Astotin Lake in the Rain

long exposure, Astotin Lake, Dan Jurak, low key, fineart, fine art, black and white, black & white, Elk Island, national park, rain, clouds, low key

I hadn’t planned on taking any photos today but seeing the heavy clouds as I drove one of my daughters to her job in the morning changed my mind.

June in central Alberta is usually a very wet month. It’s been relatively dry this spring and the rain is a welcome thing.

Weather is a landscape photographers greatest friend, that and sunlight. The clouds this morning were of the low and dark variety but yet it wasn’t raining. Perfect I thought for trying a few photos of Astotin Lake located in Elk Island National Park about fifty kilometers from where I live.

Elk Island has geological features that make it different from its surroundings. During the last ice age huge mounds of glacial moraine were left. The resultant landscape is rolling interspersed with lots of lakes and sloughs. Being a short drive I figured that I’d be able to beat the rain ( I was driving from the direction the weather was coming from) and try out a few different things.

Long exposure photography is still very new to me and I cannot yet consistently predict results in camera. I had wanted to get the water looking glassy smooth and whatever happened to the sky, well, it is experimenting for me.

My windshield got the occasional drop of rain, more of a mist than anything on my way to the park. Half an hour later as I pulled into the parking lot by the main lake the rain picked up. Aaargh. I waited a few minutes hoping that it would subside and when it didn’t I bravely made my way to the waters edge camera and tripod in hand.

My first exposure all five minutes worth was black. I put on a less dark ND filter and waited another five minutes to expose the sensor all the while noticing the wind and the drizzle pick up. Even the new Canada goose parents and their weeks old goslings were getting wet making their way out of the lake and onto the beach. The ever vigilant parents kept an eye on me as their young waddled only meters by me.

My second exposure was a little better. The third too light but salvageable. It is from the third exposure that I made this photo from.

Three exposures in and now it was starting to pour rain heavily. Off I ran to the Rav to turn on the interior fan and heater and home I went to savor a hot cup of coffee.

I must confess that I am having more fun experimenting with long exposures and infrared than I have in years. Maybe color photography had become too predictable and boring.

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on June 13, 2015.

6 Responses to “Astotin Lake in the Rain”

  1. It seems like a master of colour
    has returned to the very basics of
    light and dark with the addition
    I’ll be watching with pleasure

  2. Ray, I wouldn’t say master of anything. More like bumbling along and having fun but thank you for the kind words.

  3. As a big fan of black and white photography what I can say is “Absolutely amazing!”. I love the composition, the processing, the contrast, the simplicity. It reminds me of Michael Kenna and I mean it with the best intention. 😉 Congratulations!

  4. Thank you so much Nadia! I had to Google Michael Kenna to see his photos and I loved his style. Simple. Clean. Dynamic. I absolutely take your words as a compliment and inspiration.

    All the best and thank you for visiting and commenting,

  5. Get well and stay well.

  6. Thank you Bruce.

    It is actually not a bad recovery from surgery. Apart from not lifting anything over 10 lbs for a few weeks this is a cake walk.


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