Reconstructing History

While in the Canadian Rockies at Jasper National Park several years ago (still shooting with the PowerShot G3), we decided to take a “rest” day by hiking a relatively easy trail to a lake at the base of Mt Robson.  We drove from Jasper Park in Alberta to the Robson Provincial park in British Columbia in about an hour.

When we started out, the sky kept promising rain (in fact, it even sprinkled briefly), but then the clouds would part and a deep blue sky would appear.  When the sun was out, we broke a sweat working our way up the easy, but uphill, trail.  When cloud cover moved in, it was like someone had cranked up the air conditioning and I would get chilled almost immediately.

For most of the walk, the trail ran parallel to a treacherous but beautiful stream swelling with the “spring” snow melt (this was in July).  We didn’t see anyone attempting to navigate the stream, so I’m guessing the water was too intense for even really good kayakers.  It seemed like getting in the stream would be a really bad idea with or without a kayak to me.

When we arrived at Moose Lake, we were further away from the base of Mt. Robson than we expected, but given that Mt Robson is the tallest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, we still had plenty of good views of it, including the glacier nearby.

As I went through these photos from 2005, I discovered an interesting phenomenon.  I believe I was feeling lazy on this particular day not only in choosing an easy trail, but in my shooting.  I notice that the metadata in my pictures indicated I was mostly shooting with a wide-open aperture, with the smallest aperture setting being an f/8.

This was remarkable to me in two ways.  First, this is another thing to add to my list of things I’ve learned–I would not shoot these scenes with that setting today.  Second, it seems like they have much more depth of field than I would expect for such wide aperture settings.  This caused me to look at focal lengths.  They are mostly under 20mm with the shortest being 7mm (if I recall correctly).  Is that even possible?  Assuming my metadata is correct, the extremely short focal lengths are most likely contributing to the extra depth of field.  I assume I was shooting with an open aperture because we were walking in the shade quite a bit, so perhaps there wasn’t much light.

It’s always fun to try to reconstruct what happened 7 years ago based on the evidence collected in the metadata of your photos!

What I do remember clearly about this hike is that Pat and I were quite irritated with one another at the beginning of the hike, but back to laughing together by the time we were ready to return to the car.  Maybe that’s why I love hiking so much–it’s restorative in more ways than one.

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8 responses to “Reconstructing History

    • It’s been a while for us, too. We think we want to end up living in Jasper some day–that whole part of the world is amazing. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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