In September 1988 the Professional Photography Division of Kodak invited me to present a series of lectures in Canada. I had the pleasure of giving lectures on my photography at multiple venues in, and around, Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. Following the lecture tour, I spent a week exploring Banff, Yoho, and Jasper National Parks. The scenery was amazing, and I found numerous interesting photographic subjects during my wanderings.
In those days the Canadian Rockies were not as heavily visited as they are today. There were still plenty of tourists, but in September there really were not many folks, and lodging was surprisingly affordable. One of the places I visited was Sunwapta Falls in Jasper National Park. I arrived in late afternoon and there were only a handful of people there. The Sunwapta River has two channels that converge in the cataract that forms the crest of the 60-foot-tall upper Sunwapta Falls. Sunwapta is a Stoney Indian word meaning "turbulent river" or "radiating waves.”
I was immediately attracted to a large boulder at the top of the falls. It appeared to me as if the boulder was somehow magically hovering in the turbulent water and could at any time disappear or drop. I was very intrigued by the scene, but there was a shadow from a large tree that created a tonal distraction. The lighting was not appropriate for the image I visualized in my mind's eye. I made a mental photograph and decided to take my 4x5 view camera on a stroll down the Sunwapta River.
By the time I returned to the top of the upper falls the entire area was in soft light as dusk was approaching. Now my visualized image and the lighting were complementing one another. The parking area was completely empty and there was no one else at the upper falls at the viewpoint. This enabled me to easily climb the low chain link fence and position my Linhof 4x5 view camera in the correct position to organize the image as I had imagined. I used my 210mm lens. The exposure was 5 seconds at f/32 on Kodak T-Max 100 film. The long exposure smoothed the moving water and formed a tactile contrast between the wet surface of the boulder and the smooth light gray tones of the water. I hope you will find this print to be as interesting and as exciting as I do.
Once I complete the prints I need to make at this time, the negative will be retired for traditional silver printing, and will never again be printed in any size as a silver gelatin print.
This silver gelatin, selenium toned, print is approximately 13-1/4 x 10-5/16", personally printed by me (as are all my prints), processed to current archival standards, signed, mounted, and matted to 16x20" on 100 percent rag museum board.
All prints are carefully prepared and packaged in specially designed protective shipping boxes, and shipped fully insured via UPS ground.
Normally there is a long waiting period for John's original prints. This is a rare opportunity to obtain a print with a reasonably short waiting peroid.