Banff and Lake Louise - Windermere Studios

Our campsite was in Tunnel Mountain Campground, Village 1. No electricity, but showers right at the washrooms just a few sites away. The washrooms in the campgrounds at Waterton and Banff were really nice. The rate at this campground is $27.50 per night plus an $11 fee for on line booking. By this point on the trip I was convinced of the great value that camping is. 

We'd stocked up on groceries in Canmore. Got the tent set up, everyone had showers, and then we hit the road to scout our sunset and possible sunrise spot for the next couple of days. 

Sunset our first night was to be Vermillion Lakes for the quintessential view of Mount Rundle. We got settled there quite early, at the first lake on the small pier (room for 2 tripods, max). We were set up for long exposures, and waiting on sweet light when a huge convoy of vehicles arrived and out poured dozens of people. And among those people, a photographer, an assistant, and two brides and two grooms. We did the polite thing and offered them the pier, since there was a lot of time left before sunset. As the second couple walked by us we congratulated them. It was at that point we learned they were models, and that this was a photography workshop! The group kept their word, perhaps after a gentle nudge, and gave us the dock back with time to spare. 

It was a beautifully clear sky, with only the occasional fluffy cloud around. I prefer the long exposures that I took prior to sunset to the actual sunset photos.

Vermillion Lakes

Ana and I headed to Lake Louise bright and early (well, early anyway, at 5 a.m.) for sunrise the following morning. We got to Louise in time to grab a good spot on the boardwalk and wait for first light. The sky over the lake and above the glacier was completely cloudless providing an awesome view, but cloud cover to the east created an unremarkable sunrise. Still, how can you argue with the beauty of Lake Louise? We decided to grab a coffee in the lodge, warm up and wait for some light to hit the lake. We were rewarded. 

We stopped at Morraine Lake next, waiting for the morning sun to hit the surface of the lake. Moraine Lake is kinda photogenic.

Moraine Lake

We took the Bow Valley Parkway back, and found many, many things to photograph before picking up Daryl and spending the afternoon wandering around Banff townsite itself. 

Castle Mountain was to be our sunset spot, and we returned via the Bow Valley Parkway - that really is a gorgeous drive with endless possibilities for photos. The meadows full of wildflowers gave me some macro subjects but I was most excited about the Osprey nest full of young fledglings back at Castle Mountain. 

Osprey Fledge at Castle Mountain

Castle Mountain lit up and was pretty but we could see a beautiful pink sky developing toward Banff, and headed back down the Parkway hoping to grab a shot or two. This was taken at Moose Meadows. 

Sunset at Moose Meadows

And we still managed to grab the rising full 'super' moon over Vermillion Lakes on our way back. Overall, a pretty successful day of photography. Sunrise Sunday was at Two Jack Lake. Quite possibly the most textbook perfect sweet light and mirror like reflection I've ever taken. And then we packed up and headed north.


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