Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Monetizing Bow Lake

with 42 comments

A common meaning of monetize is ‘to make into a source of income.’ That’s not the sense I intended with the title of today’s post, which is clearer if I insert a hyphen into the verb: Monet-ize. Monet’s water-lilies came to mind when I looked at some of the abstract photographs I’d been inspired to take of Bow Lake in Alberta’s Banff National Park on September 4th.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 10, 2017 at 5:00 AM

42 Responses

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  1. Beautifully Monet-esque. Perhaps they could be Monetized. But then not everything beautiful needs to be turned into a source of money.


    October 10, 2017 at 5:08 AM

    • So you agree with Emerson in “The Rhodora”:

      Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
      This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
      Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
      Then Beauty is its own excuse for being….

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 10, 2017 at 6:44 AM

  2. You had just enough wind for the technique.


    October 10, 2017 at 6:23 AM

    • As I recall, there wasn’t much wind that day. I think someone occasionally threw a stone into the lake, and that’s what I profited from in the second photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 10, 2017 at 6:55 AM

  3. My first idea, when I saw these pictures [especially the second one] was : it looks more like a painting than a foto! It was only after reading your explanation that I realized the significance of the caption. Wonderful shot and great play on words!


    October 10, 2017 at 6:56 AM

    • I also took conventional pictures of the lake, like the one in the previous post. The reflections, along with the abstractions to be had from them, called out to me even more, especially the ones mediated through my new 100–400mm lens. Thanks for appreciating them.

      As for monetizing, I’d as soon play with words as images, and I don’t need a camera and heavy lens for wordplay.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 10, 2017 at 7:15 AM

  4. Beautiful shots. I clicked as I saw “monetize” and expected to read something horrible about condos and townhouses being put up on every foot of shoreline, so the Monet-ize was a nice surprise.

    Robert Parker

    October 10, 2017 at 7:30 AM

    • A pleasant surprise, then. Fortunately Bow Lake is in Banff National Park, so it and other scenic lakes are protected. Some villages and businesses do exist inside this park and Jasper National Park to its north, but I expect the Canadian government has imposed tight limits on expansion. As with the most famous American national parks, tourist swarms are a problem, and some people say these parks are being loved to death.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 10, 2017 at 7:48 AM

      • In the U.S., I check the maps and note the state or USDA forests adjoining the famous national parks, to try to avoid the crowds. Since the “swarms” are a problem, it seems we need more parklands, not fewer, but that message doesn’t seem to resonate with everyone right now.

        Robert Parker

        October 10, 2017 at 8:26 AM

        • Lots of tourists are constrained to visit for a limited time, so I assume that most or at least many of them will still congregate at the most famous and most scenic places, even if more somewhat lesser places are made available. That said, many of us find worthwhile things even away from the iconic places.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 10, 2017 at 9:32 AM

          • I’ve read that Yosemite and Yellowstone attract roughly 4 million people a year, and the Great Smoky Mountains Nat’l Park sometimes gets over 10 million. It’s almost hard to believe.

            Robert Parker

            October 10, 2017 at 11:00 AM

            • I remember how crowded Yosemite was the summer we visited—and that was 28 years ago. It must be a real zoo now. Hard to believe indeed.

              Steve Schwartzman

              October 10, 2017 at 1:46 PM

  5. Enjoyed your play with Monet-ize. You might want to read Mad Enchantment, which is a dense and insightful portrait of Monet and his friendships.


    October 10, 2017 at 7:57 AM

  6. I love your play on words, and your impressionistic lake scene.


    October 10, 2017 at 8:29 AM

    • Thanks. I can’t help playing with words and images. This trip contributed a lot to the latter.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 10, 2017 at 12:58 PM

  7. Monet would approve….although I’m not sure he’d love having his name used as a verb! The second image in particular is full of interest.


    October 10, 2017 at 8:33 AM

  8. Moire or watered silk springs to mind looking at these photos, especially the second. I see the Monet influence though through not only the impressionistic style but also the similarity in colours.


    October 10, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    • At the time I took these pictures I was trying to be abstract but I wasn’t thinking at all about Monet. Only back in Austin, once I looked at the images, did I make a connection to him. Of course I could have had Monet subtly percolating through my subconscious as I stood on the shore of Bow Lake; guess I’ll never know.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 10, 2017 at 1:06 PM

  9. We’ve actually been in this part of the world. All the more delightful to revisit it through your beautiful photographs.

    Susan Scheid

    October 10, 2017 at 7:18 PM

    • It took us “forever” to get there. I’m glad to hear you made it there sooner and that these pictures revive your experiences. More are forthcoming.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 10, 2017 at 8:03 PM

  10. These are so beautiful they make my heart ache, and brought tears to my eyes. It is like looking at the world through Monet’s eyes.


    October 10, 2017 at 9:52 PM

    • Thanks for letting me know, Linda. I have no idea how to paint. Sometimes, though, the camera paints well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 10, 2017 at 10:49 PM

  11. Monet would be pleased 🙂 Beautiful images, Steve.


    October 12, 2017 at 4:22 PM

  12. One of the abiding memories I have of our fly-drive tour of BC was the colour of all the lakes we saw. I like the play on words in your title, Monet used a lot of blue in his moody foggy images of London but I had never really associated him with water colours. But now I do.


    October 13, 2017 at 1:58 AM

    • Better a fly-drive tour of BC than a fly-by tour. We did the same, flying from Houston to Calgary and renting a car for three weeks (after driving from Austin to Houston and leaving our own car near the airport there).

      We saw Bow Lake and Peyto Lake on a clear day, so the color of the water was at its best. Smoky haze from forest fires tamped down the color of the majority of the other lakes we visited, unfortunately.

      Glad you like the play of words on Monetize. Too bad Monet never visited the Rocky Mountains; I’d like to see the treatment he would have given them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 13, 2017 at 8:14 AM

  13. […] up it and on September 6th we came back down. You’ve already seen a conventional view and two abstract views of Bow Lake from the northbound trip. Now add a couple of looks at the lake from our southbound […]

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