Earlier this fall, 10 members of Sony's Alpha Imaging Collective ventured to the Canadian Rockies to capture one of the world’s most scenic regions using the latest Sony gear. Equipped with Sony mirrorless cameras and lenses like the α7 III, α7R III, FE 16-35mm G Master, FE 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master, FE 12-24mm G and FE 24-105 G, the group snagged shots of some iconic locations in Canada. The Rockies happen to be right in the backyard of #AlphaCollective member Rachel Jones Ross (@rachel_jones_ross) who was also on the trip, and below, she shares her commentary on some of the can’t-miss photo ops in the region.
Vermilion Lakes – Banff National Park
Vermilion Lakes is in Banff National Park and consists of three lakes. I absolutely love Vermilion Lakes because of the very little light pollution coming from the town of Banff. It reflects off of Mount Rundle and that makes for some really stunning night photography. I don’t shoot at the first lake very much. The second one I shoot almost exclusively in the winter because there’s a little hot spring that feeds into it, and then in the summer I like to venture to the other end of the lakes where it’s a bit quieter and there’s a couple of docks that add some interest. It doesn't seem to matter what time of day or night you go there – the shape of the mountain, the reflections on the lake, the atmosphere – you just always come away with a good shot of something that makes you feel like you were in the Rocky Mountains.
Two Jack Lake – Banff National Park
Two Jack Lake is also a part of Banff National Park and is easy to access due to its proximity to Banff. It’s a special place because it’s nice and serene. I like it because there's almost always animals on the side of the road that you'll see when you go out there, so you really feel like you're in nature and inside Banff National Park. It's just really pretty and there's a nice reflection to be had there when the water's calm.
Emerald Lake – Yoho National Park
Emerald Lake is in Yoho National Park in British Columbia. I love it because there are plenty of opportunities for shooting where you can get many different compositions. There’s a little restaurant/lodge building there that has this light on it that reflects beautifully into the lake with the mountains surrounding it. Then in the winter you get these beautiful frost and snow formations in front of it that makes it look like a winter wonderland. It's the quintessential Canadian lodge in the mountains look and it's really enchanting. Because of that allure, it's a great place for creating images that tell stories. Emerald Lake is also a good spot to capture the Northern Lights because it’s north-facing.
Lake Louise – Banff National Park
Lake Louise is within Banff National Park and has a tendency to get very busy during the day – so arrive early! It has an opening that remains there during the wintertime, so you can capture a wonderful reflection of the mountains. In the summertime, the green-blue color you’ll find there is mind-blowing. It’s also a fun place to take canoes out onto the lake it you’re into that!
Moraine Lake – Banff National Park
Also in Banff National Park, Moraine Lake is almost seven miles up the mountain from the center of Lake Louise. It's typically open sometime from June to October, then the road closes the rest of the year because of avalanche risk. It’s another place you’ll want to arrive early due to popularity, and there are a few different places that you can photograph there. If you stay close to the shore you can get some nice rocks in your foreground. You can also take a hiking path up to get a view looking down on the lake with the trees framing it. Moraine Lake is an iconic location in The Rockies, and the Milky Way lines up with the mountains making it a great astrophotography spot.
Peyto Lake – Banff National Park
Peyto Lake is also in Banff National Park and is kind of a favorite for me. It’s glacier-fed, so the color of it is unreal. It’s also shaped a bit like a fox head, so it just has this unique look to it that makes it interesting. Some of my favorite shots I’ve seen from there but haven’t captured myself are when there’s a fresh snowfall but the lake hasn’t frozen yet, so it has this magical green color to it. Around 10 a.m. is a nice time to shoot here because the sun isn’t harsh yet, but it’s up and really lights the water. This lake is also north-facing so the Northern Lights are a fun time to shoot here.
Kananaskis Country is outside of Banff National Park and doesn’t see as many tourists, so it’s pretty quiet. In my opinion, it’s still very wild. When you go out there you’re sharing that space with all kinds of wildlife, especially bears. Because of this, it’s advisable to hike in groups of three or more and to carry bear spray with you at all times. There are many shooting opportunities here with plenty of areas yet to be explored. You can hike well-maintained trails or even just pull over to different spots on the side of the road for an amazing view.