I created this dramatic image of Castle Mountain on the first night of my recent Banff National Park Photography Tour. Unlike many of the famous viewpoints in the US National Parks, we had this beautiful vista all to ourselves. This location is right next to the road, making this view from along the banks of the Bow River one of Banff's most iconic landscape photos. Many landscape photographers seem to be over-infatuated with the orange-red light at sunset. I don't blame them, but I often find my most successful images earlier during the golden hour before sunset or after sunrise. This image is a perfect example of this early sunlight still at a high enough angle above the horizon to illuminate the entire scene. Any later and the trees are all just dark silhouettes (which they were and I have pictures of). The ominous clouds above the mountain add drama and help focus the viewer's attention onto the mountain in the middle of the scene. I created this image with my Canon 5DmkII, Carl Zeiss 28mm f2 ZE lens, Singh-Ray LB Warming polarizer and 4-stop Soft Graduated Neutral Density filter. On a tripod, of course.
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