A Trip to the Canadian Rockies

Most of you know me as an unconventional street photographer but this is not where I started. It began with intense road trips when I photographed landscape, people, signs… in other words, documented the unknown and unexpected. This fascination with the idea of a road trip and accompanying search for visuals is something I transplanted to the world of street photography. After all, the ideas are strikingly similar. In both cases you focus on light, composition and creativity. 

I never liked the forced idea of specialization. Many people won’t touch travel photography when they are street photographers and vice-versa, but I believe this approach is detrimental to a photographer’s visual development and limits their visual vocabulary. Many ideas are limited to a tight and artificial genre of photography. 

Now, almost every year my wife and I take some road trips to capture new visuals and refresh our seeing. One of our favourite locations has always been the Canadian Rockies. There is something transcending, magical and grand about the mountains. Their raw power contrasts with a gentle beauty at a scale hard to find anywhere in the world.

But there is more. I remember us travelling to the Canadian Rockies almost every year in summer. With crystal clear blue lakes, lavish greens and those mountain peaks – you could not ask for more. One year we decided to visit and photograph the mountains in winter and it was never the same after that. In summer, the mountains are beautiful, but winter makes them just incredible. The whole experience becomes magical and unforgettable as if you are visiting a different planet. Since then we have photographed the Rockies almost exclusively in winter. 

The tourists are gone, and you can have Emerald Lake or Peyto Lake to yourself. Two of us in the midst of a winter wonderland, not a sound or distraction – just two cameras and two photographers. It’s one of the best experiences of my life. 

We were travelling with the GFX50S paired with the GF 32-64mm F4, and GFX50R paired with the GF 110mm F2.  

I will be writing more posts about this particular trip. Here is what’s to come. 

Started early (almost) every morning…

Photographed a winter wonderland…

Visited the Athabasca Glacier…

Walked on the frozen lake…

Visited a mysterious town…

Experienced a winter storm…

Photographed a rainbow without rain, or in other words a sundog…

Did some ice-fishing with Tim…

Met some incredible people…

and visited a ghost town.

plus much more! Stay tuned for our visual essays.

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10 thoughts on “A Trip to the Canadian Rockies

  1. I am also a lover of road trips especially with no clear agenda. Being on the road lifts constraints I feel at home. Constraints of time, place, custom, relationships as wonderful as they might be. Lifting such constraints can allow for a lifting of constrained vision. On the road means falling in love with newness as is seen in your photos.

  2. Lovely photos, and it’s nice to see a departure from your normal shots.

    I agree about landscape photography informing our approach to street photography (or mine anyway) – particularly in terms of composition.

    1. Andrew and Karen,

      Thank you so much for your kind note. You are absolutely right about connection between street and landscape photography. Thank you for visiting and leaving your kind note.



  3. Thanks for the post Olaf, I love this series. And I guess there must be something special in the Rockies. I’ve been to some extent to the Pyrinees and I cannot find scenarios that fit so well into great imagery, there’s something special in your images and others I’ve seen from the rockies. Congratulations, Inhope you keep shooting it for a long time!

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