The Other Rockies…

castlemtn

Tower Lake with Eisenhower Peak

Look closely at this mountain. It looks familiar doesn’t it?

I had to do a double take. Beautiful and so familiar. Where had I seen this before? Then I read the caption. “Tower Lake with Eisenhower Peak.” That Eisenhower peak?

Why hadn’t I ever seen this view before?

We’ve all seen Castle Mountain on the drive from Banff to Lake Louise. Everyone has seen a calendar or a book on the rockies with photos of this Banff icon. I’d never seen Castle Mountain photographed like this.

Marko Stavric, 30,  is the creator of this image. A resident of Calgary, he makes the mountain parks his back yard, rambling and scrambling weekly and luckily for us posting his images on his website.

He might as well be called Marko Polo, explorer of the Canadian rockies. This guy’s journeys are incredible. Never have I see so many different photos of so many different places in the parks.

I first came upon Marko’s amazing photos on a website devoted to hiking, scrambling and climbing, Clubtread.

Clubtread is a great resource for those curious about the rockies. The reports are always first rate and current. Curious about a hike in your favorite park? Do a search on the website and you will probably find a report there. There it is again, the beauty of the internet. Knowledge that would only be available to an immediate few is now just a mouse click away.

Luckily for us, Marko documents his weekly scrambles in the rockies on Clubtread. It’s like a travelogue for the back country.  With route descriptions and photos, we get a view of seldom visited parts of Jasper, Banff, Kananaskis and Waterton with occasional forays outside Alberta.

lougheed

Mount Lougheed

Marko isn’t a fair weather fan of the mountains. Winter, spring, summer and fall, he’s out there with his camera.

What impresses me is not only the variety of locations he’s visited but the way in which he captures detail large and small. If you want to get an idea of how grand the rockies really are, Marko cleverly has his scrambling companions in some of his foreground shots to give you an idea of scale.

commonwealth

Paulo on the way up Commonwealth Peak with Mount Birdwood on the right

I’ve written many times before on here about the importance of standing apart from the crowd when it comes to making your photography unique. Marko does this by going the extra mile. Few professional landscape photographers go where he does.

To capture a place well,  you can’t visit it once a year and do it justice. Marko has an intimate relationship with his backyard and it shows in his photos. I can’t recall a finer collection of diverse landscapes of the rocky mountain national parks and this includes photo collections of well known Alberta landscape photographers.

Photographers who shoot landscapes for a living could learn a valuable lesson by studying his website. It’s full of places I had never seen before or if I had, they were shot differently, ie, from up high, not meters from the highway. Is it worth the effort to go the extra mile to seek out seldom visited places? Looking at Marko’s website, the answer is most definitely yes!

Rawson Lake Ridge

Marko at summit

Falls near Crypt Lake

Burnt Rock Falls, the most beautiful waterfall on the Crypt Lake Trail

We owe Marko a thank you for keeping a visual diary of his travels. For me, it’s provided inspiration to get just a little further off the beaten track and experience for myself the mountain wilderness. Do yourself a favor and hop over to his website. If you’re like me, you’ll keep coming back and being amazed.

These are definitely the other rockies, the side of the mountains that few ever seem to visit. When you think the national parks have been over photographed and become cliched, along comes someone like Marko who presents his unique perspective. This is what I love about photography.

Happy shooting,

Dan

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~ by Dan Jurak on September 9, 2009.

One Response to “The Other Rockies…”

  1. Terrific images. Will check out his website.

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