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A landscape photograph of Ex Coelis Mountain on Abraham Lake with bubbles and ice textures

Preacher – 2021

While planning for our 2021 winter landscape photography trip to the Canadian Rockies, I set a few goals for images or areas I wanted to explore.  The main goal I had was to explore the aspen groves growing on the shores of Abraham Lake. In the fall, the water of Abraham Lake flooded these same aspens, leading to some incredible photographs of the area. I hoped to find a spot where the water had remained high enough that the cold winter temperatures created interesting ice around the base of these aspens. Upon arrival, it was evident after a short exploratory mission that this scene no longer existed. The water level had dropped significantly, leaving the only ice I could find on the lake. I still made a couple of photographs that afternoon that I was happy with (Queen and Inimical from in this gallery), but I had an eye on Ex Coelis Mountain and the sunset light.

As the evening light began to improve, I set out on the lake and hunted for a compelling foreground. I was nearly two kilometres away from the vehicle and my friend at this point, but I assumed he would be shooting sunset for a while anyway. As I finished up this shoot, I heard my name bouncing off the mountains – my friend was looking for me. With no cell service, I shouted back but to no avail. I saw him in the distance wandering lakeshore, desperately trying to find me. Immediately I assumed the worst and packed up quickly and tried to get in earshot. We finally connected again, and I asked him if someone stole the vehicle or something. Thankfully, he was just worried that I had slipped on the slick ice and had broken something – everything was fine.

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