69372 Aspens on Monarch Mountain
In 1996, on assignment for Explore magazine, I took a course at the Atlin Art Centre in northern British Columbia. This was a unique program that combined outdoor adventure with creative exploration; participants included painters, sculptors, a fabric artist, a glass artist, a furniture maker, and two photographers. They didn't have facilities or materials for all of these - glass blowing is a complex process - but the idea was that the creative disciplines are in many ways interchangeable, and lessons learned can be broadly applied.
I took a couple of drawing classes and spent the rest of my time interviewing people, making notes, and shooting. The outdoor adventure part was excellent. We roped up and walked on a glacier, we paddled out to some islands in Atlin Lake, and we hiked to the top of an extinct volcano. The school was located on a small, wooded plateau on the lower slopes of Monarch Mountain, and several times I hiked the trail to the top, with its magnificent views of the surrounding country. Even the lower, wooded section had a pristine beauty. At the end of August, some aspen leaves were turning yellow; the fireweed was fading to yellow and orange.
I kept notes in little notebooks during those fading years of film, long before embedded EXIF data, which is how I know that I used a 24mm lens for this shot, and my exposure was 1 second at f/22 on Fujichrome Velvia (ISO 50).
Photographed on Monarch Mountain above Atlin Lake, BC (Canada); scanned from the original slide. Don't use this image on websites, blogs, or other media without explicit permission © 1996 James R. Page - all rights reserved.