The mountains are great… but the prairies will always be my first love

landscape, foggy, winter, snow, Alberta, rural, pasture, frozen, Dan Jurak,

A few days ago was my first trip to the mountains in a few months. It was like coming home visiting the rockies. It always takes my breath away. Everything is grand. Everything is spectacular.

But the best thing about going away I have always found is returning home. There is no more comforting feeling that putting my head on my pillow, having our 95 pound Weimaraner laying on my feet so that I am pinned under the blanket and listening to my wife toss and turn all night. I mean it.

I have been toying with the idea of one day moving to Canmore to be closer to the mountains and wonder how different would the photos I take be?

At home we have the luxury of going out when conditions look great or staying home when they don’t. Away from home you take what you nature presents on that particular day.

One of the secrets of doing landscape photography really well is to get out often, as often as you can. The old saying, “practice makes perfect” does apply here in spades.

Being able to recognize when the light and the weather is requisite.

The prairies to me have always had a subtle beauty. You have to search it out and when you find it, well, it’s like discovering a treasure.

Over the years I have been blessed to have experienced some of the most incredible mornings imaginable. For a few minutes the prairies can rival any place on earth. Moments later you might drive by the same spot and never give a second look.

The photo above is one of those magical places. Situated near open water not far from where I live, this spot often is foggy and frosty when everywhere else is not. I stumbled upon this spot like I usually do, just driving aimlessly around.

Over the years this pasture has changed. Old farm buildings have been destroyed. Hydroelectric lines have gone up. Large industrial complexes now stand where some of my favourite places one were.

As one place changes I find another and that is one of my joys in landscape photography. Always looking to the future for the next, great spot.

Happy shooting,

Dan

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~ by Dan Jurak on January 19, 2018.

5 Responses to “The mountains are great… but the prairies will always be my first love”

  1. It is great to see that staying close to home can still create the magic.

  2. I love the prairies but I guarantee that if I lived in Canmore I would be saying the opposite. LOL

  3. Reblogged this on Travel, Photograph, Experience and commented:
    Dan Jurak’s blog is an ongoing pleasure to read. The really good posts, and there are plenty, have him distilling his personal response to photography in a way that’s heartfelt and yet spare. And his images are equally spare and un-cliched.

    They’re mostly images from his local area, the Alberta plains. These are the northern plains, not quite Iowa flat, but not marquee locations like Banff (a regular focus of his travel work). And these Alberta landscapes have immense diversity in their quiet way … plus, Dan is good at seeing that rough, northern beauty and composing the land’s shape with a spare hand.

    I guess that’s why this image struck me. What a lovely image. And with his comments on shooting locally vs at the well-known travel destinations.

    Having just moved down to San Pedro, I’ve been some new local exploration here. I have an ongoing night series I’m working on of LA Harbor and am spending time in and out of the tidal pools along the Palos Verdes Peninsula, doing long exposures in late afternoons.

    This quote from Dan about doing local work is just where my head is right now:
    “… At home we have the luxury of going out when conditions look great or staying home when they don’t. Away from home you take what you nature presents on that particular day.”
    “One of the secrets of doing landscape photography really well is to get out often, as often as you can. … Being able to recognize when the light and the weather is requisite.”

    And that’s the great thing I’m noticing as well, that when you living a place, you notice when the weather is about to serve up something nice or when tides are low or just an unusual quality in the light. And that motivates you to get out there.

    In practical terms, that means I can go to my current fav locations — or find a new spot, when the weather display and light will give me the most value. And that means my portfolio of good work can continue to expand. No outside photog has the level of opportunity that a local has.

  4. Dan, a great image and a well spoken post. … I really feel it should be shared, I hope you don’t mind me reposted it. I particularly liked your points about shooting locally.

  5. Thank you Tim. Not a problem reposting this with the disclaimer that it’s only my opinion. I am sure there are others who feel differently but it is our differences that make us better.

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