Exotic Alberta? It sure aint the Serengeti Plain
There is a cattle pasture about twenty minutes from my driveway that I make a point of passing by when I’m out shooting landscapes.
I’ve photographed it over the years through the seasons. Yesterday morning I happened upon it just a few minutes before sunrise. Happily there weren’t any cattle in it at the time.
Every time I see it, this little quarter section of land reminds me of the Serengeti Plain in Africa. You know what I mean. The trees on the plain have been manicured and pruned over the years by all sorts of ungulates. Where I live the ungulates are not quite as exotic. Sometimes dairy cattle, other times Hereford beef cattle. I photographed this spot a year ago when the wildflowers were in bloom. That still hasn’t happened this year. Soon though.
When I pulled over to the side of the road the sun was close to the horizon. I guessed that there would be another ten minutes until it came up so I walked around the alder trees looking for a suitable foreground and also a tree to frame the top of the image with. As with the other foggy morning this year, almost no clouds were to be seen. For me that means that I have to crop the image a little lower. All of that blank blue sky above the fog is unattractive. When you do get fog and sparse cloud cover the results can be stunning as the tips of the clouds usually take on the color of the sunrise.
That was not to be on this day. I shot a lot before the sun came up hoping that one of the many different scenes would work for me.
Finally when the sun broke the horizon a beautiful star burst formed around the trees in the distance. With my wide lens there was no way that I’d get close enough to capture it before it disappeared so I continued looking for a suitable foreground and watching the sun rise ever higher.
Then the magic happened. The sun had already been visible for about three or four minutes and still held its’ golden glow. As the sun rose, rays of light started skipping across the dew covered grasses. Snap! That was it. I did a quick 360, looking around and decided to try another place while the sun was not too high.
With Wednesdays’ forecast for cloudy skies and rain, I won’t be out again for another day or two.
We’re entering the prime summer shooting weather on the prairies now with the mountains, at least the lower valleys coming into season in a couple of weeks. I’m thinking of giving that a go. Jasper here I come. LOL
Ps. a little bit of technical stuff. I’m trying out a new camera. Compared to my current, a high end Canon, this thing is incredible. I immediately noticed an increase in dynamic range and at 100 ISO absolutely no grain in the shadows. I’m interested in seeing how well it handles dark clouds, the really dark ones where I sometimes get banding in the grays. So far, the new camera has exceeded my expectations.
No filters were used to get these colors. I’ll keep repeating this for as long as I see BS posts on that filter blog about how great filters are for landscapes. Filters, aside from the occasional use of a polarizer or a neutral density filter are a waste of time and money. Besides, once you filter one of your photos, you can’t UNFILTER it. The damage is done. How many overly dark trees and mountain tops have I seen because the photographer wanted to darken his sky. He/she also darkened everything else above the horizon. Unnatural looking.