Blog.

Northern Lights Show.

     Our trip to Miquelon Lake Provincial Park was the first of a few we've done this summer with friends from college. The first night was a spectacular sunset but I didn't have time to explore the area to find a good perspective facing west so I did the best I could with what I found. The next day sunset was equally impressive and on my way to finding a location a massive beaver chewed down a tree right in front of us and dragged it across the path. I wasn't prepared at all so I was pretty disappointed with the quick snap. After our beaver encounter I managed to find a peacfeul area to catch the sunset reflecting on the lone cloud in the sky. Overall it was already a pretty good weekend of catching up with friend, camping and photography but the main event was still to come! 

     As you can see in the highlighted image there was an unforgettable Northern Lights show! I was blown away by the dancing, movement and colours. I've watched the Aurora a lot but nothing like this. That night I think it was nearly 3am before I called it quits but I easily could have laid in the dirt staring up all night. I'm so thankful for living far enough North to be treated to a Northern Lights show every once in a while. I'm curious if there will be a day that they'll simply stop showing up? Anyways, thanks for reading and as always I'd love to hear any feedback you have on the photos or if you think its possible for the Northern lights to dissapear permenately one day. 

Engagement.

     If  you have read the previous two blog posts this is the final instalment of a three post series and in my opinion the most exciting!

     The dreaded final day of our trip encroached on us as the sun slowly rose over the mountains. After an enjoyable day of hiking and being amongst the incredible mountain range that I am fortunate enough have within my home province Celine and I decided to take a bit of a break and hit up the local shops in the town of Jasper. This may sound quite leisurely but I will let you know she keeps a good pace compared to my saunter. Around noon we headed back to the campsite to make another campfire side lunch and plan what we would do for the remainder of the day. The conclusion was that neither of us felt like making a meal for our last night, so we decided to go out for a nice short hike and then go get a fancy sit down supper afterwards. If you have yet to catch on, this entire trip I was wanting to propose to Celine. The only problem was that at the locations or moments that would have worked great there were always menacing storm clouds taunting me from above. Unfortunately, the last day was nearly over and therefore my time frame to propose was running out. This hike that we would go on before supper was potentially my last opportunity, or so it felt, which is why choosing the right trail to go hiking on as well as the hour to depart was of paramount importance! Having butterflies coursing through your entire body for multiple days is somewhat uncomfortable and this was just a little bit more motivation to ensure things went well that evening. 

    Once the time came for use to get out of the vehicle and begin our short hike to Old Fort Point I was somewhat alarmed by the number of vehicles at the trail head. One key phrase I recall Celine saying numerous times is that if she was proposed to in a public setting there may be a possibility she would say a dreadful "no." I understood this clearly and for that reason I continued to pray that the pinnacle of the trail, and week, would be clear of people. After hiking and enjoying each other company for a while we reached this lookout rock that seemed to be the perfect spot to get down on one knee (the image with Celine holding out her arms). The area was quiet, had a gorgeous background, and best of all no one else was around. I thought this was it and I even got ready for it but something wasn't right so we took some photos and continued upwards. We reached the point that overlooked Jasper and the surrounding valley's around us. To say the least it was breathtaking!

     Everything looked prefect so I began to set up for a time lapse and rehearse what I would say over and over again just as I had been the entire week prior. This was the moment I (and all of you) had been waiting for. I prefaced Celine when we left Bonnyville about a time lapse and photo idea that I wanted to capture on this trip that involved her walking into the frame, holding out her arms, doing a slow rotation, and then looking out over the mountain view for a while. At the time I said it was to submit to Travel Alberta so she wouldn't get curious. Anyways, I audibly guided her through the steps, which allowed me time to reach inside my camera bag, retrieve the ring and box, and then stealthily put it into my pocket. From there I proceeded to walk up behind her and hug her, then hold her hands in mine and say the speech I had been preparing for the entire time. The sentences however did not come out as eloquently as I had planned but rather a conglomeration of words and pieces of what I had recited. After I thought I had said all that I remembered I shakily got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. 

     Without any hesitation she said "Of Course!" and our already tear filled eye starred back at one another filled with joy and excitement for what just occurred. I will try not to be too cheesy but I picked her up and swung her around and then we walked off into the sunset together. Actually in reality we climbed down the treacherous second half of the trail and took some ring photos with ridiculous smiles on each of our faces. That night we had a delectable meal in a nice restaurant and then followed it with watching Minions together. I couldn't have asked for the proposal to go better than it did or even our week long adventure together. We were kept safe the entire time and shared uncountable laughs with one another. I am unbelievable blessed to have such a wonderful woman in my life and am excited to continue living the rest of our lives together! 

     Thank you all for taking the time to read this longer post and if you are wondering where the photos or video is of the proposal you will have to come back when I am done editing a video of the entire week! Stay tuned and don't forget to subscribe!

Jasper National Park.

     Before we arrived in Jasper we took a break at the Columbia Ice Field to see how much it changed since we visited a few years earlier when Celine and I just started dating. We also stopped at the first mountain in the photos below but I forget the name of it. It surprisingly looks identical to the first time I photographed it just after I bought my first dslr. The photo of us together was taken by a fellow anonymous photographer who had some serious gear and seemed to know what he was doing so thanks to him for capturing us together!

     Once we arrived to our campsite we quickly set up our tent before it got dark and tried to get some sleep for our hike the next morning. Fortunately it had rained that evening which allowed for the peaceful pattering of rain on that tent that I love as well as a fog that encompassed the surrounding mountains. It wasn't until the afternoon that it cleared up. The area we decided to explore is called Five Lakes Trail which provided five sapphire blue bodies of water where each of them made us want to sit and watch the wind theatrically interact with the surface. On our way back to the campsite for lunch I had Celine take the photo of me in the amazing light which I couldn't be happier with how it turned out! The reality of having to cook everything over a fire with limited cooking supplies is one I could eventually get used to. Luckily we are both pretty good campfire cooks and made delectable grilled cheese sandwiches with a side of beans.  

     To conclude the already spectacular day we went for a scenic drive to the famous Maligne Lake. While driving down Range Road 260A there were droves of vehicles flocking in the opposite direction. At first I thought there might have been a natural disaster ahead but it turns out the shops on the lake just closed for the day. Little did these tourists know that they were missing out on the best light that day! After going on a short walk and enjoying the sunset we started driving back to the campsite for the evening. Right before this we took a spontaneous and quick detour to Lake Annette to see what the lake that shared a name with Celine's mom looked. As we expected it too was a gorgeous area and the setting sun peaked through the mountains briefly just enough to kiss the face of the mountain in the distance.

Kananaskis.

     Potentially this was one of the most exciting breaks from reality I have taken ever. As the title reads we ventured quite a distance. Starting In Bonnyville we began our journey Thursday night and arrived in Calgary shortly after midnight! Exhausted but still excited for the adventure ahead of us, we still tried to get some sleep that night after conversing with our good friends Caleb and Beth. The next morning we were headed off to Kananaskis to start our camping fun. After an agonizing strife with setting up the girls borrowed tent (Thank you Bill for being the front man on that!), the four of us decided to go driving to seek out where the trail was for the next day. Once we found it we decided to just sit and watch the sun set while talking and enjoying ourselves on the truck tailgate after a long day. The morning was upon us before we knew it therefore forcing us all to emerge from our shell like tents and prepare for what we anticipated to be an easy hike to Pickle Jar Lakes. For the most part it wasn't too bad but if it wasn't for my Solomon shoes I know I would have slid down without a doubt. Eventually we arrived at the first of five lakes just as a storm was sweeping in so we took shelter under some pine trees and ate lunch. It began to clear up so we continued on to the second lake where we got side tracked by a small stream that you can see me jumping across in the photos below; that I asked Celine to take. After sitting for a while and taking in the grandeur of the mountains in front of us we decided to head back to the campsite to relax until the next morning when we would return to Calgary.

     After returning to Calgary to shower and pack everything back into my Ranger, Celine and I departed northwards to Jasper! I was filled with excitement! Usually I end up exploring the Banff area so Jasper was a destination I haven't been to for a few years. Celine on the other hand was exhausted and slept as I drove through the scenic national park while listening to The Bad Christian Podcast (which I highly recommend to everyone who doesn't get offended easily). The next post will be released tomorrow!

Digital Media Class Adventure:Abraham Lake.

Abraham Lake was a destination that promised bubbles frozen in the ice but in my opinion we experienced much more. The first night we arrived to the camp, rather than going to bed, we went out and were surprised by what we was saw next. Below are some images from the first night that instantly made the trip worth it.

After staying out until 1pm the first night we woke up at 5am to catch the sunrise. This was a struggle, although we were rewarded greatly by what we witness during our time on the lake. We ventured out to the middle of the ice where our hopes of finding trapped bubbles was crushed. To our fortune there was a gaping crack that we possibly got too close to. The images below are of that risky but amazing experience! 

Overall the weekend was awesome and I came away with some great images. Also, it felt like everyone in the program grew closer together and were able to enhance our skills immensely! The last images are a few random ones that I thought were decent and summarized a few other things we did during out time there. I would love to hear your feedback and which images are your favourite.