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Julesimages

Advice for shooting and selling images from Banff Canada please

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Hi, I am skiing in Banff, Canada in a few weeks.  Can anyone give any advice or point me to any publishing/selling restrictions or issues please? Can I take street scenes with people and buildings in them and sell them like I do in the UK?  I have found some National Park photo guidelines which outline the need to apply for a permit for commercial shooting, but I won't be setting anything up, just skiing and mooching around with a camera - not settling up lots of equipment.

Any advice gratefully received,  Thanks.. Julian

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There are some 25,000 Banff images on Alamy, mostly scenics within the National Park. Downtown Banff is overwhelmingly unappealing. If you manage to make it look interesting or attractive, you will have a scoop, but the lakes and mountains are bound to be the biggest sellers.

 

Short of setting up lights and tripods, i don't think you will have any problems. They even have Mounties in red uniforms on display (in Summer at least) which is bonkers as that is strictly a ceremonial get-up. But the tourist must be served.!

 

I did a lot of work over the years working for UK holiday companies because I could ski reasonably, but having expensive camera gear strapped here and there took most of the fun out of the skiing. In the end I took to using a ski-bob to better preserve my gear. They may be a thing of the past.

 

Just did a trawl on a few web sites, It seems the ski-bob is alive and well, but more often referred to as a ski-bike. Some are more like a mountain bike with front and rear skis rather than wheels. Probably a lot faster but not quite so suitable for photographers wanting to go slowly and keep their equipment safe.

Edited by Robert M Estall
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I made a one week trip to Banff and Lake Louise, 6 or 7 years ago in the winter, and have grossed close to $900 from those pics on Alamy.  Not a huge return, but I had fairly low expenses since I was there on a media tour and all major expenses were covered.   I am not a skier so my photos were more scenic and town shots.  No problems shooting whatever I wanted.

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Julian:

 
The National Parks used to have a slogan. “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures”.
 
Commercial permits are only enforced if you are preventing other visitors from enjoying the parks. They are designed for film shoots where you have to take over an area and set up.
 
I would avoid using a tripod in the Banff townsite for practical reasons, but anything else goes. Street scenes and people same rules as UK. Historic government buildings are OK because Canada has the attitude that history belongs to the people, and we do not have the National Trust as you have in the UK.
 
You may have to wait in line with other photographers, to use your tripod at scenic hot spots. Try to drive the Banff-Jasper highway if you have time and good weather.
 
Seeing you will be skiing, here is a shot of the Banff townsite from the bottom of the ski run at Mount Norquay
 
banff-townsite-in-banff-national-park-al
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Thanks Bill and Michael.  That's really helpful.  I tend to just take a compact camera with a fixed lens when I am skiing ( I'm not a good skier! and it hurts less when I fall and isn't too expensive).  Then I use my DSLR when otherwise out and about. 

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Hi,

Bill is absolutely right and there are no restrictions on picture taking as long as you are not going to interfere with the operation of the park. A potential type of image that might gain you an advantage over the many thousands of images taken of Banff are shots of tourists doing touristy activities especially if you can get model releases. If you plan on driving the Icefields Parkway, be forewarned that you need a good car and winter driving experience as weather can change in an instant. I have had to go back to semi-truck driving this winter to fend off the bill collector and have driven a few times through Jasper and driving in a blizzard is NO fun!!

But some potential must see sights are Johnson Canyon and its frozen waterfalls etc., and the nearby meadows are often have big antlered elk sometimes in high densities (don't get too close); if you go up the Icefields parkway, the weeping wall is a mecca for ice climbers and a good photo opportunity; Marble Canyon in nearby Kootenay National Park is also good for frozen water.

Have a good trip

Chris

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