Photographer Spotlight I: Julian Bialowas

Julian Bialowas is a designer, photographer, and explorer.

This past weekend, he had the chance to return to his hometown in Canada. He kindly shares his trip report to the mountains and lakes with us, which he also posted on his exposure.

This photo spotlight is part I of II in a series by Julian Bialowas.

When I’m not behind the lens or the screen you can find me in the mountains.”


About one month ago, Kyle Frost and I booked tickets to the city I grew up in on impulse after exchanging a few tweets about wanting to tackle the Canadian Rocky Mountains together. (That city being Calgary, Alberta.) It was supposed to be a quick trip up North to spend a night or two in the backcountry with us then returning to San Francisco. But life had different plans for me—as it typically does.

Spray Valley Provincial Park


We were welcomed to Alberta by an insanely thick layer of smoke from a neighbouring province’s forest fires that cut our visibility to near nothingness. So our first day of mountain driving and parking lot photography was filled with a lot of haze and a lot of silhouettes—looking on the bright side, it did make for some interesting light as we cruised through Spray Valley Provincial Park.


After driving the entire length of Highway 40 and Spray Lakes Road we made our way into Banff National Park to hammer out the (very beautiful) tourist traps: Johnston Canyon, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and of course the town of Banff itself.

Banff National Park

banff np1

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Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

Then to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake; aka tourists in canoes and souvenir shops…

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…but still very beautiful locations that everyone should see. Just promise me to go beyond the parking lots of these two lakes when you visit Canada. There’s a beauty and feeling in the backcountry that will never be discovered here amongst the plethora of tourists standing around you taking selfies. (I wish I had taken a photo looking back at the masses of people around us.)


The next quick stop was taking in the beauty of Mount Rundle, before cruising into town and then driving back to our campsite in Kananaskis Country for the night to prepare for our backcountry hike the next morning.

julian headshot

Julian Bialowas is a Canadian photographer based in San Francisco.

He shoots with a Nikon D610 and an iPhone 5s; his photos are processed with VSCO.

For more of Julian’s work, visit his website

Spotlight II will continue with his trip to Kananaskis Country.