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An intimate landscape photograph of a buried snow-covered tree in the Canadian Rockies

Hibernation – 2022

I have been visiting the Canadian Rockies in the winter for four years. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about light in the park and where the snow and ice are usually best. Emerald Lake, for some reason, seems to get some of the best snow in the eastern Canadian Rockies.

Over the years, I’ve explored the lakeshore to find a scene like this one. A couple of years ago, I found an open area that the creek ran into with a few smaller trees that often get partially or completely covered in snow. The fascinating thing about this area is that the boulders and logs around the creek’s edge get covered by several feet of snow, giving them the appearance of dunes. As interesting as that is, I’ve never been able to find the right scene to create a photograph I was proud of. That is, until this year. 

After a successful morning in Kananaskis Country, we drove up to Yoho National Park to check out Natural Bridge. Unfortunately, the ice cave was full of people, so we decided to keep going down the road to Emerald Lake – at least there we could get away from the crowds by throwing on our snowshoes and going for an adventure. It wasn’t long into our adventure that I saw this small scene in the perfect afternoon light.