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My travels to Banff National Park and surrounding areas did not disappoint. One of my favorite locations that I revisited several times was Vermillion Lake, just on the outskirts of the picturesque town of Banff. It was during April, towards the end of the winter season.
I have learnt that landscape photography should not be approached with expectations. So many things can go 'wrong' with the weather. During my 5 say stay, I did not get the epic sunrises and sunsets I was hoping for.
Setting off at 4 am in the morning, the first stop was Vermilion lake a short distance from Banff town. It was a cloudy day with dense fog hanging low over the landscape. Standing at the edge of the lake, the mountains were at first not visible. It was however a very special moment to witness the awakening of nature in the early hours of the morning. The darkness of the night slowly transformed to blue hour. The silence of the night occasionally broken with the calling of birds from across the lake in the surrounding trees and reeds.
To capture the entire scene I opted to shoot with my Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 lens. The camera was set up low to capture the water grasses in the fore ground, the lake a the middle ground and the snow capped mountains as the back ground. To compensate for the low light situation and achieve the silky water I used a 30sec exposure. As I was shooting the WB in Auto, it did render quite an intense blue, which I de-saturated in post processing to a hue closer to what I remember.
Witnessing the changing colors of dawn breaking as the fog slowly dissipated and the clouds moved across the landscape, the sun barely visible through the clouds and the closeness to nature was an experience I will never forget.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor