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One thing I share with guests in my landscape photography workshops is that wildfire smoke is the one factor that can really ruin a good plan. My summer workshops are supposed to be full of supercell thunderstorms, the Milky Way in the darkest skies in Canada, and great landscape photography in some of the most unique geology in Canada. My 2023 workshop was anything but this. Wildfire smoke moved in early on during the workshop, and while we did what we could to optimize our week in southern Saskatchewan, we couldn’t lose the smoke.
We could have sat in the hotel and pouted about it, but instead, we made the best of it and explored what we could accomplish with our telephoto lenses in what we affectionately called ‘fog’. The trip highlight for me was the Great Sandhills in southwest Saskatchewan. While the smoke was challenging, the quality of the light on the dunes was something I’d never seen before. The colours were incredible, and the light was very soft but with lots of dimension. Even in the smoke, images are everywhere.
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