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It was my first day in the Canadian Rockies during my 2020 winter landscape photography trip, and I was looking for two things: burnt forest, and a tree buried in snow. I knew that if I found compelling intimate landscape photographs of these things, I could label it a successful trip. Interestingly enough, I photographed both this and Steadfast on the first two days of the trip.
I had photographed the iconic Mount Chephren that morning and decided that I wanted to go check out Tangel Ridge from there. So, I jumped in the car after a beautiful sunrise and headed north up the Icefields Parkway. As I passed Saskatchewan Crossing, it began to register that my shot of a snow-covered tree could be fulfilled here. The snow was getting deeper and deeper as I ventured further north. As I drew near Tangel Ridge though I ran into avalanche control, they had blocked the road to Tangel, resulting in a delay of what could be a few hours. With plans to get back to Abraham Lake for sunset, that wouldn’t fly. I turned around and retreated down the Icefields Parkway defeated. My spirits lifted when I passed a small clearing that I was blind to coming the other way. I saw this small tree immediately and, after finding a safe place to pull over, jumped out with my gear. After wading through waist-deep snow for several minutes, I finally positioned myself for this photograph. I waited for a cloud to pass over the sun, which gave me the perfect flat-directional light needed for this scene.
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