Cochrane Camera Club Photo Outing: Banff Park

We, the hardiest of souls, were ready to meet up in Pat’s Parking Lot at 0545 a.m. to head off to Banff National Park for a dawn photo safari!  With our leader Pat, we eleven grabbed our morning coffees from McD’s, sorted out our carpool rides, and drove west to the far shores of Vermillion Lakes to capture “sunrise over Mt. Rundle”, that essential Canadiana photograph.

Sunrise was around 0830, with dawn being earlier, so we all had time to find a place on the lake shore that would either give us foreground or—not—in our classic pictures.  We were not alone; there were likely another dozen photographers out in the pre-dawn.  We were dressed for winter but the weather was actually quite fine, about -5 C or so, and not windy, so our wait for dawn was comfortable.  Tripods were jammed into the snow and marsh grass along the shore. The lake itself has springs feeding it so the ice is not safe to walk on.

Sunrise came slowly through layers of clouds, giving a pink and purple hue behind the emerging mountain ranges.  As the light progressed, details in the foreground were added.  Everyone left with some real “keepers”.

Pat had another favorite photogenic site for us to visit:  The Bow River near Castle Mountain, at the junction of Hwy #1 & 93.  Again, we were met by other avid photographers!  The trails down to the river were well beaten.  We scattered along the shore of the Bow and watched the clouds and sun change the look of Castle Mountain, minute by minute. IMG_0065 Both here and at Vermillion Lakes, some groups of photographers were guided by a professional.  Local knowledge (thanks, Pat!) put our group right there, at the right moment, with morning sunshine on classic Castle Mountain.  The “money-shot” was the mountain caught in a mirror reflection of a little pool next to the river.

After, most of us ended up in the Grizzly Paw restaurant in Canmore for a hearty lunch and a most excellent craft beer to wash it down.  We had a chance to visit and discuss the day. We were back home in Cochrane around 2 pm.  On the way home, Karen snapped a few beauties…

This was another great outing!  The members not only had a good photo shoot and good company, but we also now know a place where we can return to, again and again as the seasons change, for super photography.

Our pictures at the next meeting are going to look a lot the same, since the group shot the same venues at the same time:  but in our personal collections, these are going to be standouts!


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