A new high-altitude mountain photography style in Alberta is set to take off this summer, and it’s expected to bring an influx of tourism dollars to a province that has been struggling for decades.
A group of photographers has been taking photos in the province since 2009, when the province’s mountain-photography industry took off.
Now, the province has a new breed of photographers who will be able to take photos of the same landscape as their mountain- and snow-photographers, but without the hassle of a mountaineering trip.
“When you are photographing the scenery, you don’t need a camera to capture it, you can just look down at the ground, look at the horizon, look up at the sky,” said Jason MacLean, the director of photography at Bodega Bay Mountain Resort.
He’s hoping that the new style of photography, known as high altitude photography, will help the province attract more tourists, which has helped the province recover from the Great Recession.
The new high alpine photography is set in a variety of landscapes, ranging from the rocky slopes of the High Alps in Switzerland to the rugged mountains of New Brunswick.
“We’ve had a lot of tourism come in to the province from Europe, and we have seen some of the interest from China, Canada and Europe coming in, but we’re hoping that this style of tourism will attract a new kind of tourist to the region,” said MacLean.
In the spring, a group of climbers from a Canadian company will descend on the mountains to shoot high altitude photographs of the snow and ice cliffs and snowfields, along with the surrounding scenery.
“It’s been quite a bit of fun so far,” said Scott Burdick, the owner of Bodegabe Bay Mountain, which is located in a remote corner of the province.
Burdick said he’s excited about the high-aesthetic photography trend, which he said could also attract more people from the United States and Europe to visit his resort.
“This is going to be an opportunity for us to attract some new people from around the world and to really bring our industry into the province,” said Burdrick.
The Bodegal Bay Mountain is located near the Canadian border in Bodegas Bay, about 30 kilometres west of Calgary.
It’s an easy drive to the resort, and the high mountain scenery is breathtaking.
“You see mountains, you see glaciers, you get a feeling of the landscape, of the atmosphere, and that’s just incredible,” said the resort’s owner, Dave Degenhardt.
Degenhardt said that he’s already received an influx from tourists and from people who are looking for more adventure.
“I think that there’s going to definitely be an uptick in people coming to Bodegate Bay Mountain because we’ve been getting people who have never been to Alberta and coming in here and having fun and going out and photographing it,” said Degenhart.
A growing demand for the high alpines in AlbertaAccording to the Tourism Alberta website, the Bodegap Bay Mountain has been the province of choice for photographers for several years, because of the great scenery and the availability of accommodation, and because of its proximity to the Canadian Border.
But it’s not just the pictures of the high peaks that are popular, either.
There are also high alpinists out there, and there are also snowboarders and snowshoers.
“If you look at our website, there’s a number of pictures that we have of people snowboarding in the mountains and we’ve had snowboard enthusiasts come and hang out with us and we’re looking forward to that,” said Jim Bodegard, who manages the Bodesgabe Mountain Resort and Bodegon Bay Snowboard Park.
“That’s something that we think the community would like to see more of, as well, and I think that’s what we’re going to see.”
For MacLean and Burdard, the new approach is a way to take advantage of the current economic climate.
“There’s still a lot to be done, but it’s exciting to see how we can bring the high altitude image to our guests and visitors and we really want to continue to see the industry grow,” said César MacLean-Burd, a photographer with the Bottega Bay Ski Club.
The Mounties say the new tourism is welcome news for the province, which still has a long way to go in order to recover from a recession.
“Alberta is still struggling to recover, and as we have a new industry coming in and seeing new tourism, we’re seeing an increase in tourism dollars coming in to our province,” says Calgary Police Insp.
“It’s very exciting.”