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Author Topic: Mount Edith Cavell  (Read 2158 times)
PDobson
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« on: September 21, 2012, 02:01:19 PM »
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This summer, my friend Jack and I went up the East Ridge of Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park. I found Edith to be  big, beautiful, and intimidating. When scouting the North Face on the first day, we watched two large avalanches sweep the face. The ridge seemed like a more reasonable place to be considering how warm it was.

My goal with these photos is to show this famous mountain from a less common point of view. I want to convey a little bit of the size and exposure you feel when on the mountain itself.

These were taken with a Canon 20D with a 17-40 F4L.

Phillip
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matthewh133
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2012, 06:07:03 PM »
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Great shots man! Awesome to see some shots that are from some different perspectives. What an incredible climb. We also saw a fair bit of avalanche activity around the rockies when we visited this summer.. you got balls son!
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 06:23:19 PM »
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Great images.
Even better when one knows the story behind them.

Image #2 is my favourite.
Is that a glacier terminating at the mouth of a hanging valley below the climber?

Regards

Tony Jay
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 06:25:16 PM by Tony Jay » Logged
PDobson
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 06:55:21 PM »
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Number 2 is my favorite too. I had to sprint ahead of Jack to a little ledge off to the side to get that photo. I think it was worth it.

The glacier you see below him is the Angel Glacier. The first photo shows the terminus of that icefall. You can also see the road leading to the parking lot about a vertical kilometer below.

I attached a snapshot of the smaller avalanche. The super-classic Beckey/Chouinard/Doody route on the North Face skirts the right side of the icefall to the top of the Angel Glacier, and then goes right up the line of falling snow and ice. Maybe next time we'll have better conditions.

Phillip
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PDobson
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2012, 07:02:08 PM »
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As an aside, I'm very glad Jack replaced his older olive-drab jacket with this one. I bet he's glad he didn't pay the whole $600 MSRP!
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shaunw
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2012, 03:32:24 PM »
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 # 2 great climbing shot, gives me for one a strong sense of being....cracking shot well done.
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Canon 5D mk II Sigma 10-20, Canon 17-40mm L, Canon 24-105mm L, Canon 70-200 L, Lee Filters, Manfrotto geared head/tripod.

''Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop''. Ansel Adams
http://www.shaunwalbyphotography.com
francois
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 10:33:02 AM »
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The second photo for me too. It's has all the ingredients for a very nice image, it's not only a climbing photo. The climber gives a good sense of scale.

Bravo
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Francois
Patricia Sheley
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2012, 01:36:48 AM »
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The second photo for me too. It's has all the ingredients for a very nice image, it's not only a climbing photo. The climber gives a good sense of scale.

Bravo

...and telegraphed "zoned contemplation"... easy to sit back and enjoy this one...can hear the wind sounds below....
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churly
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2012, 12:53:48 PM »
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Patricia's comment about "zoned contemplation" got me thinking about the nature of photography in the sense that we often strive to produce a story or emotion that is encapsulated by an image whether or not that story or emotion really existed at the time of making the capture.  A fairly recent example in the critique forum elicited all sorts of emotional interpretations that didn't at all reflect the conditions under which the image was made.  Product photographers, cinematographers and street photographers do this all the time.  Not a knock on Phillip's climbing photo at all, but as a former climber I know that it is pretty easy to take what we used to call "exposure shots" that by their framing give the illusion of a lot more vertical exposure than actually exists.  By exposure I'm not talking about light but rather exposure to a vertical fall off of the face.  I certainly don't know, but their are some hints that this may be an "exposure shot".  The climber doesn't seem to be on a rope nor hauling much in the way of climbing gear.  Anyway that's not the point and the images are great.  The point is that we deal in illusions with essentially all forms of photography (except perhaps strict documentary photography and I will  only give that a perhaps).  So where Patricia sees "zoned contemplation", I see an enjoyable day on the rock and a photo made while taking a break from serious climbing.  No value judgement at all simply pointing out the difference.

Phillip - please take this as a commentary on photography and not a slight on your images.  Cheers.
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Chuck Hurich
Patricia Sheley
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2012, 06:12:03 PM »
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Yes, I do see what you are experiencing, and understand the reaction. Prose/poetry is that way too, or at least as one moves further into old age. Other than the immediate enjoyment I was taken as I lingered there to the space with no obediant names just in front of his eyes and into the space where nothing needs to be called anything...it just is...From my lingering there I felt again the experience of my back pressed up against a depression on rock face, where at the end of the day it seemed to be the only place on the earth that still carried some lingering warmth. I pressed my hands there while in "zoned contemplation" the day washed over me as if no other place existed. I hadn't remembered that early evening in late fall with cold northern waters below me and light disappearing quickly around me, as I paused before working my way back to the exit trail. That is what photography more and more often elicits from me. Memories, organic essences. As I considered your words there is no cold wind around me, but the question of where and when those feelings enrich my life brought others. The experience of finding myself at the near summit of Mt Mitchell in NC suddenly completely and overwhemingly disoriented by ashift in the fog bank. The same experience summitting Mt Washington by motorcycle and have an almost identical experience, not certain even hhow to get my feet to the ground. Not memories that have visited me for a long while, but welcoming the spaces this particular image placed in my reach to experience them once again and even as I type have my eyes defeat my attempt not to be sentimental in trying to explain this feeling of everything just being itself..., for me, zoned contemplation.

The phenomena of our lives penetrate us in many ways, but inevitably we arrive back at ourselves, changed, by what we saw, and how we see. It is in the spaces in between where the significance and transformations flow...In my aging I recognize myself disappearing, but oh the freedom of those spaces...

I had no need to question the how, I simply enjoyed the presences.
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PDobson
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 03:39:25 AM »
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I think you do have a point, Churly. Photos rarely match the emotion that was taking place during the capture. Maybe there should be a continuum that is perfect documentation on one end and "visual poetry" on the other.

This particular climb was an interesting one: our first technical alpine climb in the Canadian Rockies. The guidebook rating is III 5.3, 1400m; pretty easy technically. We were just coming off of a successful ascent of the Evolution Traverse (VI 5.9 15,000' total gain) and we were feeling confident. We carried a 30m rope and light rack, but chose to solo for the sake of speed. I don't like messing around with afternoon thunderstorms.

My partner was feeling a little sick that day, and that slowed us down. This photo was taken at the rock "crux"; I was encouraging Jack to keep up the pace, and he was carefully navigating some scary loose quartzite. It's actually pretty exposed here, which is the reason I stopped for a few photos. Below him is just more ridge, but the face on his right is a the vertical kilometer drop of the incredible North Face. It's a real treat to get exposure like that on a route as easy as this one. I'm pretty sure the emotion Jack was feeling was more fatigue than anything. He's normally unstoppable, but that day was messing with his body.

Above that section was some more rock, then steep corniced snow. The real surprise sting at the end was a hundred meters or so of mixed alpine ice and snow. We didn't expect that late July on what is normally a pure rock climb. I had a mountain axe and Jack was wearing aluminum crampons. At least I had good crampons and Jack had a technical tool. I now have even more respect for the climbing pioneers who first climbed the great ice faces with such primitive equipment!

I hope this gives a little more context to this image. I have to say that I do prefer it when photos intended to tell a story are accompanied by captions, or better yet, an article. Having a backstory helps put understanding behind the photo. Without that, I have to treat it as more of "inspired fiction". Fiction is not a bad thing; it  can poignantly convey truths and emotions. I just think that it should be separate from non-fiction.

Thank you everyone for your comments. They've given me lots to think about.

Phillip
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