Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Not humdrum

with 48 comments

A year ago today we headed northeast from Calgary, driving almost two hours across the great Alberta prairie.

That was our third and last visit to the area around Drumheller.

We reconfirmed that the Canadian badlands near Drumheller are anything but humdrum.

©2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 12, 2018 at 4:44 AM

48 Responses

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  1. Beautiful.

    Pairodox Farm

    September 12, 2018 at 5:13 AM

  2. Wow – great shots all of them. A beautiful area with many photo ops. Love especially that last shot.


    September 12, 2018 at 5:53 AM

    • The last picture shows what I believe is the most-visited site in that area, the hoodoos. It’s a challenge to photograph for two reasons. (1) People are almost always there. (2) The authorities have put in stairs and rails to keep visitors from climbing and walking on the hoodoos. I had to avoid including both the people and the constructed objects, and I was blocked from being in some of the places where I wanted to stand.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 12, 2018 at 6:13 AM

      • This is the kind of situation I hate. I avoid that as much as I can. You did well anyway.


        September 12, 2018 at 6:14 AM

        • On our first visit to the site a few weeks earlier the place just swarmed with visitors. By September 12th the tourist season was winding down and the hoodoos weren’t as mobbed. On both visits I managed to get some good pictures but I had to work for some of them.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 12, 2018 at 6:33 AM

  3. Good area for hunting dinosaur bones.

    Jim R

    September 12, 2018 at 7:27 AM

  4. I love those structures!


    September 12, 2018 at 9:01 AM

  5. Oh my! I had no idea Canada had this type of landscape! I thought it was mostly mountains and prairie. The last image is my favorite. Such wonderful golden colors, and delightful shapes!


    September 12, 2018 at 10:14 AM

    • In May of 2017 we spent a day at South Dakota’s Badlands National Park, which I’d known about for most of my life but had never visited. Not long afterwards we discovered that Alberta has similar features and we made a point of checking them out on the same trip that took us to the Canadian Rockies.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 12, 2018 at 2:49 PM

  6. Amazing textures and shapes..simply beautyfull 🙂


    September 12, 2018 at 2:44 PM

  7. I saw your comment to David about hundreds of pictures and I can see why. So much to see. One could easily spend a week, or more, just studying all the compositional possibilities.

    Steve Gingold

    September 12, 2018 at 4:28 PM

    • You’d probably have taken hundreds of pictures too. Last year we spent just one day at Badlands National Park in South Dakota; now I wish I’d gone back there for a second round while we were in the area.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 12, 2018 at 5:16 PM

  8. Incredible pictures of an incredible alien landscape. That last photo is so other-worldly. I didn’t know about this area until Anabel took me there last year and now you. I wonder how many more hidden landscapes exist.


    September 12, 2018 at 5:04 PM

    • Good question. I was aware of one badlands-y site in southeastern Alberta that we never got to. I expect a bunch of others exist that I never heard of at all.

      I remember commenting on some of Anabel’s posts last autumn. Because we’d been there shortly before then, many of the places she showed were recent history for me.

      The Alberta badlands offer a bonus: the Rocky mountains are only a half-day away. We visited both of those very different geographical areas on the same trip.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 12, 2018 at 5:25 PM

  9. Fantastic series, Steve. The formations are so beautiful. I will return someday!

    Jane Lurie

    September 12, 2018 at 6:04 PM

    • Now that you’ve had a taste of the scenic wonders in that area, both in person and vicariously, you have good reasons to go back.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 12, 2018 at 6:18 PM

  10. What an incredible landscape and images !!

    Bernie Kasper

    September 12, 2018 at 6:17 PM

    • I was glad I spent parts of several days in that region, which I think Americans are much less likely to have heard of than the Canadian Rockies.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 12, 2018 at 6:21 PM

  11. I never think of Canada in this way. I always see green forests and lots of lakes and such. What a nice surprise!


    September 12, 2018 at 9:53 PM

    • I hadn’t thought of it that way either until last year, when a Filipina that Eve knows who lives in Calgary posted some photos from that region. At first I thought she’d traveled down to South Dakota but eventually I realized the pictures were from Alberta.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 13, 2018 at 7:02 AM

  12. The variety in the landforms is remarkable — and how lucky you were to have such gorgeous skies to set them off.


    September 12, 2018 at 10:11 PM

    • It was probably airplane contrails that resulted in those clouds. Oh well, even if they weren’t exactly natural, they sure added to my pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 13, 2018 at 7:26 AM

      • I’d be willing to bet on them being natural, myself. I know contrails will spread and even show that fluffiness from time to time, but especially in the second photo the clouds have the look of high cirrus. Whichever, they are striking photos.


        September 13, 2018 at 7:35 AM

  13. We visited Alberta a couple of summers ago and unfortunately didn’t have enough time to go to Drumheller. Looking at just the pictures I would never have guessed this was from Alberta. Maybe Utah or something. So neat.


    September 13, 2018 at 5:36 AM

    • Most people in the United States have the same impression (including Lynda, whose comment is two above yours). Now it’s clear that even some Canadians in the east aren’t aware of some of the country’s features in the west.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 13, 2018 at 7:30 AM

  14. Amazing! Such beauty … anything but humdrum!


    September 18, 2018 at 5:12 PM

  15. Definitely not humdrum, Steve!


    September 19, 2018 at 5:29 PM

  16. Awesome photos of a wonderful landscape, Steve. So beautifully presented. I’d love to visit myself one day.


    September 23, 2018 at 8:33 AM

    • Thanks, Dina. I hope you all get there soon. Badlands National Park in South Dakota is wonderful, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 23, 2018 at 8:50 AM

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