For those that appreciate hiking, consider Lake O’Hara, located in the center of Yoho National Park in one of the most beautiful locations in North America. Though some planning is required for the route you will take to access the lake but and how long you plan on staying. The first option to access the lake is an 11km dirt road that leads from Hwy 1 to the lake, but it is closed to public traffic. In order to see the lake, you must book passage on a park transport that makes the trip only 3 times each day. Another option is to hike the 11km. There is a campsite but reservations need to be made well in advance. To stay at the lodge, reservations need to be made a year in advance. For the experienced mountain climber there is a third route less traveled. From Lake Louise you may hike across the Victoria Glacier. It’s a full day hike and it is an extremely strenuous 7 miles roundtrip trek and includes nearly 4,000 feet of elevation gain. If you're not an experienced mountaineer, you can still climb up to Abbott Pass from the Lake O'Hara side
In 1925 the Canadian Pacific Railway built The Lake O’Hara Lodge. It was to accommodate its more adventuresome passengers. During the 1920’s and 30’s the Canadian Pacific RR constructed a network of backcountry lodges, which provided an alternative to larger and more luxurious hotels like the Banff Springs and Chateau Loc Louise. Today there are cottages near the lake, which are very nice alternative for those not wishing to rough it in a campsite.
There are plenty of photographic opportunities here. The weather can change several times in a day giving a photographer a choice of clear or a cloudy sky. I particularly enjoyed the low- lying clouds in top of this view. These 70 feet tall pine tress gives the viewer an idea of the grandeur of the massive cliffs of Mts. Victoria, Lefroy, and Yukness that tower over Lake O’Hara.
While hiking and making photographs composition is always a consideration. Framing of the scene is very important to composition and when done properly will add greater dimension and depth to your work. An image that is not framed well with surrounding elements will appear to be two-dimensional. The elements for framing used here are the ground at the base, the trees on the right and the clouds on top. Make sure you leave a base. This will allow the viewer to “walk into” the view.
Fortunately I had packed my 5 x 7 inch view camera to make this negative. I was able to tilt the lens downward while keeping the back of the camera straight. This focusing technique allows for much greater depth of field. During some of the longer hikes I often ask myself if I would rather take the lighter 4 x 5 camera. A few pounds will make a big difference at the end of the day. If you make the trip to Lake O’Hara, take the largest format you have. You won’t regret it. I’m glad I had the larger negative. I have made several 4 ft x 8 ft murals for clients.
During the printing process I always make sure to darken the edges a bit as well. The brighter center also helps to hold the interest of the viewer.
The exposure for this negative was ¼ second at f-32. I used an orange filter to darken the blue sky. The negative was developed in D-76 1:1
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