Dec 13, 2015
My first trip to Banff this winter was to photograph the iconic Vermilion Lakes and Mount Rundle. This is not somewhere you go to catch a unique photograph (more on that later), but it is stunningly beautiful no matter how many times you see it. I figured it was a great starting point to get me out into the mountains in the dark and cold with my camera.
The day started early. My wife and I woke from our slumber at 5am, let the dog outside, gave him some food, and we were on our way. A quick stop for coffee and on the road!
We arrived on location at about 6:45am. To my delight, there was still a small patch of unfrozen water, meaning I could capture a reflection of the mountains and sunrise. Remember how I mentioned that this is not a place to get a particularly unique photograph? Well, within minutes of setting up, I was joined by 3 more photographers in the exact same spot, and could see several others along the shore line. This is normal here. Do a google search for Vermilion Lakes Sunrise and you'll see what I mean. Beautiful none-the-less, and absolutely worth photographing, just realize you are capturing a place that is captured by photographers every single day.
While waiting for the sun to rise, the scene was crisp, calm, cold and monochrome. It felt like serenity.
We could see the light starting to form over the horizon. We all anxiously awaited a vibrant sunrise, like the ones you see when you google this place, but we had no such luck. We literally had about 45 seconds of a mild pink color in the clouds. Was it vibrant? No. But it was still beautiful.
The color quickly faded and the other photographers began packing up. I stuck around hoping for more. The color never came back, but a blanket of warmth began to form on the horizon.
Man I love this place. Even on a day with a relatively lack-luster sunrise, I was able to capture some beautiful photos and enjoy the great outdoors.