Riley J.B. - Photographer


Calgary photographer, Riley JB, writes essays, photo stories, reviews & tutorials in his photographic Journal.

Where the Ground meets the Sky

The Canadian Rocky Mountains are only an hour or so from my home here in Alberta. I definitely do not take advantage of how close they are. That needs to change. And yes.. I say that all the time.

I booked a heli tour with my friend & fellow photographer, Cody Priebe, to shoot some aerial shots of the mountains that I have observed at a distance my entire life.

A word of caution.. I would not recommend booking a helicopter tour if your intention is photography unless the company is geared towards photographers. You will find that the time slots will not be ideal (at 9am ours was the earliest we could book) and you will be shooting through the dirty, curved plexiglass windows. I learned a custom flight time and the removal of doors is a privilege saved for those photographers ‘vetted’ by the provincial tourism board.. aka social media influencers.

So armed with polarizers for window reflections & the full expectation that the light would be harsh, we set out to the mountain skies. This is where the ground meets the sky.


It is difficult to take myself away from looking at the sweeping mountain vistas, but more often the not it is the little details I spot that interest me the most.



Winter’s snow has been long melted in the foothills and prairies of Alberta. But the mountains still cradled it.



Powerful glaciers grind away at the granite of the mountains. This rock flour makes it’s way into the glacial lakes below and is what causes the unreal blue colour of the water.


We landed, actually the pilot did the landing bit, on the boarder of Alberta & British Columbia near a small lake. Unlike other lakes I had already spotted from the air this one was still largely frozen. On the opposite banks was a 60-year-old, unfinished log cabin.

It was more of a ‘stand and look around’ instead of a hike. The ground was covered in a few feet of very soft snow. And while my heritage Red Wing boots looked the part, their grip-less sole made them the worst hiking boot I can imagine.


I made a short iPhone video of our take-off from the hiking location.


I couldn’t help but feeling like I cheated to get see these mountain peaks up close.


Thank you for looking. If you liked what you saw please share it around.

My work can be licensed at Stocksy. If you would like to collaborate with me on a photo story contact me on social media..