Canada: First Impressions

Self Portrait overlooking Johnson Lake in Banff National Park

My expectations of Canada have been met and exceeded on my first day. It is abundantly beautiful. I seem to have a difficult time deciding where to point my camera! I spent most of yesterday hanging around Johnson Lake in Banff National Park and was able to get some diverse imagery within a rather small area. It’s amazing what you can find meandering through the different pathways in the dense forests around here. I found several locations I had scouted for sunset and in the last two hours I was running between all of them, chasing the light. I’ve been reading the recent article in Outdoor Photographer on Galen Rowell, and I find our philosophies to be fairly similar. I enjoy mastering the technicalities of a photograph and being able to conquer difficult lighting with my photographic knowledge, but there is something to Galen’s most famous quote: “f/8 and be there.” No photographic genius will ever be a “great” photographer if they don’t get out and explore this world we live in. So much of photography is about the content in front of the lens. We can change our composition or settings a hundred times, but if the content is boring, it will most likely turn out to be a boring image. Personally, I got into photography because it seemed to go hand in hand with my philosophy on life. I want to be a part of it. Whatever it is. I enjoy documenting the adventure or event and telling the side of the story only I can tell. The key is to be there. It doesn’t matter where. If you want to be a great photographer put yourself in the right place at the right time. Some people confuse this with luck. But there is so much more to it. Besides the planning and the watching and the research, the experience is what’s going to set you apart. Being there is so much more than just being present. Being there is about experiencing it and living the adventure. If you live on the edge, your photographs will reflect that lifestyle. I am continually trying to better my photography, but I think this is one of the most important concepts to hold on to.
Johnson Lake had become my lake by the end of the night. Everyone had left to go have dinner in town just before the sky exploded with color. I felt so blessed to be able to witness such beauty and I continue to feel that everyday I am able to be in nature. It was an amazing night and I can’t wait to continue my journey in Banff. Luckily, I found a quaint little cafe in town named McDonald’s that provided wi-fi. I will hopefully be able to get a few more posts up while I’m on the road. In the mean time I hope you enjoy these teaser images of my first day in Banff National Park.



Johnson Lake in beautiful Banff National Park


Mushroom on the forest floor in Banff National Park


Johnson Lake Panorama


Alpenglow on the mountains near Johnson Lake in Banff National Park

3 thoughts on “Canada: First Impressions”

  1. Conor, I would highly recommend it! It was an amazing opportunity that I will never forget. I'm trying to figure out how to get back for the winter! If you're interested in splitting gas we should talk…

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