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A landscape photograph of a beautiful sunrise at Castle Mountain in the winter

Torch – 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 winter, I was back in the Canadian Rockies for a week, with 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 allows the sun to light up the eastern edge and the clouds above. Luckily, this was the forecast on my second morning there. With clear skies near Calgary and cloudy conditions at Castle Mountain forecasted, I knew I had a good shot at making a better photograph than I had from last year at Castle Mountain.

I got up that early the next morning and drove the 45 minutes to location, did the short hike down to the Bow River shoreline and found interesting snow textures created by a small boulder field. As it was still dark, I shone a light using the approximate angle the sun would be striking the snow, giving myself an idea of where the light would lead the eye once the light hit. After tweaking my composition using this method, I was ready for whatever the light was going to do. But nothing could have prepared me for the incredible light show that was going to happen that morning. For almost half an hour, the light illuminated the clouds, the mountain, and snow with beautiful morning light. Then, to top it off, a bank of fog moved through the midground, creating gorgeous atmosphere in an already breathtaking scene.

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