Mamquam Mountain Monday

Mamquam Mountain from a few weeks ago after the first dusting of snow. There’ll be way more than that now.

Mamquam is a huge massif of a mountain, and it can be tricky to photograph effectively. The version of this photo on Flickr has a little less presence than this one, and even that’s a crop from the full image. But that’s one of the things I actually like about Instagram: it forces you to change the perspective on an image, and gives the opportunity to highlight one or two features of a particular scene. And so it is with this photo – a tighter crop, a touch of warming, and a little bit of desaturating to emphasize shape and texture and before you know it, you have a completely different photo.


Golden avenue

An avenue of yellow tulip poplars on 10th Ave, one of my favourite deciduous trees as they remind me of hiking in Shenandoah in the fall. Here, the leaves tend to be a little more burnished rather than the bright yellow of the Appalachians but they’re still pretty, especially in afternoon sunshine.

I still vividly remember our first visit to Shenandoah National Park in the autumn of 2000. I was expecting to see red and gold trees, and was a little disappointed to find nothing but bright yellow. Later I learned that these vivid yellow leaves were from the tulip poplar, a tree that came to be my favourite on the east coast of the US. So when we moved way out west to Vancouver, I was really pleased to find this row of poplars and looked forward to seeing the leaves turn in the autumn. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t turn yellow but I really can’t complain when they take on this wonderful golden colour instead!

Back to today. I was on my way home from the beach and realized that it was sunny, and decided to check out this avenue (in both senses of the word). Lo and behold, the trees were still covered in leaves, and the sunshine was lighting them up. I pulled in behind a car, and noticed another photographer who’d pulled over to get the same shots. (Turns out he was actually shooting film, and was wanting to use up the roll.) But I wasn’t entirely happy with the shots I was getting – somehow I was having difficulty lining things up right (which could have been down to the fact I was waiting for gaps in traffic) – so I drove a bit further along 10th and decided to shoot in the other direction instead. This worked really well – the gaps between cars were longer so I had more time to compose, and I really like the way the road disappears into the trees as it heads up the hill. The only downside to this photo is having to crop it vertically to fit on Instagram. But that’s where Flickr comes in: see the full version here.

Vancouver in the Fall

Throwback to a sunny autumn morning from this week 5 years ago. I think it must have been Bike to Work Week.

This week is Bike-to-Work Week, indeed as it was five years ago. But it’s a very different week with barely a hint of sun. I took this photo from Trimble Park in Point Grey, a good place to catch your breath after cycling up the hill on 8th Ave! I loved the soft light on the trees, and of course the view of Golden Ears (which I can now say I’ve climbed – yay!). And then it was onwards and upwards some more…

Deadly beauty

It’s a wet Wednesday, perfect for waterfall photos, such as this one of Twin Falls that I took yesterday. I held my camera over the fence (it makes a good support for long-ish exposures) but clearly that wasn’t good enough for some folks as the mesh of the fence had been ripped out so they could get a better view. Personally I was happy to keep to the wet slippery rocks on the safe side 🙂

I discovered this waterfall some years ago and I love going back to get a photo every now and again, especially after a good downpour. It’s in a really treacherous part of Lynn Canyon – though it seems odd saying that as it’s all pretty treacherous! That aside, I noticed a couple of things that were new on this visit compared with the last time I was here at the end of 2013. The first was the number of warning signs, including a water danger level (set to “deadly”). The second was that the safety fence had been damaged in places so people could get a closer, unobstructed view of the falls and the pool below, which I suspect is people doing it for the ‘Gram. I’ll be honest, there is one point on the fence that I’d be tempted to hop (hop, not rip apart mind you), but only when it’s dry – the rocks are really greasy in the wet. But then, when it’s dry, the waterfall probably isn’t as spectacular, so maybe I won’t do it after all.

Peek-a-boo Black Tusk

Peek-a-boo Black Tusk from the Crater Rim trail.

I couldn’t resist posting this photo from Saturday’s hike on the Crater Rim Trail. At one point there is a gap in the trees just big enough to get this wonderful view of Black Tusk, now lovingly decorated in its winter coat.

Forest green

Mossy green.

Today we revisited yet another place from 5 years ago, the Crater Rim Trail around Logger’s Lake in Whistler. It’s a pleasant little hike (only 5 km) with enough elevation gain to make it feel like a little workout (250 m), and a handful of interesting things to see along the way. For me, one of the most fascinating things about the hike is the geology, and one edge of the rim is composed of columnar basalts. Very cool. Further on, the trail ends up in this beautiful open, mossy green forest. I could hike in this kind of forest all day, it’s just so restful on my eyes, and so much brighter than the dense, valley-bottom forest.

Serac city

Serac city.

Apart from the lakes themselves, the Matier Glacier is one of the more spectacular features of the Joffre Lakes hike. Some people will scramble up the rocks to the snout of the glacier, which is something I won’t do when the daily temperature changes straddle freezing. On one of our trips here we found chunks of glacial ice mixed in the snow very close to the lake, and there’s only one place that ice could have come from. So, I’ll just be content with this view for now, thank you.

I’ve rather fallen out with our SLRs lately as their focus just hasn’t been as sharp as our little RX100II (and sometimes misses altogether, which just shouldn’t happen). But I needed the long reach of the telephoto lens for this shot and I managed to get a few sharp-enough photos to really emphasize the drama of the features in the glacier. This photo was taken as the sun came out and lit up parts of the glacier for just a short time, adding lots of contrast to what had been a fairly flat view until then, and showcasing the texture and structure in the ice. N’ice, as I like to say 🙂