Shooting fish in a barrel or the easy way to take nice photos

Dan jurak, Banff, Bow Lake, winter, travel alberta, landscape, ice, cold, sunrise, reflection,

I returned last night after having spent two days in the mountains.

My plan was to try my hand at seeing the mountains in black and white during the white season, winter. More on that in a later post.

My first day was uneventful. The light was terrible and the snow looked old. I snapped off a few frames out of curiosity. You never know for sure until you see the image on your monitor and once I did I promptly deleted them.

The thing about photographing landscapes is that to a great degree you are at the mercy of the elements. You can improve upon the scene in shooting and manipulation but if the bare bones of a good image isn’t there it isn’t there.

Monday night I didn’t sleep well. At 3:00 a.m. a car alarm went off in the parking lot of the lodge I was staying at. I beeped and beeped and beeped and beeped. It beeped for so long that I was seriously contemplating getting up, checking out of the lodge and trying my hand at shooting the winter milky way. Before I got up the alarm suddenly turned off. By then I was almost awake and pretty much lay in bed until 6:00 a.m. rolled around and I got out at the time I originally had planned.

The stars were twinkling as I made my way out of town and drove the icy road toward the lake I had visited the evening before. By the time I pulled into the parking lot next to the lake the eastern horizon was lightening and the once bright stars were quickly fading. I made a thermos full of “instant” cappuccino in my room an hour earlier and poured myself a cup as I watched the sky gradually brighten.

I am not sure how long I sat watching the scenery slowly change before I grabbed my camera gear and made my way to the lake shore. My truck thermometer read -12 Celsius and there was no wind so it wasn’t terribly cold. Not if you are properly dressed and having lived in Alberta all my life, I know how to dress properly for our winters.

Long story short, the sun rose and a thousand pictures were to be had. My only concern was that there weren’t enough clouds. I would have liked them over the mountain and that the ice was too thin to get near the edge of the water safely which made more a messy foreground. Anyway, I shot a gazillion photos. So many that even I found it difficult to pick one over the others.

Ladies and gentlemen this is why you see landscape photographers  ONLY photograph places like this, because it is so easy. Very little to no talent is required. I could take a group of beginners to this spot and make them all look like artists and make a lot of money to boot. LOL

This is fun. This is easy. This is NOT what I envision when I see myself outdoors. I will always take photos like this. It’s kind of like when you eat healthy you once in a while sneak a box of potato chips and a few chocolate bars. I like it but not a steady diet of it.

If you are interested I will be offering photo tours in the new year. You can sign up on the form to the left of this post.

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on November 19, 2014.

2 Responses to “Shooting fish in a barrel or the easy way to take nice photos”

  1. where is the sign up form – you have to fix it – what am I going to do?
    Lovely gold on the water Dan

  2. Ah well, yeah, Ray, it doesn’t seem to be there. Keep checking back will ya? 😉

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