting by the lake was flat and the scene looked dull;  the magic eight ball would have said "looks doubtful". There was some beautiful colour starting to show on the opposite horizon so I quickly broke away from the herd.

Excited I started to follow the outlet creek towards the light. The scene was beautiful -- a perfect winter wonderland with snow covered trees, a flowing creek, and beautiful colour in the sky. For a brief moment I thought about the tripods around the lake and as Mr.T would say: "I pitied the fools". When faced with a choice between great light and great scenery I will always go with the first option. For me lighting is the most important element to creating stunning outdoor photos.

hdr example of lake louise creek

 

This image was created by blending multiple exposures (darker and lighter images) in Photoshop. Typically the foreground will be composed of the longer exposures while the sky will mostly contain parts from the shorter exposures. Further edits to colours and contrast are made to complete the image.

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