Day 4/21

A Serene Island in Lake Pyramid

I get up at 04:40 which feels quite horrible after barely 5 hours of sleep, to be honest. The ultimate sunrise location is the road to Mt Edith. The road appears to be completely closed off for a few months. Maintainance of these mountain roads can only be done in spring and summer when there is no snow.

Second alternative are the Lakes Patricia and Pyramid, only 10 minutes of driving from my hotel. Both lakes reflect Mt Pyramid in the morning. I first drive to Lake Patricia. Soon, I encounter a few elk with babies on the road. I try to photograph them from the car but this is difficult as the light levels are still low.

One of the baby Elk.

Baby Elk near Lake Patrica, early morning in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Lake Patricia is nice, but I decide to continue to Lake Pyramid first. In the middle of the lake is an island you can walk to via a bridge. Carefully, I pass the bridge and explore the island. I am a bit afread of bears hiding here, but soon I have explored the complete island and am sure none of them are hiding here.

Photographing from the island does not seem to be the best option and I choose to use it as a photographic subject instead. I wait an hour for a little after sunrise as the light is hold back behind some mountains for the first 10 minutes or so. As soon as Mt Pyramid is lighted by these early rays of warm light, I start to photograph.

Mount Pyramid reflected in Lake Pyramid.

HDR impression of Mount Pyramid reflected in Pyramid Lake, early morning in spring.

Horizontally is possible as well.

HDR impression of Mount Pyramid reflected in Pyramid Lake, early morning in spring.

Quickly after that, I drive back to Lake Patricia.

Aspen Glowing in the Morning Sun

Somewhere halfway, I encounter a bunch of Aspen with their light trunks beautifully lighted by the warm sunlight. I stop for a half hour of tree-trunk photography with various lenses and compositions.

One of the trunks nicely isolated from it’s brothers and sisters.

Aspen forest between Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake, early morning in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

A more general view on the Aspen forest with beautiful lush green vegetation underneath.

Aspen forest between Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake, early morning in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Looking at the sky provides nice treetop patterns, with the trunks pointing towards them.

Aspen forest between Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake, early morning in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

A compressed view of the forest, by using a telelens.

Aspen forest between Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake, early morning in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Using a normal lens it is virtually impossible to get a photograph that is sharp in both foreground and background while focussing on a very close foreground. This is much easier using a wide-angle lens, but the drawback is that a wide-angle lens produces a weird perspective in the case of a forest. In the outer regions of the photograph, trees are bend around the center. By taking a photography with a wide-angle lens followed by cropping, results in a photograph with a kind of normal perspective and sharpness in both foreground and background.

Aspen forest between Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake, early morning in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Ancient Glacial Stones in Lake Patricia

After that, I continue quickly to Lake Patrica because the light is still good and make a nice panorama of the lake with Mt Pyramid in the back. The floor of the lake is covered with round stones, most probably left behind by a glacier somewhere in the past. I take some photographs of the lake, thereby focussing on these stones as foreground subject. By moving up and down with the camera you can determine the distance on the photograph between the mountains in the back and the stones in the front. By moving up, the mountains get positioned higher and the stones lower and when you move down this distance get compressed. This way you can determine composition very precisely.

Glacial stones in Pyramid Lake, early morning in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Early Morning Explorations

After visiting the lakes, I drive around for a while, looking for good spot to photograph Mt Edith, but I am not able to find one. I drive back to Lake Medicine, 20 kilometers further down the road. The mountain goats of yesterday evening are still there but in shade right now. Maybe, I will try to make the 3-portrait again tonight. Lake Medicine itself, is difficult to photograph. There has been light for almost three hours now and I decide to drive back. The light is getting harsher and colder already.

The Sleeping Mind

At 09:00 hours I return to bed and sleep until 13:30. I ask myself how long I will be able to continue this schedule. The total amount of sleep I am getting is only a bit shorter than really necessary. I suspect though, that two short nights has not the same effect as one long one. If it would be better, nature would have made us do that all the time already. Most probably, recovery will not be as good as it should be this way. It is a bit weird to go to bed when every one else is waking up, but it has a nice consequence though. This way I have twice as many ‘days’ here.

Enjoying a Happy Meal

As I am writing this and sorting out the photographs of these past days, I am waiting on a wonderful wild beef burger of bison and elk. This is the first decent meal I am getting since I have arrived. So far, I did not reserve time to sit and eat.

Afternoon Reconnaissance

During the afternoon I explore Jasper surroundings. I drive a little back via Highway 93, followed by Highway 16 on both sides. Mt Pyramid does not look like a pyramid at all from Jasper side, but really does from the western side. Here it is clearly a triangle and now it is clear how this mountain got its name. The mountain is very difficult to photograph from this side, as the road is a very busy one, with few places to stop.

Finally Lake Maligne

In the evening, I drive to Lake Maligne for some nice panorama’s from the surrounding mountains.

Maligne Lake panorama, early evening in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

On the way back, I see some black bears, a sight that is already getting normal. Here is one of them.

Black Bear along Maligne Lake Road, evening in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Soon after, I also see a cariboo couple, that makes for some nice photographs. I can approach the big cariboo male up till 4 meters, for some good head closups.

Cariboo male along Maligne Lake Road, evening in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Here is the male in full glory.

Cariboo male along Maligne Lake Road, evening in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Something is itching back there…

Cariboo male along Maligne Lake Road, evening in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

The female with the smaller set of antlers.

Cariboo female along Maligne Lake Road, evening in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

A head closeup of the lovely female.

Cariboo female along Maligne Lake Road, evening in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

After a while, they are fed up with all the attention and vanish slowly into the woods.

Cariboo male along Maligne Lake Road, evening in spring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

I can not find any specific sunset subjects and decide to drive back to the hotel, to finish my diary of these past days.

Maps, Charts & Downloads

GPS Map with color coded altitude information

Color coded distance/altitude chart

Color coded distance/altitude chart, Canada Spring 2010, Day 4

Download the original gpx file here.

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