I respectfully acknowledge that the land in and around Elk Island National Park is located within the Treaty 6 Territory, the ancestral and traditional territories of the Niitsítpiis-stahkoii ᖹᐟᒧᐧᐨᑯᐧ ᓴᐦᖾᐟ (Blackfoot / Niitsítapi ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ), ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ ᐊᐢᑭᕀ Nêhiyaw-Askiy (Plains Cree), Michif Piyii (Métis), Cree people.

I had planned on catching the full sunset from Astotin Lake in Elk Island National Park, but ended up getting there later than expected just to catch the last bit of colour leaving the horizon. I gasped the moment we turned into the parking lot, the orange-hues reflecting on the calm water was breathtaking and I needed to get down to the water fast and capture what I came for, the sunset was not going to wait! I stood there in admiration for a while taking in the moment – listening to the frogs croak,  the loons call, and the other waterfowl splashing around on the water. I then made my way to the end of the dock where I took a few shots before heading back to stand on solid ground (as standing on a dock with my camera FREAKS me out!) and I had the shot I came for… Josh had then went to the end of the dock and I was able to sneak a photo of him. (This guy HATES getting his photo taken, but he was so absorbed in the moment of standing at one of his favourite spots to even notice I was taking a photo.) 

I shoot in RAW, so the colours aren’t as bright and vivid on my camera as they are in real life. But with a few small edits, the colour started to pop! Again, with this photo (and most of my photos) minimal editing was required. I like to edit my photos the way I see them and without any filters or presets. 

First off, I changed my profile to Camera Landscape, straightened out the image, removed chromatic aberration and enabled profile corrections. Next up, I increased the exposure and contrast a little bit, shifted the white balance to become a little bit warmer, pushed my highlights and whites up, while bringing the shadows and blacks down. Sharpened the image a bit and reduced noise. 

Use the slider on the image below to check out the before (straight out of camera) and after (final edit) comparison.

Canon 5D Mark III1/180 second
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8f/2.8
SanDisk 16GB CF CardISO 1600
Lightroom32 mm

I am really happy with the way this turned out, as I love the human element in the photo as opposed to just the landscape view without Josh standing on the dock. And I am so glad that I did end up going, even though I knew I was not going to make it there as early as I had wanted. This might just be one of my favourite photographs of the year so far!

Want to see more “Behind The Shot” posts? Let me know which photo(s) you are interested in learning more about!

Until next time, chase the stoke!
– Tracey

Chase the Stoke Mountains


  • You will need a Parks Canada Pass or daily admission to enter into Elk Island National Park.

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