The Fall of 2015 was a beautiful one here in central Alberta. Summer slowly waned as Fall approached. We were delighted by the warm temperatures sticking around, and our family went on many hikes saying “this is the last one of the year before it gets cold”, only to be surprised the next weekend by more mild temperatures.
On October 17th that year we drove down to the Kananaskis region and hiked up to Rawson Lake.
We had lunch at a lower lake, skipped stones, and made the hike up to Rawson Lake. We barely made it to the lake in time! The sun starts setting pretty early this far north by then, and it dipped behind the mountain peaks by 3:30pm, and we only got to the lake at 3:07. The end of the lake at the end of the trail was cluttered with logs, and sun was fading fast. The air was still and ice was forming on the other end of the lake making the reflections softer.
With the sun shining straight into the lens, the dark area at the base of the mountain, submerged logs dark under the water, it was a difficult scene to capture in its full beauty. One single photo would lose a lot of what could be seen.
I decided the only way to go was with bracketed exposures and I ended up using 3 exposures (one over exposed, one under, and one normal exposure).
There was so much I wanted to get in an image, I put on my widest angle (14mm) and turned the camera sideways so I could get more of the logs that I was standing on. I guess this is why I always go hiking with the full camera gear even though it weighs too much. You never know…
These images were processed to compress the dynamic range (light to dark) so that I could include the highlights without being overblown (sun lit areas) as well as the shadows without being too dark (trees on the mountain sides, submerged logs). The resulting images are more like what your eye can see as you look around.
The High Dynamic Range (HDR) images were then then combined into one giant super wide angle panorama of the sun slipping behind the mountain over the lake.
After this picture, the sun was gone, and my son was soaked, having slipped off one of the logs. High elevation mountain lakes in the Fall with ice starting to form are pretty cold, apparently, and we couldn’t get him to smile for a family picture.
This image of Rawson Lake was selected by TCG Toys for printing as part of their 500 piece Puzzlers Choice series, which should be available Fall 2020.
This is the second puzzle of mine by them, the first one being of Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia. I hope you enjoy making this new one if you can find it.