Mount Rundle and Vermillion Lakes

Mount Rundle, a 2,972-meter high peak just outside Banff town center, is arguably the most photographed mountain in the Canadian Rockies. The traditional angle to photograph the mountain is from the shore of Vermillion Lakes, between Highway 1 and the town center. Reflection of Mount Rundle on the lake is a most sought after element in composition. In winter, although the lakes are largely frozen up, there are likely some spots along the shores where water temperature may remain relatively warm enough to keep a pool or two unfrozen. Sometimes, the shapes of such pools provide amazingly beautiful lines for composition. And there might be wild animals coming out on the frozen lakes, adding an interesting element to your pictures.

Which was case when I took the following photos earlier this month. It was a very cold day, below -30 Celsius, but quite sunny. The lakes were mostly frozen, but we found a little steaming pool near the shore of the second lake. Yes, steaming, which indicated the water temperature there was relatively warm. Probably there is a small outlet of hot spring. What was more amazing is that the shape of the pool was very similar to that of Mount Rundle. The added bonus was that a few white-tailed deers strolled across the frozen lakefrom the west as we began to take photos. They went to the east side of the lake, stayed there for an hour or so, and strolled back to the west side, giving us two chances to get them into our pictures.

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