Waves, meet beach

A fine day at the beach from 5 years ago, the snowy peaks of the Tantalus Range on the distant horizon.

If I remember rightly, there were a few reasons for this photo. The first was the straight line in the pebbles on the beach marking the high-tide line. The second was the waves – it’s rarely windy enough here to whip up any significant waves. The third was the view up Howe Sound to the peaks of the Tantalus Range, 60 km away near Squamish. I still find it amazing that there are such impressive mountains within sight of Vancouver.

The full-sized photo is on Flickr.

A fine view

A fine view indeed – the North Shore mountains looked very photogenic today. You have to make the most of days like these and we ended up walking 10 km around the city πŸ™‚ My feet are pretty sore now…

What a beautiful day to be outside – apart from the chilly wind and the blinding reflection of the sun off the water in English Bay (there’s no pleasing some people πŸ˜‰ I ended up with about a dozen photos from today that I really liked, but this one is probably my favourite.

Walking the seawall in Coal Harbour I was drawn to the blue sky reflected in the water, and this perfect little cloud drifting over Grouse Mountain. I also took a landscape shot that took in all the mountains between Crown and Seymour, but I liked the way this angle neatly fitted into a square crop.

Otters

A trio of otters swimming around Stanley Park.

Everyone loves otters. They’re so cute. Except they’re not really. But everyone still likes seeing them.

I’ve seen a few around Vancouver, and remember watching one devour a fish near Kits Point. I was struck by the crunching noises as it chomped its way through that fish. But my sightings had always been single otters – until this day back in 2011 when we saw these three swimming along the seawall in Stanley Park, heading towards Vancouver harbour. We first caught sight of them rolling and playing in the kelp beds near Brockton Point, but as soon as they spotted us they took off and started swimming. I was a bit slow getting the camera on them, and this photo is more distant than it should have been (it’s heavily cropped for the Instagram version). We watched them for a minute or two until they were too far away.

Between sea and sky

Things that Kits Pool is good for in the off-season: sunset reflections.

As soon as the pool closes, the birds move in and it becomes a veritable no-go zone for people. (Apart from being closed to visitors, there is so much bird poop on the ground that it would be a distinctly unpleasant place to be.) But tonight I caught the pool still full, and empty of birds so it was completely still. I really liked the way the street lamps looked like they were continuous, and the blending of the pool and the sea beyond. I first noticed that blending effect a few years ago, and took a very similar photo, albeit on a warm summer evening. I think today’s photo is actually nicer though, with a simpler composition and fewer distractions.

Patience

Patience – a great blue heron waits for the right moment

A walk along the seafront on a cloudy day, and an experiment with a high-ish key photo. With our various compact cameras, I was always careful to not blow out highlights if I could help it, though this often resulted in shots that were mildly to seriously under-exposed. The SLR I used for this photo also tends to underexpose but after several years of looking at histograms I realized I needed to push up the highlights to make it more realistic, and then a bit more to give it a high-key look. It’s not a true high-key picture, so I may go back and play with the raw file to see if I can find a look that I like. One day…

Earlier in the walk we watched a seal splash around in the water, slapping its tail and breaching. Pretty cool. The heron never moved.

City view

One of my favourite city views

It was such a lovely evening, I couldn’t resist just walking downtown for an event rather than hopping on the bus. I always like stopping to admire this view from the Burrard Bridge, though I don’t think I took a photo of this view until after my brother came to visit a few years back. He borrowed my bike and took himself on a tour of the city, pausing here long enough to take a great panoramic photo. That photo inspired me to take my own, and although I haven’t repeated the panorama, I have taken this view a few times in different lighting to try and get that ultimate photo. This isn’t it, so I’ll just have to keep trying πŸ™‚

A good day

A good day to cycle around the Stanley Park seawall

A sunny day to end the week, and another city bike ride. Today I couldn’t resist sticking close to the water, riding around False Creek and then through downtown to Stanley Park. Lots of good things to see along the way – a couple of bald eagles, noisy flickers, hummingbirds, snowy mountains, blue sky, perfect reflections, the Olympic Village beaver (finally, although it did its best to avoid being photographed!), magenta magnolias, and a bushtit nest. I wasn’t really paying attention to the distance so it was a pleasant surprise to see I’d covered 28 km this morning.