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Landscape photography usually takes a backseat during our summer family camping trips to the Rockies. I don’t plan specific photography outings, race out to a sunset location, or get up early for sunrise. These trips are about being in the moment and enjoying beautiful places with my family. That said, the camera is always with me to either document the trip or create when something piques my interest.
This past summer, our trip started simultaneously with a weather shift. The day before we arrived, temperatures were nearing 30 C in the mountain parks (uncomfortable hiking and camping weather). However, on our first day, a low-pressure system moved in, bringing a seismic shift in the weather for the rest of our trip (so much so that we actually got snowed on while on one of our hikes above the treeline). The weather was absolutely wild. Wild weather in the mountains comes with ample opportunities for photography. On our way to a hike one more, the cloud and light play on the mountains along the Icefields Parkway was too much for me to handle – I needed to stop and get out.
As it happens, I lucked out and spotted these tiny trees on a giant rock face with my 400mm lens. I took several photos, trying to time the perfect moment and came home with this image of incredible light and drama swirling around these trees, barely hanging on to their existence. A beautiful moment for sure but for me, it spoke to the inconsequential nature of this scene. Most of the time, these trees sit in obscurity on the mountain side and then, only once in a while, something happens that allows them tell their story. However, even when all the elements come together that allow this to happen, it’s rare that anyone would be there to listen, given the enormity of the environment around them. But they’re still there, day after day, doing exactly what they were designed to do.
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