Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Rhapsody in the Gatineau Park

Ah ... Autumn! One of my favorite times of the year. The air is cool and crisp, the leaves are gold and orange, the smell of leaves and smoke is in the air. I built very fond memories of the fall as a child -- I specifically remember our house on Gallagher avenue in Winnipeg with its huge pile of raked leaves in the front yard ... I was around 4 years old at the time.

So I am predisposed to love this time of year, but for reasons I don't understand, I've never gone out and photographed our spectacular Fall Rhapsody at the Gatineau Parl. Shame on me ...

This year, I had ridiculous work obligations that kept me at the keyboard at all hours of the day and night through the summer and most of September and the first half of October. I gotta stop saying yes :-)

But this weekend, I realized that I had a free day on Sunday ... no specific work to do, no photoshoots, the kids at their aunt's house for Thanksgiving Dinner (sad face ... the first family gathering I have officially missed since the change in my marriage status) ... that left me free to do something with the day.

The clouds were supposed to clear and I waited patiently for that to happen, but it never quite did. Still, it seemed to be clearing somewhat around 1:30, so I packed everything up and trundled off to the park for a look see.

When I arrived at the park, I realized that the Canon G10 could sit on the rubber pad I have on the dash for holding phones etc and document the trees as I drove. So I have it do that with Wintersleep blasting away on the iPod in the car. Very cool :-)

I took a few shots at the Pink Lake Outlook near the lake's parking lot. The clouds were still fighting for control, so I tried to keep them out of the shots. I had the D300 on tripod and shot with the Nikon 70-300VR first and then the Sigma 10-20 ultra-wide zoom.

This is the far end of the lake. I would cross that spot about three quarters of an hour later.

Over on the northern shore (I think) is an outlook across from the main outlook on which I find myself. These people have stopped about 1/3 of the way around for a peek.

I noticed some people shooting images of themselves at the end of the lake again and snapped one of them.

I must say that I have *never* seen people shooting images of themselves to this extent ... and I've walked the south bank of the Thames nearly a dozen times. It was amazing to see how often people would stop and shoot each other. (Now you are having a Reservoir Dogs flashback :-)

This outlook hangs out over the western end of the lake. I think it might not be connecte dot the trails ... I think they are near the shore of the lake at that point.

This beautiful scene was straight across from me, near the outlook on the north cliffs ... and I love isolating scenes like this that show layered trees ... especially when you get so much color.

The northern side is cliffs for a while.

Still on the outlook, I shoot the area around it.

And then switch lenses to the wide angle ... 10mm is ultra wide and it gives an interesting perspective.

The lake from the outlook ...

A family capturing the moment :-)

Looking down to the ground 10 feet below the platform.

And back to the car. Yes, I still have the CR-V ... a wonderful winter car with a terrific stereo in it ... not factory of course. If you like the sound of Wintersleep, watch the videos that bookend this piece.

So I arrive at the lake and begin walking around it. I am carrying my tripod and D300 with two lenses. I have the G10 in my right have jacket pocket and my F11 in my front left jeans pocket. This ends up being a fair bit to carry and gets annoying by the end. Of course, I'm not one to toss the cams in the lake, so I lived with it :-)

As I head down onto the trail, a nice view presents itself for the G10.

Fairly early, I run into a nice view through some bush.

You can probably tell that was the D300. Momentarily, the trail opens up with a lovely view facing east.

The sun is hitting the other end and it's looking very pretty ... here are versions from the F11 and the G10.

Walking along, I saw some nice views through trees and of the western shore itself.

Here's a shot taken with both the F11 and the G10.

There's a little bridge that I remarked on in my last Pink Lake post. A stream flows under it, and there is still water this late in the year. Cool.

Zooming out with the G10, I catch a nice glimpse of sunlight ... one of the last I was to see at the lake.

This trail is actually kind of fun ... a really light load for anyone fit. There are a lot of stairs though.

In many areas, the shore is quite barren, but the color is kind of nice. No leaves here ... I suppose the wind swirling about in the bowl (the lake is surrounded by cliffs) disturbs any leaves lying near the shore.
Wandering along, there are some really nice spots along the trail that have soft woods and young Maples with lovely yellow leaves. The fact that this is their death color does not make it any less beautiful.

As I walk along and stop for images, I am constantly leap-frogging people who are also stopping for images ... and it is most gratifying to see Nikons everywhere :-) [In fact, as I was walking to my car, carrying my D300 on tripod, I passed a young Asian girl and her friends and heard her say Nikon (pronounced Neekong) ... a pause ... then D300. I was shocked that she could figure that out as I zipped by them with the cam waving on the end of the pod slung under my arm. I was also impressed ... that fella has miself a terrific girl :-)

So ... back to the woods. At one point, I noted that the hillside rose fairly sharply and there were a lot of very tall trees nearby. I tried for a few of those classic "look waaaaay up!" shots ...

These have some of that soft processing I like now and again ... a little glow to add the sense of mist or fog.

Here are some of the people I kept leap-frogging ... this is right after I got tired of the 10mm and put the long lense back on.

And here is a tree that just *has* to have Hobbits living under it ...

Moving along, I came across some gnarly roots near some stairs ... this part of the trail is up on a cliff with the roots and path fighting it out over possession of the meager covering over the rocks ... a G10 shot by the way. Along with the next one, which is looking up the hill again.

And at this point, I switched exclusively to video for this walk. I really did not like shooting on such a cloudy day, and I certainly had enough images. That video is pretty jerky from the walking, so I need to scan the files for clips that might make for a nice presentation of Pink Lake.

Meanwhile, I did film the drive out as I had filmed the drive in :-)


Unknown said...

Gorgeous colors!
Makes me think of my childhood in New England...

Kim Letkeman said...

Thanks Lili, New England is certainly a lush and beautiful area. I've driven through parts of Mass. and NH.

crazy football mom said...

Very nice pics, Kim.