Canadian Rockies (Jasper & Banff)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by jloden, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Just got back yesterday from a trip to Jasper and Banff national parks to enjoy the Canadian Rockies and 10 days of no cell coverage and nothing but good food, good beer, quiet, and natural beauty to enjoy. I'm nowhere near done processing and sorting all my photos, but I did pick out a few favorites and thought I'd share here. You can also view the full set on Flickr if desired.

    I utterly failed at deciding what to bring on this trip for photography gear, so I brought the X-E1 with lenses, X100S, and my Panasonic GH3 + lenses as well. I learned a couple important things: 1) the Fuji gear did just fine and I never felt like I 'needed' the m4/3 stuff. 2) Never, *ever* bring 2 camera systems again. Absolutely terrible idea and pretty much led to 'paralysis of choice' on a daily basis.

    Anyway, here's some of my selections from the trip, hope you all enjoy.


    #1

    9657639556_5151817d5a_c.
    Sundance Canyon Falls by jloden, on Flickr


    The first night we went to the top of Sulphur Mountain, and were treated to a unique view courtesy of a forest fire adding lots of haze and smoke to the sky for a particularly spectacular and otherworldly sunset.


    #2

    9657643544_09bb1bae5d_c.
    Sulphur Mountain Summit view, Banff National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    As you'll probably see, I made *lots* of use out of the Panorama mode on the X-E1 and X100S this trip - fantastic for this, and very glad I tried it out instead of trying to stitch in PS later!


    #3

    9660521854_c3c4820c7b_b.
    Sulphur Mountain Summit view, Banff National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    I also tortured my long-suffering wife by doing some flash photos this trip (a first for me for travel shots), using the EF-X20 and a Yongnuo TTL cable to get it off camera. I was really pleased with the way that worked out, especially for the size of the flash unit and ease of carrying it around. I need more practice using it but the flash itself worked just fine :tongue:

    #4

    9657669022_78c96d3db9_c.
    Sulphur Mountain Summit, Banff National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    The next day we did a long hike and ended the day with a quick scouting visit to Lake Louise. Here is perhaps the most iconic/recognized scene of Lake Louise, incorporating the boathouse and canoes:

    #5

    9657674332_05e0d013af_b.
    Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    Another first, we resolved to head back to Lake Louise at sunrise the next morning. Normally we sleep in, especially on vacation, but we made a special exception to avoid the crowds and get a special photo op for me (did I mention my wife is long-suffering yet?).


    This is one of the only things I missed about the X-E1; not having something wider than 14mm for shooting in the Rockies. I can't wait for the 10-24mm, especially since it will be able to take filters easily too. Here's one with the Panasonic 7-14mm:

    #6
    9654440869_cfbe161340_c.
    Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    And a shot from the same sunrise, this time with the X-E1 + 14mm and a 10 stop ND filter. This being my first time playing with long exposures, I failed to bring a remote which would have been helpful for using with bulb mode for > 30" exposures.

    #7

    9654443691_41a0d57534_c.
    Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    Lake Louise's slightly less famous sister lake, Moraine Lake. This was actually on the back of the Canadian $20 bill at one point, and IMO is actually prettier than Lake Louise. There's a great view from the rock pile at the end of the lake, and far less visitors than Lake Louise attracts as well :smile:


    #8

    9654446581_f38f4d67b5_c.
    Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    No trip to the parks would be complete without some wildlife as well. Unfortunately my favorite sightings I did not get photographs of (a wolf, and a coyote) but I did get a few opportunities to use the long lenses.

    Many were with the Panasonic 100-300 but I have to say that having shot the 55-200 side by side, the optical edge of the Fuji really narrows the gap in focal length. In retrospect I could have gotten by with the 55-200 as my longest lens if need be - though I'd love to see a longer option for the Fuji eventually.

    There was a mother bear and her 3 young cubs we spotted twice on two different days, foraging and sleeping hanging from tree branches.

    #9

    9654453021_9ab1984cc4_c.
    Black Bear Cub, Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    Bighorn Sheep - this turned out to be the only time we saw them, so I'm very glad I got a few keepers :thumbup:

    #10

    9654451029_2b43fca3ff_c.
    Bighorn Sheep, Banff National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    And for comparison's sake, an elk shot with the 55-200. Note the crispness and clarity, very happy with this.


    #11

    9657698438_782808101f_c.
    Elk, Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    After Banff we moved on to Jasper National Park where we did more hiking and sightseeing. Here is a quick portrait of my wife with the 18-55 @ 55mm, by the shore of Lake Maligne. I didn't do much background blurring this trip (why blur out what you're there to see, after all?) but this one I did and it turned out to be one of my favorites of her.

    #12
    9654459641_cef15aef0c_c.
    Lake Maligne, Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    For our last day in the park, we went up the Whistlers Mountain gondola and enjoyed breathtaking (literally, it was thin air up there!) panoramic views. On our ride up to the top it was completely socked in with white clouds but we waited it out and ended up with the entire summit of the mountain to ourselves for over an hour with totally clear views of the Canadian Rockies ranging on all sides.

    I brought along a "real" tripod this trip (Sirui T-025X) which ended up being great. It took a little more patience, but for once there are actually pictures of me AND my wife on a trip instead of 500 photos of her and one blurry shot of us taken by a bystander, hahaha.


    #13
    9657701468_362ab0c0df_c.
    Whistlers Mountain Summit, Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    And I handed my wife the camera a few times too so I could get a few fun shots of myself, like this one:


    #14
    9654469191_6a0ea0fa46_c.
    Whistlers Mountain Summit, Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    Before we left the summit, I dug the 55-200 out of the bag. Thankfully so, because I ended up getting some of my favorite landscapes of the trip using the telephoto view from the higher vantage point.


    #15

    9654471639_2ec48e7255_c.
    Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    For our last night in Jasper, we went to the edge of town after dinner to watch the sunset and take some more photos (once again, my wife was exceedingly gracious in humoring my photographic pursuits).

    #16

    9654473741_622b9099a0_c.
    Sunset, Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    #17

    9657711588_fbaf93f6de_c.
    Sunset, Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr


    I had a great time on the trip (if you couldn't tell), and I'm really happy with the photos from the trip so far. I'm looking forward to sorting and processing the rest and getting an album and prints done up! The Fujis worked out great and will probably become my new regular travel setup. Overall I had very few complaints or issues and the benefits of the Fuji IQ/output is well worth the effort. In particular, the July FW update made a huge difference. Fast + reliable AF, focus peaking, and the AF Fn button all came in handy. All I'm missing is the 10-24mm!

    Thanks for viewing everyone, hope you all enjoyed!
     
  2. capodave

    capodave FujiXspot Veteran

    432
    Jan 31, 2013
    Mission Viejo CA
    Dave Kavlich
    Beautiful Set.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Solving for X

    718
    Jul 28, 2013
    Wow, Jay! Great pics of some beautiful places!

    I know what you mean about the paralysis. I keep wanting to bring my micro four thirds bag everywhere but I've trained myself to leave it at home except for "special stuff" like the asylum which was all with the GH2. It's just Fuji X100 most of the time now.

    But I know it's quite possible a Fuji "system" is in my future but I'm tapped out with printing and framing for the last two exhibitions, lol -- and truthfully I don't need it.

    Now I need a few sales!!! lol
     
  4. bartjeej

    bartjeej FujiXspot Regular

    139
    Mar 31, 2013
    Stunning set of photos! Looks like an amazing trip. And at least your wife got some very nice photos for all her patience!
     
  5. Penfan2010

    Penfan2010 FujiXspot Veteran

    291
    Feb 1, 2013
    Central-ish NJ
    Ed
    Jay - spectacular series! What a beautiful part of North America. This should be the featured post on the home page. Thanks for sharing these---excellent, excellent nature and landscape photography, very inspiring.
     
  6. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks all! :)
     
  7. bluzcity

    bluzcity FujiXspot Regular Subscribing Member

    175
    Jul 24, 2013
    Memphis, TN
    Brent
    Beautiful set of photographs!
     
  8. pniev

    pniev FujiXspot Veteran

    489
    May 13, 2013
    Great report, Jay. I recognize some familiar spots too.
    I admire your courage to bring 3 camera sets on a hiking trip. ;-)
    Thanks for sharing, Peter
     
  9. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    LOL. Thanks... fortunately I was smart enough to only carry 1 camera for *most* of the hiking haha :p
     
  10. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 8, 2013
    NW corner of CT
    BB
    Wow, Jay - what an incredible trip and your photographs are excellent! I'll definitely look more carefully at them on Flickr, soon. That looks as though it was a fantastic time. I'm thrilled for you and your lovely wife - and that is a wonderful portrait!
     
  11. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks BB :)

    She was really patient, and even suggested this one herself, using the gardens of the Fairmont Chateau at Lake Louise as a backdrop.

    9657684312_740f6feff3_c.
    Fairmont Chateau grounds, Lake Louise by jloden, on Flickr


    My favorite one with the external flash was this one, also shot at Lake Louise:

    9654437535_0d554e6577_c.
    Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta Canada by jloden, on Flickr
     
  12. LisaO

    LisaO FujiXspot Rookie

    18
    Jul 17, 2013
    Wonderful images! I especially like the long exposures. Beautiful place, I was there last summer and have some similar shots (used my D800).
     
  13. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks Lisa :)

    I just checked out your set on Flickr, very cool. We definitely stopped at some of the same places and saw a few of the same compositions :thumbup:

    I did a bunch of long exposures this trip and I think I'm hooked! But I definitely need a remote next time, and another ND filter or two. I was a little surprised to find even a 10 stop filter wasn't quite enough to get the exposure times I wanted in most cases.
     
  14. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 8, 2013
    NW corner of CT
    BB
    Your wife is naturally beautiful and full of grace - and clearly you both enjoyed yourselves! I would love to go out there one day and certainly hope to. Thanks so much, Jay.

    Yes, Lisa has wonderful photographs from her travels - which are many!
     
  15. LisaO

    LisaO FujiXspot Rookie

    18
    Jul 17, 2013
    You are lucky your wife has the patience of a saint. I have to travel by myself, go with other photographers or just get up really early( which is often best) when I travel as my partner has the patience of a flea.
     
  16. Hyubie

    Hyubie FujiXspot Veteran

    206
    Feb 4, 2013
    Weymouth, MA
    Love the colors on your images. I should really try out some dusk/nighttime shots!! And I especially appreciate your posting of the flash portraits -- wonderful how they turned out.
     
  17. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    886
    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    Eric
    Awesome - I'm sure this hits home for many of us here!
     
  18. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Yep, and it's totally worth it! I have done it in the past with a ZipShot tripod which is super fast to set up, but in exchange it's not adjustable nor sturdy enough for heavier lenses or long exposures. The Sirui was a much better tripod, just slower to set up.

    Also word to the wise, if you put the X100S (or X-E1) in auto-select AF area mode and an auto mode like Aperture priority before handing it to people it does an ok job as a "P&S" too. We got a couple nice shots of us together that way when it was too cumbersome to set up the tripod :)