Posted by: kerryl29 | September 17, 2014

A Pinpoint of Light

Those of you who read this blog regularly–and thank you for doing so, not incidentally–are aware of the fruits of my May trip to Hocking Hills in southeast Ohio.  What you almost certainly aren’t aware of is the fact that the trip to Hocking Hills was the last time I was out in the field with my camera…until this past weekend.  The reasons for the nearly four-month-long hiatus are manifold and, frankly, not very interesting, so I won’t bore you with the details.  Regardless, I felt a strong need to work with the camera in the field.

Why?

On Monday, September 22, I’ll board a plane for Calgary, Alberta to start a nearly two-week-long trip to the Canadian Rockies.

My parents honeymooned in Banff National Park more than 50 years ago, roughly four years before I was born, and one of the things they brought back was a painting of Lake Louise that they had purchased, on the spot.  I saw that painting countless times growing up (I saw it again, most recently, a few weeks ago), and it depicted a place I always wanted to see with my own eyes.  In fact, it’s possible that this painting had a subconscious impact on my own connection to the landscape;  I’m not certain.  But, in any event, I’m going to have the opportunity to do just that (i.e. see Lake Louise), finally, after all these years.

It seemed to me to be nothing short of absurd to head off on what will be, by leaps and bounds, the most exotic photo trip of my life to date after failing to interact with my equipment for more than four months, so early Saturday evening, when I was in Indianapolis, I headed off to Eagle Creek Park to go through the important exercise of seeing the landscape…and, not incidentally, to tangibly work with the camera.  Call it a refresher course of sorts.  My wife accompanied me, and brought Kiko, our 10 1/2 month old collie puppy, along for the ride.

We parked the car, I pulled out my backpack and tripod and we trudged off on a trail in the park that I’d never explored prior to this visit.

 

Cloud Reflections, Eagle Creek Reservoir, Eagle Creek Park, Marion County, Indiana

Cloud Reflections, Eagle Creek Reservoir, Eagle Creek Park, Marion County, Indiana

The point of this time in the field–which didn’t last more than an hour–was pragmatic, but it turned out to be much more than that.  It was a reminder of why I spend time in the field with camera gear in tow in the first place.

Eagle Creek Reservoir at Sunset, Eagle Creek Park, Marion County, Indiana

Eagle Creek Reservoir at Sunset, Eagle Creek Park, Marion County, Indiana

You might think I wouldn’t–or shouldn’t–need such a reminder, and I would agree with that assessment, particularly given that I’ve written about this very thing before…right here, on this blog.  But for some reason, it seems that I periodically do require this smack in the back of the head.  And after just a few moments on site, the purpose was effectively served.

It didn’t take very long before I was essentially lost in what I was doing, which is a major part of the exercise.

Eagle Creek Reservoir at Sunset, Eagle Creek Park, Marion County, Indiana

Eagle Creek Reservoir at Sunset, Eagle Creek Park, Marion County, Indiana

During this time, I took no more than a half a dozen unique images–most of which accompany this entry–but I still managed, I later realized, to use every lens in my bag (except the macro lens), from ultra wide angle to telephoto.  I regarded this as a good sign–it meant I was seeing the landscape this day with an open mind, free of any preconceived bias.  I was, in effect, taking what the landscape was giving me, something I regard as very important when I’m in an unfamiliar place…be it that trail at Eagle Creek or the Canadian Rockies (a place I’ve never been).

Eagle Creek Reservoir at Sunset, Eagle Creek Park, Marion County, Indiana

Eagle Creek Reservoir at Sunset, Eagle Creek Park, Marion County, Indiana

This will probably be my last blog entry prior to my trip to the Canadian Rockies.  For those of you interested I’ll be spending some time in Yoho National Park in British Columbia and Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta.  For the first week or so during my time there I’ll be shooting on my own.  The final six days I’ll be part of a small photo tour (not a workshop) led by Royce Howland, a Calgary-based landscape photographer with encyclopedic knowledge of the region.  I return to the Chicago area on October 6 and I will undoubtedly be relating my trip experiences on this blog in the ensuing weeks and months.

“See” you in October.

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Responses

  1. Have fun!

  2. Have a wonderful trip. The Canadian Rockies are one of my favorite places to visit. I’ve only been twice, but can’t wait for the next time – whenever that may be. I look forward to your photos.

    • Thanks very much.

  3. You don’t know how much I envy you right now, Banff/Jasper has to be one of the most beautiful and photogenic areas on the face of this planet. I hope that you have plenty of batteries and memory cards to take along, you’ll need them.

    • Yup, three rechargeable batteries (for two camera bodies) and a ton of SD and CF cards. Hopefully they’ll come back with me mostly filled.

  4. Gorgegous golden hour series! Your trip sound wonderful. Banff and that part of Canada has been on my wish list for sometime. I’m looking forward to seeing your trip from my armchair. 🙂

    P.S. I read something years ago that the photos/artwork on your homes walls will influence your children, so I was mindful of what I put on mine. Most were images of beautiful landscapes, and Victorian or Americana village scenes. Don’t know how much their love of family, and the outdoors was influenced by the art, but you never know! 🙂

    • Thanks very much!

      And…it sounds as though you chose your wall art very well indeed. 🙂

  5. Wonderful! Yoho is breathtaking,as are all of the Rockies and I have attended a talk by Royce Howland he will intimately know the area and light conditions. I like how you are warming up, keeping an open mind regarding the land and weather-many ways to shoot the scenery.I remember seeing Lake Louise for the first time-would love to hear your thoughts later. I know you have an eye for it and am excited to see the fruits of your labour.Yes, travel light but remember batteries and photo cards, layers of clothes for the changeable weather and bear spray.

    • Thanks. No issue on batteries or flash memory (as I mentioned below). I’ve also got (I believe) appropriate clothing (yes, breathable layers). As for bear spray, that’s something I’ll have to pick up on the ground after I get in. I’ve already had to curtail plans to hike the Larch Valley Trail from Morraine Lake due to the bear-related restrictions on the size of hiking parties. I’ve substituted the Saddleback Trail (from LL) as a likely alternative.

  6. Enjoy what looks to be quite a great experience! I looked at the tour info and was very intriguing. Depending on your feedback, might be something I put on my list for a visit (thinking of Oregon though for next year). Can’t wait to see the images and learn about experience through the blog and pictures. Safe travels!

    • Thanks very much, Ward.

  7. Such beautiful photos! Hope you have a tremendous time in Alberta and BC! Look forward to your posts and photos from the trip!

    • Thank you!

  8. Kerry, these are breathtaking shots. It certainly appears that you haven’t lost your touch. Wishing you loads of fun and I look forward to seeing what you’ll bring back for us!

    • Thanks, Gunta!

  9. Between Banff and Lake Louise, you’ll find Lake Morain (sp?). Make sure you stop there and hike the short trail to get amazing views of the mountains and lake. (The old $20 bill photo) Enjoy Alberta!

    • Thanks!

      No worries, Morraine Lake is definitely on the itinerary. In fact, sunrise from Morraine Lake is definitely happening (assuming the weather cooperates while I’m in the Lake Louise area).

  10. These are stunning. Especially like the photo of Eagle Creek Reservoir.

    • Thanks very much!

  11. Kerry…well, I just stumbled across your blog and feel like I’ve rediscovered an old friend. Nice to “see” you again…and you got some lovely stuff from Eagle Creek Park. Knowing the place well, congrats on getting some really nice images! Presumably you are on your trip, but I enjoyed just browsing through your blog and seeing a number of locations I know and love….well done. Glad to see you are still producing excellent work! Christopher

    • Hey Christopher–great to hear from you! It’s been a very long time. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment…and for the kind words.

      Yes, I’m in Calgary as I type this; just got in late this evening. I’m driving to Lake Louise tomorrow morning (weather forecast for the next couple of days up there is pretty bleak, I’m extremely sorry to say)–rain, and probably lots of it. Nevertheless, I’ll endeavor to make the best of it.

  12. “It didn’t take very long before I was essentially lost in what I was doing, which is a major part of the exercise.” Oh Kerry, I know just what you mean. I love getting lost in the process of working, whether it’s gardening, photographing, or composing. Its almost like all the pieces that were separate click into place, Hmmm, the creative process . . .

  13. P.S you got some beautiful shots too!

    • Thanks very much, Lynn!


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