December Photo Walk: Johnson Canyon, Alberta - Windermere Studios

Originally published December 19, 2012 on Windermere Studios blog

Part II of a cold day of photography in Banff National Park. 

After a pleasant lunch at Chateau Lake Louise, we accepted the invitation to join some others at Johnston Canyon. I'd been to Johnston Canyon at least once before, but only in summer with the hoards of tourists. I remembered it as a narrow, deep tree lined canyon and was pretty worried about having any light at all. But we had tripods, and no other place in mind, so onward we did go. Boy am I glad we did. I must say that it is at least as pretty in winter, and no where near as crowded! I was surprised by the fact that the water was still not completely frozen over, and mesmerized by the lovely glacial colors of the icicles on the canyon walls.


There were interesting detail shots to be had as well. I spotted the repeating shapes of the snow, ice and rocks in the open water.


The color of water contrasted beautifully against the canyon at the Lower Falls. 

There is a small tunnel through the rock that takes you close up to the Lower Falls, and it is very much worth crouching through. This is a 2 shot hand held vertical pano, made after blending 3 exposures for each of the two shots.

(One of the guys with us took a lovely shot from pretty much the same place, with his Android. It made me wonder why I'd carried my backpack and gear!) The detail of the ice and water running under it was really lovely.

lower falls

We were running out of what little daylight there was, and so didn't explore the upper falls this trip. Next time! This is a definite must do (and easy to do) hike during the winter, should you find yourself in Banff National Park some day. We ended our day with some warm refreshments at the Banff Springs. Beautiful setting, all gussied up for Christmas. Sadly, no photos as I left the camera in the car!

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