BANFF 2017 - DAY 3 PART 1
Columbia Icefield and Hikers
Link to full sized imaged: http://www.tom-hill.biz/Galleries/Scenics/Canada/i-5VMQM9h/A
This day I decided to trek to Jasper National Park that is just to the north of Banff. I'd visited Jasper more recently than Banff--only about 8 years ago--and was really looking to see if there were good wildlife opportunities like there used to be. Of course, I wasn't disappointed. I'll talk about that more tomorrow.
Just at the border between Banff and Jasper along the Icefield Parkway is the Columbia Icefield. The glacier you see here is the toe to a major Icefield that straddles the Canadian Rockies. I read somewhere the melt-water from this location flows into three different oceans: Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic. I find that very interesting.
When I shot this image, it was just after a very overcast sunrise. The blue-green color in the ice you see here is quite natural. Still, you can only see it in these colors in this image after taking most of the extreme blue light caused by the overcast clouds dispersing the red spectrum of light from the sun. This makes the scene to most image sensors like my camera render things very unnaturally blue. In other words, I had to do a few adjustments to make the scene look right.
Coincidentally, I just happened to capture a couple of hikers on the way to the toe of the distant glacier. I didn't intend to include them in the image though their placement is entirely perfect. You get a real sense of the size of the scene when you see them in the foreground.
From a climate change point of view, this location is very telling. There's a sign not 10 yards away from my shooting location showing the location of the distant glacier back in 1925. From where I shot this image to where the toe of the glacier is now, is almost 2 miles. To me, it's the greatest demonstration of a warming environment as the slowly warming northern hemisphere is causing this glacier to retreat up the hill.