Winter Photography Trip to Hautes-Gorges-De-La-Rivière-Malbaie, Quebec

When I decided to go to this national park in Quebec, It was all driven by passion to capture one specific type of photograph. This was the first year this park is open to public in Winter season, which provided for really interesting photography opportunities.

I had 2 days there to capture a winter photography scene, there is a large valley here that the river Malbaie runs through it.

I usually would want to capture the grand vista of the valley with the frozen river. Yet with photography, you can't make a decision until I see with my own eyes what I see. I always thought I would have to travel somewhere further to capture clear black ice just floating beneath my feet.

It is always super windy here, so the snow never accumulates over the frozen river, which provided me with a chance to photograph these photographs.
When I was driving there, I had no idea what to expect, when I got there and I photographed these photographs, I was so happy and content.
What I was able to capture these textures in the Ice that symbolize for me the range of human emotions from Heart Break to Fury to Hope.

I couldn't be happier to have been able to witness these winter conditions in Quebec

Broken Heart

Broken Heart

Fury

Fury

Hope

Hope

Trip To Lake Chouwen, Jabal Moussa Reserve (Moussa Mountain) Lebanon

When your on vacation in Lebanon, not all days are photography days, some days are just for going to the beach and relaxing and working on my tan since I rarely get any colour living in Canada. I might as well make good use of the sun, which is pretty much everyday, I don't even bother to check the weather forecast anymore.

But today is a photography day, I grabbed my gear and headed out to a location I always wanted to go to, ever since I saw the pictures of it. I knew there is a possibility for a great photo there. 

Summer days are long and sun sets late, I struggle in summer with getting up early for sunrise because sunrise is at 5 am or so. So you would have to be up really early, as a result sunsets are always more ideal for photography. At least for me. 

The plan was to photograph sunset at the lake, I left my small village in El-Chouf District at 1:30 pm, and sunset is set for 7:30 pm so I had lots of time. GPS says it takes about 2:30 to get there, but what I didn't account for was the traffic which is ever so constant.


In the end it took me 4 hours to reach my destination. Something I am not used to coming from Canada. About 100 kms took me 4 hours. 

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Oh well, the important part is that I reached my destination and my goal to take some pictures here in this location is still possible.


Initial plan was to hike down all the way to the bottom of the Valley to photograph the lake. The most I made it was half way or so to a lookout that overlooks the lake and the valley and the surrounding mountains. Sometimes you have to make a judgement call and stick with it. 

It was a really beautiful view though so I wasn't disappointed, when you are a photographer it always take a little longer when hiking to reach a destination because we are usually carrying a lot of gear.


I always enjoy hiking and I don't mind hiking with lots of gear, I am quite used to it. But when you are like me and also doing videography capturing different clips and behind the scenes videos for my Youtube photography channel, it takes a little more time than just simply hiking.

Especially when you self film everything, almost always I am chasing my video camera back and forth and repeating myself endless times when I lose thoughts of my words. 

And on top of all that, I did make an error in judgement, I was a little overdressed with thick hiking pants (better for winter) rather than shorts. And it was an incredibly hot day.

My reasoning was that I am going to the mountains at higher elevation it will be cooler so better wear pants. To say the least I was sweating quite heavily. And that was alright too. All for the photography.

Finally I am at my destination at the lookout, 5 hours later, I set up my camera and chose my composition. I always go to one location and I set my composition to leave with one great photograph, conditions permitting of course.

I don't run and gun trying to capture lots of pictures, for me once I am set up, that's when the fun begins. It is quite a relaxing practice, simply watching and waiting for the sunset light to reach it's peak, capturing photographs as the light changes.  

On this day, the mountain peaks over the lake were just covered in cloud and fog and mist, and I wasn't sure what I would get. But I stuck with it and waited, eventually the fog and mist started to break up and the mountain revealed itself.

Completely completing the photograph, without it something will always have been missing. Landscape photography for me, it is about the landscape and the elements and how they relate together, to bring you a great photograph.

There is always the unknown with landscape photography as to what elements, nature will provide you.

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4 day photography trip to Forillon National Park

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I always wanted to travel and visit Forillon National Park in Gaspe, Quebec. Yet the 10 hour drive solo to get there has always worried me, but I had decided to pack my photography gear and head out there. 

At first the drive out of Montreal was highway driving which isn't the most exciting, but the closer I got the drive got more and more beautiful and passing by the Saint Lawrence River it just kept getting wider and wider till it becomes a sea and driving by it and passing those small towns. I wanted to stop everywhere but I carried on through because my goal was to get there and setup my tent and go to sleep to get up at 3 am the following morning to photograph sunrise. 

My campsite was perfectly situated by the beach with an amazing view of Cap Bon Ami and what a site it was, couldn't be in a better spot. 

Friday was spent pretty much driving, I would have two days of photography there and I planned to use it to the fullest. I was camping three nights there. 

The first morning Saturday I got up to the sounds of birds and the crashing waves and it was a beautiful soundtrack but that wasn't all. The morning light was gorgeous and as soon as the sun peaked over the horizon it just bathed the cliffs by the water with beautiful light. 

Words can describe well a place and a feeling but a photo does better. 

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Later in the day after photographing sunrise, I had high expectations for the rest of my trip. I always love visiting and seeing a national park for the first time. It is like eye candy for me. 

After catching up on some more sleep and relaxing after my sunrise shoot, summer hours can be tiring, sunrise is really early and sunset is always late so mid-day is always best time to recharge your batteries. 

Forillon National Park on the Gaspe Peninsula extends from one side to the other of the peninsula. So for sunset I hopped over to the other side for sunset in hopes that it will be a beautiful sunset. I did location scout during the day to find my photography spot for sunset. Hiking and location scouting are my favourite activities to do during the day when usually the light isn't the best for photographs. 

So that's what I did, I had my location for sunset. I was at Penouille Beach, which is a sandy beach and at low tide there was a lot of textures in the sand that were interesting to see and possibly photograph. That's what I was counting on for sunset. 

When I first arrived there, the tide was higher than earlier so I wasn't sure I would get a photo but eventually the tide started to recede and all I wanted was revealed. I was so happy that had happened, because I didn't want to head back to camp without a photo. 

In the end, it all worked out and I got a beautiful photo that I love, it is quite abstract and requires you to look closer to figure out what it is. 

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After photographing at sunset, I headed back to camp in order to get some sleep and wake up early for another sunrise shoot.

In Landscape Photography sometimes you are rewarded with great light and conditions and sometimes not quite. 

The following morning Sunday I went to another beach to photograph sunrise, but I wasn't feeling the photograph I was taking, I believe if you don't feel it you can't force it. The sunrise was beautiful, but missing something.

Clouds, the sky was clear and not a cloud in site. I always love some clouds in my photographs, to create a  mood and a feeling and clouds always pick up early light beautifully. So I didn't get a photo there from my second day. 

I thought that it was ok, because I still had a sunset to photograph and maybe I will be rewarded with great light. Think again, soon after during the day, it got really windy and eventually rain has set in all through the day and night and early following morning. 


For my last night, I was tent stuck so I slept early and wasn't the best of sleep and got up early Monday and packed my tent and headed home for my drive back of 10 hours. Despite everything, the two photographs I shot during my trip made it all worth while and I can't wait to be back one day for more photographs.