The Golden Hours


Waldron Conservation Area, Alberta, Canada

I'm a little bit amazed at how many different looking photos of cows I got in one place. All the other photos I posted in the last few days were all taken in the same place, just a few hours apart footsteps from each other. The time before sunset can be incredibly magical, then there is sunset itself, and the afterglow and twilight after that. All of which combined with weather can create a huge variety of looks and colours.

Photographic Details
The original image of this is about 100 megapixels in size, this is just a small crop of the original. I shot this with my telephoto lens in a portrait orientation and stitched together multiple photographs to create a behemoth of an image.

If you like my techniques and also love the wilderness, check out these horseback expeditions I'll be on with +Wayne Sawchuk at

Canon 5D Mark III, 70-200mm f2.8 Iso 100 f8 1/100th of a sec.
#canada   #alberta   #natureconservancy   #cows   #conservation  +Nature Conservancy of Canada 

Cows in Paradise


Waldron Conservation Area, Alberta, Canada

This shot commissioned by +Nature Conservancy of Canada was one of my favourite moments. A pretty violent thunderstorm was sweeping through as I sought shelter for me and my camera gear. I had previously frightened some cows (by accident) and was looking for a lake I had seen on google earth. Finally I found it and the cows were not happy to see me again. Although this time they realized I wasn't chasing them, and probably noticed I was behaving strangely. Because of this, many of them stuck around to see what I was going to do next. I was sticking around because I was expecting a spectacular sunset, I was not disappointed.

Photographic Details
As sunset was imminent, I knew that I had to be in a good spot for it. Having a tour of the land by local biologists and land owners I knew where a lot of good stuff was, but I could have ignored a lot of that advice. During sunset I wanted something else to add to the image, and reflections in water can give a photo an incredibly heavenly feel. Therefore I ended up on google earth looking for lakes. This seasonal pond was luckily quite full and in the perfect viewpoint for what I was trying to achieve: sunsets, prairies and mountains and hopefully some cows too. My camera is hovering about an inch above the surface of the water, causing the grass and moss growing on the pond surface to blur out and creating a surreal symmetry that most people aren't used to. It takes a bit of effort and trust, especially since I was basically mucking around in mud and cow feces, but it's all worth it!

If you like this, don't forget to check out the horseback expeditions that I'm teaming up with +Wayne Sawchuk on!

For #thirstythursday  curated by +Mark Esguerra and +Giuseppe Basile 
#alberta   #canadaphotography   #canada   #cows   #moo   #conservation   #thenatureconservancy   #googleearth   #horsebackridingvacations  

I'd like to introduce you all to an incredibly inspirational photographer

by Wayne Sawchuk -4267.jpgimgmax=1920.jpg

+Wayne Sawchuk has been part of a huge conservation effort in northern B.C. in Canada. Using his images and stories to foster healthy relationships between people and the use of the incredible Muskwa-Kechika Wilderness. It's because of people like Wayne that we still have these incredible wildernesses to explore.

Featured on National Geographic, Wayne leads incredible horseback expeditions, a few of which I will be going on this year! I highly recommend you check out his work and website, and forward it to any  horse and nature lovers you know!

I highly recommend you circle him and keep an eye out for his future work!

#travelphotography   #traveltuesday   #horsebackriding   #britishcolumbia   #canada   #travelcanada  

Reshared post from +Wayne Sawchuk

Riders Emerge From the Mist
Through the mist and clouds we emerge onto the ridge, inwardly thankful for the end of a long climb. Every moment of sweat and hard work is instantly a distant memory as we reach the heavens and the realm of the alpine.

Tuchodi River
Northern B.C. Rocky Mountains, Canada

#horselovers #horsepower #muskwakechika #adventuretravel #travel #canada #canadaphotography  

The Northern Gannet portrait


Ile Bonaventure, Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec, Canada I'm very used to seeing exotic and beautiful bird colonies out in some of the farthest reaches of our world. But this afternoon I spent time in my own country, the gaspé peninsula in a small and picturesque quebec town of Percé, Canada. After enjoying some fine french cuisine of arctic char for lunch I couldn't believe my eyes that after a short ride over to the island I was surrounded by thousands of beautiful white patterned Northern Gannets.  The first thing I noticed as I wandered through the forest is the pungent ammonia and fish like smell of a typical bird colony "they smell just like penguins" I thought. Then the cacophony of calls from the gannets filled the air as the landscape of the colony broke through the trees, the brown colony floor perfectly spaced and dotted with gannets, like they were dollops of icing placed down by some divine gingerbread house maker. It was remarkable to see how each gannet was just one "beak peck" away, as if they hate each other but have to be close enough because of safety in numbers.

I wandered around the colony where there was a wooden observation platform looking down on the gannets. I leaned over the railing and to my surprise just a couple meters below me there was a gannet staring up at me with curiosity. He didn't fidget, or look at me with concern, just sat there as the rain and fog beaded up on his head. I never had such a fantastic viewing angle from a such a beautiful bird like this before.

Photographic Details Because I was using a 400mm Telephoto lens, I had no choice but to actually lift my camera up as high as I could, farther away from the Gannet. These lenses have a   minimum focusing distance and I was actually too close to photograph this bird. I had to hold my camera away from me the way one might hold a baby away from them after they just filled their diaper: you would never drop what's in your hands but you want it as far away from you as possible. I put my camera into the very rarely used live view mode so I could see where the camera was focusing, and shot multiple photos like this. I had to use a high shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second as these birds were constantly looking around shaking their heads and my own hands weren't the most stable platform to be shooting from. I was very happy with the results and to get a shot like this without disturbing this beautiful bird was fantastic. I can't wait to see more places like this in my own "backyard" of Canada. The artistic quality of creating a vertical line from the bottom left to the upper right is what I was going for, I also wanted to express the subtle but beautiful yellow hues this bird has in it's pristine pelage. Focusing on the eye is the standard for a photo like this but the emphasis is in the strong diagonals this bird presents.

Camera Settings Canon EOS 7D ISO400 f5.6 1/1000 sec Canon 100-400mm lens

#birdpoker #birding #gannet #canada #wildlife #birds #quebec #FineArtPls curated by +Marina Chen , and #yisforyellow  curated by +Lucille Galleli and +YisforYellow

Also I'm back! I know you have seen many posts relayed to google plus by my wonderful helper +Kathryn Bechthold while I was away, hence the third person, but rest assured I'm back now and will be glad to answer your questions!

Inuit boy portrait


Grise Fjord, Ellesmere Island, Canadian ArcticA continuation of this post:

In continuation with one of my other shots here is a more detailed close up of this inuit boy. This has much more details on the bone slit eyewear to prevent snow blindness. A very effective solution to cut out all the radiation in the arctic that I would most definitely use if I wasn’t privy to adequate sunglasses.

1/200s f/5.6 ISO50 400mm

An iceberg’s past


Canadian Arctic The history of an iceberg is always etched into the ice. But rarely is hard evidence of it’s birth so glaringly obvious the way it is in this detail shot of a piece of ice.

As I’m sure you’ve heard me say, an iceberg starts of as a glacier. A glacier starts off as layers of snow building up over hundreds or thousands of years along the mountain side. The tremendous weight of the snow on itself squeezes air out of the compacting ice and it becomes more clear and blue. So imagine a massive glacier slowly moving down a mountain side, the deepest part of the glacier is grinding away at the mountain, carving out U shaped valleys and pulverizing rock into dirt and silt. The ice at the bottom of the glacier is underneath hundreds of meters of ice, thus it’s the clearest, but it will also be exposed to the rock and dirt. When the glacier finally dumps itself into the ocean these ancient pieces of ice will carry remnants of the mountain with it.

That’s what you’re looking at here. A piece of a glacier that was actively carving away at the mountain that has made it’s way across the canadian arctic.

Photographic details: I had to poke my camera through a dark hole in an iceberg to get this, so it was relatively dark. I couldn’t shoot like I normally do, I just stuck my arms out with my camera and hoped for the best. Yeah professional photographers blindly shoot and do guesswork too! I think I would have made it easier on myself if I used a higher ISO of 400 or so instead of 100.

1/50s f/5.6 ISO100 260mm

[button size="large" link="" linkTarget="_blank" color="blue"]Order Print through Smugmug[/button]

Inuit boy in seal skin


Grise Fjord, Ellesmere Island, Canadian ArcticFrom the kylefoto of the day at

Grise Fjord in Inuktitut is Aujuittuq (ᐊᐅᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ), meaning "place that never thaws". What a fitting name for a hamlet that is often seen surrounded by ice even in the summer months on the northernmost island in Canada. We were arriving from our expedition ship and were greeted by the locals after we navigated a maze of sea ice grounded on the shore by the tide. Among them was an RCMP officer who was originally born in the Grenadines in the Caribbean, we joked about the stark contrast of his previous life and now. Even though the people here are mainly inuit, they are also canadians, and for the most part they dress just like me. But for the sake of preserving history and traditions, for special occasions they will put on traditional clothing.

The intricacy and beauty of this traditional wear is stunning. Made entirely of seal skin, every piece of the animal has been used for something. A close look at the crafting and stitching reveals how much work has gone into the making of these. Thousands of years of trial, error and inuit ingenuity has gone into the design of these beautiful, functional and life preserving attire. Another danger out here is the harsh glare of the arctic sun, it’s magnified by the amount of high albedo snow and ice of this landscape. The inuit have developed visors made of bone, with tiny slits letting in just enough light to see but not so much to get snow blindness.

Photographic details: We had the opportunity to photograph these people indoors inside the community hall, but we preferred a much more fitting environment. Mere meters from the hall we had the shore line covered in grounded sea ice. The harsh sunlight would have been too much for this shot so we put him in the shade of this ice. In hindsight the extreme brightness of the ice in the background would have been better off if I had gone the HDR route. Over exposed highlights in the background aren’t ideal, although not important. Despite those shortcomings this photograph isn’t about getting perfect technical photographic statistics, it’s about the subject, this amazing inuit child and the grand history that his garments represent, and that’s what the exposure is geared for, at the very least he is perfectly exposed.

1/200s f/5.0 ISO50 100mm

90 Degree iceberg


Canadian Arctic What am I talking about with this 90 degree iceberg? I’m not talking about temperature, I’m talking about angles.

Look at the striations on the iceberg, how the lines in the ice are going straight up and down. Those are the layers of snow that have been compacted into ice while this ice was still being formed on a mountainside as a glacier. Over hundreds, even thousands of years each layer of snow is piled on top of each other until the tremendous pressure compresses it into ice.

Because the ice normally stays more or less upright while it’s still a glacier, these lines should normally be horizontal. Once the glacier ends up dumping itself into the ocean the ice will bob around, melt, break apart, and in doing so this newly formed iceberg will rotate and change orientation. Thus the ice is now shifted 90 degrees from it’s original orientation.

Now go into my master collection of photos and look at every other iceberg and you will obsessively look at these striations and assess the history of the iceberg, you will never be able to unsee it, muahaha!

Photographic details: Nothing special is going on here for camera settings, I was more looking for unique and interesting shapes and this one caught my eye. Sometimes I don’t look at a subject as a whole and I just focus on the interesting detailed portions.

1/160s f/5.0 ISO50 170mm

[button size="large" link="" linkTarget="_blank" color="blue"]Order Print through Smugmug[/button]

Everything is now 50% off with the coupon: WELOVEWINTER

Winter Wonderland


Outside Waterton National Park, Alberta, Canada This beautiful sight was greeting me on a very special winter day. The air had enough moisture in it to form crystals of snow and ice on the trees. Later the snow fell so lightly that it all got stuck on everything it touched, making the tiniest twig expand to 10 times it’s normal size with the marshmallowy snow stuck on it. The tiniest breath of air or shake of a tree would dislodge any snow from this delicate landscape.

Photographic Details: The most important factor was setting the aperture at f/14 to get this landscape photo as crisp as possible. Everything is sharp but the simplicity of the image takes away from the distraction that a lot of detail might bring to it.

1/100s f/14.0 ISO100 35mm Every photo in my smugmug is now 50% off until Dec 25th with the code: WELOVEWINTER

[button size="large" link="" linkTarget="_blank" color="blue"]Order Print through Smugmug[/button]

Skier by night

Outside Wheeler HutFrom the holiday collection at

It was an epic day of backcountry skiing in the mountains of BC. The higher we climbed the bigger our ski down would be. This is where we made the mistake of not keeping together and not fully monitoring the energy of everyone in the group. We ended up taking much longer than we expected to get down. You have to think of the whole group as one person, and if anyone is tired you must only go at the pace and distance comfortable for them. This is where being prepared is handy, we had head lamps with us in case we ended up skiing in the night, and that’s just what happened. Lo and behold it was cool to see the skiiers with the lamps on their heads at night and I got someone to pose.

Photographic details: The light was quite dim, so I needed to let in as much light as possible. Shot hand held with a slow shutter speed of 1/30th of a second and f2.8 and a whopping iso of 12800. My camera was now sensitive enough to gather enough light from the lamps and and the last minute of blue hour. Drastic noise reduction was used in Lightroom to compensate for the distortion of using such a high iso but it comes out quite nice!

1/30s f/2.8 ISO12800 35mm Every photo in my smugmug is now 50% off until Dec 25th with the code: WELOVEWINTER

[button size="large" link="" linkTarget="_blank" color="blue"]Order Print through Smugmug[/button]

Wheeler hut marshmallow land


From the holiday collection http://www.kylefoto.comB.C. Canada

Wheeler hut is one of the most accessible alpine huts in B.C. Canada. That being said it was covered enough of the legendary marshmallowy winter powder to get me to sink to my chest. There was no hope of me getting far enough outside the hut to get a photo without my skis on. Setting up my tripod to get this 30 second exposure was also a challenge, as my poles kept sinking in the snow. The warm glow of the hut windows are welcoming as the final minutes of the "blue hour" past sunset wained into darkness.

Canon 5D Mark II 30s f/2.8 ISO800 50mm

[button size="large" link="" linkTarget="_blank" color="blue"]Order Print through Smugmug[/button]

Holiday Sale! Prints are now 50% off until christmas with the coupon code: WELOVEWINTER

Arctic moonrise


Canadian high arcticfrom the blog

Later in august the sun will start setting below the horizon only to pop up a few hours later. The land of the midnight sun is no longer that and darkness begins to take hold again. The moon was a poignant highlight in the sky this night as we looked across the desolate arctic landscape.

Photographic details: Being so dark out I had to use a slow shutter speed of 1/30th of a second. The expanse of this landscape called for a wide angle lens, making the slow shutter speed easier to handle as a tripod was out of the question standing above the vibrating engine room of the ship.

1/30s f/5.6 ISO200 35mm

[button size="large" link="" linkTarget="_blank" color="blue"]Order Print through Smugmug[/button]

Payne lake, Outside Waterton Lakes National Park


Daily Inspiration: Shot while sitting on a kayak on some of the coolest wetland areas around Waterton lakes. Getting out and into nature with my camera in hand is one of my most favourite past times. And that’s what I’m going to go do now, bye!

[button link="" color="blue"]Order Print on Smugmug[/button]

Fata Morgana by moonlight


Outside Iqaluit, Canadian Arctic

If you look at the horizon you will see what looks like a band of cliffs or land, made of the same texture the sea ice is made of. This is actually the flat ocean but something is distorting it. This is a photograph of the most mysterious optical illusions most commonly observed in the Arctic. Named after the sorceress Morgan Le Fay of merlin lore this phenomenon has been attributed to the flying Dutchman, UFOs, faeries and other unusual things. It’s no surprised, land seems to rise out of the ocean from nothing only to start jiggling and dancing to and fro like a mushroom made of jelly, it’s very entertaining to watch newcomers to the arctic try and process what they are seeing.

This is simply an optical effect created by an inverse mirage. With a layer of cool air by the sea surrounded by a warmer atmosphere, this threshold between cool and warm air bends the light in such a way that even things beyond the curvature of the earth can be seen, causing the seascape to bend into the sky

Photographic Details: This was taken on a ship with a telephoto lens, therefore a tripod was out of the question given that we were moving. I shot this hand held holding my breath at at 1/80 sec, f5.6 ISO 1600 Canon EOS 5D at 400mm, a feat not easily done but slowly mastered with practice. I always surprise myself when I manage “illegally” shooting such slow shutter speeds with long lenses, practice makes perfect! If at first you get a few blurry photos, keep trying, all it takes is one good one and your work will be worth it!

If you like this, please do me a favor and share!