Stormy

Stormy seas for wave-Wednesday, taken on Monday’s choppy crossing to Mayne Island.

The colour of the sea convinced me to leave the warm and dry passenger cabin for the open car deck on our crossing from Vancouver Island to Mayne Island, especially when the sky brightened and warmed from the dull stormy grey clouds that we set sail under.

I sized up and took a few photos. However, this one caught me by surprise. I actually pointed the camera along the side of the ferry to take it, and the shot was about 5-degrees off level since I was holding it at arm’s length and had no clue where the horizon was. But I instantly saw the wave leaving the ship defining a path, with another wave crossing it at the left of the image to add an even greater sense of movement. The bright sky above Prevost Island reflected beautifully in the water, but not so much as to reduce the depth of its colour.

A square crop suited it perfectly, getting rid of the ferry superstructure and – remarkably – placing the horizon on the upper third line. It’s not perfect – the light level was quite low, so the motion of the wave is blurred – but in this case I feel it only adds more dynamism. A partly accidental shot for sure, but one I’m really happy with.

The crossing itself was really not that bad as the ferry route is quite sheltered: the strongest winds blew up the open waters of the Strait of Georgia. Certainly nothing like as bad as some of the cross-channel sailings I’ve experienced between the UK and Europe…

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Dusky pink

It’s ferry Friday – here’s the Queen of Capilano on her way back to Horseshoe Bay from Bowen Island at dusk last weekend.

A clear evening, a view of the ferry, and a pink sky. All I had to do was keep the camera steady. I was hoping to be able to push the colour a bit more to make it a bit more dramatic but it didn’t really look right, so I kept my adjustments modest. More realistic, albeit at the expense of being a little less eye-catching.

On the whole I’ll take realism any day – I see too many photos on Instagram (and Flickr and Facebook) where the colours have been pushed to ridiculous levels in the hope of attracting more likes. (And that’s before we get into discussions of HDR.) At least I assume that’s the case – perhaps the posters genuinely like their photos to look that way? Maybe that is “realistic” to them? Who knows? I don’t see exactly the same as them and my screens are setup differently.

It occurred to me as I was writing this that eye-catching is probably the name of the game for many people on Instagram. Given the continuous scrolling through dozens of photos, it takes something to literally catch your eye as you go, something to make you stop scrolling and take a closer look, tap the heart, or even leave a comment. Sure, I enjoy seeing those “like” notifications as much as anyone, but at the end of the day, if only a few others like my photos, I’m fine with that.

I will admit, though, that I do get a little irked when I see mediocre photos being lauded as “excellent work”, but I also recognize that the number of likes and comments is pretty much directly related to the number of followers, and I’d have to work harder to gain more followers in order to increase my likability. I’m not so heavily into my own self-promotion to do that. And do I want followers who can’t tell a good photo from a bad one? What’s the value of their likes to me in that case, other than for massaging my ego?

So I will go on just posting photos I like, those that can jog a memory or two for me, and, yes, I hope that others may find them interesting.

Mountains at sea

A view of Golden Ears from the entrance to Active Pass on our ferry ride home.

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I love being out on deck as the ferry goes through Active Pass. I’ve seen killer whales here several times, seals most times, eagles, and the occasional sea lion. On our outward journey on Friday, I saw a couple of deer feeding in one of the meadows on Mayne Island.

As usual, I was up at the bow, primed to get take a picture of the other ferry coming towards us, only to be reminded of the glorious view of Golden Ears framed between headlands on Galiano (left) and Mayne Islands. Since it caught me by surprise, I was a little late in taking the photo, and as a result, it’s not as well framed as I feel it could have been; I would like the headlands to be a little closer together. I’ll have to make sure I get it right next time! Maybe the light will be more favourable too?

Rays of pink

A few pink rays over the Howe Sound peaks

Another perspective on last night’s incredible sunset. As the saying goes, as you’re watching a sunset (or sunrise), don’t forget to look behind you. I really liked the pink rays of cloud over the deep blue cloud-capped peaks along the Howe Sound Crest Trail.

A splash of colour

Some welcome colour after the greyest of grey days

To say that today has been grey is an understatement. It hasn’t been raining the whole time, but it has been an oppressive, unrelenting dull grey. So imagine our astonishment when the clouds broke up towards the end of the day as we approached Bowen Island on the ferry. I couldn’t believe my eyes at first: straight ahead the view was the blue of approaching dusk, while to our left everything had a distinct magenta cast to it. I was sufficiently intrigued to go out on deck and was greeted by this incredible sight. Definitely one of the nicest and most dramatic sunsets we’ve had in a while.

After that, we met up with the Black Sheep for some Guy Fawkes’ night merriment and mayhem!

Killer whales

A trio of killer whales in Active Pass, including a baby. Just another BC moment… 🙂

For a while I had a good run of whale-spotting from the ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. This one was good because it was on a bright sunny afternoon, and there was a little baby whale in the group! I love the fact that we can see these animals here – whales have been one of my favourite animals since the Save the Whale campaign of the 1970s.

Dark clouds

Dark clouds over Vancouver

Dark clouds over Vancouver #bcferries #ferry #ferryfriday #salishsea #explorebc #weather #clouds

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I can never resist spending time out on deck on a ferry crossing, even if the wind is howling and threatening to make off with my hat. We left Vancouver under heavy grey clouds, and emerged in dazzling sunshine part-way across the Strait of Georgia.

I don’t think the clouds were quite as threatening as I’ve made them appear in this photo – I just liked to boost the contrast a little and rein-in the highlights to give it a more dramatic appearance. I thought about a black-and-white conversion too, but in the end just decided to desaturate the photo which left a little bit of blue sky as a visual cue. Of course, having the ferry heading into the clouds is really what makes the picture.