White Butte Trails, Saskatchewan, Canada by Scott Aspinall

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This photograph was taken in White Butte Trails near Regina, Saskatchewan. This is a nature area very close to my home and I find that because of that I get to explore it quite a bit. Having an area so close directly benefits my landscape photography as I can jump out there quickly when conditions are right. That was the case for this burning sunrise.

A freezing fog enveloped the area the entire day before before clearing sometime in the night. When I awoke that morning I knew I needed to get somewhere for sunrise. The clouds were setup for spectacular colour and everything was still covered in heavy hoar frost. With sunrise looming close I headed out close to home and to this spot to catch the best of the colour. As I took the 5 minute drive I noted that sunrise colours had just started when I arrived. I parked quickly, grabbed my 20 pound bag and ran in full winter gear (think heavy boots, ski pants, sweater, and jacket!) a full km to this spot in the area. I couldn't breathe after my morning run but I managed to get everything setup for this photo as the light began to peak.

Once I had the colourful sunrise in the camera I sat down and quietly began to catch my breathe. I quickly lost it again as a deer began to meander towards me. I watched silently as it moved through my scene; it was no more than 20 yards from me when it finally spotted me. Careful not to startle it I slowly moved towards my camera and captured the moment when it began to walk away from me. Probably not the pinnacle moment to take the photograph but I was so engrossed in the scene that the camera was the last thing on my mind. I blended the deer into the sunrise series from minutes before later on in order to preserve this morning in my memory forever.

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