It’s hard being a photographer in the mountains

If you’re a photographer that loves to take sunrise and sunset photos, there’s no better place than to take them with powerful mountains and serene water as a backdrop. That’s what I loved doing during my brief stay in Banff and Jasper, Alberta. The scenery is so majestic and serene you really can’t take a bad photograph there.

As a photographer who loves the sun, my goal was to try and take as many sunrises and sunsets as I could. While I knew I couldn’t do this on a daily basis, I certainly tried as many times as I could.

Lake Minnewanka sunrise.
Lake Minnewanka sunrise. iPhone 6 Plus long exposure.

What I didn’t know until shortly before heading over there, was that the summer days are very long. The sun rises at 5:30am and doesn’t set below the horizon until at least 10pm. Even at 11pm, you still get that gorgeous blue hue in the sky. This is great if you love spending the days outdoors—which is what I did—but after a full day of hiking, you really do want to get some rest.

It was difficult at times, but I did do my fair share of sunrise and sunset shoots while in Alberta—sometimes waking up as early as 4:30am to drive to a lake. I can’t say that I came back with something dramatic and eye-opening as the weather didn’t cooperate with me most days, but I did enjoy being out there in the fresh air early in the morning. It is rather calming. Those days when I did both a sunset shoot and sunrise shoot the next day were pretty tiring to say the least. But the joy of being able to see this is what motivates me to get up so early and stay up so late.

Alpenglow on Mt. Rundle, Vermillion Lake 2, Banff National Park
Alpenglow on Mt. Rundle, Vermillion Lake 2, Banff National Park. iPhone 6 Plus.

As a bonus, a lot of the wildlife tend to be out during the wee hours of the morning and late at night. Those were the times when I got to see the mule deers, long horn sheep, bears, and more. It was an exciting drive to see animals popping up unexpectedly on the side of the road. You have to be extra cautious at this time too since the low-light may make it harder for you to see the wildlife.

Had I been living in the area though, this would be a whole different story as I would be able to take my time and spread out my sunrise and sunset shoots. With my limited stay of 10 days, I was eager than ever to get a great show of lights.

I wasn’t able to get one this time, but perhaps this means I’ll just have to go back at another time!

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