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I like planning my annual winter trips to the Canadian Rockies around potential moon compositions. This year, it just so happened that the moon would work well in a composition that included Tangle Ridge, a mountain I have yet to photograph successfully. Tangle Ridge is tricky to photograph because it’s in Jasper National Park, about a 2.5 hours drive north of our home base in Canmore. It’s also further west than many of the iconic mountains in Banff and Kananaskis, making forecasting cloud cover difficult. These factors have culminated in a few fruitless trips up the Icefields Parkway over the years.
So when the forecast was for cloud coverage on the morning we were to leave, our 2:45 AM wake-up call wasn’t exciting. But the moon would be potentially in position around 6:45 AM, and because of the distance and the fact that this was the beginning of our trip, we needed to be early.
As our vehicle blazed the trail on the fresh snow-covered Parkway, the moon popped in and out of cloud cover and snowfall. It was beginning to look as if things may work in our favour, if only briefly. As both Andrew and I set up our compositions and began to shoot, the moon blasted through an opening in the snow clouds and created some VERY dramatic conditions. It only lasted for minutes, but as soon as the moon started glowing and casting light beams through all the atmosphere, I knew I had just witnessed something I will not soon forget.
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