Mount Rundle and Vermilion Lakes at Different Times of the Same Day

Photographing Mount Rundle by Vermilion Lakes (the work “lake” in plural form because it is a chain of three connected lakes) in Banff has probably become a mandatory, unoriginal, threadbare, run-of-the-mill, worn-out, and even touristy photography exercise. But, who can resist it if you stay in town, just minutes of drive or walk from the place to set up tripod?

In my last post, I posted a few black and white wide pictures that I shot on a sunny day during my last trip to the Rockies. Before the good weather, I stayed around Banff and made a couple of “courtesy visits” to the Vermilion Lakes where perhaps not a single day goes by without some people standing by the lakes’ shore holding cameras towards Mount Rundle, the 2,948-meter landmark peak overlooking Banff. And of course, I held up mine and took shots after shots, when the light was bright, dim, or as it turned out after sunset, weirdly beautiful.

The following three shots were taken at, respectively, 15 minutes after sunset, 26 minutes after sunset and about 4 pm. They were taken at the same spot near the west end of the third Vermilion Lake, which usually remains partially unfrozen even in extremely cold weather thanks to a warm spring at the lake bed. From this spot, Mount Rundle is partially blocked by Sulphur Mountain, but the lines of douglas firs, red osier dogwood (is it dogwood? correct me if it is not) twigs and yellowed grass around and in the lake provide very nice elements for composition, in addition to a relatively clear reflection of Mount Rundle in the unfrozen pool of water which may not be available in the other two lakes. Visually I was particularly drawn to the elegant curves of the grass in the water. Their color became brilliantly orange at the sunset, which gave the first image below an oil-painting quality.





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