Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Too Much - Bad Back Strikes Back

After almost 2 weeks my bad back decided to let me know it was doing too much. We revisited Moraine Lake to take photos with a lot less snow and ice. 

Moraine Lake

Most of the shots were done but I wanted some from a higher vantage point. Climbing up a steepish slope of loose earth and rocks I twisted slightly and my back went into spasm. It was quite painful and quickly became worse. 

I took some photos but nothing spectacular, my mind seemed to be on other things! On the way back to the car we passed this sign. Lots of Grizzlies in the area so it's against the law to walk the hills alone or in groups of less than 4.

I retired injured and had an hour or so off, resting on the bed back at our hotel. I also took anti-inflammatory and pain killer tablets As well as putting on a heated back support. No more photos.

That was yesterday, today we left Lake Louise and headed along the Icefield Parkway to Jasper, about 150 miles. Lots to photograph but it was quite grey and showery at times.

First photo stop was the Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield. Nice sky but a storm was approaching fast so we didn't linger. My back was painful again, the short walk to the glacier was too much. 

A few more views from the road followed including a couple of impressive waterfalls.

Tangled Creek Falls

Athabasca Falls

Jasper is quite a small place but much bigger than Lake Louise. Managed to find a brew pub that had a very tasty traditional stout. I had a second pint just to check the first one wasn't a fluke, purely medicinal of course.

Back still painful so not sure what we'll do tomorrow.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Lakes and Wildlife in Canadian Rockies

It's Sunday night and we find ourselves in the bar of our hotel in Lake Louise after our 2nd full day here.

Still ice on lots of the higher lakes but others look like it's summer already. Snow on the higher mountain tops too, mostly those over 3000 metres. Snow on lots  of paths through the woods. Quite a few clouds this afternoon but still no rain.

Yesterday we visited Lake Louise, Emerald Lake, Bow Lake and Peyto Lake, fitting in a few short walks around the pictures. 

Bow Lake and Mamiya 7

Emerald Lake

Today we went to Banff, Lake Minnewanka, Vermillion Lakes, Bow Lake and Peyto Lake. The latter two repeats of yesterday but with clouds.

Vermillion Lakes

Bow Lake

Peyto Lake

Banff was a busy bustling town so we just had a quick wizz round before escaping to the mountains again.

We have also managed to see  some wildlife. 2 separate Grizzlies near the road north of Lake Louise, a black bear, several Bighorn Sheep, a pine marten, a Bald Eagle and lots of Squirrels and Ground Squirrels, as well as the porcupine on the first evening.
Bighorn Sheep
All images here were taken on a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone. Most were also taken on my proper camera; Mamiya 7 with either 43mm or 65mm wide-angle lenses. Most photographs were taken on Ilford FP4 120 film. I ran off 1 roll of Ilford SFX infrared film too using Heliopan 715 filters. I get 10 negatives on each roll of film and took 8 rolls today, making 43 rolls exposed so far on this trip since arriving 12 days ago.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Lake Louise First Photos

Today Jan drove us from Kamloops to Lake Louise. Quite a pretty drive through the Rockies but so many trees!

We arrived in the village at 3.30pm.
After checking in and a short break to help my back recover from the journey it was time for photos.

We drove the miles or so to Lake Louise. It was still sunny. Lots of ice on the lake with blue sky above. The mountains were so big and close I needed my widest lens to fit it all in.

I started with the light red filter but feared the dark green trees could be lost so I switched to the polarising filter. Had to adjust the filter effect for both darkening the sky and improving the reflections.

Lots of people around but still managed to take shots without them in view. I think it helped that I was standing in the lake!

Then it was a 7 mile drive to Moraine Lake. The light was good here too although going fast. It was 5.30pm. Some noisy people were ahead but headed straight ahead south along the snowy lake shore. The lake was mostly frozen but I could see some clear water to the left so headed for that hoping for reflections.

The view was just as impressive as Lake Louise. Again big mountains soaring above a small lake with blue skies. I used red and polarising filter as before. Spectacular.

At the car we were greeted by a porcupine. Looked a bit like a badger from behind but slow compared to Derbyshire racing badgers (that's another story).

Friday, 22 May 2015

Return to Vancouver

We left Victoria on Wednesday morning after a leisurely start. We had a great time, really enjoyed the city, surroundings and were well looked after at the Empress Hotel as well as the numerous cafes and bars that we frequented. With a bit more time we would have explored further afield.

No photos in Victoria. I did take a few from the ferry though, all on Ilford 400 Delta as there's no point using a tripod on a boat that's moving up, down and side to side so my FP4 stayed in my camera bag. The best shot was of a ferry coming directly towards us, taken on a dog-leg in the  narrow sea  channel between 2 small islands.

Jolly slow journey back to Vancouver from ferry. So much traffic. In the evening we headed to the West End and Stanley Park. Shots of the Burrard Street Bridge, day and night, as well as the totem poles in Stanley Park.

Today, Thursday, we picked up our hire car and drove to Kamloops, starting in Stanley Park for photos of Canada Place and the Brockton Point Lighthouse.

200 miles later we were in Kamloops in the Rockies. Even better we found the Noble Pig Brewhouse and a jolly nice Mocha Porter!

Tomorrow it's Lake Louise for 5 days. Hope the good weather holds. Just a couple of short showers today as we came through the mountains then spectacular clouds.

Leaving Vancouver Island Ferry Port

Vancouver Stanley Park Totem Poles

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Victoria Day in the Sunshine

Today, Victoria Day, we wandered around the harbour area, watching the tiny water taxis perform their 'water ballet'.

Then on to Victoria's Fisherman's Wharf. The whole area is a floating village of walkways and houses but the paths seemed rock solid even though you knew it wasn't.

Then a stroll along the coast and back through Beacon Hill Park (past the tallest totem pole) to the harbour and a well earned break watching the boats go by. I managed to find an Oatmeal Stout and Jan had Limoncello to go with our shared snack. That was the end of the photos for today, I'd had enough of carrying the camera with 3 lenses, spot meter, largest tripod (I have 2 with me) and odds and ends adding up to over 7kg, all on a shoulder harness. No wonder I have a stiff neck at the moment!

We found a pub for our evening meal. As luck would have it there was another Stout for me to try, to go with my steak and ale pie. Bit fizzy and cold but good once it warmed up (the beer not the pie!).

I finished the day taking the harbour at night on my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone. These give you an idea of the photos I took last night on my Mamiya 7 proper film camera, although that was a lot later as I didn't finish until almost midnight.

Another day around Victoria tomorrow. Decided not to race around other places when Victoria is so nice. Mixed forecast so keeping fingers crossed that it's good.

Craigdarroch Castle

Monday, 18 May 2015

Victoria Upgraded with Photos

Yesterday we travelled from Vancouver to Victoria on Vancouver Island. The ferry took just over 1.5h and it was sunny but cool for the crossing. Quite a bit of traffic slowed us reaching Victoria. We reached our hotel right on the harbour at 4pm.

Virgin Holidays booked most of the trip and we find ourselves in the Fairmont Empress Hotel. A very large traditional hotel. On checking in they offered a free upgrade to a room with a view over the harbour, oh and a round bed!

We could definitely get used to this! Unfortunately, when we return it will be back to 'good old Travelodge'.

Ferry to Victoria

Fairmont Empress Hotel

While we were checking in I happened to mention that the trip was planned around Jan's birthday in June. About an hour after getting to our room there was a knock at the door. Free bottle of fizz, fresh strawberries and a birthday card for Jan!

We could definitely get used to this!

A couple of glasses later, we went out taking photos around the harbour, day and night. At times like this I wish my camera had an Auto setting. For some reason I forgot to take blog photos but the reflections in the water were great.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Vancouver Photography

Jan and I are on a photo trip to Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies. We started with a couple of nights in San Francisco before coming to Vancouver yesterday. We have been to San Fran a few times so just a couple of rolls of new shots.

Today was our first and only full day here. Fortunately it was dry with some sunny spells so lots of photos, 8 rolls in fact, all Ilford FP4 120 film giving me 10 shots to a roll.

Did some night shots around False Creek tonight with lots of reflections on the water. Finished about 11pm having started just after 9am this morning. That's quite a long day for me but did manage to find a couple of decent brew pubs to break the day up, Steamworks and Granville Island.

Tomorrow we move on to Victoria on Vancouver Island.

DB photographing Canada Place Vancouver

Vancouver World Science Centre

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Living Crafts at Hatfield House 2015

We are exhibiting at Living Crafts at Hatfield House until Sunday 10th May. You can find us in Marquee G.

Lots of photographs. Lots of show offers. New books Snow Light and Land Light. Jan's colour photos as well, including new local ones.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Alpine Pass Route Day 2. Weisstannen to Elm.

We had an early breakfast at 7am as it was going to be a long tough day today.
Shortly after 8am we started walking up the valley along the river. So many waterfalls! Lots of cows with very loud cow bells for company. Easy walking for a few miles then a steep climb to the pass.
View east from below Foo Pass

We reached the pass by 1.15pm. This was the main event of the day at 2223m and clear views in all directions. Took a few photos here on my Mamiya 7 camera as well as a few on my mobile phone so that I had some images for this blog post.

Foo Pass view north

Jolly steep descent from the pass and we quickly came to the Raminer farm which seemed to be selling refreshments, including beer. After a short stop for a pint we continued down to Elm,  which took a further 2 hours.

Elm is a pretty but quiet village and we stayed in the Elmer hotel and were very well looked after all night.

Tomorrow we walk to Linthal.
Foo Pass

Alpine Pass Route Day 8. Meiringen to Grindelwald

Thursday 12th was our 8th and last day walking the Alpine Pass Route. This completes this half of the route, as well as the entire walk from Sargans to Montreaux as we walked from Grindelwald to Montreaux in 2006.

We have actually been following the signs for the Via Alpina 1 this time which follows most of the same route.
The day started wet in Meiringen as we made our way up past the Reichenbach Falls, the place where Sherlock Holmes met his fate. I took several photos on my Samsung S3 phone which Google automatically converted into a video.

It was a steady climb up through the trees and meadows to Schwarzwaldalp where we stopped for a short lunch break. The rain started again before reaching the Grosse Scheidegg for another break. It was just a stroll from here for a couple of hours to our finish at the Alte Post Hotel in Grindelwald. The black and white photo is of the Wetterhorn.

Overall, we took 16 days to walk about 220 miles from Sargans to Montreux, starting in 2006 and finishing in 2013: 2 blocks of 8 days.

Alpine Pass Route Day 6. Attinghausen to Engelberg

Another long day on our 8 day walk from Sargans to Grindelwald along the Alpine Pass Route.

We had an early breakfast son that we could catch the small gondola lift from Attinghausen to Brusti before the rush.
We were walking by 8.30am and the rain was clearing with the sun trying to break through.

Nice little ridge as we climbed higher to the saddle of Angistock. Then we lost quite a bit of height as we avoided a slope prone to rockfall. Then up to the Surenen Pass at 2291m by late morning. It was cold but still dry.

We dropped down to a ski hut (about the size of a garden shed) to have lunch inside. Shortly after leaving the rain returned and continued for the rest of the day. No views or photos after this.

Stopped at hut for hot soup and a break from the rain. Then down for another hour or so to another hut for a beer. Really heavy rain for the rest of the descent. We arrived at our hotel at 5.30pm looking like drowned rats!

Tomorrow we walk to Meiringen with better weather forecast. Fingers crossed.