In November 2016, I decided that I would celebrate my 27th birthday outside of Costa Rica. I chose to do it with ToTheWonder in a landscape and wildlife photography workshop in Canada. I had only participated in one of their workshops back in June, but it was so good that one of my old Emerald Toucanet pictures was featured in an online National Geographic article featuring Birds of Colombia. Even if I was pretty new to the photography hobby, I wanted to step up my game and learn from the best. Luis Solano Pochet and Alvaro Cubero are both experts and great people to spend time with. So I reserved my space and started preparing.

By that time I only had kit lenses and my Nikon D5300. By then I was equipped with a lot of gear, you can check the details at the bottom if interested. A lot of preparation went on during the year. Getting to know all my gear was essential, both how to use it, its strengths and limits. To learn more, I took an online photography course and participated in five additional photography workshops in Costa Rica with ToTheWonder. I got my Canadian VISA and purchased the lowest air ticket and hotel fares I could find using Expedia. [Hint: Search about 3 months before visiting the place]

With all the preparation done and after spending a night in Calgary, I took my private transportation to Banff Town, the entry to the Canadian Rockies on September 22nd at noon, the day of my birthday! Click on the pictures below to learn more about each of the wonderful locations we visited throughout the workshop. We visited those places more or less in order, but we did return more than once to Two Jack and Minnewanka Lakes. Banff Town was our center of operations, and from there, we mobilized ourselves to every location.

It is hard to imagine a place so wild, yet so accessible at the same time. Not just the wildlife, but the pristine lakes that take on such vivid turquoise colors, the mountain ranges that surround deep valleys, and the pine and aspen forests that extend until the horizon. The workshop was intensive, so it felt like I spent about a month abroad, exploring a whole country full of life. I came back energized after watching such wonders with fellow photographers. With these photos, my hope is to inspire your fascination with nature as much as I am amazed by the great sights Banff has to offer.

Banff, Bow River and Autumn
Johnston Canyon
Columbia Icefield and Peyto Lake
Two Jack and Minnewanka Lakes
Two Jack and Minnewanka Lakes
Sulphur Mountain Gondola
Saskatchewan and Athabasca Rivers
Upper Kananaskis and Herbert Lakes
Upper Kananaskis and Herbert Lakes
Lake Louise
Moraine Lake

Gear Used:

  1. Nikon D5300 DSLR
  2. Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX Lens for Nikon DX format DSLRs
  3. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  4. Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  5. Lee 100mm Landscape Pro Kit:
    1. Little Stopper (6 stops)
    2. Big Stopper (10 stops)
    3. Graduated Neutral Density Filters (0.3, 0.6 and 0.9)
    4. Lee Foundation Kit
  6. Lee Adaptor Rings (52mm, 58mm and 82mm)
  7. B+W 82mm XS-Pro Clear with Multi-Resistant Nano Coating Filter (007M)
  8. Yongnuo i-TTL Speedlite YN685
  9. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Aluminum Tripod Kit
  10. Lowepro Whistler BP 350 AW
  11. Patagonia Micro D Fleece
  12. Patagonia Men’s Torrentshell Jacket
  13. Patagonia Wind Shield Gloves
  14. La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX