Posts tagged ‘mountain’

Behind the Image: Emergence Featured


I took this black-and-white on a shooting marathon at Mount Assiniboine a few years ago. I only had two nights in the area and the conditions were so good I went without sleep to make the most of the opportunity. I went everything over those 48 hours: in thunderstorms, fresh snow, aurora borealis, inversions, fogbows, you name it. And it was late September, that time of year when the larches are glowing gold – arguably the best time of year for photography in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.

After a night shooting the northern lights and running around to try to find breaks in the cloud cover, I finally decided to return to the Naiset Huts to catch a nap since I could no longer escape the clouds. Just as I was about the enter the cabin (which was already nearly full of fast-asleep people), I spotted a few stars glowing above the mountains. No rest for the wicked! I realized the clouds were an inversion and that a sunrise at the Nub (a nearby spot which is the most photographed backcountry location in the Canadian Rockies) could offer great potential.

As I made my way past Assiniboine Lodge, I did a double-take when I caught a glimpse of the pyramid of Mount Assiniboine floating in the dawn sky, all lit up in alpenglow. It was an absolutely incredible sight. I was pretty determined to get up to the Nub, but felt the scene that was immediately available guaranteed an image more unique than anything I could hope for at the popular vantage point higher up.

I set up the tripod, pulled out the long lens, and took a few frames of this scene, as the clouds were constantly swirling. This was my favourite one. The fog below kept the base of the mountain quite dark, while the alpenglow lit up its higher sections. The dark blue sky above bookended the composition, and made it look like the “Matterhorn of the Rockies” was doing a levitation act.

Shot with the Canon 5D Mark III and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens, at ISO 400, 30 seconds, f/11. I often use this image in workshops as an example of the power of compressions and isolation of the long lens in landscape photography. I hope you like the image and the story!

This image is available as a custom, limited edition print.

Photo Essay: An Ascent of Mt. Robson Featured

As a photographer, I’ve had a dynamic relationship with Mt. Robson. For my first summit attempt of the 3,954-metre peak in 2013, I was invited by Mike Stuart from Canadian Alpine Guides to document his climb with one of his long-term clients. That attempt ended at the base of the Kain Face, which never hardened enough to allow for safe climbing.

A shot from August 2013, when Mike Stuart, Randy Colwell and I were turned around by warm temperatures. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

A shot from August 2013, when Mike Stuart, Randy Colwell and I were turned around by warm temperatures. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Then in 2014, I worked with BC Parks to capture aerial footage of The King. I wasn’t there to climb the mountain, but the helicopter brought us so close to the summit ridge that I thought my dangling feet might touch down for a moment. The shoot gave me a new perspective on the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and it was one of the highlights of my career as a photographer.

Then, this year, the stars aligned for me to be back on Mt. Robson for another attempt at the summit. This time, I teamed up with BC Parks Ranger, Jesse Milner, who is an amazing and incredibly skilled mountaineering partner (that and it’s hard to find someone else more knowledgeable when it comes to Mt. Robson Provincial Park!).

Here are some images from our 2015 ascent of Mt. Robson, Resplendent and The Helmet.

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Photo Series: Nighttime Climbing in the Canadian Rockies

Hello everyone, and thanks for visiting the blog!

The purpose of this post is simply to share a few photographs of a subject I’ve truly enjoyed tackling in the last few months: night climbing. These images are from a few different outings, which were all memorable nights out in the mountains. From fully overcast to incredibly starry, the sky conditions varied and, when we were lucky, became a canvas for the elusive aurora borealis. More night climbing photo sessions are in the works, and I hope to be able to bring more of these images to you in the near future.

Big thanks to John Price, Jonathan Fox, Jennifer Olson, Mike Stuart, Seb Boulton Oliver and Randy Colwell for their contribution to these images!

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  • We have some exciting workshops being planned for 2014, so check out the Workshops page for details!
  • If you interested in any of these as limited edition prints, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Happy shooting/climbing!


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