The Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A) through Banff National Park is one of the most popular drives in the world – and for good reason. Whereas the Trans Canada Highway (Highway 1) will get you between the town of Banff and Lake Louise faster you won’t get the full on Banff experience that the Bow Valley Parkway provides. The road carries on for around 70 kilometers or so and there are plenty of places to stop along the way get out of your car and take some amazing pictures. There is an article in this month’s Outdoor Photographer magazine that talks about how many of the best shots are found just steps away from parking lots or roadside turnouts in the National Park system. The people who designed those roads did so for a reason – and they knew where the best views in the park are so trust them. Of course it is always beneficial to move around a bit and its nice to find some solitude by taking an early morning hike but if health or physical reasons prevent you from doing so it shouldn’t discourage you from getting out there and finding beautiful scenery to shoot. The world is an amazing place!
Lodgepole Road – Banff National Park
While most of Bow Valley Parkway twists through various meadows, rivers and lakes there is one section of it – Lodgepole Road – 10 km north of my favorite spot (Castle Mountain Junction) where the road becomes arrow straight for several kilometers. The trees also tend to be arrow straight so the composition comes together nicely. In this instance I just hopped out of the car, set my tripod up took a few different bracketed exposures and then carried on my way. Given, that the day was largely overcast (I was out seeking rivers and waterfalls to shoot) I knew that I’d process the photo using black and white so that I wouldn’t have to worry about not having optimal light. Ultimately, I’m very pleased with how the photo came out.