Photographing Emerald Lake

I have travelled on the highways through the Canadian Rocky Mountains many times.  I’ve seen all of the signs but never once did I take the time to stop at a tourist attraction.  As an amateur photographer, I was really missing out.  This trip proves it.  Taking a few extra days to stop and take some photographs really paid off.

DSC03687EmeraldLake copy
UNESCO World Heritage Site

The cascading glacial waters of the surrounding mountains feed into a basin forming Emerald Lake. Seeing the vivid turquoise color of Emerald Lake the first time is absolutely breathtaking.   The clear water, which contains powdered limestone or rock flour, is most spectacular at the peak of its melt in mid summer.  It’s a photographers paradise and I took advantage of it.


Just steps away, the Natural Bridge of gigantic boulders gave me a great opportunity to get up close to try photographing the rushing glacier water.  The sun wasn’t out, but it was a windless day and with all that rushing water around solid rock I just had to try to get one of those shots with a slow shutter speed.  My camera firmly fixed on a tripod, I tried various shutter speeds, different ISOs, exposures and of course HDR.  I combined a few of the images in Photoshop to create this composition.


Next tourist stop, Takakkaw Falls.   I must have taken twenty shots, all the same, before the couple in the left foreground gave me the gift of perspective.  What I learned was don’t wait for the intruders to move out of your shot, if appropriate, take advantage of it, make them part of the scene.

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