A Sunday drive along Meadow Lake Road

Up at 4am, packed a lunch, filled up with gas, and headed south along hwy. 97. Just south of 70 Mile, I turned west along Meadow Lake Road. I was on my way to Churn Creek Protected Area to photograph for the day.

As it turned out, it was a cloudy day with passing thunder storms and rain squalls. Perfect for photography! I drove slowly, stopping to make photographs of the Marble Mountains. In the image below I took a multiple exposure of 8 in order to make the vegetation more impressionistic. The total surprise when I saw it on my monitor was how a single bird became a flock of eight! They are even positioned perfectly for my composition!!


On days like this, with its fast changing weather conditions, I keep my eyes on the sky. The following image is a beautiful formation which I captured in a multiple exposure of nine.

At one point I parked my truck on the side of the road and hiked to one of several small alkali (calcareous) lakes. The results were amazing. I made one discovery after another; in fact, I never made it half-way to Churn Creek! Eight hours later I turned my truck around and returned home! I think I may share some of those discoveries in my next Newsletter.

One thing that did happen while I explored the shoreline, was a pair of American avocets dropped down as if to pay me a visit.

These elegant shorebirds feed in shallow water by sweeping their bills back and forth and stirring up aquatic invertebrates, which they capture by touch. I think I captured this very activity below.

American avocets are an endangered specie in British Columbia, and are very uncommon in the Cariboo Chilcotin.

11 Comment

  1. Anna-marie MacIsaac says: Reply

    lovely images Chris, the 8 consecutive shots that you took that had the bird in it, is that an HDR bracketed shot??? if not and if you don’t mind can you explain it a bit more please

    1. chris says: Reply

      Hi Anna-Marie. No that is not an HDR; no bracketing involved. Many cameras have Multiple Exposure feature, but not all. To me it is the most important feature on any camera. I would not buy a camera without it. That includes mirrorless cameras which at present don’t have that feature. Some camera’s can make ME’s of only 2, other go up to 10. So you might take 10 exposures of the same subject or as many different ones as you wish, and the end result is one raw image file. The creative possibilities are endless. Check your own camera. Many people have it but have never thought to use it. Hope that helps. Oh…I teach workshops on the subject. One is this weekend in Prince George, another one is at the Tallheo Cannery near Bella Coola next month. Unfortunately both are full, but stay tuned to my Newsletters; I may have more coming.
      Thanks. I hope that helps! Chris

      1. Anna-marie MacIsaac says: Reply

        thanks Chris, I will consult with my manual; after sending the comment I had a thought that maybe you had stitched the images. I took a photo course from you years ago in film days in P.G. when I lived there; wish that I was there for this one as well ..enjoy

  2. Dennis says: Reply

    I had never thought of multiple exposures of the clouds before, great idea! And the bird at 8x, another great one! Always an inspiration, Chris!

  3. chris says: Reply

    Ah-ha! As we illustrate in our workshops, creative possibilities are endless!! It was wonderful to see those avocets. Only seen them once before. Notice how I captured them with one foot up…that was my challenge! I was only shooting on single exposures too!! Thanks Dennis.

  4. Rick Church says: Reply

    Very cool Chris. Hopefully soon I’ll be able join you on one of these trips. Interesting seeing the Avocets. Ive photographed them in the SW USA but never seen one here.

    1. chris says: Reply

      Yes, seeing those avocets was a treat and a surprise.

  5. Vera Busse says: Reply

    Thanks Chris. We had Beaverdamguest ranch for a few years. I really think the drive you took was one of my favourites. We also had meadow lake ranch the old pigeon ranch.
    Our rides used to overnight at the old ranch and the guests and horses swam in the lake.
    Thanks loved to see the pictures they are amazing.
    Loved the sky!

    1. chris says: Reply

      Wow…what memories. I’m happy to help bring them back for you. Chris

  6. Joan Loeken says: Reply

    I have what might be a silly question: In your multiple exposure that included the bird, the mountains in the background did not appear to have “multiplied” like the bird did. Can you explain.

    As usual, I love your images. Joan

  7. chris says: Reply

    A very good and interesting question Joan. I made this image with a lens set at 170mm which I hand held, but keeping movement to a minimum. That’s why the impressionistic look of the vegetation (and mountain) is minimal. As for the bird…it was doing all the moving. It flew a that certain distance between every exposure I made, thus multiplying itself 8 times! I hope that answers your question. Thanks Joan. Chris

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