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Having visited Abraham Lake several times over the past couple of years, I was looking forward to getting back during my Canadian Rockies trip in the winter of 2020 for those perfect conditions. The year previous, temperatures climbed to unseasonal highs (hitting 12 degrees Celcius), causing melting on the surface of the lake that obscured any textures and methane bubbles in the ice. And, my first attempt at photographing sunset there this year was a bit of a flop. Even though the ice was incredible, and there was a beautiful lenticular cloud overhead, the light never quite materialized. Though, I did manage to do a bit of scouting on the lake for sunrise on a future morning.
After a couple of days, conditions finally looked like they were going to work in my favour on Abraham Lake. So, I woke up at 4 AM and took the 2 1/2 hour drive from Canmore to the lake. My group and I explored for a bit in the dark, looking for the perfect lines and bubbles that would lead the viewer to the mountain beyond. After coming across this, I set up this composition and we all waited for the sun to rise. Often, in landscape photography, it's easy to become frustrated with the conditions that are presented. The light is ever fleeting, could always be better, or the landscape isn't quite what we expected. But, it's moments like this one when everything comes together that we know that the chase is worth it.