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A landscape photograph of Mount Kidd at sunrise in winter in the Canadian Rockies

Watchman – 2021

Mount Kidd in Kananaskis Country has always eluded me. I experienced a beautiful sunrise at Wedge Pond back in the fall of 2020, but I haven’t had much luck with getting great conditions during winter in the creek several miles away. Most years, the area lacks either snow or light, but there were reports that this year the mountains had received good snowfall and, even with warmer temperatures in the days leading up to our 2021 landscape photography trip to the Canadian Rockies, that this area, in particular, had retained some of it. Knowing all of this, the spot still wasn’t a priority (due to our low success rate there), so it remained on our “alternate” list.

After a successful first day in the Rockies, albeit with clear skies, I spent the night studying weather models to determine our best option for the next morning. I poured through different models, and almost every one of them showed one thing – another blue sky day. All models save one. One model predicted 30% coverage of low clouds right at sunrise. They seemed to think that the best spot to take advantage would be at Mt. Kidd.

As we drove towards this area that morning, there was nothing in the sky. I expected another blue sky morning and began to think about what kind of abstract or intimate photography I could attempt where we were going. As we got closer to Mount Kidd, though, a small cloud began to bank itself up against the mountain. The closer we got, the more the clouds began to move in until the low-altitude clouds littered the sky. When we arrived, we searched for a foreground that would complement the mountain, and I stumbled across this ice heave that leads beautifully to the glowing peak behind.

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