From the beginning

Today is a Throwback-Thursday and, seeing as I didn’t start blogging my Instagram posts until I’d posted nearly 100, I thought it’d a fun way to fill in the gaps with some Throwbacks and Flashbacks. I might not post one every week, and looking back I will group together photos from a single trip or with a theme (as long as they were posted close together) so I don’t have to write another 90+ individual blog posts!

Be warned: all of my early posts originated on my phone. Indeed that was the whole point of getting an Instagram account in the first place, to give me a place to put casual phone pics, often processed in ways that I wouldn’t dream of with photos from our real cameras. Some (like the two below) work quite well as black-and-white, while others made use of either Instagram filters or the processing options in Google Photos that were available at the time as attempts to mask or at least draw attention away from the poor image quality. Was I successful? Sometimes…

I took these on one of the extreme low tides we get in the summer where we were able to walk out on Spanish Banks almost to the steep drop-off into the deeper waters of Burrard Inlet. Bright sunny days, with their high mid-day contrast, can often work well for black and white photos. And that’s exactly what I did for these two.

1. Low tide in Vancouver.

Low tide in Vancouver #lowtide #beach #spanishbanks #vancouver

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The first is unusual for me in that it’s almost street photography – I don’t normally put people in my photos, especially strangers. But I liked the fact the three people in the group were all looking the same direction – out to sea – as well as the curve of the breaking waves leading towards the high-rises of downtown Vancouver. As far as street-style photos go, it’s one of my favourites. If I want to get picky, I should be held the camera higher to avoid merging the heads and the background ship, but then, try seeing that detail on a phone screen on a sunny day…

2. Go no further.

Go no further #lowtide #blackandwhite #beach #spanishbanks #vancouver

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The second was simply a record of where we were, looking over to the North Shore, with the sentry-like structure guarding the transition to deep water as if to say that we should indeed go no further. I like the simplicity and the fluffy clouds over the mountains. That’s it really.

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Cape Scott

A few days ago I finally completed my write-up of our 6-day trip to Cape Scott, already a year ago now! Although I’d published the summary post soon after returning home, it took months for us to sift through all the photos and for me to rediscover our notes to help me write up each day on the trip.

Looking back on a trip it’s sometimes hard to remember just how it made you feel, and when you do remember, was it just euphoria talking or was it really as good a trip as your words say? I quote my opening line: “Wow! I don’t remember the last time a hike so clearly won me over.” And instantly I’m transported back to those big open beaches, the dense forest, and the sense of wilderness.

I think what contributed to how we felt about this trip was the fact that we weren’t expecting to be wowed in the way that spectacular mountain scenes do. The beauty of the place crept up on us and was just there for us to experience. The rest was up to us to be open to that.

If you haven’t done any coastal hiking, then I highly recommend Cape Scott. I would also suggest that you wait for a good weather window, though that is tricky given the logistics of getting there. But it’s worth it. Who can resist such idyllic beach camping?

Nissen Bight, 4 Aug 2016

Flow

Not a waterfall but flowing water nonetheless – some soft wave action from a glorious couple of minutes at sunset a few weeks ago.

This photo was taken the same night as this one when the sun broke through the clouds only moments before sunset. I was captivated by the gentle wash of the waves and the reflection of the pink light on the wet sand, which gave me the idea of taking a photo with a long-enough exposure to blur the waves and give the viewer a sense of that motion. It took many attempts as I did not have a tripod, plus I had to wait for the right combination of waves and wet sand. But eventually I got one that was more or less exactly what I had in mind (indeed, this was one of those rare photographs that I actually envisioned before I took it). To top it off, the contrast between the blue water and the pink reflection is just lovely to my eye.

Long shadows

Thursday again already? This is probably my favourite photo from my picture-a-day project 5 years ago. I ran down the steps to the beach, knowing I might miss sunset but hoping for some colour, and was greeted by this gorgeous light. I only managed to get half-a-dozen before it disappeared. I think this was the first shot I took too πŸ™‚

The full story behind this photo is here. I still don’t think I’ve witnessed a sunset like this one where the light cast such long shadows from the pebbles embedded in the sand. And the colour too – so orange!

Wormcasts

King of the worm-cast castle

King of the worm-cast castle #rathtrevor #wormcast #beach #lowtide #crab #tidepools #explorebc #bcparks

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Since buying a Chromecast, I can no longer think of worm-casts in the same way as I used to…

I tried to capture the crab while it was still actually on top of the wormcast but it scuttled off as I crouched down to take its picture, and instead just stood guard at the base. Another pool of water on the beach, another irresistible reflection photo!

A Very Vancouver Evening

A very Vancouver evening

A sunny evening, low tide at the beach, and the city skyline – pretty much sums up summer evenings in Vancouver, even when it’s not yet summer πŸ™‚ I really liked the reflection of the rocks in the pools and I found myself wondering how those rocks got there – were they glacial erratics? Could be…

Beach love

A Valentine’s Day greeting on the beach.

A Valentine's Day greeting on the beach #beachlove #blackiespit #beach #crescentbeach #shell #clam

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I’d seen many great bird photos that had been taken in Blackie Spit park so I thought I’d check it out myself on a dull, blustery Valentine’s Day. I saw a couple of eagles out on the mud flats, and an armada of unidentified dabbling ducks, but that was about it. I guess – like many “good” birding spots – it’s not that the birds are always there, and getting a good photo requires being in the right place at the right time. Walking back along the beach towards the car I spotted something bright and colourful on a log, which turned out to be a painted clam shell above. I thought it was an apt message for the day, and much easier to photograph than a distant bird.