A Walking Report 04

Dear Reader (2020-06-17),

As you have probably figured out by now, if you are looking for a report on trail conditions or hiking logistics, this isn’t the place. On the other hand you may be interested in the reference material I’m currently using:

Wednesday June 10 – Ribbon Creek and Falls <> 18 km with Keith
Following from my vow to revisit this trail soon (see Walking Report 03), Keith and I meet at the trail head and we begin walking 8ish. The parking lot and trail is mostly empty at this time of day. The sun is still low enough to illuminate scenes with long slanting rays. The walk to the falls is a cycle of walk -> look -> stop -> explore -> capture. I enjoy both the cycle and the company. The sun is much higher in the sky on the return walk and our energy wanes. The focus is more on our feet than our lenses. We finish the day each with a single delicious beer at the Kananaskis Golf Course.

After my first visit to Ribbon Falls, I decide that this walk will be themed water. As you can see below I got distracted more that once and this resulted in a presentation problem. I have always loved the line where land meets sky, and until earlier this week I didn’t know what to do with this genre of images. Now I know. This walk resulted in three sets. “Land Mass” is a new series that is now a work in progress, as is “Water Works”. The third set is a collection from the walk. “Land Mass” also has a rarity – one of only 3 fives so far this year (click here for the fives). The second of the photos in that trio has not been published before, and was taken early March on the David Thompson Highway (Highway #11) near Cline River.

For Keith’s report on the walk please see his blog post. As a point of comparison you may be entertained by the difference between his photo #2 and my Water Works #3 . They were both taken from nearly the same point – different eyes different visions. In the third set, April, who is a great colourist with a much better eye for colour than me, prefers #2 over #1. I on the other with my red green colour deficiency prefer #1.

Sunday June 14 – Prairie Mountain Trail – <> 5.0 km with AB
Tuesday June 16 – Prairie Mountain Trail (PMT) – <> 6.4 km
The trail is a relatively short 3.2 km one way but it is not for the faint of leg or heart. The trail’s shortness is due to the lack of switchbacks as it ascends 666 (according to AllTrails) metres straight up the side of Prairie Mountain, which works out to an average grade of over 20%.

For a number of Sunday’s there has been a 10:00 family zoom meeting that crosses multiple time zones. I figure I can drive to the trail head and back (75 min one way) and walk all before 10:00. AB and I begin shortly after 5:30 am. The trail is slick from the previous night’s rain. At 7:45 I run out of time, and AB decides to also join me on the retreat from the false summit. I recently read the term false summit, and I love the meaning some people give it. It is wherever you decide to turn around before reaching the peak. The term has a wonderful sense of both humour and accomplishment. There is also a lesson in today’s walk. Do not put a fixed end time to a walk as it changes the dynamic at a sub-conscious level. The thought or sense of time means that the walk takes on a sense of urgency that is antithetical to my still inarticulate ideas on walking.

On Sunday we meet people of all shapes sizes and preparedness going up as we descend.
On Tuesday I return by myself and the hikers are different. Vancouver has its Grouse Grind and Calgary, unbeknownst to me until yesterday, has Prairie Mountain. I encounter (they can’t really talk as it might slow them down) any number of men and women who are running the trail competing for bragging rights in a conversation that I imagine goes something like “I do the pmt in 47 minutes – what’s your time”. One man around my age and wider tells me that this is his second time hiking the trail this week. He tells me that he is training. When I ask for what, he says to stave off the grim reaper.

A fledgling raven (Johnny) and I share the summit. Johnny the Raven is named after Johnny of Johnny Crow’s Garden – a book written by a distant relative that was first published around 1903. Johnny obviously owns the summit and stays less than 10 feet away preening himself and playing with a stick. When I start eating my snack he comes a little closer and then flies off in disgust when I don’t feed him.

Sunday’s photos were selenium toned and yesterday’s photo were copper toned. Images 5,6,8, and 9 will be added to the series “Land Mass”.

Upon reflection I realize there were any number of rabbit holes you could have taken before reaching the end of this post. If you did stray please don’t blame me for your now empty glasses, pots, bottles, or mugs.

Cheers, Sean

All rights for all material on any media reserved – © Sean P Drysdale 2020

2 Replies to “A Walking Report 04”

  1. It’s always interesting to see what another photographer captures when you’re both at the same place at the same time. Not just on a hike looking at the scenery, but almost at the exact same spot, shooting the exact same thing, at the same time. I was particularly fascinated with your water shots. Your number two water shot is also one I took, looking slightly to the right of yours, it showed up on Facebook, but not my blog, at least not yet. I liked the bit of moss and the framing of the tree branches off to the left. What captured me about the shared water shot was that little branch sticking almost straight up, with some water peeling off it. I was trying to capture that, and the rest was a happy accident. Yours is a faster shutter speed, freezing the water, showing more of the water boil, and a hint of the tree beneath.
    #6 water shot with the arc of shadow matching the bit of falls, and the matching bit of water foam is lovely! The next one, showing the surge of water beside a rock had me wishing there was just a bit more rock to anchor the photo around. The swirl of foam and wave action leads the eye around nicely. I did a few of the water foamy splashy action shots, and was not happy with any of them. I think the difference is that you’ve given the viewer something to relate the foam splash to.
    I prefer #2 in the third set as well. There is some detail in the top of the photo that seems to show up better in the colour version. I’m pretty sure I got one similar to your #5 in that set, but I was looking more at the water texture.
    Love the detail in the raven feathers! You will not be surprised to find that I love the textures and composition of the twisted tree shot. The wide panorama I commented on elsewhere that I love me a wide panorama. The combinations of mountain and cloud textures are quite striking.

    1. Thank you for visiting, commenting, and your kind words. Upon reflection, I agree with your comment on #7, and I go one step further in my critique. Normally I don’t give a damn about the rule of thirds, but in this case maybe having the falls line at 1/3 and a greater depth of field could have given me the latitude to bring more of the background into the image and less of the foreground. Cheers

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