Trash The Lens

Journeys and photos

Takakkaw Falls

There are moments when I wish an excavator was a standard photographer's equipment, just like a tripod is. You go out to a location, realize that what nature has created is wonderful but not perfect, so you start the engine and do a little landscaping yourself. Only when you're done you set up your tripod and take the shot.

Takakkaw Falls is one of those places where I wish Canadian Rockies were less civilized than they are. Getting there after half a day of hiking through rugged terrain would make you fully appreciate this waterfall's beauty. But instead you just drive there, park you car, take a look, maybe a snapshot, and you're on your way.

Does anyone else notice how the mineral rich glacial meltwater's color resembles that of dirty bathwater? (2012-06-22 Takakkaw Falls, Canada)

Too late, a bit too late..

The idea was simple: get to the vantage point at the Tunnel Mountain and photograph a scene with hoodoos during a golden hour. I thought we got there just in time. The last warm rays of the setting sun were shining upon the rocks making them glow. Unfortunately, just as I set up the tripod, the sun has already moved a little bit lower and a mountain in the west cast a shadow over the hoodoos. Still not bad, but lacking the "wow factor" I had wished for and saw...

Timing is everything. (2012-06-20 Banff, Canada)

Lower Consolation Lake

I guess anyone at least mildly interested in Canadian Rockies knows of Moraine Lake. After all, it features on virtually all postcards and even had an appearance on Canadian $20 bills in the ’70s. It’s really beautiful with its emerald green water and the surrounding peaks, but unfortunately it’s swarming with tourists. There’s a huge parking lot for buses just beside it, and everyone wants to take the “my smiling face in front of a famous place” photo. This sort of spoils it for me.

Take care not to get eaten by the bears while you go there!

The Shining

This is Bow River and the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada. It somehow reminds me of the Overlook Hotel from Stanley Kubric’s “The Shining” despite the fact that if you come up close there’s really nothing scary about it. I struggled hard to find a reasonable composition there until I switched to the nifty-fifty, after all landscapes are not only about UWAs!

Anyway, I still felt like doing a bit of running around with an axe. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

Gold in Calgary

I'll be honest: I'm not too fond of American-style cities that sprawl for miles and miles, crisscrossed with 5-lane highways. I feel it's a waste of space. But maybe I'm just biased, being used to how European cities look like and having visited a few in Japan too. I apologize to Canadians for throwing their city into the same basket as American ones, but for an outsider they are just very much alike. The good news is, Calgary at least has a clearly defined downtown and enough diversity in terrain to create some nice vantage points for observing it.

We didn't win any gold during the '88 Olympics there, but the golden hour kind of makes up for this. (2012-06-18 Calgary, Canada)