Scott Aspinall's picture

Let There be Light

It is a rarity in landscape photography when things go according to plan. That makes those times when it does all that more special. I had my 4 day Canadian Rockies winter trip all planned out. I knew what I would be doing when and what locations I wanted to hit. I didn’t knock on wood I guess because the weather had other plans for me. With a snow storm moving in the next day and promise of heavy cloud in Banff National Park I decided to try for a sunrise photo a bit closer to my place in Field. There have been millions of photos of this lake taken during blue hour so I wasn’t keen to add my voice to the millions, after all, I certainly couldn’t get a better photo. I decided to do a Google Image search on “Emerald Lake Sunrise” anyways and look to see how the light hit the peaks behind the restaurant. I could only find a handful of photos from sunrise but it confirmed in my mind how the light ‘should’ hit. Next I took a closer look at the cloud forecast. It looked like there was heavy low cloud to the east in Banff National Park with an opening right between 8-9AM right near Emerald Lake. Things looked like it might be promising at last. No crowds, the possibility of good light in an epic location? Yes please. When I awoke the next morning things looked grim. I drove through a snow storm all the way to Emerald Lake. Arriving I found that there was almost zero visibility of the lodge, let alone the peaks behind. I decided to trust my gut and the research on the direction of the light and the cloud forecast and wait it out. I stood in this spot by myself waiting for the light to come for 2 ½ hours. The clouds began to thin out and there was no other soul near me when the light broke through. An experience I will never forget.

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