Vancouver – Road Trip through the Canadian Rockies

 

Photographing on the Yellowhead Highway

Images a la Sauvette (Images on the run) by Tallulah 

When I was asked by a friend to join him on a road trip to Edmonton for a night of horse racing, my sense of adventure was reinvigorated by the chance to reconnect with the world outside Vancouver.  I imagined I could take some impressive landscape photographs with my new 20mm Nikon lens, so I packed my tripods, lenses and equipment and some warm clothes and set off. There is an amazing sense of freedom being on the road. Evocative sounding highways, such as Yellowhead to the Crowsnest, and the equally impressive road trip soundtrack gave an atmospheric soundscape to the ever-changing scenery. As we left the village of Valemount, the weather closed in and the feeling of rapidly-approaching winter closed in around us. Sitting in the passenger seat I thought about our constant human effort to survive the elements. Workers in their reflective wardrobes and individual styles to keep them warm and safe.  As the clouds darkened and the snow became a deluge, the roads climbed more steeply ahead of us. Ever upwards and on towards the mountains of Jasper National Park, which is the largest in the Canadian Rockies. The first heavy snowfall of the season saw vehicles slip and slide on the one life-sustaining artery through the mountains. Life and death seemed all that more real -although not even the weather stops the impressive transportation links between Vancouver and the rest of Canada: large long trucks carrying goods from across the globe race Canadian Pacific Railway trains, laden with shipping containers, twisting and turning through the hinterland.

Canadian Pacific Railway running alongside Yellowhead Highway

The Yellowhead Highway to Jasper, crews working on the roads.

The Yellowhead Highway to Jasper, crews working on the roads.

Canadian Pacific Railway trains ladened with shipping containers weaving through the mountains.

Canadian Pacific Railway tracks through Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park

The return journey from Edmonton took in fast highways as we skirted past the city of Calgary and, upwards once again, through the Canadian Rockies – this time via the Banff Highway. The weather was changeable and sun flirted through clouds and rains. We passed mountain sides covered by the black skeletons of burned trees from recent wildfires. I realised how remote, rugged and wild the province of British Columbia is with the landscape taking us on journeys of rocky coastlines, forests green and enchanted as a fairy tale, blue-green lakes, monumental mountains, sage-covered deserts and grassy, fruitful plains.  It was a magical experience to be able to interpret the landscape with freedom and the chance to create a visual journey demanding artistic integrity to capture the land I live in. 

The highway from Edmonton to Calgary

Banff National Park

Banff National Park

A raven, Banff National Park

Mountains, Banff National Park

Banff National Park

Ravages of forest fires, Banff National Park

Hotel & Saloon, Crowsnest Highway

Wilgress Lake, Crowsnest Highway

Osoyoos Lake

Crowsnest Highway

Crowsnest Highway passing through a small town in British Columbia

Crowsnest Highway

Crowsnest Highway

Fall colours on the Crowsnest Highway

 Crowsnest Highway through the forests.

Highways, Mountains and Rivers

The camera I used on this trip is a Nikon D850 with a 20mm lens and my tried and tested Nikon 24mm-70mm, a fast shutter speed – constantly waiting for that moment when the frame finds a magical landscape to fill it.