How, Where and When to Photograph

The Rundle Diamond

One of the Most Famous Winter Landscape Photography Compositions

in the Canadian Rockies

 

The Rundle Diamond occurs around the Winter solstice at Vermillion Lakes. © 2012 www.brianmerry.ca

 

Since I first captured “The Rundle Diamond” back in 2012 this photograph and become a well sought after, and elusive composition.  The Rundle Diamond is a popular landscape photograph that is on many serious landscape photographers’ hit list.  It is an incredible composition.  But, how do you capture this famous photograph?

For a couple of decades I’ve been working as a professional landscape photographer based in the beautiful mountain town of Banff in Banff National Park.  I love outdoor photography.  And, I love sharing my incredible home with visiting photographers here on this blog page, through the 34 Worldwide regional landscape and wildlife photography groups I administer, and through the group and private landscape photography tours that I host in the Canadian Rockies.  I truly love sharing my passion with others and I’m grateful that I’m able to make my FT living from sharing my beautiful one with other liked minded photographers

What is “The Rundle Diamond” anyway?

That’s a good question, and I’ll fill you in here.  The Rundle Diamond was a photograph that I captured on Boxing Day, Dec. 26, 2012.  I briefly considered calling it Boxing Day, but quickly decided that “The Rundle Diamond” was a more colorfully descriptive name.  Since mid-2013 that is what I started calling this composition.  And, it’s caught on wildly throughout the landscape photography community.

It’s also gained Worldwide appeal.  How can I say this confidence?

Each year when I’m not travelling somewhere in the World leading one of my travel photography tours that I host either on a solo photography trip, or leading one of my travel photography tours around the World I’ll try to capture a better version of The Rundle Diamond.  Most of the time when I’m out there I bump into a half a dozen or more photographs there to capture the Rundle Diamond.  The number of photographers travelling from all over the World that I see at Vermillion Lakes each year trying to capture this photograph has been steadily increasing over the years.  This is why I think that this composition is gaining World wide appeal.

 

The Rundle Diamond photographed on Dec. 26, 2018, © www.brianmerry.ca

 

These are the conditions that you need to capture The Rundle Diamond:

1/  You need open water that reflects Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain.

2/  The Sun needs to be rising in the bottom of the V shaped valley formed between Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain.

3/  It needs to be pretty cold, which is not usually a problem when the first two conditions are met in late December each year.

4/  It needs to be a mostly clear day with low atmospheric haze.  This is usually not a proble at the end of December when the cold overnight temperatures usually freezes low level water vapour out of the atmosphere.

 

Where is the best place to photograph The Rundle Diamond?

There are a number of luke warm water sulphur springs along the lake shore of each of the three Vermillion lakes that collectively make up “The Vermillion Lakes.”  They are located pretty close to the town of Banff too, about 1 km to the first lake, and about 4 km to the end of the third lake.  The Lakes are accessed via the aptly named “Vermillion Lakes Road” which is located about 500m from the town of Banff.  Vermillion Lakes road is accessed via a West turn off of the Mount Norquay Road.  This turn is very close, about 50m, from the West exit to Banff off of the Trans Canada Highway.

Once on the Vermillion Lakes Road, continue down it driving past the first lake.  Soon after passing the first lake you will come to Second Vermillion Lake.  There is no street sign beside the lake identifying it as Second Vermillion Lake.  So, just make a mental note that you have to stop at the second lake.

I wish you the very best in capturing your own version of this Famous Photograph.  And if you would like me to help you photograph it, and then help you to photograph many more of the Famous landscape Photographs that Banff and Lake Louise are Famous for, please  consider hiring me for a private landscape photography tour I’ve been leading private tours here in the Canadian Rockies for more that 20 years.  I will be able to help you to capture your own World Class landscape photographs of the Canadian Rockies.

 

I'm a professional photographer and recreational climber based in Banff, AB. I'm married and run my photography business with my beautiful wife, Kazue. Together we organize and lead travel and landscape photography workshops and tours in both of our homes where we grew up, Cape Breton and Japan. We also lead tours based in my hometown for the past 20 years, Banff, AB. We have been lucky to live, and now work, in some of the most beautiful places in the world.

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