This summer I was lucky to be a part of a global project to create photography with the OM-D E-M5 Mark III before it was launched. Besides the excitement of being part of such a cool project, I was able to go on a bucket list road-trip throughout the Canadian Rockies!

I fell in love with photography as a child when I realized there is nothing like exploring the world around you, and the humbling feeling of being a small part of something so grand that comes with seeing how big the world is. The Canadian Rockies encompasses that feeling perfectly. While the weather was less then ideal ( it was pouring rain everyday) that actually ended up adding to my adventure and the memories of being there. Luckily with dramatic weather comes some dramatic light and mood, I was thrilled that the E-M5 Mark III could keep up with me as challenged myself to shoot in some difficult conditions.


In a high school photography class, I saw an old 1960’s Kodak image of Spirit Island and knew right then and there that it was a place I had to see with my own eyes. The only way to access this point is by boat, either an overnight canoe trip or on a tour. This time I opted for the photography tour.

While it rained the whole time I was there (a theme on this trip!), I had the had enough confidence in the weatherproofing and durability of the E-M5 Mark III and my 7-14mm F2.8 to not worry about the weather damaging my gear, and was able instead to focus on the scene in front of me.

I wanted to highlight the calmness and peace I felt sanding among these majestic peaks. By smoothing out the watery shooting a super long exposure I was able to capture that feeling. I’m a fan of anything that makes my life easier and I love that that you can take up to a 60 second exposure in-camera - no need to fuss with an external remote.

Spirit Island
OM-D E-M5 Mark III | M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO
12mm | 25s | F8 | ISO 64
The Three Sisters
OM-D E-M5 Mark III | M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO
8mm | 1/50s | F8 | ISO 64


I began this day with a 3:30 am wake up call to shoot and hike around Morraine Lake, a mid-morning hike to Lake Agnes Teahouse, and then this sunset shoot of Three Sisters. to put it mildly it was a LONG day and I was on my feet for all of it!

Moments like this I was impressed with how small and lightweight this camera gear is, when you’re hiking every ounce counts and it would have been extremely difficult for me to do this caring any extra weight around!

This particular image was shot in Hi-Res Shot mode which creates a 50 MP RAW file which gave me a lot to work with in post processing. It also maintains a ton of detail for print which is something that is very important to me as a photographer.


My favorite night of this whole trip was the night I spent under the stars to Vermilion Lakes. I had this shot in mind with Mt Rundle reflected in the lake the whole trip but the weather just wasn’t cooperating. The day had started with another 4 am sunrise shoot at Bow Lake followed by a drive up and down the ice fields Parkway. I stopped somewhere near a million times to capture the views, every turn on that drive is picturesque and breathtaking!

Obviously my camera was being used ALL DAY LONG so I found the USB charging that is a new feature on this camera to be extremely helpful. While driving from place to place I used to car charger to top up my battery, ensuring I never missed a shot all day (or night) long. W

When I noticed the weather had finally cleared up and I knew this was my chance to capture my dream shot at Vermilion Lakes. After reaching to the spot I had previously scouted out I jumped out of my car only to see a bear lumbering out of the woods. Clearly I was not about to stick around to become a snack for him so I drove a short ways down the road to give him some space, set up my tripod right outside my car window and sat in the arm car shooting using the OI Share app - which essentially turns your phone into a Bluetooth remote for your camera.

Vermilion Lakes
OM-D E-M5 Mark III | M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm F1.2 PRO
1/60s | F1.4 | ISO 1000
Vermilion Lakes
OM-D E-M5 Mark III | M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO
12mm | 60s | F2.8 | ISO 640

These were just a couple of my favorite experiences and images from this once in a lifetime trip. Overall I found the E-M5 Mark III to be an ideal camera for a person who is constantly looking for the next adventure. When hiking or traveling, space in my camera bag is at a premium and the E-M5 Mark III is extremely compact but still capable of producing images that are detailed and sharp. The in-camera stabilization allowed me to break from my tripod which makes adventuring even lighter and easier.

Whether photographing mighty waterfalls, pristine lakes, or hiking up mountains, the E-M5 Mark III is a camera that was able to handle it all.

Instagram: @alexahope

Alexa Rakow is a landscape and seascape photographer based out of Santa Barbara, California. The mountains and beaches of her hometown have always had a huge impact on her love for exploring nature.


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