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Sunset photograph at Castle Mountain featuring some frost flowers on ice and a reflecting pond

Rebirth – 2021

Castle Mountain towers over the Trans-Canada Highway in the Canadian Rockies. It’s a mountain that draws the attention of landscape photographers, including myself. Last year I photographed this mountain in what might be unmatched light and conditions. As we approached this year’s photography trip to Banff National Park, I felt I could check Castle Mountain off my list and didn’t have much interest in photographing it again. I felt like there wasn’t much more I could do with the mountain with a wide-angle lens.

One day, on our way up to the Icefield’s Parkway, we noticed an area that opened up to the mountain in a much cleaner way than the spot that’s typically photographed. After confirming on Google Earth that evening, I began to get excited about the potential there. If I could change things in my photograph of Castle Mountain, it would be the visual flow towards the mountain and the dark, imposing trees on the opposite shoreline. This new area changes all of it.

On our last evening there, the sunset looked like it could be promising for Castle Mountain, so we headed there, threw on our hip waders and snowshoes and trudged through waist-deep snow to try and reach this area. After an exhausting kilometre or two, we made it, and I was taken back at all of the photographic potential in this untouched area. There were so many potential compositions, but we underestimated just how long it would take to get there. The best of the evening light hit, so I set up this composition to take advantage of the light hitting the mountain. One thing is for sure, I left more compelling compositions than this behind, and I’ll certainly be back!

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