A Dinosaur Sunset to Remember


The Beauty of Dinosaur Provincial Park at sunset.


Entering Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta is like entering another world.

The landscape rises out of the plains and the views are jaw-dropping. We spent a day and a night comfort camping at Dinosaur Provincial Park in the heart of the badlands of Alberta and we were impressed. I was lucky enough to join the “Sunset Tour” thanks to the staff at Dinosaur Provincial Park. The tour was nearly full, but they knew I had my heart set on snapping a photo so they let me have the final spot on the bus. I was excited as I could only imagine the stunning scenes I would witness in the amazing canyon at sunset.

Well Dinosaur Provincial Park did not disappoint. We left around 6:30pm and hit 4 different stops that were selected for that night's tour. This is a tour that is geared to photographers. There is not a lot of history given, but they have so many other tours during the day that cover that end of things that it doesn't end up being a problem. I was armed with my tripod and camera and was raring to go.

Most of the sights offered many different views and angles to shoot this desolate landscape but it was the final climb that afforded us the best view for sunset. As I walked around and grabbed a few shots of the surrounding landscape I was really just biding my time until the sun got low enough for my liking.

I shot this as an HDR image with 5 exposures bracketed in 2 stop increments. I chose a aperture of F14 in order to achieve the starburst look in the sun and processed it in Photomatix Pro and Lightroom 4.

I had already had plans to shoot into the sun (I really like these shots) and wandered around looking for the best angle. Once I found it I just waited it out. You see the key to a great photograph is great light, timing and patience. It almost always pays off.

I was disappointed that they ended the tour just as the light was turning to magic hour. I didn't have a choice but to get back on the bus when the driver called us all in. I was the last to arrive and when I asked why we were leaving when the sun was just about to set he said “majority rules everyone has voted to go home.”

Luckily I got my shot but unfortunately I could have gotten many more. Most of Dinosaur Provincial Park is off limits unless you are on a guided tour so you are at the mercy of the crowd. I lost out on the vote this time around, but when I go back, I'll be sure to make my voice heard and force everyone to stay for the perfect light at the end of the day.

  • And thank you to Dinosaur Provincial Park for showing us around and allowing us to comfort camp. For more information on visiting the park and camping visit their website Alberta Parks.ca
  • See more of our posts on Alberta at our Alberta Destinations page 

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