Spirit Island, Alberta, Canada by Roy Goldsberry

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On a visit to the national parks in Alberta, Canada, my wife and I stayed a few days in Jasper. We booked a boat tour of Maligne Lake for a day that the weather report in Jasper looked pretty good. When we drove in to the lake on the morning of the tour though, it was rather chilly and cloudy. We were not quite prepared for that, so we bought Jasper Park hoodies in the gift shop as we waited for the boat.

The tour got under way with at least 30 people aboard, and we were presented with occasional glimpses of sun along with intermittent rain. It was definitely not what I hoped for and I wondered a bit if we should have gone ahead with it this day. From the boat, of course, I was just shooting hand held.

After maybe 45-60 minutes and about 8 miles, we reached a point along the lake where we were going to make a brief stop. The spot was opposite Spirit Island, which at the current water level was more of a peninsula. Normally, I like to wander around a new location to check the various views, and figure out what the better specific shooting locations and compositions are. However, we only had a 10 minute stop here, and the more time I took, the more chance there was of others from the boat getting into the scene.

I gathered up my tripod and made sure to be one of the first people off. There was a path along the shore, and I went that way, moving away from the boat. At the first spot on the path that caught my eye, I set up the tripod, attached the camera, and adjusted a few settings. Just then, the clouds parted a bit, and a shaft of sunlight came down toward the island. Next, I took the picture you see here. I got off two more shots, but quickly it started to rain and everyone streamed back to the boat. As the saying goes, I had been very lucky to be in the right place at the right time.


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