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An Autumn Photography Tour of the Canadian Rockies

In late September of 2018 I took a photography tour of the Canadian Rockies and these are some of my personal favorite images.

By: Nick Palastro + Save to a List

In late September on 2018 I took my first trip up into the Canadian Rockies. I did a photography workshop with Brett Wood and Sarah Lyndsay while I was there because I wanted to have to focus on nothing but taking photos and learn while I was going at it. This story shares some of my favorite photos and locations of where I took them! All images were taken with a Nikon d750 and either the Nikkor 16-35 f4 or the Tamron 70-210 f4 lenses combined with a Nisi filter kit. I am constantly editing and adding new photos from locations so give a look over on my Instagram page to see any new shots (@nickpalastro).

Wedge Pond - Sunrise

Our first official sunrise of the workshop we went to Wedge Pond in Kananaskis Country. This small lake was surrounded by golden and bright yellow deciduous trees with dark green coniferous forests behind them. The lake itself was completely still with a slight mist rising off of it which really added towards the crisp atmosphere that morning. Fiery sunlight illuminated Mount Kidd and the surrounding peaks. This was perhaps my favorite morning of the trip. Perfectly serene and calm light.

Three Sisters - Sunset

Another location I loved was in the town of Canmore. The Three Sisters are an iconic set of peaks that can be seen from just about anywhere in the town. For our shoot, we set up along Policeman Creek about a 5 min drive from the town. At the time of the shoot, I made the rookie mistake of accidentally leaving my camera batteries on the charger and I realized this once I pulled my camera out of the bag. I had to sprint back to the car, drive back to the lodge to grab a battery, and sprint back to where we were setting up. Winded, I found my composition and was able to fire off a few shots needed to stack together just as light was fading away from the iconic peaks with clouds moving in. This may have been my personal favorite shot of the trip.

Kootenay Plains - Sunrise

Another sunrise location we shot at was the Kootenay Plains. The weather this morning was simply miserable. Winds were gusting, temps were freezing, and snow flurries were blowing off of the mountain ranges were snow was coming down hard. Despite the conditions, tons and tons of great compositions could be found and I really enjoyed this location. It was a wide area, bleak, but it fit the weather conditions that we got that morning perfectly.

Goat Pond - Sunset

Goat Pond is a part of the Spray Lakes region in Kananaskis Country. This sunset was from our first day together. The lakes are reservoirs but are full of interesting foreground subjects such as this tree stump. With such a large footprint area, it was easy to get away from the crowds and other photographers which at times, can be difficult to do in such a beautiful area as the Canadian Rockies are.

Lake Agnes - Sunrise

We did a hike up to Lake Agnes in the dark to reach the lake by sunrise. Unfortunately the sky was completely flat but the morning blues seemed to make the larch trees glow in the soft light! This may have been my favorite part of the whole trip because of the hike and surreal snowy autumn landscape. There were even signs of a fresh avalanche on the slopes of one of the mountains which was neat to see up close. The early morning hike was the best way to experience Lake Agnes because as soon as it became light outside, people started coming up the trail in droves. Warmup at the Tea House as well once you're ready to move on!

Abraham Lake

Another location we spent significant time at was Abraham Lake along Hwy 11. Abraham Lake is a reservoir but it's color is made up from the glacial rock flower and is a bright aqua blue color. These two images were taken in the afternoon one day when the winds were whipping. About 30-60 minutes off of the Icefields Parkway, there are significantly less crowds and frankly, is just as enjoyable and scenic of a drive. If you've been to New Zealand, it is a similar drive along Lake Pukaki in Mount Cook National Park. If you make your way all the way to the historic mining town of Nordegg, be sure to stop at the Nordegg Lodge for a country style restaurant with humorous local staff and good food!

Thanks for reading and checking out my images!

If you would like to see more pictures of my trip head over to my Instagram linked up at the top...Feel free to ask any questions. Thanks!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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