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User / WJMcIntosh
William McIntosh / 603 items

N 1.2K B 70.2K C 72 E Feb 12, 2022 F Mar 2, 2022
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About.a month ago, I was sitting at home trying to figure out where I wanted to go over my Spring Break (which actually comes during the Winter for some reason at my college.) I thought about heading to Canada, but after a quick check at the beginning of January, it looked like you couldn't get in unless it was work related or some type of emergency. But after checking with my friend Todd Miller (who had just returned with some amazing shots) it seemed like they were open again...as long as you were vaccinated, blah, blah, blah. After a quick check, I found a very reasonable air fare, a too-good-too-be-true rental rate for a 4x4 jeep and an Airbnb right at the doorstep of Canmore. To top it off, I had just recovered from Omicron, so I got to skip all of the tests at the airport and just brought proof of my diagnosis and recovery!

About two weeks later, I was waking up at 4 AM and driving up the Icefields Parkway with temps in the -15C range headed for Abraham Lake. I was hoping to shoot some ice bubbles, but as I hit the lake in the predawn light, I could only find a few and the early bird photographers were already starting to set up camp around them. I set off on my own...hesitantly...across the lake. This was my first time walking on a frozen lake and it takes quite a bit of faith to step out there...wondering exactly how thick that ice actually is...especially when large sections look like they are completely melted. And the wind! Yikes.

I finally found more than a few ice bubbles but none were as nice as those I had seen previously in other photos. It seems that there had been a huge warm spell and when the ice melts and re-freezes, the ice can become cloudy and more opaque. I settled instead for trying to find some leading lines from ice cracks into the mountains. Thankfully, the light went OFF while I was there and I only realized how cold and wet I was after I started packing up. With a frozen butt and sore muscles, I limped back for the long drive back to Canmore. This was my first time to the Canadian Rockies in the Winter and it definitely won't be my last.

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Thank you so much for your views and comments! If you have specific questions or need to get in touch with me, please be sure to send me a message via flickr mail, or feel free to contact me via one of the following:

Instagram | Blog | Website | Facebook | 500px | Twitter

Tags:   Canadian Rockies Winter Sunrise Abraham Lake Frozen

N 1.5K B 71.6K C 93 E Dec 17, 2021 F Jan 12, 2022
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I was really looking forward to my two trips to the Northwest last December. I headed North a bit earlier than intended on December 14 as a massive storm was barreling down on California. I barely made it across the grapevine before the snow started coming down in earnest. Glancing nervously across the median, I noticed a semi which had slid nose first off the freeway into a ditch blocking all of the Southbound traffic. Grimacing, I pressed on through the rain...in my little Prius, and made it to Yosemite Valley just as the first storm broke. I spent the next day and a half shooting a very snowy Yosemite before heading North again. I couldn't take the 5 since it was blocked by snow in multiple locations North of Sacramento, so I crawled up highway 101 along the coast instead.

Skimping a bit on the sleep, I plowed straight through to Cape Disappointment and arrived shortly before sunrise on December 17. I was the only idiot in the parking lot at 6:30 AM. Even though I didn't get the waves I was hoping for, I did begin to notice a faint glow to the East and suddenly realized that I was going to get some light after all of that driving.

Ironically, I missed the dual warning to sailors between the red sky and the lighthouse and was oblivious as the clouds moved in. Not only did I spend the next 5 days without any light in the pouring rain, but I picked up the omicron on my follow up trip on Dec 26 and had to make a sudden U turn back to California after being diagnosed in Oregon.

Feeling better now, but I'm hoping that my luck improves on my next trip to the Northwest. My batting average is now about .001. In the mean time, be careful out there! My Omicron symptoms were pretty mild. Here's hoping we are all immune following the current spike and we can all get back to normal soon!


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Thank you so much for your views and comments! If you have specific questions or need to get in touch with me, please be sure to send me a message via flickr mail, or feel free to contact me via one of the following:

Instagram | Blog | Website | Facebook | 500px | Twitter

Tags:   Pacific Northwest Washington Cape Disappointment Sunrise

N 1.8K B 68.2K C 132 E Nov 7, 2021 F Nov 18, 2021
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I'd have to admit that I've been after a shot like this for quite a few years now. I've taken a shot from here with a wet road in the Spring, but opportunities for shots like this are a bit more rare in the Fall. Typically, the falls in Yosemite can stay dry well into November and the autumn colors can disappear after you get past that first week so it's a rare year indeed when you can shoot any of the falls in the valley before the Fall colors disappear for the year. I thought I might have a shot last year as it was raining when I arrived during the first week of November, but then 4 or 5 inches of snow fell overnight and Autumn came to an abrupt end.

This year, I showed up on a Thursday with the promise of rain in the forecast, but the NWS choked pretty hard on the forecast which went from 50% of showers to zero by the time I arrived in Oakhurst. My buddy Greg Boratyn showed up on Friday and we spent most of the weekend shooting the Autumn colors throughout the park. It seemed we had missed peak color for most of the park, but there were still a few pockets of color around, especially on the western end of the valley.

By Saturday morning, Greg was done. I told him I wanted to stay another day and that I was planning on sleeping in my car somewhere nearby and he looked at me like I was crazy. I told him there was a 40% chance of showers that night and I was really hoping to shoot the fall colors after the rain knowing that the colors would pop and that the road would be wet. He pulled out his own app and promised me that there was ZERO chance of rain that night. I said goodbye and shot the rest of the afternoon and then headed back down toward Oakhurst to get some signal, some gas and some food.

The next morning, I woke up at 2 AM after a few hours of sleep to check the weather...and sure enough, the forecast had changed to zero chance of rain. I grimaced and went back to sleep. When I arrived in the park just before sunrise, it was completely clouded over and I set up down near Swinging Bridge. I had only been shooting for a short time when I began to notice that it was beginning to sprinkle. And then suddenly it was raining. Not a huge downpour, but just enough to rinse off the leaves and to get the road wet. :)

Zero percent chance.

I was off like a shot to this location and arrived well before the Sunday crowds began to jam the roads. Between the Dogwoods and Oaks, the Western end of the valley was in rare form.


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Thank you so much for your views and comments! If you have specific questions or need to get in touch with me, please be sure to send me a message via flickr mail, or feel free to contact me via one of the following:

Instagram | Blog | Website | Facebook | 500px | Twitter

Tags:   Yosemite Yosemite National Park Autumn Bridal Veil Fall

N 313 B 5.2K C 25 E Sep 23, 2021 F Oct 20, 2021
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My camera was actually facing the other way just before I shot this last month in the San Juan Mountains. The sun had just burst through the clouds and all of our attention was directed towards the peaks in front of us that were now getting snow. Just out of habit, I looked over my shoulder to see what was going on behind me. Sure enough, the sun was now lighting up the forest to the East and a beautiful glow was lighting up the many turrets scattered across the ridge. It was only there for a few seconds before disappearing as the next wave of showers rolled in. For me, it was yet another reminder to always keep looking over your shoulder.

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Thank you so much for your views and comments! If you have specific questions or need to get in touch with me, please be sure to send me a message via flickr mail, or feel free to contact me via one of the following:

Instagram | Blog | Website | Facebook | 500px | Twitter

Tags:   Colorado San Juan Mountains Sunset Autumn

N 1.4K B 96.1K C 97 E Sep 23, 2021 F Oct 6, 2021
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I had pretty much given up on shooting any fall colors this year. This is officially my last year teaching at Mt San Antonio College and I knew my schedule would probably be way too full during late September to make the trip back to Colorado.

But then this Delta variant thing showed up and suddenly one of my classes was cancelled and was replaced with an online class. Which meant that I was now only teaching 2 days a week. Suddenly, I had an open window of opportunity from Sept 22 - 28 to head back to Colorado after getting absolutely NOTHING from my trip last year. (I think I went 8 days straight without seeing a cloud.)

So on September 22, I jumped in the FJ after my last class and headed up the 15 and hung a right on the I-70. I was too late to make it for the sunrise on Sept 23, but I headed South into the San Juan Mountains. As I arrived, I noticed that there were some clouds that had begun to move up from the South and I was really hoping that they would stick around for sunset. As sunset drew near, I charged up a ridge to get above the treeline. As I arrived at the top, I began to hear some folks coming up behind me. After a few more minutes I was joined by Colorado photographer Nick Selway, his fiancee Sarah and another Colorado photographer, Joe Garza. It was only a short time later that it began to hail and then the sky opened up on us as we shot. Suddenly, the clouds broke to the West and sunlight poured in across the valley, creating a rainbow off to our left.

The difference from last year could not have been more dramatic. When I arrived last year, the skies were filled with hazy smoke and there was not a cloud in sight. This year, I found a rainbow at the top of the first ridge I climbed on my first day shooting! We shot in the rain for nearly an hour until the last of the good light had been snuffed out by the clouds, and then headed back down to the valley below. I am very grateful to Nick, Sarah and Joe for slowing up to wait for me on the way out. It was a long, slippery challenging hour back to the car.

I climbed that ridge twice that day and came back down both times a considerable distance from the FJ. I was exhausted by the time made it back the second time...but what a great start to my time shooting Autumn colors in the San Juan Mountains!

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Thank you so much for your views and comments! If you have specific questions or need to get in touch with me, please be sure to send me a message via flickr mail, or feel free to contact me via one of the following:

Instagram | Blog | Website | Facebook | 500px | Twitter

Tags:   San Juan Mountains Colorado Autumn Sunset Thunderstorm Rainbow


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