There’s something about reflections in nature, especially in the mountains,that is quite magical. Maybe it’s the short lived moments of calm found in between the usually harsh and turbulent conditions. The yin and yang of the Earth creating peace from dusk until dawn and chaos during the day. Maybe they remind us to reflect on our own lives and remind us of the paths we’ve taken. Maybe it’s just because they are pretty to look at…
In any case perfect, glassy reflections in nature can be hard to come by, but when I do get to experience them I pause to take them in, because such fleeting moments are truly special.
Anyways, enough about why I love them… Here are some of my favourite reflections I’ve captured in the Canadian Rockies over the years.
Prince of Wales Hotel
The Prince of Whales Hotel seen here is beautifully situated in the middle of the mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park. It was built and opened in the late 1920’s for the Great Northern Railway company and is a whopping 37 meters tall! 😲
We spent 5 days in late spring this year exploring the park. Waterton Lakes National Park is notoriously windy. During those 5 days we had a brief moment of tranquility for a few hours one afternoon where the choppy waters of the upper Waterton Lakes transformed into a smooth, glass-like surface. This scene unfolded before me and it was as if I was standing in a postcard.
The ever popular Vermillion Lakes, sits just outside of the town of Banff, Alberta. This shot was taken with my first DSLR EVER, a Nikon d5300 and an 18-55mm kit lens. This area is where my photography journey began and it will always hold a special place for me. The reflection of Mount Rundle at sunrise with a bit of wildfire haze, made for a really cool effect here on this particular morning. No matter how many photos I see of this spot, it never gets old.
Leach Lake, Jasper National Park
This moody reflection was captured on a Spur of the moment trip through Jasper National Park a few years ago. Jasper is one of my favourite places on the planet. It is a little bit more removed and quieter than Banff, but the scenery is just as beautiful. It’s also a great place to experience a wide variety of wildlife, including bears, elk, mountain goats and many more. If you need a break from the epic views and want to relax with some great food, pick up a delicious pastry from the Bear’s Paw Bakery or a pizza from Jasper Pizza Place, you’ll thank me later! 😀
The town of Canmore, Alberta is an absolute dream for landscape photographers. You can drive 5 minutes for epic views like this, or you could just look out of your window. Pictured here on the far right is Ha Ling peak, the most popular hike in the area. In the Summer there is a steady flow of people from top to bottom of the short, but steep trail. On the left of the frame are the Three Sisters is the distance. Known respectively as Faith, Charity and Hope. These 3 peaks loom above the town and are THE icons of the area.
These brightly coloured rainbow pebbles are also found at Waterton Lakes National Park. Again, to truly appreciate them, the lake has to perfectly still. For this shot I actually had to turn my tripod upside down to get my camera as close as possible to the water, so I could capture the rocks beneath as well as the mountains and sky above. I was lying on my stomach, hovering over my camera like a ninja, in case it decided to topple over on me into the lake.
Kayaking on Moraine Lake
Every Canadian knows this classic view, it used to be on our $20 bill after all. Moraine lake is one of the most picturesque views in the World. A dark blue glacial lake, surrounded by 10 mountain peaks, with lush coniferous forest surrounding it. Once upon a time, about 9 years ago now, I lived and worked in Lake Louise. At the time one could visit both Lake Louise and Moraine lake at any time of the day. Sure they were busy, but at least you could always find a parking spot. Today, during peak season, if you want a spot at Moraine lake for sunrise you have to be there at around 2:30-3:00 AM in the morning. Oh how the times have changed. I’m glad I got to experience it the way I did in the past. That being said it is popular for a reason. It truly is a spectacular, timeless place. For me, as a photographer, it’s always a challenge to get a unique perspective on locations such as this. I quite enjoyed watching these Kayakers cruise across the lake and they didn’t mind that I snapped a few shots of them either, Plus I ended up with a different shot rather than the same old rock pile view.
Glassy Mornings at Bow Lake
This photo was taken on an early morning drive through the Icefields Parkway. Honestly early mornings are my favourite. It’s quiet. It’s calm. As a bonus, sometimes you get lucky and get to experience moments like this. As a landscape photographer, I’ll speak for us collectively when I say we live for early mornings, late evenings and the middle of the night. That’s usually when all of the magic happens. Not much goes on in the middle of the day unless it’s a moody day or it’s stormy out. My favourite of the three is the morning though. I know it’s not scientific, but I just feel like the morning air adds a crispness to your photos you don’t otherwise get.
Sunrise at Sunburst Lake
Assiniboine Provincial Park is one of, in my opinion, the most beautiful places on the planet. The park is located deep within the backcountry. It can be accessed by helicopter or by foot. On this trip we chose the latter option. After two days of hiking with an exceedingly heavy backpack, getting up for sunrise was the last thing my body wanted me to do. The alarm on my watch sounded and woke me from the comfort of my sleeping bag. I quietly unzipped the tent and headed out to Sunburst Lake which was a few kilometres from the campsite. By the glow of my headlamp I hoofed it up the trail past the meadows and through the forest. I had the whole place to myself. As I got to the Lake I could see the glow of the morning sun lighting up the horizon and starting to illuminate the peaks towering above. The lake that had been wild and wavy, from the intense winds the day before, was now as calm as could be. The water was so still, it was quite literally like a mirror reflecting the scene in front of me. Moments like this don’t come often and I basked in the stillness as long as I could, pondering all of life’s big questions.