Collin J Örthner – Photographer

April 1, 2013

Chickakoo Lakes Recreation Area

Filed under: Autumn, Hi Res, Large Format, Nature, Travel, Trees — collin j örthner @ 10:00 pm

I’m not one to stay home when it’s raining. I love rain, and this particular morning was no different. I had seen the potential the evening before as we drove to my -in-laws home north of Spruce Grove. The colours were some of the best I’ve seen in the area for quite a few years and I wasn’t about to miss it. So, before first light I headed out the door with a coffee in hand and made my way the short 15km drive to Chickakoo Lakes to see what the autumn had produced for colour there as the seasons progressed from summer to autumn. Well it was no disappointment, but I was having difficulty lining up an image in my head to what was in reality, plus it was still mostly dark. I decided to relax in one of the parking lots enjoying my coffee and listening to the rain on the roof of the car. Once it started to lighten up the colours seemed to be almost electric as the rain was saturating everything. I started the car and headed slowly down one of the small gravel roads in the park at almost a snails pace. As I came over one of the hills I slammed the brakes and immediately pulled over. This sight was right before me and I didn’t need but seconds to have the focal length I felt necessary already picked out.Grabbing the camera bag and tripod I climbed a bank on the far side of the road, which was pretty slippery. At the top I set up using my hat (a very well abused Tilley) to protect my camera and lens from the rain. I metered the scene and discovered that true daylight hadn’t really arrived as it suggested an exposure of 3 minutes. I figured I would try anyway, but there were many small breezes every now and again and watching the tree branches, I could tell the transparencies would be blurry. So, I waited and waited until it got bright enough to give me an exposure under 30 seconds. I didn’t want to wait any longer as virtually every branch had tiny droplets of water on them and I didn’t want to risk a heavy breeze knocking them all off. Unfortunately the tiny droplets are invisible on this small web-sized image. Unfortunately this park is being encroached upon by developers, and I can only hope the county has the foresight to protect this valuable resource!



[Anba Ikeda 4×5, Fujinon 300mm f/8.5C]




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