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An intimate landscape photograph of the Candian Rockies on a cold winter morning that created steam on the river

Frozen Jaws – 2021

During the winter of 2021, I was in the Canadian Rockies with a friend for a week. In the weeks leading up to the trip, we spent a good deal of time exploring new areas on Google Earth and setting some goals for images we wanted to shoot. Having studied various weather models in the days before the trip, it was clear that the unseasonably warm temperatures that occupied the Canadian Rockies before our arrival would disappear as the polar vortex began to push south into Western Canada.

We woke early on our first morning, gathered our gear and jumped into the car, heading for our first sunrise location. As we left, the temperature that had been sitting at a balmy negative 16° Celsius in Canmore plummeted to 26° below 0 when we arrived at our sunrise shoot. Even though these temperatures quickly brought ice to my beard, the cold temperatures were causing steam and mist to rise off the open water at our location. However beautiful conditions were that morning, there were blue skies, and we left that location with nothing to show for our efforts. As we jumped back into the car, we wondered where we could kill a blue-sky day making photographs and I indicated that Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park might be a good bet if it had frozen over. We agreed and began the long trek to Field, British Columbia. As we approached the small town, we noticed that the sun had just come around a mountain and was flooding the cold valley with the first warm, beautiful light of the day. This was causing a lot of steam to come off the creek system. We pulled over immediately and both made serendipitous images that would be some of our favourites of the trip.

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