Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Moraine Lake

There are a few spots on this earth that really resonate with me as a landscape photographer, and Moraine Lake rarely dissapoints. It is one of those places that have been photographed time and again, and it even appeared on the Canadian $20 bill. I've seen pictures before and after I visited, and they're all beautiful. Very few have photographed the lake in heavy clouds, and even fewer have been lucky enough to get them with patches of sunlight. We awoke through out the night to heavy rain on the roof of the van, and were glad we were warm and cozy. I peered out through the foggy window at some tent campers next to us trying to set some soggy wood on fire with no kindling. The young man was becoming increasingly frustrated, and the wife shivering in her sleeping bag sitting next to the fire ring. I felt sorry for them and went over there with my hatchet and split them some kindling. A few matches later thier fire was going. The young man grumbled something, not even close to a word of gratitude. People. During a breakkfast of eggs and ham, Kristi and I discussed what we had planned for the day. Moraine Lake and Lake Louise were on the menu, but it was still raining. We decided to quit moping around camp.
It was a nice change since it had been so hot, but once we were on the road we could see some snow on Storm Mountain, just a few hundred feet above. I guess in Banff, you never know what you're going to get. We decided to go to Moraine Lake first, to get there early. We found a place to park with ease and upon approaching the lake I was expecting a hoard of photographers lined up along the shore line. I was pleasantly suprised to find no photographers except the occasional point and shooter. What I did find was a group of painters with thier easels. It was really cool to share the shore with them and thier instructor. He was moving back and forth giving tips, and helping mix colors. To see the palette with the raw colors found in the view was pretty special. Then the clouds broke a little and some sunlight shined light on the mountain. I heard the instructor say "Now this is the light photographers want." Just then I pressed the shutter.

 Satisfied, I began to make my way to the overlook. Then the tour bus showed up with about 150 tourists. Oh, well I thought, I had my moment. Fortunately you don't have to get up too early to beat the tour busses, they're in a hurry, and rarely venture farther than the paved walkways. We did return a couple of days later for a final walk along the trail. Again there were very little people there. We heard a peice of glacier crack and fall off, but happened too fast to take a photo. Moraine Lake is one of those idyllic glacial lakes that with the color of the water and snowy mountains stirs the soul and brings the joy of photography home.

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