Sunset on the Sweetgrass Hills


My previous blog featured a still frame from a time-lapse movie I took of sunset on the Sweetgrass Hills and Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. Here’s the full movie, taken at sunset on July 22, 2011.

I assembled the movie in Photoshop Extended CS5 from 678 frames taken over nearly an hour, at 5-second intervals, beginning before sunset and continuing until well after sunset. The camera was the Canon 7D and lens the 10-22mm lens at 10mm.

Putting the camera into automatic Aperture-priority mode keeps the exposure uniform as the lighting level drops but does induce some slight flickering from minor shot-to-shot variations in exposure. That can be fixed in “post!” But it’ll be a while before I get around to that!

— Alan, July 26, 2011 / Image © 2011 Alan Dyer

The Great Lone Land


This is one of the great places for evoking the wide open spaces of the high plains. Here we are looking south over the Milk River and the rock formations of Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta to the peaks of the Sweetgrass Hills in Montana. The buildings at right are the modern reconstructions of the late 1800’s North West Mounted Police outpost that guarded Canada from the illegals from the U.S. (!) coming up Police Coulee smuggling whiskey from Montana into Canada.

The time is just after sunset, as the last light of the Sun still illuminates the clouds. This is the magic hour for photography, and for taking in the solitude of the “Great Lone Land” as author William Francis Butler described it in his book of that title in 1872.

As Butler wrote, “No ocean of water in the world can vie with its gorgeous sunsets; no solitude can equal the loneliness of a night-shadowed prairie…”

— Alan, July 27, 2011 / Image © 2011 Alan Dyer