Fall Colours at Silver Lake-click to enlarge-
Silver Lake Provincial Park
Another photograph I made this Fall at Silver Lake Provincial Park in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia. I was fortunate on both of my trips here last Fall to have a near perfect reflection on the lake – I only wish I’d had even more hours of light to work with all the possibilities!
I posted a panorama made on the same evening in a previous blog post. I also have a gallery in my newly organized image archive dedicated to Silver Lake Provincial Park you may enjoy.
I always find it difficult to narrow down a years worth of photographs into one list of the “best”. It is a good exercise, however, to really sit down and go through your work and determine what images best fit your current vision for your photography. I did this back in 2010 and 2011 as a part of Jim Goldstein’s project and I am please to enter my images again for this years version.
All of these photographs are available as Fine Art Prints.
So in no particular order these are the “top” (probably better termed as favourite) photos I have made in 2012.
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Spring Panorama
(Coldstream, British Columbia)
Silver Lake Provincial Park Panorama
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In late September I went to Silver Lake Provincial Park in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia. The Fall colours had just started to appear. A few weeks later, however, they were almost in full swing. The above panorama was made about 3 weeks after my previous shot – how quickly things change! Again I was very lucky to have a near perfect reflection on Silver Lake – I’ve been there a few times when there were almost waves due to the wind. The majority of the Fall colours here are provided by Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) and Vine Maples (Acer circinatum).
Silver Lake Reflections
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Last week I shared a reflection of some early Fall colours at Silver Lake Provincial Park in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia, Canada. I drove out to Silver Lake last Thursday hoping for a calm surface for a great reflection – and I was not disappointed. This is Hope Mountain and Wells Peak reflected in the calm waters of Silver Lake in the late evening. The tougher part of photographing this scene is that the mountains are so close to the lake. I often need to shoot with my widest lens (Canon 10-22) @ 10mm most of the time to get both the top of the mountain and the entire reflection in the frame. This caused a number of problems. One being a bit less possible variety in compositions that have the complete reflection, and some issues with stitching a few panorama attempts that I had made. After I had walked through the park a bit more, I was able to find this spot along the shore I had earlier not been able to get to due to higher water levels in the Spring. This gave me a bit more vertical room to show a little more sky and reflection than when I was closer to the mountains.
I don’t know if I have mentioned this on my photoblog before, but I host a photography theme called “Mountain Monday” on Google+. If you are a photographer that is not on Google Plus yet, I wrote a blog post outlining why I think it is a great place for photographers. This week marks the 1 Year Anniversary of Mountain Monday! I made my first #MountainMonday post on September 26th of 2011 with this photo of Silver Lake. It seemed appropriate that I share a new photo of Silver Lake for this week!
Silver Lake Provincial Park
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Last night I was in the Eastern Fraser Valley near Hope, British Columbia. My destination was Silver Lake Provincial Park. Years ago I stopped here after a storm had rolled through and managed to photograph a great reflection on the lake. Last night I was hoping that conditions would let me try this again, with a bit more exploration of the area. I was not disappointed, though there weren’t many clouds to make the sky a bit more interesting. The reflections were great, though the amount of fish jumping occasionally messed up the stillness of the water! The trees reflected in Silver Lake are Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) and Vine Maples (Acer circinatum). It is a bit early for such Fall colours, but with the amount of dry weather this area has had for the last few months, it seems some of the trees are packing it in early.
Wells Peak & Silver Lake
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Sometimes there can be a lot of benefit in going through your photo archives. With the passage of time comes the benefit of new technology, processing techniques, and changes in your photographic vision that can increase the appeal of older, overlooked images. I have been finding a lot of images in my archive lately that I have been adding to my website. Some due to simply missing them the first time and some because I know how to process them in a much stronger way now. When I learn new processing techniques in Photoshop I am often reminded of older images that could benefit from my new knowledge. This can become a lot of work!
This is Wells Peak in Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia, Canada. I have posted a similar image before but I also like this horizontal perspective, even if less of the reflection is revealed.
Vine Maples (Acer circinatum) &
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Silverhope Creek (in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia) is one of my favourite spots to photograph fast water and foliage in the Fraser Valley. I have not spent enough time exploring upper parts of the Chillwack River though, and that area also looks pretty promising too. This creek runs along the road to Silver Lake Provincial Park. The creek itself offers many photography opportunities though the area around the lake itself is also quite nice. I really like this scene with the fresh leaves of Vine Maples (Acer circinatum) and the Western Red Cedars (Thuja plicata) growing just above the fast flowing water. I plan to head out to Silverhope Creek again this Spring. I have a few ideas on better compositions than I managed last year. I also hope to be there when the wind isn’t blowing the leaves around so much! I tried many exposures before this one had the leaves at least somewhat well behaved. Next time I will try a few exposures where I leave the shutter open for a long period of time to show the trees moving as well.
Silverhope Creek-click to enlarge-
Last year the Fraser Valley had some pretty bad Fall color. The Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) that dominate the color around here pretty much went from green to a bit of yellow with a lot of brown – not very photographically appealing. Last week I ventured out into the valley and found some great fall colors, though I need to scout some locations a bit better for next year so I spend more time photographing and less time searching.
This is a photograph I made last week of Silverhope creek which lies just outside the border of Silver Lake Provincial Park in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia. There was not a lot of Fall colors in this particular spot, though I do like this shot. This area is a great one for photos of the creek with lots of moss covered rocks – and most of it is near the road for easy access.
The Chilliwack River in Winter
When I first started getting serious with a “real” film camera I had a 28-90mm kit lens. Eventually I wished to move on from just taking random snapshots and actually gain more skills and take better photos. I read a bit on the internet about lenses and bought a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4. The “nifty fifty”. It was at this point that I realized the difference lens quality can make. I couldn’t believe how sharp and clear the shots with the 50mm were.
A few years after buying the 50mm I upgraded to a DSLR – A Canon 30D. Wow not only could I take 100′s of shots at one time, I was not paying for film and developing so I could actually afford to experiment and try new things. The 28-90mm kit lens was a bit better on the DSLR (cropped out some of the edge anomalies) but still had nothing on the 50mm. On the APS-C sensor of the 30D (1.6x) the 50mm was more like an 80mm lens. I really wanted to go wider so that I could get more into a shot. I saved up and bought a Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5. Good quality and really wide compared to the 50mm. I shot with the 10-22mm and the 50mm (the kit lens now relegated to a drawer for bad behaviour) for quite a while. I wanted to determine what I was missing the most before I went in that direction with a new lens.
Alpenglow on Nodoubt Peak in North Cascades National Park
A year or so after I bought the 10-22mm I filled in the gap between my lenses with the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. At that point I had opted for crop sensors over full frame (largely due to price of both long lenses and the FF cameras) so the 17-40mm was not on my list. From there I went to a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM to get a bit more reach for wildlife. What I had not really anticipated is that I would be using this lens so often for landscapes.
Abstract Chilliwack River
Often as a beginning photographer I read about wide angle lenses as the be all and end all of landscape photography. Walking in to a camera shop and being asked what I like to shoot – the answer of landscapes would push wide angle lenses in my direction. I was rather surprised to learn what I had been missing in a longer telephoto lens for landscapes. In some scenes I have found it difficult to use the wider focal lengths in that they actually get too much into the frame. Ironic considering this is why I earlier had thought I needed a wide lens. The details of the scene are there, but are drowned out by distracting elements that take the viewer’s eye away from what is important. So my initial impression that I would always want to be at a wide angle all the time has actually changed to looking at the details and what is more essential.
I never would have predicted this sort of outcome when I started. I see many posts and articles devoted to gear and purchasing wide lenses for landscapes. I wonder how many of the beginners reading these thing will eventually start to favour longer lenses for their landscape photography? Would they be better off getting a telephoto lens before a really wide angle one? Maybe this is just a normal evolution for a photographer. Regardless, I am happy I have moved away from all wide angle all the time – the variety of shots possible at longer focal lengths is liberating.