chadmcmahon
chadmcmahon

Bow Lake Sunrise



I've been wanting to visit Bow Lake to photograph Crowfoot Mountain for years, and finally got my chance on September 1, 2016! It was as beautiful and ser...
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I've been wanting to visit Bow Lake to photograph Crowfoot Mountain for years, and finally got my chance on September 1, 2016! It was as beautiful and serene as I expected it would be. Luckily I was greeted with a fantastic sunrise and there was little wind... Until a freak thunderstorm rolled in about 10 minutes after this photo was taken. My photo titled "Storm's Coming!" shows the scene from a vantage point slightly to camera-right about 2 minutes before I got completely drenched.
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Contest Finalist in 80 Stays Around the World Photo Contest
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Contest Finalist in The Beauty Of Lakes And Rivers Photo Contest
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21 Comments | Report
Chick15 PRO
 
Chick15 September 10, 2016
Lovely shot of a beautiful part of Canada .. We also visited last year but it was in early spring .. Great to see a totally different look.. Great capture!
Beegirl
 
Beegirl October 10, 2016
Such a wonderful capture
petespag
 
petespag October 10, 2016
Wonderful image....well done!
DebbieKMiller81 PRO+
 
DebbieKMiller81 October 24, 2016
Great reflections.
Me_and_my_2_Dogs
 
Me_and_my_2_Dogs December 13, 2016
Stunning capture...great scenery
Witmar
 
Witmar December 13, 2016
amazing picture
Ericfrank
 
Ericfrank December 14, 2016
A stunning photo that captures mountain drama, great reflections.
Snaphappy1204
 
Snaphappy1204 December 14, 2016
Stunning
AliAlzuhair
 
AliAlzuhair December 15, 2016
Amazing work!
StevenWalker7270 PRO+
 
StevenWalker7270 February 03, 2017
Love this shot. good job.
PolinaMaffei
 
PolinaMaffei April 13, 2017
Amazing shot!
flawlessfoucs_photography
 
This is amazing
traceygodby PRO
 
traceygodby May 25, 2017
Amazing
justinstarr Premium
 
justinstarr July 05, 2017
Gorgeous!
BreeDormuth
 
BreeDormuth July 07, 2017
Beautiful!! It looks like waterton !!
ryandaw
 
ryandaw July 08, 2017
Great capture of Bow Lake, it's hard to get a day where the water is this still here
Jennz222
 
Jennz222 July 29, 2017
Gorgeous!
donanzinger PRO
 
donanzinger August 26, 2017
WOW!
kristitimmons
 
kristitimmons September 19, 2017
Absolutely breathtaking!
isabeluffey
 
isabeluffey October 09, 2017
Stunning
beverlylynn
 
beverlylynn April 23, 2018
Truly incredible!

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken on the North shore of Bow Lake Alberta, Canada in Banff National Park, facing South toward Crowfoot Mountain about 30 meters south of the Simpson's Num-Ti-Jah Lodge.
Time
This photo was captured about 30 minutes after sunrise at 7:26am on September 1st, 2016. I arrived at Bow Lake right before sunrise at around 6:30am to scout out locations. After some test shots in various locations around the shore which didn't quite 'feel' right, I stumbled across this composition with the 3 boulders completing the foreground of the composition.
Lighting
The forecast called for a partly cloudy morning, which in my experience tends to produce some of the most dramatic and beautiful skies and best overall light. Luckily the sky put on a show and it was pure magic! I always love capturing mountain landscapes in the "golden hour" period immediately before and up to about 1 hour after sunset. It also tends to be the most serene, still, and tranquil time. However, as I was capturing this photo, a large thunderstorm was brewing to the South-West. I was so focused on this particular composition that I didn't even notice until it was almost too late. If you look closely at this photo, you'll see the edge of the storm forming on the right edge. I noticed the storm just in time and captured another photo from this vantage point facing slightly South-West (On ViewBug entitled "Storm's Coming" - https://www.viewbug.com/photo/68358187). That photo was captured exactly 15 minutes after this capture, immediately prior to me and all my photo gear getting drenched! Luckily my camera body and lens are both weather sealed!
Equipment
This photo was captured using my Sony A7II full-frame Mirrorless camera, using my Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L USM lens at 17mm. The Canon lens is adapted to my Sony camera via a Metabones Canon EF to Sony E mount Mark IV adapter. I also used a Singh Ray warming circular polarizer, which added an extra punch of warming light to the image. My tripod is a Giottos VGRN Aluminum tripod with a ball head. The camera settings for this capture were: 3.2 seconds shutter speed at an aperture of F/22 to ensure the full scene from the foreground boulders to the background mountain are in focus.
Inspiration
I've seen some absolutely amazing photos of Bow Lake and Crowfoot Mountain, including some inspiring photographs here on ViewBug. I've always wanted to go there myself. There's something magical about this place, from the stillness of the lake, to the menacing face of Crowfoot Mountain, to the gorgeous reflections you can capture in the golden hour at sunrise.
Editing
The RAW image image was edited initially in Adobe Lightroom CC to adjust the white balance, exposure, tweak the highlights and shadows, increase contrast, and selectively adjust the individual color saturation levels to bring out the oranges and yellows in the image. The image was then brought into Photoshop CC to apply some additional tweaks using Nik's Color Efex Pro 4 and some selective vignetting.
In my camera bag
My go-to camera is the Sony A7II. It's a phenomenal full-frame camera with a 24MP sensor. While it doesn't have the accolades of it's big brother the A7RII, I find it more than enough for me with a very high-quality sensor, capable of providing extremely sharp images with plenty ability to recover shadows and highlights. Being a mirrorless camera also allows me to adapt my Canon EF lenses using my Metabones Canon EF to Sony E Mark IV adapter. My lenses are a combination of Canon EF lenses and native Sony FE lenses. For landscapes I rely on my Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L USM lens and my Canon EF 70-200mm F/4L IS USM lens adapted to my A7II with the Metabones adapter. For portraits and photos of the kids, I use my Sony FE 85mm F1.4 G Master or the Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA. For general every-day use, I use the Sony kit lens - the FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS. I also own a Singh-Ray Warming Circular Polarizer, which I use for almost every landscape picture. I absolutely love the warm punch it gives to the light when in ideal lighting conditions. I also have 3-stop and 6-stop B+W Neutral Density (ND) filters to allow for slow shutter speeds, plus a monster 10-stop Hoya ProND 1000 ND filter. My tripod consists of a very basic Giottos VGRN Aluminum tripod with a ball head. It's certainly not the most stable tripod, but it gets the job done!
Feedback
My advice for capturing similar images is to plan ahead. Plan and scout out where you would like to position yourself ahead of time (if possible), and view similar images captured by other photographers of the location to gain inspiration, lighting and composition ideas Most importantly, have FUN! Even if I'm unable to capture an image I'm happy with, I always enjoy the experience of capturing landscape photos. There is nothing in the world like sitting alone experiencing a gorgeous sunrise with nothing but the sounds and views of nature at it's best in one of the most beautiful locations on the planet! Don't capture the scene; experience the scene!

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