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A landscape photograph of Castle Mountain in the Canadian Rockies under morning light

Rise – 2020

Since visiting Castle Mountain in the winter of 2019, I knew I needed to go back and try and get better conditions. This past January, I was back in the Canadian Rockies for a week with friends and a lot of snow and overcast weather forecasted. When this happens, you are best to stick as close to the eastern edge of the mountain range as you can in hopes that you get clear skies out on the prairie and foothills near Calgary that allow the sun to light up the eastern edge and the clouds above. Luckily, this was the forecast on our last morning there. With clear skies near Calgary and cloudy conditions at Castle Mountain forecasted, I knew I had a good shot at making a nice photograph of my favourite mountain in Banff National Park.

We got up that early the next morning and drove the 45 minutes to the location, did the short hike down to the Bow River shoreline and set up our compositions. As the sun lit up the clouds over the Banff townsite, we anxiously waited for the same to happen above our mountain. Only it never really materialized, so close! Disappointed that we’d ended on a low note, we packed up and headed back for the vehicle. On the way back to the car, though, the sun peered through the clouds illuminating the peaks opposite Castle Mountain. The most incredible light mixing with beautiful cloud play was happening across the valley, so we threw on telephoto lenses and spent the next hour sniping different compositions like this one of the incredible light and atmosphere. The best part of the Rockies in the winter seems to be the ability to shoot all day long.

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