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Old Jun 20, 2010, 10:49 AM   #1
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Default Banff National Park/Johnson Canyon

Yesterday, I treated myself with another outing to Banff National Park, spending most of it at Johnson Canyon. As this is Father's Day weekend, I set my alarm for 3:30am as I wanted to get out to the canyon for around 5:30am to hit the trail and get my shots before the vast wave of tourist arrive.

It's amazing how many people can arrive all at the same time! Last time I posted photos of Johnson Canyon, it was during the winter when the falls were solid ice,.... this time, I couldn't even get close to where I took that last shot for all the spray blowing around, so I thought I'd take some new stuff.

My first favourite stop of course is at Vermillion Lakes, Banff where I captured a pre sunrise shot of Mount Rundle then raced off down the highway to an area where Buffalo are kept (have never seen one there, but the sign says different). Every time I've driven by this spot, I've sped by thinking about the composition of the majestic mountains and now that the trees are in full colour, it was time to pull over and capture a panoramic of the two together.

Following that, I headed off to Johnson Canyon down Highway 1A about 30 minutes from Banff. Though I've seen this drive so many times, I never get board seeing it all over again!

Anticipating seeing others in the parking lot, I made the bend to see that I was the first one!! Oh man, where to park?? The choices were endless. I almost couldn't make up my mind. The scene was like in the movie National Lampoons VACATION with Chevy Chase as he and his family drive into the vast empty parking lot at Wally World.......If you've seen it, you'll probably know what I was feeling.....you know, parking at the very back and running in slow motion leaping and jumping for the entrance of the park....

Anyway, I didn't have much time to contemplate this as light was descending on the canyon. I had a 1 1/2 mile hike ahead of me to get to the upper falls so I had to motor.

Along the way, there must be at least a dozen falls along the path as it twists and winds its way up the canyon but as I mentioned the water spray of the falls was too much to try and set up for photos, so I concentrated on other places.

As I was walking back from the Upper falls, (sorry no photos) there was one place along the path that jets out a little and you have to look way down a steep drop to the bottom floor of the canyon where a smaller set of falls is. All I thought was, "I want to go down there" but like most places like this, you know others have wanted to do the same thing and if I was lucky, I'd just have to look for a beaten foot path leading off somewhere and it was shortly after that I found it! Traversing a little, I made myself down to the bottom to find an amazing cave. I was in heaven...this place right here was like finding a hidden treasure chest. This cave is not seen from above and if your not one to go off the normal path, you will never find it.

I could have stayed here all day and if I waited another 30 minutes, I'd have to fight against the flow of tourist from tour busses pulling up to the parking lot. So I got my shots, like gems in my pocket, and back up the rocks I went hurrying down the canyon toward the parking lot. It must have only been 10 minutes later I met the wave of tourists walking up the path. I felt like the 'odd man out' as I was the only one not going with the flow. Hundreds of people all with little point and shoot cameras clicking all over the place, looking at this and that and all the while I'm thinking 'they have no idea that they will walk over top of the cave and never see it'.

I hope you enjoy my photos. Today, is father's day and I'm heading out again to another place I enjoyed going to last winter.

5dMII, 24-70 2.8, 4 stop ND Hoya Filter.
[The cave shot is 15 portrait photos stitched using cs5]
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Old Jun 20, 2010, 10:56 AM   #2
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One more.....
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Old Jun 20, 2010, 11:18 AM   #3
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Very nice photo's. Brings back nice vacation memories.
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Old Jun 20, 2010, 11:46 AM   #4
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Very, very nice. Love the meadow and cave shots especially.
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Old Jun 20, 2010, 10:17 PM   #5
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Very Very Very nice images

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Old Jun 20, 2010, 11:29 PM   #6
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Thank you for adding your comments. I did end up going out today for another photo run. Did some hard hiking up Grotto Canyon, this time the water was flowing. Last time I was there was in the winter and I walked on the frozen creek. Should have some photos up by tomorrow.
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Old Jun 20, 2010, 11:42 PM   #7
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As always, I waited with baited breath too see your photos and you delivered! In this series 3-5 were my favourite for the simple beauty of the moment. I never tire of scene's like these because they're honest and timeless. What fun you must have living with such beauty surrounding you.
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Old Jun 21, 2010, 8:09 PM   #8
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Beautiful and fantastic series.
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Old Jun 21, 2010, 8:21 PM   #9
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Thank you Shutterbug and flutelady for your comments! Shutterbug, when are you making the move from Ontario to over this direction?
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Old Jun 22, 2010, 12:40 AM   #10
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Spy....Haaa Haaa....I WISH!!!!! After living through your eyes I am dying to get out to visit that area. I've always wanted to go there and to Lake Louise as it was one of my Grandfather's favourite places which he found inspiring.

Yep, Ontario has a lot to offer but certainly not scenes like this in the GTA....you've got to go Up North for anything remotely similar on a smaller scale.

So for now, I'll have to live through your photo's, be green with Envy and truly as well as sincerely wish your talent would STOP!!! LOL

I really think some of these photos should be sent to Tourisim as you certainly do your home province a great service.
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