Friday, February 03, 2017

The frozen effects of Johnston Canyon

  I made a couple of trips in September and October of 1987 to Banff National Park. This picture of Johnston Canyon was made during the latter trip when the icy grip of winter was starting to make its presence felt in the Rocky Mountain range. These trips were made when I had an extra day off from work so it gave me a three-day weekend to do some exploring with my camera for my personal work. I had just starting shooting with a 4 x 5 view camera and was delighted to get out to the Rocky Mountains that I found so inspiring and incredibly beautiful.

  30 years ago Johnston Canyon, especially in October, was a much quieter place with out as much tourist traffic that one would find today, even late in the season. So I wandered around with my 4 x 5 view camera with a semi-wide angle 120mm lens attached and found this scene particularly interesting, with bits of frozen icicles close to the fast moving water, ( visible in a larger print ) the one effect that I did not expect was the formation of the white pod-like appearance at the bottom of the picture in the dark part of water. 

  The water became smoothed out because of the time exposure as the water bubbled to the surface from the waterfall. I don't recall the exact exposure time, but it was fairly dark in the canyon bottom with the sun being at a low angle well bast the fall equinox and I was shooting T-Max 100 film, a slower type of film, so the exposure would have been several second long. After getting back from my trip and processing the film I was pleasantly surprised with the wonderful gray tonal values of the rock wall including the fine detail in contrast with the soft blurred movement of the white water.

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