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A landscape photograph in the Canadian Rockies of moonset over a Mt Murray

Awaken – 2022

Every winter, I try to get out to the Canadian Rockies for several days to chase the light and try and experience and capture the most breathtaking scenery in Canada. I never try to build any expectations of particular photos to provide flexibility to get to the spots with the best chance of light. That said, I always like to arrange the trip around a particular event. This year, I was looking for a location to take advantage of when the setting moon would coincide with the first light of sunrise. After a few hours on Google Earth and PlanIt Pro, I found this scene in Kananaskis Country, Alberta and arranged the trip around this one morning.

Often, clouds or other weather conditions prevent the planned photograph from being realized. But, as the eve of the event arrived, the conditions were looking favourable for the next day, so we planned to give this photo a chance.

As we jumped in the car early that morning, the moon was shining brightly, and there was even a bit of hazy, high-altitude cloud diffusing the light of the half-moon. Conditions held as we got closer to our spot; the excitement was palpable as we pulled up, snowshoed down to the open creek, and set up for this photo. We waited for the moon to set in the middle of two giant mountain peaks. As it did, the pre-sunrise glow from the east began to illuminate the sides of the peaks. As John “Hannibal” Smith said, ‘I love it when a plan comes together.’