What a gorgeous mother griz in Kananaskis, Alberta. Too bad the park rangers there are the worst you might ever encounter!
A great blogger friend of mine once told me not to apologize for leaving, so I will just say – farewell, and see you soon!
I shall post when I have internet access again this summer.
But do not fret, my sister and my friend will be here to keep you company once in a while as well.
See you all in August!! Happy travels!
I really need to play around with this Nikon DSLR before I head out in less than a week to Yellowstone and Grand Teton.
Wildlife will of course be my #1 priority, I’ll attempt landscape when I can too.
Here are a few tips I have learned from the past 2 years practicing wildlife photography:
1. Always find something to stabilize your camera.
I often roll up my window half way in order to rest my camera on the pane. I also often use a tripod, but sometimes it doesn’t work out, since some wildlife comes right up to the road, and I don’t want to take my chances out of the car.
My father also gave me a pad to help rest my camera on the window of my car.
2. Stay cool, calm and patient if the wildlife is near (just stay cool and calm all the time anyway!)
I’ve seen a few crazy tourists run up to wildlife and, thankfully, it has only ever ended up with the wildlife being chased off. It’s a bit disturbing and frustrating what tourists will do to get close to dangerous and unpredictable wildlife for a quick picture.
3. Be aware of your surroundings.
A funny experience happened as about 30 people were happily shooting photographs of a beaver in Yellowstone. And as they were all focused in the beaver, I was observing the surrounding area, when – ta daaaa – a white wolf popped out of the bushes and proceeded to swim across the river, where the beaver was posing, perhaps 8 feet away. I think I was the victorious one, capturing the wolf’s dip and then able to grab a few beaver photos after.
Plus – you should always make sure you are safe from sneaky animals. Those bison are so huge, yet so quiet when they saunter over toward your car…
4. RESPECT the wildlife!
It’s hard not to have an impact on the behaviour of an animal close to the road. Just make sure you stay out of the way, don’t startle it, and listen to the park rangers if they are around. Don’t be an idiot and feed them. I’ve seen that too many times in the very short months I have been photographing.
5. Time it right!
The beloved golden light that appears with the sunrise and sunset. The best time to photograph anything! And also the best time to spot wildlife, as most of these guys love resting in the day.
Just can’t wait to get up at 4:30am every morning this summer, sans coffee. NOT!
6. Practice, practice, practice!
Check out these two photos of a grizzly bear in Kananaskis, Alberta. The first one was taken 2 summers ago, the second was from last summer. (not the same bear, but same lighting and location).
I hope this means that my grizzly shots will be 3D this summer! hah.
With all I have picked up over the few months I’ve been photographing wildlife, I still have a long way to go. And I still need a great camera!
This shy little gal seemed so awkward and nervous every time my camera clicked. Those long gangly legs looked as though she would trip over her own hooves at any moment!
Can’t wait to see these silly creatures again this summer!
The countdown is ON!
It’s not often that people recommend an area called Kananaskis, which is not at all far from Banff – a half an hour SE of Canmore. But after two summers of visiting Alberta parks, I must say that my favorite (so hard to choose) is Kananaskis.
For starters, K-Country, as it is known, is not the tourist trap that you encounter when you arrive in Banff and it has a unique, almost spooky feel to it when you drive over Highwood Pass, through the looming mountains.
In the winter, this place is great for skiing and people invade one of this large land-use area’s provincial parks – staying at the Delta Ski Resort (which once housed both 1988 Calgary Olympic events and a G8 summit) and head out on Mount Nakiska. I have only been in the summer, of course, for bear watching!
Kananaskis is fantastic for biking. There is an extensive cycle trail set up that covers much of the front-country wilderness, showcasing its numerous, beautiful campsites in the process. Watch out for chipmunks!
That all said, what makes Kananaskis truly special for me is the mountain range that just seems so eerie and peaceful at night. When I was staying at the Interlakes camp site, between Upper and Lower Lakes (absolutely gorgeous!), my favorite time of day was dusk. So quiet, so few people: just the smooth, calm lake and the sound of the loon….oh so very Canadian 🙂
I thought one of my posts since my return from a month and a half in wilderness should fittingly be on camping comforts. One such comfort I became very familiar with was the outhouse. One place I was careful not to come in contact with the seat.
One huge difference I noticed when traveling from the US (Wyoming and Montana mostly) to Canada (Jasper, Kananaskis, and Waterton) was the smell in those lovely waste heaps. It is amazing how fresh and clean these ‘houses in Wyoming and Montana are. Some had fresheners trying to mask the dirties, but others, it was a mystery…they just didn’t smell at all.
Canada, on the other hand….phewwww. I could barely do it. The tall grasses looked more appealing when I was there. I saw the fresheners in Canada, tried to appreciate the cedar wood smell featured it some of the ‘houses. But POW in the face when you went to one in Canada.
Please tell Parks Canada your secret National Parks Service of the USA. My nose will be better for it.
Stop and smell the roses…