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  • Writer's pictureAmos Ravid

Morant's Curve (this is not a term in physics)

Usually I try to avoid locations photographed by millions but there are times when, as a photographer, you simply have no choice. About trains, car chases and obsessive photography, all in the next post.

it all started when we went to the Rocky Mountains. Actually no, it all started when Nicholas Morant, a photographer who worked for the Canadian Railway Company, photographed here in the middle of the last century. That is how this beautiful vantage point, officially called "Morant's Curve", has become an iconic location and a must for any photographer visiting Banff National Park. Rightfully so. But, this train has no timetables, which means patience is required. A lot of patience. The first morning I sat here in the freezing cold for 3 hours until a train came, but from the less favorite direction. In the afternoon I sat another two hours waiting at what I called "the train station for photographers" and nothing, it didn't come, neither to the right nor to the left. So the matter became a bit frustrating and obsessive. A different, surprising attitude was needed.

The next day, while driving back from a relaxing day in this wonderful area, we noticed it going at the same direction as we were. It didn't take more than one look and a nod and within seconds we found ourselves in the middle of a Hollywood chase that lasted for the next 15 km. A quick parking, a run to the "station" and we got it. packed the equipment I happily returned to the car and... another train's horn. Once again a run to the "station", a quick placement of the equipment and boom, another one. Probably the most effective and fast photos taking in here ever.

The bottom line however is, if you want to photograph the train you need to develop the patience of a wildlife photographer (which is not an easy thing), or practice car chasing. And although Morant's Curve is not a term in physics, it does related to time and speed. Since then, by the way, I have a sensitivity to train horns.

Morant curve on an overcast day. The railway route runs here along the Bow River

Nicholas Morant (1910-1999) was a Canadian photographer whose photographs were published in many magazines including National Geographic and even appeared on Canadian banknotes and postage stamps in the 1950s and 1960s. Between the years 1935 and 1939 and then again between 1944 and 1981, Morant worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and his photographs of the Rocky Mountain region received much publicity and contributed greatly to the promotion of tourism in the region. One of the places where he especially liked to take pictures was the observation point named after him "Morant's Curve". Most of his works are now kept at the Whyte Museum in Banff.

* Thanks to my dear wife who supported, encouraged and participated in all this pleasure


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