There is something magical about our Southern Alberta foothills. It’s where the Alberta prairies and Canadian Rockies collide. You’ll hear me say this over and over, including in this blog, because it’s just the best way I know how to describe these wondrous parts of Alberta.
When I lived in Calgary for four years, I would get out and explore as much as I could, with or without a camera in hand. I have many images of our foothills, but I want more. Much, much more. I could see myself living in that neck of the woods once again — hopefully with the right people in tow. In the meantime, I’ll have to make a commitment to myself to get out there as much as possible. It’s a good four to five hours away from me, but it will be worth the drive.
I’ve been back here in the Edmonton area for just over four years now, so my inventory is old and dusty! I was sifting through my archives, oohing and ahhhing, not at the images themselves, as they are on the dodgy side, but more about what it was like to not only chase rural Alberta charm, but better yet just to be able to sit there in a field and let those Southern Alberta winds whisper in my ear.
All of these 2008 images were taken on my way home from different adventures, using my old Canon 40D (what a workhorse that was!) and I believe some old second hand 55-200 Canon lens. Not like this matters, but at times I miss that camera because I had so much fun exploring Southern Alberta with it. Ahhh! I may have missed the incredible light since I was already on my way back, but I don’t care in this rare case, because I can remember every moment these images were taken and I just want to revisit the feeling! What’s even better than heading back with my camera in hand and more knowledge in the ol’ noggin? Chasing that delicious Alberta prairies light as I do it, of course!
I’m late in reporting the news, but it looks like the Spaca Moskalyk has been saved, at least at the time of this entry … To clarify, I suppose I should say the vote has been held to save the structure. I truly don’t know what the future holds as I don’t have any specifics outside of what the linked article has and I’m not really staying in the know either, so I will wait to see it play out like most folks.
Seeing this church saved to those who may have loved ones in their final resting place in the adjacent cemetery is important, I can imagine. Parishioners and others with an emotional attachment are thrilled, I’m sure. Those of us who hold no religious ties with this church, but rather appreciate her beauty as part of a forever changing Alberta landscape are happy she might be able to stick around a lot longer. It’s depressing to see the landscape change with the removal of ageing and abandoned structures that add to our rural Alberta charm (the late, great Mundare grain elevator, anyone?). This is why we as photographers need to continue to get out there and shoot … document … capture … and then shoot some more and don’t stop. The legacy of our stunning Alberta prairies depend on it.
The sun was setting and I had been trailing this bull elk for some time, but it was getting very hard to get any sharp images because I was losing light fast. That’s the thing about the sun setting over the rockies — in a blink, it’s gone! I see elk all the time when in the rockies, so I can’t really explain why I kept after this one considering I was already heading back to my cabin after a day of shooting when we crossed paths. I found him extra interesting to observe. Something about the way he ran from location to location with such grace caught my attention. He was also without a harem and given his grand stature, I found it a little quizzical.
I continued to watch him … losing light with every passing second … waiting to get the capture I was hoping for: mid-bugle. (I should note I was observing him as we both went on with our adventure in an ethical manner — it’s something I always do.)
I finally had to ditch the tripod so I could position myself in a way to get one last shot. After 30 or so minutes together from when I first spotted him, he stopped dead in his tracks near the administration compound, stood still for just about 20 seconds and looked right at me …. long enough to bang off a few clicks, so I took a deep breath and did just that — clicked. He soon ran off to the Warden’s office and I knew our time together came to an end, as I had no desire to pursue him; when an animal looks at you, as this elk did and then leaves, it’s a sign it no longer wants you around and I respect that.
Regardless, I present to you Camo Rack. His grand antlers, one of the things that attract so much attention to him are suddenly lost in the background. I waffled on whether I liked this image because his antlers are camouflaged and his legs are cut off, grrrr, but I think I tolerate it now because it’s a sharp image, an accurate environmental portrait and last of all, we made eye contact and it was my final image to wrap up our little adventure together.