One Arrow, Many Photos

Just how many photos of the same subject can be made? Apparently a lot.

One of the key locations we photographed on the last trip to Canada was an artificial lake by a tiny town of Nordegg. The winter is bitterly cold their and the lake freezes deep enough to walk on ice. The constant wind blowing over the lake keeps the ice clean from snow. What’s most interesting is air bubbles that rise from the bottom of the lake just to be captured in ice building fantastic three-dimensional structures.

One of such structures was in a form of an arrow. I was so drawn to it that I spent hours photographing it over two days. Coming up with new and new ways to do it. Here is how it looked:

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Now how about using flashlight to highlight part of an arrow? That circle at the head of the arrow seems very attractive:

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How about showing the arrow in the context of the area surrounding it? Let it be the lead to othe bubbles:

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Let’s step further away. How about hiding the arrow in a landscape for a curious eye to find:

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I’ve done much more different photos of the same subject on that trip; they are just not as good.

I guess my point is that I don’t come-see-take a photo. I work with the subject, explore it visually and find many photos of it which eventually dwindles to a few ones I keep.

Up on a Hill

Sometimes you need to get up on a hill to see a view. Just like I did when we drove thru Canada.

We drove thru places of snow and ice that were picturesque enough. But then I saw a hill with a parking lot next to it. I stopped and climbed the hill. The view that opened up to me was breathtaking.

The vast flats of frozen river covered with snow, the soft spots of sun light breaking thru clouds, the blue hazy mountains in the distance and a cloudy sky above it all. The view was worth photographing, the awe was worth sharing. I called up the other guys and we spent some time photographing.

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Rear-View Mirror

One of the useful photographic tools: rear-view mirror. I often see a landscape there that makes me stop, jump out of the car and take a picture. Here is one of those photos from the last trip to Canadian Rockies. You can even see tire track from my car as I pulled to the side of the road.

What’s also interesting is that this light was gone in a few seconds. So, catch your moments!

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Only Mountains

There is a saying in Russian culture: only mountains can be better than mountains. So, in this post I’m presenting of photos of mountains and only mountains from my recent trip to Canadian Rockies.

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Let the Flashlight Be

Another example of playing with light. This time it is not at night but at twilight. There was already enough of ambient light and I had to use two flashlights to highlight an interesting bubble structure in the ice.

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Lights in the Night

I’ve probably mentioned before that I love photographing at night. Ok, if I have not then I’ll say it now. I love photographing at night.

There are several reasons for that. First, I like element of surprise in night photography. Human eye cannot see that well at night (though you’ll be surprised to how well it can see once you give it time to adjust to low light). Thus I don’t quite see how photo will look like. After setting up first exposure just having a general idea, I take it and I get a surprise as I can see things that a human eye cannot see: details and shapes that are too dark to see, movement of clouds and stars at long exposure.

The second reason why I like night photography is because it gives me an opportunity to play with light: flashes, flashlights, gels. That’s where creativity really kicks in. Rather than capturing what’s presented to me in the best way possible, I create something out of my mind.

On this trip (just as on many others) I’ve dragged the whole gang out of cozy rooms into bitter cold two hours before sunrise to get some time for night photography. This time I played with flashes. I’d work on the ice and after certain number of steps would put a flash against the ice and fire it.

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Texture on a Grand Scale

A month ago with a few fellow photographers I went to Canada. We visited a few places in Banff, Jasper and several places in between. The weather was mild, favorable to me since in chaos of packing I left winter shoes at home and was wearing my summer all-around shoes.

On the way there an interesting texture caught my eye: a side of a mountain was covered in trunks of burnt trees with a dust of snow powder on the ground. It created rather interesting texture on a grand scale. It looked like the mountain was covered with a shimmering fur. Changes in slopes steepness were creating an interesting patterns in this mesh. After short discussion we turned around and stopped to photograph them. Below you can see my take on it.

One interesting thing about them is light. It was an overcast day and the light was very flat but I think it was perfect for this type of texture. It made photos more abstract.