A Magic Wintry Morning in Alberta

landscape, winter, high key, landscape, frost, snow, Alberta, Dan Jurak,

It was a few weeks or a few months since I picked up the camera and made my way out of town.

For the past few days we have had very humid and overcast skies with very little wind. The result was that all of Edmonton and I think the surrounding area looked like something out of a Christmas card. A landscape sprinkled with icing sugar. Everything was covered in a thick white coating of frost. It has been many years since I have seen a hoar frost so thick and heavy.

The forecast looked good for Wednesday morning. More frost, no winds and clearing late in the morning. The thing about photographing foggy, frosty days is that you still want enough light to give direction to light and shape to the landscape. Without it, things are flat. Very, very flat and unattractive.

At this time of year happily the sun doesn’t make its arrival until 8:30 a.m. and being an early riser I was up a couple of hours early so I wasn’t rushed to get up and get going.

The only constraint that I had was that I needed to be home by 11:00 a.m. to pick up one of my daughters to drive her to the local transit station to get to university. Two hours of photography would be plenty of time for me.

Around 8:00 a.m. I was in my vehicle making my way northwards and out of town. The clouds overhead were still very thick and it was darker than I had hoped. Fifteen minutes later and I was standing outside the Rav, camera and tripod in hand taking pics and slowly making my way farther north.

It was  a pretty sight. Everything from grasses, to leaves and trees to utility lines and poles was white. Still with the sun very low one object blended into the other.

The fog was so thick in places that visibility at times was reduced to a hundred meters or so. If I didn’t recognize the landmarks around me I would have certainly been lost. It was only when you were close to a farm house or barn that you could see it. Kind of like driving in a white tunnel.

To get to where I wanted to go I needed to cross a highway and with that there was the danger of being t-boned by a vehicle speeding along and me driving into its path. When I approached the highway I opened both passenger and driver window, shut off the radio and heating fans so that I would be able to hear any approaching vehicles in the fog. Happily I made it safely across the highway looking for familiar trees and buildings.

It is at times like this that nature has the great ability to isolate things one from another.

Slowly I made my way to a large poplar tree that I knew was at the side of the road. Still with thick fog and clouds overhead there was not much direction to the light.

I got out and quickly grabbed the photo at the top of this post deciding to process it in black and white rather than the color that it was taken in.

I have thought many times over the past few weeks making a trip or two to the mountains and have yet to go. The mountains in Alberta are certainly beautiful but more and more I am drawn to my back yard.

Here I am almost guaranteed of being the only photographer along my travels. I saw a photograph last week of Abraham Lake, the place I blogged about previously and it made me sad to see a half a dozen photographers on various places on the lake taking pictures. With so many beautiful places in Alberta, some photographers are almost like artists doing a paint by numbers set. It is almost as if it is not creativity but more a case of follow the leader and I find that sad.

We have all been gifted with a unique way to see but few of us choose to exercise that gift.

This morning was wonderful gift to me from mother nature and by the way I made it home with plenty of time to spare to pick up Haley to get to the LRT.

More photos from this day in following posts cause I took too many again it seems, even after editing them.

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on January 25, 2017.

5 Responses to “A Magic Wintry Morning in Alberta”

  1. Thank you for the “icing photo”. I went out on Monday and Tuesday afternoon driving along 199, 184 and 215 street south towards the river and taking side roads. It was great, no Sun, beautiful. Just now, I am hesitating between going out again (sunny this time) or to sit and edit these 60+ images I have taken. Well, I want to let you know that you were not the only photographer out there. In fact, I met one somewhere there but he did not leave the car preferring to take pictures through the window. Not my way except when I photograph a bear.

  2. Hi Zbigniew, you are probably right there were more people out there today but when visibility is limited to one hundred meters or so who would see them? 🙂

    BTW, with the wind that started around lunch time I think most of the frost will have been blown off by now. These are special days that we have and they don’t last for very long it seems.


  3. THIS is storytelling as it should be …

  4. So beautiful

  5. Thank you Sandy.

    We live in such a beautiful province here in Canada.

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