Frozen Landscape Photography at Abraham lake

Frozen Landscape Photography at Abraham lake

January 16, 2020 100 By Peter Engel


Well gents I got a special surprise for
you. It’s time for strawberry daiquiris… on ICE! Okay that did happen but it’s not
how the day began so let me take you to five hours earlier we kind of got screwed because the
snow came in and it’s covered all of those spectacular methane bubbles so
we’re not going to get those kinds of shots however I am really loving the
shapes that the snowdrifts are making because Abraham Lake is such a windy
place that it creates these beautiful snow shapes as these drifts form there’s
talking to Tom and the thing that we’re trying to be really mindful about is our
footprints because once you’ve walked into a scene that’s it you can’t really
back out and get another shot so we’re trying to find our compositions but do
it in a careful way and now once you have found it commit and move in and
take the shot so I’m just gonna walk around though I’m hoping to get some
alpenglow on that peak there it’s already kind of glowing a little bit
orange and I’m just gonna walk around here and find that perfect foreground
and then I’ll talk about this shot that I’ve got so found a really tasty composition and
it’s actually a vertical I just love this line how it comes in and kind of
hits this bit of ice here that’s kind of like a mountain shape in itself it’s a
perfect leading line into the center to point at that peak but it also kind of
mirrors the the mountain in the distance so a vertical shot with this is quite
juicy so one of the things that you’ll find quite odd about wide-angle
landscape photography is if you look at the peak there and that’s a huge
mountain where I am and if you look at it it’s just small it’s just this tiny
little dot in the middle of the frame and that is that is typical of using
super wide lenses it’s always going to make your mountain small but one thing
you can do is get it out at the center of the frame so if you if you look at
where I’ve placed it it’s in the top half of the image and it’s it’s quite
close to the center so if I put it right in the center that it’s very very small
but if I move the camera down for angle it down watch that mountain shape it
starts to stretch it starts to distort and that’s the thing about wide-angle
wide-angle photography is you can use that lens distortion to your advantage
now there comes a point where you know I would say I wouldn’t have that mountain
any higher than this because then it’s really tight to the top of the frame
there look you’ve got I like this a little bit of space that I’ve got left
but it’s definitely taller there if you if you look how tall the shape of the
mountain is compared to when I put it in the middle of the frame it’s much much
smaller so use that use that lens distortion to your advantage and it’s
also the more I point that down it’s really me emphasizing these lovely
curves here in the foreground so that’s a very simple but basic way to
especially with mountains to to sort of capitalize on why it’s good to have a
wide-angle lens and use that distortion. so this is the first shot of the morning
and I’m quite happy with how it turned out it wasn’t the best light and we were
kinda rushed for time because we got there a little bit late but it’s quite
happy with the end result now if you’re wondering if I stretched the top of that
mountain to make it more pointy you’re right
I totally did Tom was enjoying his very first visit to Abraham lake so I thought
I’d go over and join him and maybe get a shot of Mount Michner there with some
nice ice and snow in the foreground now I was really drawn to those icy snowy
formations that you can see in the foreground there but I bet you’ve
noticed something in the sky the bloody contrail and BOSH! I got rid
of it now let me know what do you prefer should I have left that in as is or do
you prefer this version where I’ve removed it and the comp is a bit more
pure and I thought I’d just give you a little bit of a close-up here to have a
right good look at those snow drift shapes, look at what the wind does to the
snow that’s had a chance to stick to the ice. uncle grumpy has the best breakfast
story. So I said, ”it’s rude to stare you know!” oh is it running? yeah! Is your
battery gonna survive? Probably not no no THANKS SONY! so once we got full of carbohydrates and caffeine we got back on the ice. there goes our daiquiris! Now Brent had somehow talked me out of a trip to Hawaii. So I insisted that he
provide us with sunshine, Hawaiian shirts and those blended cocktails but I never
actually believed that he would follow through on it. Well gents I got a special surprise for you. It’s time for strawberry daiquiris….. on ICE! nice what a beautiful sunny day
absolutely fantastic I mean we could have been in Hawaii right now but who
needs Hawaii when you’ve got this. Oh no kidding, it’s just beautiful. if only we had somebody to sweep away all this snow for us. Well cheers you guys . Delightful! Nice legs there Gavin! Could you bend a little bit? Just er… lick your lips? When the lights too harsh for landscape photography it’s time for shenanigans. My cat Leo is gonna
be scoring our performances and it looks like Leo is giving Nicholas page
3.5 stars out of 5 which is pretty good then we’ve got Heaton who has perfect
form but just not enough mass to propel him beyond pages distance so he gets
three stars with only one set of cleats I hit the ice like a drunken porpoise. Leo
is disgusted and has awarded me a score of minus three
Gibbs uses his war-cry which puts him in the lead with four stars
Henderson hits the ice with absolute confidence and it looks like Leo is
awarding him five yes five stars due to sheer athleticism and so we have a clear
winner in Brent Henderson and I’m sure nobody would question
Leo’s judgment in this case well I think that’s quite enough shenanigans for now
maybe until later but now it’s time to start shooting the light is changing I
reckon we’ve got an hour and a half of light before it starts to disappear so
we’re all gonna head out and find our compositions I’m not gonna lie I am really struggling
to find a composition and the problem is I’m spoiled because I’ve been here so
many times over the last few years under the best conditions I’ve seen this place
at its best so I’m just not feeling inspired to get a composition that’s the
challenge you don’t always get a composition so I’ll tell you what I’m
gonna do I’m gonna show you some of my back catalogue of what did work in the
past if you’d like to watch a video tutorial showing you exactly how I
process this image click on the card link above or in the description below
download it right now well just when I given up all hope I
found something found a lot of piece of foreground I
love this piece of prismatic ice that I’ve got there and this jagged edge so
this is my footprint that’s how close I got to it and that’s what you’ve always
got to watch out for is once you’ve gone in you can’t get rid of that footprint
so you have to tread carefully and make your decisions wisely so I’ve seen that
shot but now looking behind me and there’s this amazing lenticular cloud
formation kicking off against those mountains and I feel like I need to get
out there where it’s flat to shoot that direction so decisions decisions look if
you would at this business we kind of give up shooting in that direction it’s
time to light up over here so we just reverse that shots now we’re composing
in this direction lenticular clouds are one of my absolute favorite things in
landscape photography you don’t get them very often but you do tend to get them
in mountainous places that are very very windy so what I’m really hoping is that
that lovely contrasted light that you see on the peaks and that you see in the
clouds there actually catches a bit of color so yeah we’ll just play the
waiting game again for this one but I’m a lot more hopeful shooting in this
direction because this light has been good for the last hour
whereas shooting in the other direction earlier it was very very rapidly
changing and it faded off real quick so I think there’s a chance we might get
something quite special so I’ve got to admit I feel like a bit of a tool
wearing this Hawaiian shirt but brent was kind enough to buy this for me just
so that we could shoot that little skit earlier and he he can de did it on the
insistence that I wear it for the whole day so you know I got a shield face and
not not take it off what do you think they look do a lot cool in this chicks dig Hawaiian shirts right okay we
have we have fire our attempts to set fire to those methane or methane bubbles
were really quite pathetic this is not my idea this was Brent’s idea I’m
absolutely loving this light that we’re getting right now but this beautiful
pink stripe going all the way across these Peaks here especially like the one
at the end that little peak because it’s got that dark gray almost blue
contrasting dark cloud behind it which makes it pop all the more I love this
foreground how this rivers just flowing into the scene lenticular clouds that
are lighting up so glad we stuck around and changed our perspective from
shooting in that direction to cheering in this direction I hope we get another
10-15 minutes of this that just love how this river is creeping in from the left
of the frame into the center and then flowing off into the distance and it’s
framed epically by these lenticular clouds that are coming in and we’ve got
this beautiful it’s almost blew our I would say it’s beautiful light on these
Peaks loads of snow on those which contrasts quite well with these on the
right which don’t have as much snow and I like the layers I like how I’ve got in
the first layer I’ve got the river in the second layer and I’ve got this
mountain here and in the third layer have got these mountains and I guess if
you wanted to say there was a fourth while that’s your lenticular absolutely
tremendous so I’ve got a major case of lens Envy
right now Nick’s got this what is it it’s the 100 to 400 G mask oh it’s
pretty sweet it’s nice to be able to just reach out grab stuff from like 3
miles away yeah you just showed me some of these
shots and it’s so juicy did you see the good one yeah oh it’s on
the air in a good way is it about to see there’s lens cloth juicy and then
there’s 100 400 G master juicy and this is the goodness well I had a little bit of a disaster as
to be expected I fell on my ass for something like the 8th time because
we’re prancing about on the snow and the ice it’s very very slippery so I fell I
had the 24 to 105 on with the metal ones adapter on this camera and it smashed
and hit the ice and I was thinking oh my god I’ve broken my camera or broken my
lens anyway luckily I guess it’s lucky all that got smashed was this meta bones
adapter which was never the best adapter and it’s kind of old doesn’t even
translate autofocus so I was always kind of on the verge of getting a better one
but he just means that on this trip I can’t use any of my canon glass now
which is a bit of an a bit of an annoyance because I like that 24 to 1 or
5 zoom however luckily Nick page has all of the best Sony G master lenses so
maybe this is a good excuse to get in to lend me some of his toys anyway so I’ve
got my zeiss batis back on the camera and managed to get sort it out and put a
new lens on just in time for that bit of light that kicked off and here’s the
shot that I just managed to get very happy with that
and yeah so all they know about a fantastic day good company good pictures
lots of adventures my back’s a little bit sore from all the Falls but it was
worth it so I think now it’s a burger and a beer time maybe some pizza
tomorrow’s another day what time we getting up tomorrow
Haffner Creek we don’t we can sleep in tomorrow yeah all we can sleep in
tomorrow no sunrise