I spent a week travelling along the Icefield Parkway in Banff National Park and was amazed by the magnificent scenery that was only steps from my car. On my first day, I stopped at Morant's Curve, a scenic viewpoint of a dramatic bend along the Bow River. The view of the curve of the tracks snaking through the snow cover landscape was worth setting up my tripod.
My hope, however, was to capture a train passing around the bend with the spectacular backdrop of the Lake Louise mountains and surrounding valleys. The Morant's Curve train schedule is not posted publicly, so visiting the Curve during regular business hours (Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm) is the best way to see a train go by if you have time and patience. I was travelling with other photographers, and the group was on schedule, so I did not have time to wait for a train to pass by.
On my final day of shooting, I was travelling south, heading for my final night at my hotel. As I approached the exit to the Morant's Curve overlook, I decided to visit the spot one more time. I heard a train whistle while removing my gear from the car. I rushed to gather my camera and tripod and ran across the road to the overlook. I could see the train approaching as I mounted my camera to my tripod. I quickly composed my shot and checked my setting seconds before the train appeared at the turn. Luckily, I was able to get this photo before the train disappeared into the distance.
Planning and preparation are crucial to being in the right place at the right time, but sometimes, a little bit of luck can make all the difference.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor