Jasper, Alberta, Canada by Uday Emani

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Although I am a big believer in planning, some of my better photographs have been fortuitous. I suppose that good lighting is as much about luck as it is about planning. I invariably don’t take pictures in mid-day due to the harsh light, but winter days can challenge that presumption. This was one such occasion. I was passing through Jasper, Alberta when I chanced upon these ethereal lighting conditions over pyramid mountain at noon, a time when I least expect to pick up a camera. The sun kept breaking in and out of the clouds following a late morning snowstorm and the storm clouds softened the harsh mid-day light enough to make it look like I was in a giant light box.

I was desperate to find a foreground element to give it some scale and found this lone pine tree. Although the main subject is the mountain, the picture would be incomplete without the tree giving it some context. Over a period of about five minutes, I shot a series of photos to capture the light flitting across the mountain. I picked four of those and made a time blend in photoshop. The time blend, in my opinion, conveyed a sense of moving light better than a single image. In winter, the sun stays close to the horizon and golden hour can last upto two hours. A bit of cloud cover can produce dramatic lighting conditions even in mid day. It’s a lesson to keep an open mind and dump pre-conceived notions when the situation demands it.

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