Cheeky Mother Nature

Posted in: Business Schmissness, In the Field!, Living on September 12th, 2014

I’m heading back to Southern Alberta this month to do some client work for a few days, which needs to be shot in a specific season (this one!), but Mother Nature had a different idea this week …

This is a scouting image taken 53.5 weeks ago, and very shortly, I’ll be back in the area …

photographic copy space, The Canadian Rockies between Pincher Creek and Waterton, with a side road during late summer with rich, fall colours.

**End of August, 2013**

Here is what the area looked like 2 days ago, y’all:

Traffic Cam photo, courtesy of

**Traffic Cam photo, courtesy of, Sept 9, 2014**

Thankfully Southern Alberta’s freak winter-in-summer storms do not last too long and much of the snow has melted away 2 days later. As much as I love snowy photography, it’s not welcome for a while because there are a bunch of us with work to still do.

Big thanks to Alberta Transportation for their traffic cams, as I’ll be all over them in the next couple of weeks, along with the 5-day forecast from Environment Canada. Gotta love those free resources!

See you in the field, hopefully NOT making a snow angel.


Medicine Lake »» Geology = Natural Abstract

There are many beautiful images of Medicine Lake in Jasper National Park, Alberta, and it’s a lake I’ll never tire of photographing because it never looks the same. The incredibly unique landscape with a powerful drainage system beneath the waters just adds to the intrigue. You can read more about this geologic anomaly on the Parks Canada site.

B&W stairs leading to Medicine Lake at Jasper National Park, early morning, mid-spring, with a strong sun and rays shining down.

A few years ago, during spring run off, as I was shooting different areas of the lake, I wanted to see how I could capture the fascinating geology of Medicine Lake. I headed back up the stairs, dug out my Canon 70-200mm ƒ2.8L and started shooting from the edges, as close as I could get without tumbling in … been there, done that. The results are definitely interesting, but I haven’t done much with them since. The other day, I wondered what they would like from a b&w fine art landscape nature abstract aspect, so I converted these images by digging around in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 and custom VSCO presets in Film 02 and Film 04, customizing Fuji Neopan 1600- and Agfa Scale 200++.

Since I make it no secret on my podcast I’m moody, I figured these landscapes would be a good fit for me. I have the first one below at the lab as I write this, printing a 16×24″ on foam core, which will be framed if the results are good. We’ll see how it looks when I pick it up and I’ll post images once I have it. At times I like changing things up and straying away from the norm when shooting nature, and these below are a good example.

A black and white version of the geologic anomaly that is Medicine Lake, which is essentially a mudflat with scattered pools of water connected by a stream, captured here during mid-spring runoff. Jasper National Park, Alberta.

Read on..

Chasing Crops »» Alberta Agriculture Photography

Posted in: Agriculture, Discover Alberta, Resources, Rural Alberta on August 8th, 2014

It’s that time of year again when chasing crops starts to become more interesting and we are able to see agriculture in motion and the Alberta farmland hard at work! As much as I enjoy watching those beautiful yellow canola fields as I drive down the highway pretty much anywhere in Alberta, I really enjoy these next couple of months the most when shooting agriculture.

Wheat crops blowing in the warm autumn wind, rural Alberta and Alberta Agriculture. Sidney Blake Photography

Parkland County Field , sunset, Alberta landscape, Alberta, Alberta Prairies, Rural Alberta, crop field, agriculture

I snagged these images from my archives, 2010-2013, and I can’t wait to add more to the mix this year. I’m not what you would call an agri-nerd, but I do listen to an agri podcast here and there, read weekly crop reports when I can and frequent a few agriculture sites. These resources are packed full of information and are a great platform to learn more about agriculture. I’m hoping the time I’ve spent educating myself a bit more on this industry will pay off in the next couple of months. Research can play a huge part with our photography and I’ve noticed when I have knowledge of certain subjects, it has made a difference in a positive way and even more so, when lacking the knowledge or information needed, it impacted my photography and how I felt overall about a particular shoot in more of a less than favourable manner. This is why I am committing to learning more about the subjects I’m passionate about or have piqued my interest. Resources are plentiful these days and it’s up to us to tap into them when we can. Read on..

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