Mount Wilson, Banff, Canada by Mark Unrau


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After a three hour hike along the Icefield Parkway into the backcountry just south of Jasper National Park, I settled into a great little campground in hopes of capturing sunrise the following morning at Sunset Pass. That evening, I got pelted with an early summer wet snowfall that hampered my optimism. The next morning, I got up early to set up and photograph one of the several majestic peaks in the wet open meadow. The weather was still not cooperating as I stood with composition ready and cable release in hand. I stood ready for what seemed like an hour, contemplating packing it in when I glanced over my shoulder to see the sky opening up behind me with a god beam penetrating the fog over a mountain peak. I grabbed my gear and ran towards the light in hopes of finding a great foreground to compliment my newfound subject.

After an unsuccessful attempt at getting a composition that worked before the light faded, I looked back at my original composition to see the sky finally opening up with colour and light. Somewhat frustrated that I had abandoned my original set up, I hurried back only to have clouds once again enshroud the mountain peak. I decided that was enough and called it quits for the morning. I packed up feeling a little dismayed but on the hike back to camp, I came across this subtle scene of the fog unveiling Mount Wilson. The view of the peak poking through lasted long enough for me to set up one more time. I finally made an image to bring home. Although it did not have the colour I was hoping for at sunrise, I learned that sometimes the best-laid plan is no plan at all.

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