Tag Archives: Ken Gillespie

Surprise visitors, Stewart Canyon, Banff


These guys wandered into my landscape shot while I photographed the trestle bridge at Stewart Canyon, near Lake Minnewanka, Banff.  Now it doesn’t look like they are very close, but I was using a 16-35mm lens on my full frame camera, so they are very close.  One of those rare lucky moments took a pretty mundane image and made it much more memorable.  A group of tourists along with my wife and two dogs retreated from the bridge allowing them to cross without much stress.

We returned the next day, hoping to get them front on as they crossed, but after a couple hours of patiently waiting had to move one due to time constraints and impatient dogs, I did manage a few other images on the return including the rocky island in Lake Minnewanka, below.



Fergus portrait, natural light


Fergus our Great Pyrenees at 85mm F/1.4 under natural light, Those aren’t soft boxes in his eyes just 2 large windows I’m fortunate to have in my basement office.  At such a shallow depth of field it took me a few shots to get both eyes in sharp focus, and it’s critical for the eyes to be parallel to the sensor plane.  I did apply a darkening vignette with a layer mask to eliminate a distracting background.

Polar Bear, superman


This Polar Bear at the Journey to Churchill in Assiniboine Park Zoo, Winnipeg had just dove in and continued by in a near perfect position.  I’ve patiently tried for this shot quite a few times, finally everything came together.  He almost looks like he could fly, just requires a photoshopped Superman cape.

Sea Lion Arch on Lake Superior, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario


The Sea Lion, on Lake Superior, located in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.  This is a 20 second exposure using a 10 stop neutral density filter to soften the water.  Two images focus stacked to get the necessary depth of field in the foreground and background.

Polar Bear attack, Journey to Churchill


The title of this post could be a bit misleading, but it is what it is.  Here is one of Winnipeg’s young Polar Bears swimming for the first time in the Journey to Churchill.  He made repeated playful attacks on the zoo onlookers while they watched through the underwater tunnel.  Amazing sight to see in person, especially if you’re in direct line of sight with camera in hand.  I didn’t get so lucky, but managed a descent shot at this angle.  A fast prime lens and a camera with good ISO performance is certainly the way to go.  It’s a very tough photographic situation shooting through very thick plexiglass and cloudy water.

I’ve experimented with a variety of lenses and settings, this was shot with a 5D markIII and 24-70 f 2.8, I’ve had good luck with 24 and 35 f1.4 lenses as well, don’t bother with longer lenses as the cloudy water will degrade the image quality quickly.  Shutter speeds range from 1/800 and up using servo focus tracking.  Try shooting were the glass is flat and block stray light with your hand.  With a fast lens you could try a polarizer to reduce reflections, but bare in mind you will lose upto 2 stops of light.  I set ISO on auto, but will manually adjust it if I have time and the bears are in the right location.  If you have time and are patient, find the best position with good frontal lighting and wait, it’s better than chasing them around.  Good luck.

A short visit to the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, Assiniboine Park


The pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park.  I’m fortunate to live nearby and visit the park often.  It’s a great place for a variety of photography with the English Gardens, duck pond, and zoo also located in the park.  It’s also a favourite for our two dogs Fergus and Angus.


The arbor, a popular location for exchanging wedding vows.




A bonus shot of the thatched roof cottage in the English Garden.