Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park

Trip Date: May 2014

I was selected to attend Inside Education's Living on the Landscape professional development program in the Lac La Biche region of the province.  While we were there we had the opportunity to spend some time in Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park.  To read about the entire professional development program please visit my other blog by clicking here.  Although we didn't have a lot of time to explore the park I was able to get out for a short hike.  

Map of Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park
Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park is located approximately 545km northeast of Calgary in east-central Alberta.  It is Alberta's only island park and it's located in Lac La Biche Lake.  To access the park you have to drive the 2.5km causeway from the town of Lac Lac Biche.  The park is covered by a 300-year-old forest and the shoreline is made-up of beautiful sandy beaches.

Beach day-use area in the park
There are a few trails within the park, but I chose to hike along the north shore on the Old Growth Alley trail.  The trail was beautiful with some great views of the lake.  There were signs of moose (tracks and scat) all over the place, but I didn't see any of them.  

Small sections of the trail had boardwalks that crossed swampy marshland
The park is a birder's paradise.  It provides habitat for more than 230 species of bird.  I spotted a few during my hike, but I heard the songss of countless others.  Here are a few photos that I managed to get of a couple of different species.

I think this is a female Red-Winged Blackbird
There were a lot of Gulls flying around
This Pelican was soaring over the water looking for it's next meal
One of the two Pelican Islands just off the shore of the park
I saw this sign as I started the Boardwalk Trail loop.  I'm glad I didn't run into the Cougar.
A section of the 1.5km Boardwalk Trail
The trail lead to this secluded beach
The day was cloudy, but very warm
Back at the beach where I started
Although I would have liked to explore more of the park, it gives me a good reason to come back to this part of the province in the future.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Time Lapse Photography

Time-lapse photography is a technique whereby the frequency at which frames are captured is much lower than that used to view the sequence.  When played at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing.

I was inspired by a co-worker's time-lapse photography to give it a try on my own.  If you'd like to see the video clip that really inspired me, you can view it here.  I already had everything I needed, except the remote timer (intervalometer), but I was able purchase one online.  Once it was delivered it was time to give it a whirl.  Below you'll see my third and fourth attempts at time-lapse photography.  The first two aren't even worth viewing.  The interval timing was off and the photographs were too overexposed, but these two didn't turn out half bad.  

This first video combines 1,079 still photos into a relatively short 36 second clip.  The camera was turned to Manual mode and after I'd adjusted for the proper exposure I set the remote timer to take a photograph every 10 seconds for approximately 3 hours.  I imported the photos into GoPro Studio, a video editing program, rendered them together, and finally exported the finished copy as a video file.  See for yourself...

For the above video I set-up my camera in the meadow outside of camp.  The mountain in the frame is Black Rock Mountain.

This second video combines 977 still photos into a 33 second segment.  This time I set my camera to Aperture Priority so it would automatically adjust the shutter speed for the changing light conditions.  The remote timer was set to take one picture every 8 seconds over the course of about 2 hours.  After editing the photographs together I was rewarded with the following...

For this clip I set-up the camera on the far side of the meadow just before sunset.  The small mountain on the left is Sleeping Mole and the bigger mountain in the centre is Black Rock.

As I mentioned before this was my first foray into time-lapse photography, but I have really enjoyed it so far.  I'm hoping to experiment a little more with sunrise/sunset and hopefully photograph a few overnight scenes as well.  Stay tuned for more to come!