1. Join the Camping Babble forums today and become an active member of our growing community. Once registered you'll be able to exchange camping photos, stories and experience with other members. If you're still undecided, feel free to take a look around and see what we're all about!

Banff National Park in a Different Light

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Brendan Troy, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. It seems every trip into the mountains is a good one. No matter how long, or brief, to be within the tall grasp of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains is a feeling hard to forget. I have been in the mountains at the crack of dawn, throughout the afternoon and late into the night, but my most recent adventure would be a little different.

    Photography is an amazing thing and I have been enthralled within it for years. With the right light, an image can capture the minds of millions and inspire young and old. Good light to a photographer is like christmas morning, it’s just perfect. Most photographers can’t wait for the early morning sunrise, or the soft light that comes with late evening, but there’s one light source that many seem to disregard and forget about all together. This light source, if found in the right conditions can make some of the most amazing photographs, ones that truly are worth a thousand words.

    As every day comes to an end, our most apparent star, the sun, decides to drop below the horizon where it can bring light to the other side of our massive planet. As this occurs, it gives an opportunity to witness the millions upon millions of other stars that call our galaxy and our universe home. On a clear night, these stars are breath-taking, awe-inspiring, simply unbelievable. They seem to go on forever, so many that counting them all would be an impossible task. These apparent tiny lights found in our huge night-time sky, is the light source that I was hunting on this night. Luckily, with no cloud cover, I was in for a show.

    As darkness fell, a cloudless sky slowly gave way to a window into our far and distant realms. Soon, planets, stars, and galaxies were evident, getting better and better as the sun dipped even further beyond our view. The moon rose, putting most people to sleep, but I was wide awake with a tripod and a camera ready to capture beauty.

    Two Jack Lake with the beautiful Milky Way shining bright above. Photo by Brendan Troy.​

    The first images were some of the best, taken from a popular shore along Two Jack Lake, just outside the Banff townsite. Here, Rundle Mountain stood tall and shined bright with a little help from Banff and Canmore’s city lights. Above Rundle, the Milky Way stretched and sprawled across the sky, and countless stars filled in any open area. This was what I was looking for, Banff National Park, seen in a different light … literally.

    During the night, Moraine Lake, Lake Minnewanka and Lake Louise were also visited. Lake Louise was beautiful in so many different ways. The lake, free from canoeists and tourists, was a sheet of glass, doing its best to imitate a mirror. The mountains were as beautiful as always, but the boardwalk and walkways were the most pretty of all; they were empty. Imagine having that view all to yourself, in the peace and quiet that only the dead of night can provide. Often thought of as one of the most amazing views in North America, it’s hard to imagine having it all to yourself.

    Myself admiring the beauty of Lake Minnewanka under the night sky. Photo by Brendan Troy.​

    As my shutter slowly open and closed, usually within 30 second intervals, Banff National Park came alive at 2:00 am. With no sun in the sky, no headlights, flashlights or street lights, each scene was illuminated by the moon and the stars. As the night continued, I only wished for more time to venture into new areas, new places to photograph and new subjects. Sadly, as everyday has started on time for millions of years, so too would this one. 5:00 am came by incredibly fast and there was my old friend again, peeking out from above gargantuan mountains. As the sun woke up, the stars went to sleep and my adventure was complete.

    I was lucky enough to end my overnight escapade at Moraine Lake, truly a gem in our Canadian Rockies. I sat atop the moraine, where millions, if not billions, of others have stood and set up my camera. Though the stars were gone, I had one more opportunity to view greatness, and hopefully capture it through a camera. Moraine Lake in the foreground, mirroring the Valley of the Ten Peaks in its azure water, and the peaks themselves turning fiery red in the early morning sunrise.

    I packed up my camera, took my bear spray off my hip, this had been my security blanket throughout the evening, and headed back to the car. Only once I got to my car did the droves of tourists come piling in. I hoped they might catch a glimpse of those fiery red mountains, but the sun was gaining power and was higher in the sky, so many people would miss what I saw only 20 minutes before. I drove back to Calgary satisfied, and tired, and began to think of my next adventure. It might just involve more stars.

    Moraine Lake shines in the vibrant morning light. Photo by Brendan Troy.​

    Though more dangerous, an adventure during the night can be beautiful and incredibly peaceful. Unfortunately, living in Calgary means that you must get out of city limits before you can appreciate the stars. Strong city light can hide the gorgeous connect-the-dot sky, so be sure to get far enough away. That being said, it’s important to stay near a vehicle and be prepared. Bear spray is always smart to have, and making a lot of noise isn’t a bad idea either. If done properly and safely, viewing the night-time sky can be an absolutely incredible experience. Don’t be afraid to stay up a bit late and see what you’re missing!

    Continue reading...
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page