The Ever-changing Weather, Canadian Rockies Workshop

Tony again, this time coming to you from beautiful Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. The topic of the day is "Be Ready." I mean, all of the time you need to be ready... Weather certainly is always changing in the mountains, especially at the end of one season and the start of the next. It feels like we have not fully left summer and here, we are expecting snow this week. The light moves in and out of broken clouds. The exposures are up and down and high contrast variations. Still, you have to find a way to make successful images. It's imperative that you embrace change as a highly valuable tool in the learning process. All of us learn in different ways and at different paces. Having a lot of variables thrown at you is one of the best teaching aids there is. 

A Few Phrases to Keep In Mind:

  • Plans Are Etched in Jello
  • Being Flexible is Too Rigid
  • Approaching the Photo Work Without Pre-conceived Ideas Allows You to Win with Newly Presented Opportunities

As we approach this week, we are continually working on not only correct exposures but also correct color. Clearly we all approach things differently as photographers and what we are trying to convey to our students is the feeling of empowerment. We want them to have all of the tools necessary to create the kinds of images that they want. All elements that make up a successful image need to be considered and considered quickly when the scenes are unfolding rapidly in front of you. 

As we were headed towards a beautiful waterfall location yesterday afternoon, we came face to face with a car in the middle of the road with the driver trying to slow us down.  As we approached he was frantically telling us there was a bear he was watching.  Of course as photographer, I came out of the car and thankfully, had a camera sitting on my lap. I was able to get about three semi-decent pictures before the old girl left the area.  The point here is that your camera cannot reside in the trunk of the car on your way to the next location. You have to be ready at all times.  Things happen and usually really fast and it is much easier to capture things unfolding if you have a camera at the ready.

I alway got a big kick out of the old photographer's comment about exposure.  The old timers always said " f8 and be there..."  Being there is the key. Folks, you have to get up and get out of bed in order to chase down great pictures.  I'm not speaking to the studio photography people here just the landscape/nature folks. But of course, you already know this...

6:30 a.m. while awaiting the "real scene..." Sometimes it just works.  

Go to work folks. Get up, get ready and be prepared for what you cannot foresee, because it will greet you head-on on the side of the road.  It is nice to be ready when it does.

Peyto Lake, Canadian Rockies as seen on Sept 19, 2016 11a.m. Extraordinary color in the glacial run-off.