A fence line in the fog – created just north of Sparwood, BC. I’m really happy with this image! I almost passed it by but something told me to go back. I knew it was going to be captivating. The true essence of photography is being able to express the ordinary as extraordinary.

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I continue to be amazed with the power of Lightroom. Equally as impressive is the new Lightroom Mobile App which allows for RAW image capture and processing on iOS 10.This in itself is a potential game changer and a sign of things to come.

A friend of mine asked me to touch up some recent images taken of her daughter. Unfortunately the photographer didn’t save the RAW image files so all I had to work with was the JPEG’s. You be the judge, but the spot removal tool and adjustment brush worked wonders in the areas around the eyes.

I’m spending this week in Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford pursuing the Elk during their annual rut. These animals are extremely dangerous during this time, especially the bulls! So far I’ve only come across one herd. They were quite skittish which is in contrast to the Elk I’ve seen in the National Parks, which unfortunately are quite habituated.dsc_3430dsc_3432

 

It’s been said that once you enter a natural environment, that it takes up to half an hour for nature to begin to restore itself and allow for one’s presence. As with any highly interconnected ecosystem and unbeknownst to us this is all subject to our limited understanding of the natural events that may already be transpiring.

Photographing wildlife in this natural environment is challenging to say the least. There’s always surprises but far many more disappointments.

My techniques associated with my pursuit of the Mountain Lion (Cougar) are evolving in hopes that I will one day get to capture this incredibly beautiful and elusive creature in it’s environment, just as it is and just as I am.

My patience and perseverance will persist.

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Okay, I could name names and provide visual references to surely justify this rant but out of respect for others I wont. Increasingly I am seeing images that are so heavily processed it’s utterly distasteful. Do manufactured sunbursts, stitched in skies and so forth really have a place in nature photography? I don’t think so! It’s a disservice to our natural environment and those that view these images.

Sure, I use lightroom and photoshop too, these applications should be used for subtle editing but not complete fabrication.

One of the worst things that I think can happen, is for someone to see an image of a particular place, become inspired to visit the location but only to discover upon arrival that it’s nothing like what they saw.

Are we falling victim to what we think might sell? I believe this may be the case. If it’s an artistic expression one is attempting to accomplish, why not learn how to understand in camera settings, how light works, etc. Anyone can watch YouTube and learn how to “design an image” with these applications.

In closing, I ask those that photograph the natural world to respect the beauty in front of your lens and not alter it altogether while sitting at home in front of a computer.

 

 

The only word that I have is despicable. This Bear and so many others have been lost for no reason, certainly a tragedy and as much as we would like, we can’t bring them back. What we can do is continue to petition against the Bear hunt and not allow people such as this imbecile to continue to commit these crimes. 

 

Fairy Lake is a BC Forest Service campground located five km northeast of Port Renfrew. It is accessed from Port Renfrew via Harris Main, a dirt and gravel logging road. The area of the lake is 82.3 acres and it has an approximate depth of 16 feet. There are hiking trails in the area as well as trail bike riding, and other outdoor activities.

It’s a very tranquil setting. Once you set out on the water, it offers a sense of mystery. What many people don’t realize is that this lake is ocean fed by the San Juan River.

The tree in the lake is quite remarkable. It has over the years become a little bonsai fir tree clinging for dear life in the middle of the water. Where there’s a will, there is a way.

The reason for my visit was to photograph the tree for a friend. I thought the best perspective would be from the water and I was right. I set out at about 5:30 am to take advantage of the calm conditions. At times there was barely a ripple on the entire lake which made for some great reflections.

I do plan to return and explore more of the San Juan River. I’m told that there’s a pack of Wolves that are frequently sighted along the edges of the river and of course the ever so elusive Mountain Lion is never too far away either, just hard to find.

Much thanks to Campground host Diane Callbreath for a great sense of hospitality and for spotting me the $15.00 camping fee (because I didn’t bring any cash.)

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Campground host Diane Callbreath and her friend Emmett. An honorable mention goes out to camera shy photographer Agnes. Thank you Agnes.

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wolf-awareness

I’ve recently partnered with Wolf Awareness Inc. to pursue an initiative later this year to help raise funds. I’m very proud to be associated with this foundation and to stand alongside their efforts.

wolfawarenessinc.org

Earlier this week I explored the area north of Elkford, BC. Located within the western ranges of the southern Rocky Mountains, Elk Lakes Provincial Park is an easily accessible wilderness park characterized by outstanding sub-alpine landscapes, remnant glaciers, rugged peaks and productive lakes. Elk Lakes Provincial Park is located in southeastern BC, about 104 kilometers north of Sparwood. Turn off Highway 3 at Sparwood and go north on Highway 43 until you reach the community of Elkford, a distance of 35 kilometers. From here, travel the gravel road on the west side of the Elk River. Approximately 47 kilometers north of Elkford the road crosses the Elk River and joins the Kananaskis Power Line Road. It is 5.8 kilometers from the crossing to the Cadorna Creek trailhead; the Elk Lakes trailhead is a further 16.1 kilometers. This is truly some extraordinary landscape. Don’t forget your Bear spray! I didn’t see any Bears but a big black Moose did cross the road in front of me as I was driving along. It was timid and disappeared beyond the treeline before I could get a picture but it was a thrill to see nonetheless. DSC_0874-2.JPGDSC_0879-2.JPGDSC_0881-2.JPGDSC_0885-2.JPGDSC_0965.JPGDSC_0902.JPGDSC_0912-2.JPGDSC_0915-2.JPGDSC_0924-2.JPGDSC_0940.JPGDSC_0941-2.JPGDSC_0949-2.JPGDSC_0950-2.JPGDSC_0955-2.JPG

How the B.C.’s First Nations are trying to save Canada’s wild giants, the Grizzly Bear, and the Humpback Whale, with eco-tourism. This is a touching documentary by Brandy Yanchyk. Much thanks to her, Marven Robinson and Joelene Brown for their continued efforts and for raising awareness. watch.cbc.ca/…e-prize/38e815a-00a5922b618568337454_1280x720