29 November

Fire and Ice in the Canadian Rockies Photo Tour Results – Alan Ernst

Alan Ernst, our host out of Aurum Lodge  for the Fire and Ice Photo Tours is always looking beyond the obvious and extracting images that most of us would never see. I never fail to be impressed by his creative vision! And now I am impressed by his creative title on his first image (although it looks more like a Dali than a Picasso to me):

©Alan Ernst – P-ice-casso

©Alan Ernst – Fluffy

©Alan Ernst – Balancing Act

©Alan Ernst- Beaver Pond

©Alan Ernst – Bighorn Launch

©Alan Ernst – Excoelis Mirror


19 October

Fall in the Canadian Rockies Photo Tour Results – Alan Ernst

Alan is the proprietor of the Aurum Lodge, the location where our photo tours are based from and home base of the most important part of the tour; Madeleine’s great home cooking!

Alan is a 4/3 rd’s genius. Or is that a genius with the 4/3 rds? Whatever the math, Alan makes brilliant compositions using a little Panasonic Gx1 camera (a 4/3 rds sensor size camera) and a couple of lens. Goes to show, it ain’t how big your tool is, it’s how you use it!

Looking at Alan’s photos below, I think he is feeling a bit square lately but we still love him!

©Alan Ernst – Beach Bubbles

©Alan Ernst – Divided Waters

©Alan Ernst – Rockies Reflection

©Alan Ernst – Tree Topposites

©alan Ernst – Waiting for the Warming Sun

©Alan Ernst – Windy Point Awakening

13 August

Why We Have Decided to Stop Doing Photo Tours

©Samantha Chrysanthou – Looking Back (from the Buicks and Badlands Workshop)

Back in February of 2005, Alan Ernst of Aurum Lodge and I organized our first photo tour of the Kootenay Plains area of the Canadian Rockies. We thought we would offer a tour to one of the most scenic, least developed and least visited areas of the Canadian Rockies. Our first tour was designed to highlight the magic of winter on the Kootenay Plains (see our special places eBooks for more information on this wonderful area). We took people to hidden gems that they likely would have had a hard time finding on their own. The idea of putting experienced photographers in ‘secret spots’ at the right place at the right time was born. To see the results of that first photo tour see this link.  The Winter Tour in particular became very popular due mostly to the great pictures of ice bubbles on Abraham Lake that resulted.

We expanded our offerings to cover other seasons and lighting conditions and a full slate of tours was born. The Fall Tour and the Fire and Ice Tour each became popular, often selling out two years in advance. On a tour, we are like hunting guides taking shooters to where the best trophies  are hidden. After eight years of  successfully putting photographers in front of  desirable prey, the pursuit has begun to ring hollow for us as guides and for the photographers who wish to grow as artists. We want to offer our clients more than just pretty locations! Note: Don’t worry all the tours scheduled through 2013 are still a go; so if you want one last kick at the trophies be sure to sign up.

When I teamed up with Samantha, she recognized early that photo tours, although fun and intense, didn’t really help people grow beyond adding a few more notches on their trophy belts. In response, we designed our immersive photo workshops with directed topics and assignments that would help photographers grow technically and artistically. We wanted to help people develop their own vision and voice and go beyond just making copycat trophy images.

©Samantha Chrysanthou – Double Vision (from the Buicks and Badlands Workshop)

The workshops we’ve developed have been incredibly well received. In fact, we have been invited back by Grande Prairie Photography Club for the third year in a row to present a new workshop, Mastering the Art of CompositionWe are also being hosted by Foothills Camera Club in Calgary (contact dana@mountainladdiephoto.com for registration information) and the Whitehorse Photography Club in the Yukon in September of this year.

Our final oopoomoo workshop for 2012 is Buicks, Bandlands and Old Buildings which combines great locations with immersive instruction. We still have openings for two photographers (August 23-26, 2012). So if you really want to take your artistry to a new level, be sure to come out for one our intensive workshops. As a little teaser for what’s coming up, we will be hosting Guy Tal in an intensive workshop based out of Aurum Lodge in October 2013 – stay tuned for an announcement here in a few weeks! (Hmm, and maybe a newsletter is overdue…with something special just for subscribers!) And speaking of learning don’t forget about the big seminar and workshop that oopoomoo is hosting with David duChemin in March, 2013!

So even though we’re not doing the ‘photo tour’ format anymore, we think these opportunities are even better — that’s a lotta learning!

©Samantha Chrysanthou – Wrecks (from the Buicks and Badlands Workshop)

©Samantha Chrysanthou – History (from the Buicks and Badlands Workshop)


17 July

The Nordegg Mine Tour Results – Alan Ernst

We are happy to post each participant’s five favorite images from our second annual Nordegg Mine Tour (dates have yet TBA for next year’s tour/workshop). Up first is our intrepid host of the event, Alan Ernst from Aurum LodgeAs always, Alan’s fine eye for detail comes through in his selction of images. Alan used his Panasonic GH1, GH2 and Gx1 to make these images. Hey Alan, how many Panasonic cameras do you have?

©Alan Ernst – Groundsel: Lumix GX1 – Olympus 12-50mm at 86mm equivalent, f11, 1/16o s, ISO 200, + 1 EV

©Alan Ernst – Mine Marmots: Lumix GH2 – 45-200mm lens at 400mm equivalent, f5.6, 1/50 s, ISO 250, +2/3 EV, fill flash

©Alan Ernst – Processing Plant: Lumix GX1 – Olympus 12-50mm lens at 26mm equivalent, f8, ISO 160, polarizer, HDR

©Alan Ernst – Running Rusty: Lumix GH1 – Olympus 12-50mm lens at 200mm equivalent, f13, 1s, ISO 100, polarizer

©Alan Ernst – Silent Press: Lumix GH2 – 7-14mm lens at 16mm equivalent, f8, 25s, ISO 160, +1 EV, painted with hand-held flashlight