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.

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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..

Scouting Locations with the Fujifilm X-T1

Posted in: Discover Alberta, Gear Chat, It's In The Bag, Scouting on August 5th, 2014

We’ve had some decent foggy mornings of late and because I work in Australian / NZ time zones as well as my MST, I’m often working when the sun starts to rise, and I miss out on some real goodies, like much of this past week (Murphy’s Law, the big meanie). A week and a half ago, I found myself free right as the sun was about to rise, so I grabbed some gear and headed on out. In an attempt to chase the fog, I came across a killer scene, about 5 minutes away from my home. The fog was low-lying everywhere except one area, and it was encompassing some grain silos in the most perfect manner, with the sun adding the right mix of mystery, eliminating the drab feeling of the boring bald sky. Here’s the thing – I was once again roadblocked as I still have no clue where to shoot these silos from without trespassing, which is something I refuse to do. So I pretty much spent the first 30 minutes trying to get to these damn silos from a number of possible entry points, but I was out of luck. I’m not sure why I thought suddenly today I’d be able to access them when I haven’t been able to the past 5 years. Ah, I amuse myself at times.

By the time I was done, the light was average and I missed my moment. Taking advantage of the fact I had the little Fuji with me, I thought I’d spend the next hour or so scouting locations before heading back home. Wet, dirty and covered in bites, I found a few spots where I think with the right lighting and some good ol’ fashioned effort, I might be able to make something interesting at another time.

Scouting Locations with the Fuji X-T1, Location scouting around rural Alberta with the Fuji X-T1 and 23mm ƒ1.4 lens. Abandoned stucture after sunrise with lens flare. VSCO edits. Sidney Blake Photography.

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