I visisted this place two weeks in a row. The first time to scout, and the second time to make this photograph. My tripod and camera bag were strapped onto my bike. The first few kilometres were an old logging road. When the route became too narrow to cycle, and before beginning the ascent, I hid my bike in the woods and continued on foot. When I reached my summit vantage point, the light and the clouds were just right, but the wind was howling.
Wind is often a challenge in large format photography – especially on peaks in the Rockies. The 4×5 view camera, with it’s dark-cloth draped over my head, provides a huge surface area for the wind to catch. I normally shoot with my lenses set between f32 and f64, which means my exposure times are slowed down and I have to be extra cautious of vibrations. The benefit of this system is incredible focus from foreground to background. Digital lenses are not generally capable of stopping down this far and image quality suffers if they do.
I quickly set up my camera and tripod, loaded my film, and started tuning in to the ebbs and flows of the wind, creating several exposures in brief moments of calm. A meal was enjoyed on this majestic piece of planet earth, then the adventure home began. Just before dusk as I returned to the trail where my bike lay thirty feet away, I heard a rustling in the bushes and saw two large moose guarding my bike. It was the height of rutting season when moose can be extremely dangerous. I exercised extreme caution and it took twenty minutes to extract my bike from them. Signs of daylight were quickly fading as I biked back down the bumpy trail, bear spray in one hand, handlebar in the other, headlamp on my forehead, hooting and hollering and singing songs to minimize my chances of having a run-in with a huge animal.