Susan Seubert rode the Rocky Mountaineer train, coursing through Canada and exploring the sights along the way for Traveler magazine. Follow along as she shares glimpses into making incredible images in the Canadian landscape.
At dawn on the shore of Lake Louise, you will never be alone. Because the early morning light is so beautiful on the glacier, the place is littered with photographers. The weather on the three mornings I was there was different each day. One day was perfectly clear, with the exception of a single wisp of a cloud. But on the following morning there was significant cloud cover, so as the sun rose and got brighter, the landscape continued to become more captivating. The clouds added contrast to the image, and because of the mottled light, the depth of the landscape became more pronounced as the sun rose higher in the sky. I chose a longer lens length for this picture because I wanted to show off the glacier and not so much of the lake. At this point, a photographer had come up to me to say that I had “missed the great light,” and I responded that I was excited about what was happening with the clouds and the play of light on the cliffs. And the red canoes show scale without being overbearing.
There’s a common misperception that clear skies are the best for making pictures of the landscape. But weather often makes an otherwise good landscape great. One needs to look no further than the work of Ansel Adams to see the examples of how this holds true. Although his work is primarily black and white, it’s the contrast in values that makes so many of his pictures stunning.
Photo Tip: Embrace the weather. Clouds will often be your friends. Get out there as the sun is rising—it’s amazing how clouds can work as a shifting light source and really emphasize depth in a landscape.
Photographed with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens.
Read more about riding the Rocky Mountaineer train in Traveler magazine.
See more photos by Susan Seubert on Instagram at @susanseubert.