Black Tusk Sunset

Canon R6 | 400mm + 1.4x Converter III

560mm || f8.0 || 1/1250s || ISO 800

The Black Tusk is arguably the most iconic peak in the whistler area. On any given day skiing Whistler Blackcomb, you will spot hundreds of skiers and snowboarders with their cell phones out capturing the beauty of this Volcanic peak. Although you can get some great shots with a fairly basic setup, I may have taken this one a bit to the next level. Standing on the side of a busy ski run with a big white super-telephoto lens (Canon 400mm f4 DO) is bound to attract a bit of attention. It did in the end attract the attention of a ski patroller who was doing the end-of-day sweep. He was nice enough to wait with me for 5 minutes while I waited for the light, but when he gave me the final “it’s time to go” I snapped this shot and packed up. There is a good chance that the light got better after this shot, but that is one thing that I’ll never know.

This shot was taken from within the area boundary of the Whistler Blackcomb ski area - in the southernmost portion of the tenure just off of “Upper Peak to Creek” or “Highway 86”. Because of the northern latitude of Whistler, December days tend to be quite short and we get lengthy periods of golden hour, combined with a yellow-orange glow on the horizon. The sun generally sets behind the Tusk, so you are often dealing with a dark foreground and very bright background. It was shot handheld which can often be a challenge with such a long lens - but it worked out in this case. 

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