First Hour Of May

Auroras Over Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park, AB, Canada.

Oceanbound

Alexandra Falls, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Waterfowl Lakes Go Surreal

Sunrise at Upper Waterfowl Lake, Banff National Park, AB, Canada.

Sylvan Silhouettes

Sunrise by the Bow River, Banff National Park, AB, Canada.

Frobisher Bay Cosmic Show

Auroras and UFO over sea ice, Nunavut, Canada.

The Source

Kayaking at Iceberg Lake, Banff National Park. This is the very source of the Bow River, which flows through Banff, Calgary and eventually into the Hudson Bay.

Cascading Daisies

Cascade Meadows, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Then There Were Four

This image was taken during a recent visit to Upper Waterfowl Lake. The lake has a much "wilder" feel than its Lower counterpart, yet it is rarely a busy place. Upper Waterfowl Lake has an overwhelming potential for "big landscape" images: foreground of boulders and reeds amidst crystal clear waters, background of snowy, steep peaks that are bathed in beautiful light in the morning. Once the pinks and reds of sunrise fade away, the second act of the morning show begins. For that one, one needs to look directly across the lake, where a few outlying trees first escape the growing sunlight, then get absorbed by it one by one. Just magical. f/13.0, 1/15, ISO 200, 145.0 mm

A Daunting Sight

An image from the weekend and one I will never forget: the north ridge of Walter Peak (Lyell 4), a mountaineer's dream both visually and technically. I spent a few days on the Lyell Icefield with my wife/freelance writer Meghan and friend/mountain guide Mike Stuart to capture some images for Canadian Alpine Guides. After spending dawn and sunrise taking in the fantastic views from the three most northerly Lyell Peaks, we arrived at the base of Peak number 4, the crux of the famed Lyell traverse. The peak was corniced along most of its length, which forced us to venture onto the exposed west face more often than not. After a few exciting moments on 70-degree snow, we reached the sun-drenched summit. Walter Peak, Lyells, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Where Snow Is Queen

The two lowest peaks of the 5 Lyells (Christian on the left, Walter on the right) happen to be the most spectacular. This was one of the finest, most impressive view I had ever seen high up in the Rockies. There are places summer just won't get to this year... Mount Lyell, Canadian Rockies.

Evening on Mt Norquay

Banff NP, Canada.

Bow Lake Homage

Banff NP, Canadian Rockies.

Lake Louise Magic

Taken during the Ice Magic festival last year. Amazing art. By both nature and Man.

Door of Dreams

Although I like to look at this shot and think it is straight from Monsters Inc., or that the door opens onto a different era or a roaring fireplace, the truth is it is simply the Lyell Hut outhouse... One can dream, no? Lyell Icefield, Canadian Rockies, British Columbia, Canada.

Autumn Colors

Eiffel Lake, Banff National Park.

Winter Pulse

Castle Mountain, Banff National Park.

Cosmic Convergence

Aurora at Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park.

Escape

Canoe at Lake Louise, Banff NP.

Cornices of Lake Louise

Due to a very snowy winter and cold early summer, the cornices have thrived this year in the alpine environment and made travel much slower in places. Here they are shown lingering well into September on the northeast ridge of Collier Peak. Famous Lake Louise can be seen below. Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Flash Frozen

Snow Peak, Banff NP.

Light on Seracs

North Twin, Columbia Icefield, Canadian Rockies.

Peyto Goes White

Peyto Lake, Banff NP.

Fall at the Lake

The Lake is Lake Louise, Banff NP.

Arctic Alien

One of best parts of 2011 for me was ski touring on Baffin Island. 5 days of bliss (albeit cold bliss) in big, empty Auyuittuq National Park. The grand peak in this image is Mount Thor, which has the Earth's greatest purely vertical drop at 1,250m. An impressive sight so say the least. Thanks for stopping by. I will be featuring mostly images from a recent trip to Nepal over the next weeks, interspersed with the odd shot from the Canadian Rockies and the High Arctic. Auyuittuq National Park, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada.

The Mark of Winter

Another image from stunning Auyuittuq National Park on Baffin Island. As part of my preparation for this trip I had spent considerable time looking through images of the area. Doing so helps me conceptualize photographic possibilities and visualize the area before I arrive on location. 99% of the images I was able to find were taken during the summer however - I was going to have to go without much beta. Not knowing what winter looks like on Baffin Island turned out to be a blessing. Every time the valley took us around a corner I was blown away by the unfolding scenery and unexpected, wild ice formations. Often I stopped to photograph turquoise ice bulges such as this one. If you ever get the chance to head to Nunavut in winter and experience its wonderful solitude, do not hesitate.

King Under The Stars

This is the first image released from a recent 10-week stay in Nepal. How could I not go with "Big E" for this first photograph? The shot was taken from an elevation of approximately 5,600m on a night I will never forget. After years of reading everything I could find about the mountain, here it was before me, its summit over 3 kilometres above where I stood. The location from which the photograph was taken is relatively easy to reach and is rather popular, but once dusk arrives, all retreat to lower elevations and a quick descent by headlamp allows one to silently watch the stars travel above the planet's highest point, adding to the majesty of the scene.

Mustang Twilight

Here is another image from Nepal, from high up in the kingdom of Mustang. This is a much quieter corner of Nepal. The fabulous campsite shown here provided one last view of the valley of the mighty Kali Gandaki before we disappeared behind Dhaulagiri and towards its base camp. The lights of Marpha shine almost 2,000 metres below while the stunning Nilgiri Himal (7061 m) watches over the peaceful scene.

Hills of Light

The ancient kingdom of Mustang feels like no other place in Nepal. Located on the north side of the Himalaya, the region receives far less rain than the rest of the country and is characterized by a landscape of dry, windswept, barren hills. When the sun finally manages to rise above the walls of Annapurna, those hills become bathed in dreamy, warm morning light. Syanboche, Mustang, Nepal. f/2.8, 1/350, ISO 400, 145.0mm on Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS, Canon Mk II.

Queen of Mountains

Ama Dablam, 6812 m. Many call it the "most beautiful mountain in the world". After gazing at it for days from a variety of angles, I find it hard to disagree. Although the famous pyramidal show-clad peak is visible from Namche Bazaar or even further away, the classic view (shown here) from Tengboche is the one few ever forget. That day the clouds moved in from the south at an incredible speed, quickly reducing visibility to 100 metres at best. Extended periods of thick cloud cover had already been experienced by others in the weeks prior, and many (including myself) thought that the clouds would sit on the Himalaya for at least a few days. Then, about 10 minutes before sunset, the clouds parted as suddenly as they had appeared. You can still see a veil of low clouds in this image. I did capture a few shots of the last sunshine kissing the summit, but in the end preferred this photograph of the alpenglow and the deep purple skies. Ama Dablam, Khumbu, Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal.

Nighttime Blessings

A simple nighttime photograph to finish the week. I spent a good amount of time on this Mustang rooftop taking in the peacefulness of the prayer flags fluttering in the breeze, under a canopy of stars. The flags are ubiquitous in this part of Nepal, which is largely Buddhist. The colours of the flags always appear in the same order and represent the five elements. It is thought that blessings are released when the wind agitates the flags. I took the photograph because I liked how the moonlight lit up the colours against the starry skies. I also liked how the simplicity of the scene matched that of the moment I experienced. Mustang, Nepal.

Lhotse Dreams

This is an image from the Khumbu region of Nepal. After a day of exploring in the Dingboche area I scrambled down to the banks of the Imja River to watch the last light on Lhotse, the world's 4th highest mountain at 8,516m. I found a composition I liked and took several photographs of the last light on the peak, but as was often the case on that trip I ended up preferring the dusk shots. A perfect evening in the land of the giants. I was amazed at how long the alpenglow lingers on those Himalayan faces. Lhotse from Dingboche, Nepal.

Himalayan Skies

You may recall me writing something a few posts ago about Ama Dablam being the mountain that looks amazing from all angles. Well, here is me trying to prove that. This is the stunning west face of Ama Dablam, viewed from the hills above Dingboche, in the Khumbu region. Again I was mesmerized by the lingering alpenglow on this Himalayan icon, and proceeded to take several exposures of the fluted peak and its perennial little cloud. This was one of my favourite shooting locations of the entire trip. The giants were at their best that night. Ama Dablam, Nepal.

High Altitude Drama

Despite what the countless books on Himalayan mountaineering would make you believe, man need not be involved for "high altitude drama" to occur. Here, Nuptse (7861 m) puts on a grand act of its own as the summit snows are being blown up and over the infamous south face. Nuptse from near Inja Tsho, Khumbu, Nepal.

Everest's Daughter

Ask a child to draw you a mountain and you'll probably end up with something that looks like Pumori (7,161 m). Also known as "Everest's Daughter" due to its proximity to the massive "Chomolungma", Pumori is been geologically blessed with a variety of aesthetic ridges that make it stand out in the Khumbu area by its beauty and geometry. Pumori from the hills above Lobuche, Nepal.

Night Sentinel

A solitary cairn points at the moon as the daylight fades on Gokyo Ri. Rugged Pharilapche (6,017m) looms silently in the background. Gokyo Ri, Khumbu, Nepal.

Valentine's Day Aurora

A still from a four-hour time-lapse sequence shot for Mountain In Motion a couple of nights ago. Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. www.mountainsinmotion.ca

Maelstrom

An atmospheric morning on the shores of Berg Lake, Mount Robson Provincial Park, BC, Canada.

"Skyward"

Mighty Mount Assiniboine once again defies the elements, as another autumn storm barrels in from the west. Taken on an evening spent on the Nub when there was so much drama going on, I wished I had an army of cameras shooting in all directions! Mount Assiniboine PP, BC, Canada.

Tormented Heights

Mount Assiniboine floating high, as seen from the ever-popular Niblet, Mount Assiniboine PP, Canada.

Eroding Dreams

On a dark, moonless night in 1903 the SS Gairloch ran aground on the Taranaki coast. Even with the full moon out, the scene was rather haunting.

November Freeze

First Ice at Bow Lake, Banff National Park.

pzp

"Autumn Explosion" Self-portrait at the ever-beautiful, ever-popular Niblet, Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, BC, Canada.

Birthing Clouds

Sunrise at Island Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Abraham Blues

Nighttime at the now-famous Abraham Lake methane bubbles, David Thompson Country, Alberta, Canada.

Wanderers

After spending a long, long time within the glaciers of Mount Robson, these icebergs arrive at their final resting place on the windswept shores of Berg Lake. I kept a close eye on the very active Berg Glacier throughout my last stint in the area shooting for Mount Robson Provincial Park. The glacier released ice chunks daily, but the currents never carried them where I was hoping they would, until that last evening. I was initially half-hoping for a little sunset colour but eventually did not mind the blueness of it all - it makes the scene as miserable and cold as it was that evening.

Waterworld

"Waterworld" Above the surface, the lagoon is completely still. Underneath however, the depths are anything but, with schools of fish feeding off the reef. Tikehau Atoll, Tuamotus, French Polynesia.

Purple Rain

Umbrella aurora over Castle Mountain and the Bow River, self-portrait, Banff National Park Alberta, Canada. June 8th 2014.

Adrift

"Adrift" A self-portrait taken last night at Moraine Lake. What a night for a first visit to the lake this year: stars by the millions, the Ten Peaks towering all around and the sound of ice lazily moving about on the surface of the water. I was hoping for a simpler composition but some of those ice floes just wouldn't budge! Moraine Lake, Banff National Park

The Beauty of Minus Forty

A rather Scottish foreground on another fine, cold morning at Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park.

"Alone with an Icon"

Although there is something thrilling about documenting places that have rarely, if ever, been photographed, I find there is also excitement in shooting subjects that have attracted photographers from far and wide, and for a long time. This is the famous, incredibly photogenic Wanaka tree. I spent an hour shooting the icon a few months ago, thinking of all who had stood before me in this spot. An absolutely magical place at night with the waves lapping the shore, the stars above and the birds standing guard. Self-portrait, 45 seconds, ISO 3200, f/4.

Soundless

"Soundless" A scene from a night at Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park. A cold but absolutely stunning and silent night in the mountains. Just beautiful to see Jupiter, the Milky Way and Orion take turns traveling above moonlit Mt Inglismaldie.

Tahitian Welcome

"Tahitian Welcome" A quick one from an amazing first day on the polynesian paradise of Moorea. It all started with this phenomenal sunrise, looking back towards the island of Tahiti.

Champagne Ice

"Champagne Ice" Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Winter Outburst

"Winter Outburst" First photograph from a great, COLD morning out with Dan Barnes Photography. We enjoyed absolutely magical conditions along the Bow River and the shutters went crazy for quite a while. Banff National Park, Alberta, Home.

Emerging Icon

Underwater look at Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada,

Midwinter Champagne

Ice bubbles, Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Frozen Sunrise

Ice bubbles at Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Colorful Chaos

Aurora over Cascade Mountain, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

"Steward of the Stars"

"Steward of the Stars" An icy fog rolls across the snowy surface of Emerald Lake as the stars draw their nightly circles above the President Range, Yoho National Park. Taken recently on a -40C night at beautiful Emerald Lake.

Rundle Spirits

Aurora Borealis at Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

"Tumbling Light"

Early results from last night's aurora display over the Canadian Rockies. I hope you don't mind aurora shots - you have a few coming your way! It was quite a night in Banff National Park. Vermilion Lakes, 2 AM.

"Glowing Skyline"

"Glowing Skyline" Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park.

"Where Ice Is Queen"

Another scene from the heights of Mount Robson. As our team made its way across the glacier I noticed this scene over my shoulder. I liked how the topography as well as the striations in the snow all led the eye towards Mount Resplendent. I also liked how the scene was bathed in soft pinkish light this early in the morning. Amazing how light can soften a harsh environment and make it more inviting. I had to bring the rest of the rope team to a halt for this one.

Resplendent Sunrise

This is the second image from a recent visit to Mount Robson. On the day of our descent from the Dome we awoke to fantastic, surreal light. My friend Mike told me I should look outside, that Mount Resplendent was, well, as resplendent as it gets. Everything was glowing pink. I quickly stumbled out of the tent and rushed onto the Dome with the tripod. With crevasses lurking around and clouds threatening to block the sun those sun cups just had to do for a foreground! Another great sunrise in the mountains.

"Surfacing"

Fog at Hector Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

"Fish's Eye View"

Bow Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

"Sunset Over Emerald Lake"

"Sunset Over Emerald Lake" Here is another image from Thursday night, taken perhaps 10 seconds before the sun sank behind the jagged horizon. I love those last few instants of pink/reddish light at the end of the day. Out in the prairies folks experience that almost daily. In the mountains, not only does one have to move high up to see and photograph it, but he also has to stick around, which often means a descent in the dark. It was well worth it that night - the sunset was fantastic. Mount Burgess, South Peak, Yoho National Park, British Columbia.

"Mirrored Moonlight"

"Mirrored Moonlight"Phenomenal night at Two Jack Lake last night. I was camping on the shore with my family in one of Parks Canada's new oTENTik tents (which are great by the way) and went for a full moon kayaking session before bed. The surface of the lake was like glass and faithfully reflected the moonlit sky above. Thankfully I had the tripod and camera on board. :-)Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park.

Mistaya Morning

Mistaya Lake, the forgotten lake of the Icefields Parkway, Banff National PArk, Alberta, Canada.

Silent Shores

Gloomy sunrise at Mistaya Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Gathering

An underwater look at famous Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Boreal Dive

Here's one from the latest (June 1 2013) aurora display in Banff National Park. One of my most memorable nights in the mountains.Self-portrait, Herbert Lake, Banff National Park.

Pillars in the Sky

"Pillars in the Sky"A self-portrait taken last night (May 25th 2013) at Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada (my favorite aurora hunting grounds in case you had not noticed :-)).It was a brief display due to the presence of the full moon, but it was nonetheless the brightest I have seen so far this year.

"Emerald Depths"

A different, underwater perspective on Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park

Chinook Skies

Chinook arch overMount Rundle, Banff, Alberta.

"As The Earth Turns"

"As The Earth Turns" Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park.

"Starlight Spire"

"Starlight Spire" Mount Edith from Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park.

Emerald Horizons

Taken at around 2 recently on a perfect night at Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park. The Rockies were at their best, standing in total silence and bathed in the moonlight. The aurora even came out for a brief visit.