Jasper in July

Late in July I spent a couple of nights camping in Jasper. I had booked my campsite before the wildfires in BC really started sending smoke into Alberta, so I anticipated some clear weather for photography. I few days before I was set to depart, smoke drifted into Edmonton and pretty much obliterated the sky. So it was with some trepidation that I struck off for the National Park.

I stopped in Hinton for fuel. When I got out of my car, it hit me … the air didn’t smell like smoke and I could actually see the mountains. As I got closer to Jasper the air cleared even more. While there was still some smoke in the air, it was more like a bit of haze than heavy obliteration. It was enough that I knew shooting grand vistas probably wasn’t going to be very good, but perhaps smaller scenes would be possible.

The first evening I set off for the location I had planned for a sunset shoot. When I got there, visibility was such that the mountain that would have been the subject of my shot was totally obscured. So it was off to Plan B which involved a drive into Jasper townsite and out the other side. When I got to location B it was clear that a shot from there wouldn’t work either. By now I was somewhat winging it as I set off for a third potential location, with sunset fast approaching.

This time I got luckier. As I was scouting around an area I had shot from many times before, I came across a new vantage point that offered some definite compositions. I spent a couple of hours at this location, trying different compositions as the sun got lower and eventually disappeared behind the mountains. In the end I came up with two images that I quite like.

The next morning (actually more like the middle of the night) I was up and driving to a spot from which I had planned a sunrise shot. My hope was that, if I got there far enough in advance of sunrise, I might get some nice alpenglow on the tops of the mountains. Instead, I got heavy cloud and smoke pretty much obscuring the sun and the mountains. Off in the distance I could hear the rumble of thunder. Fortunately the storm passed to the south of me but I did get this shot of the storm as it approached.

While I quite like the shot, it was essentially the only decent one I got in the two to three hours I spent at this location hoping the conditions would improve. When it became clear that it would remain heavily overcast for most of the morning, I set off to find a picnic area where I could cook my breakfast (porridge!). Then it was off for a hike and my main photo excursion of the day … but that’s a story for my next post!

For more of my photography, check out my gallery at neilmillerphotography.com – or click the Gallery button above. While there, sign up for my quarterly newsletter that will update you with photos added to my gallery.

This entry was posted in Alberta, Landscape Photography, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s