Mount Kidd – Kananaskis Country

I awoke early yesterday morning and headed out into Kananaskis Country, my favourite area within this region. I decided to head straight for Highwood Pass, the highest point accessible by paved road in Canada. The weather reports stated a possibility of snow within the area so I figured if it was going to be snowing anywhere, Highwood Pass would be my best bet. It was still dark by the time I got to the top of the pass, and stayed dark for a while as it was heavily overcast and snowing.

Just as there was enough light to see I started to hike up to Elbow Lake. Hiking up there alone, when it is still dark, in bear country, with fresh monstrous steaming smelly turds all over the trail is rather scary. I am still getting used to it. 

By the time I reached the lake a lot of the snow on the ground had already melted so I quickly set up and fired of a few shots. Then…… I almost shat my pants….. ALMOST! I was crouched down peeping through my viewfinder when I heard a branch crack and a groan directly behind me. My heart jumped out of my chest. I ssslllooowwwlllyyy turned around but thankfully it was just a Bull Moose. A big bastard of a Bull Moose, but not a Grizzly.  

Moose are amazing creatures. The past 7 mornings I have been out in Kananaskis Country I have seen Moose. It seems like they are everywhere.  Being out there alone, first thing in the morning in one of the most beautiful places in the world is amazing. It is when I feel most at peace. 

Now for an image…..

This was shot the same day, later in the afternoon. The Aspens and Larches have turned, making for some beautiful scenes.


21 responses

  1. Clint Baker

    mate this is a great shot!!!… did u get a pano of this place???

    September 23, 2009 at 1:12 am

    • Thanks Clint. No I didn’t end up getting a pano. I felt the best composition i could get was shooting it in standard landscape format.

      September 23, 2009 at 8:54 am

  2. Luke,

    This easily has to be one of the best compositions I’ve seen. That creek makes a great foreground subject as well as a leading line into the mountains. The colours and sharpness of this shot is amazing. You should be really proud of this shot.


    September 23, 2009 at 5:39 am

    • Thanks a lot Jamie. Very kind words. The 50 bucks has been deposited into your account. 🙂

      September 23, 2009 at 8:56 am

  3. Cool shot Luke … Fall colors are amazing. Wait till you see where I am going to take you …. Oh yeah watch those Bull Moose, your in rut season and they are completelu nuts in this season. I hear more dangerous that a pissed off grizzly …

    September 23, 2009 at 6:09 am

    • Thanks Neal. Can’t wait mate, my flights are now booked!
      Yeah, the Moose are bloody dangerous. I`m cautious.
      I watched a massive heard of Bull Elk in Rut today, it was amazing. They were all trying to mount the females. It was like some crazy Elk Orgy. I wish i had a tele lens. the most reach I have with any lens over here is my 85mm prime. Dag Namnit.

      September 23, 2009 at 8:59 am

      • Mate I am so freakin rev’d to get going, I need to calm down 🙂

        September 23, 2009 at 10:34 am

  4. I rate it Luke – the sweep of the creek up to the mountain is very nice – confusing because the water is flowing towards the mountain. is this the beginning of fall colour? is there better to come?

    September 23, 2009 at 7:43 am

    • Thanks Cain. I can now see how it would be confusing.
      It is the beginning, but in areas like this I think it is about as good as it will get. They just get yellows here in Alberta.

      September 23, 2009 at 9:02 am

  5. how did you manage to get an accurately exposed shot in such a bright area with the long exposure? stunning, i love this image a lot. great composition!

    September 23, 2009 at 7:50 am

    • Thank you Katie. I used a 9stop ND to allow for a longer shutter speed to give the soft/smooth water.

      September 23, 2009 at 9:05 am

  6. Awesome work Luke.
    It has a 3D quality to it, it is a fabulous composition and exposure.
    You can and should be proud.
    Also keep an eye out for my brother Sam, he should be in a pub around there at the moment.


    September 23, 2009 at 9:43 am

    • Thanks Thomas. I will keep an ear out for him.

      September 25, 2009 at 4:37 pm

  7. Nice one, the tight shot forces you eye to the mountain so less sky is better with this one. Wonder what it looks like at dawn?

    September 24, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    • Thanks James. The mountain is not lit all that well at dawn. I wanted the aspens lit by full sunlight as it really sets them off.

      September 25, 2009 at 4:39 pm

  8. Sweet shot Luke! love the comp and colours.

    September 25, 2009 at 3:40 pm

  9. Easily my favourite image of yours to date!!! I think this image is fcukin awesome!!! 🙂

    September 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    • Luke Austin

      Cheers Dylan

      September 30, 2009 at 5:24 am

  10. Yep this shot is really cool. Looks sooo wild and pristine. Well done Luke!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:21 am

    • Luke Austin

      Thanks for the comment David, and thanks for stopping by

      September 30, 2009 at 5:25 am

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