VanCity Views IV

1. Snowline. The North Shore mountains looking pretty this morning.

The morning after a chilly rainy night shows up the lovely snowline across the flanks of Crown and Grouse Mountains. I took this photo from the roof of the Mountain Equipment Coop building on Broadway. I didn’t notice it at the time, but I really like how the snowline angles upwards as it gets nearer to the water, perhaps the air stayed cooler in the Capilano valley?

2. Winter sunset

I love seeing this boundary between night and day: the sun has set on the city but the mountain tops are still bathed in lovely warm light. Such a contrast compared with the previous photo! I’d rather be up in the mountains in this light – watching the snow change colour is amazing – but I’ll settle for a view over the water and the city.

Here, along the foreshore just west of Kits Pool, is one of my favourite spots to catch the sunset in the winter with its unobstructed view across English Bay and the peaks of Crown and Grouse Mountains, Mt Fromme, and the ridgeline of Mt Seymour beyond.

3. Morning view on day 3 of my Walk To Work Week 🙂

At the time I took this photo I was working about 4.5 km from home. While it was an easy bike ride, I’m not a fan of riding in the winter, so I thought I’d try walking it. To my surprise I found myself really enjoying the walk (on dry days) and could make it door-to-door in about 45 minutes. There’s a tiny park along the way called Choklit Park – and yes, the name is associated with chocolate – with a nice view over towards the high-rises of Yaletown and the mountains beyond. Now if only I had the Photoshop skills to remove that straggly little branch in the top right corner…

4. I’m not a morning person but I love mornings – good morning from a frosty Kits Beach

I remember taking a photo of Kits Beach covered in frost way back in 2009 and wanted to repeat that shot. It took until early 2016 for that to happen! Things I like about this photo include the shape of the beach, which is close to a classic “S” curve, the strip of sand forming a pathway between the silvery-blue water and frost, and the mist behind the city high-rises. It’s a chillier-looking photo than my earlier attempt – I guess I must have sooner after sunrise than in 2009 which had some nice early-morning sunshine lighting up the frost.

So with that I think I’m caught up on my backlog of miscellaneous Vancouver shots for now. I wonder what next week’s Throwback Thursday has in store?

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City sights on a sunny Sunday

City sights on a snowy sunny Sunday – mountains, birds, the sea, the city, snow, ice, and signs of spring. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to believe that I live here.

Winter came to the city last night, and to everyone’s surprise, the clouds parted and we were treated to a gorgeous sunny day. Maria and I wandered out for some fresh air, heading down to the beach before grabbing a hot chocolate and walking home for lunch. And a lovely picturesque walk it was too!

1) The beach between Tatlow Park and Trafalgar Street has a nice tidal shelf with a few little raised rocks. This seagull was perfectly placed with the Vancouver skyline behind it, with the peaks of Mt Seymour and the Fannin Range forming the horizon.

2) I love this view of Kits Beach, especially when the tide is out a little like today. The ripples of the incoming waves add some lovely foreground interest – spot the seagull down on the beach too!

3) A couple of the streets offer a great view of Crown Mountain. I liked this one showing the street scene with the mountain as an imposing backdrop. The original version of this image (in a vertical 3:2 ratio) looks much better though. The square crop loses too much for my liking, and I wouldn’t post it alone in this format, but it works well enough for a multi-photo post.

4) I found some witch hazel still in bloom! Yay! This tree is the same one I photographed last year, and it’s a lovely hybrid tree with a mixture of yellow and red “petals”. Most are just one colour of the other, but this one blends the two into its own little spectrum.

5) I was hoping to find a scene like this: a dot of last night’s snow perched on top of some flowers. And with the blue sky behind, how could I resist?

6) Possibly the closest witch hazel tree to home, I hadn’t noticed this one before but it was a gorgeous pure yellow complete with a little icy hat!

Kits Beach

Kits Beach is a 20-minute walk from our apartment. If ever we need a quick dose of outdoors, and don’t feel like taking the bus or driving anywhere, then we walk in the direction of the sea and usually end up by Kits Beach. It’s a great place to catch the low tide, and it’s been our go-to spot for photographing the aurora, at least for 2017 when we were treated to two great displays in May and September. I’ve already written a number of posts about photos taken at or near Kits Beach. What’s one more for Throwback Thursday?

1. Crescent moon at sunset.

For a few years I was quite obsessed with taking photographs of the moon in all its phases. These days it takes something more than the moon itself to inspire me to take a photo, such as a colourful sky, or a colour gradient, which is perhaps more likely to catch my eye. I like how the moon is holding on to the blue sky while the sunset tinges the sky pink and orange below it.

2. Admiring the sunset.

We’ve seen quite a few sunsets at the beach over the years. I particularly like the colours in this one, reflected in the blissfully calm water, with Maria walking across the sand to stand and admire the view from the water’s edge.

3. Blustery day at Kits Beach.

In stark contrast to the photo above, a rare windy day whipped up some great waves, their white caps standing out against the bottle-green water. Dark clouds over the North Shore complete the picture. One of my favourite phone photos: not only did it turn out quite well (at least for viewing at Instagram size) but it was a clear example of the best camera for the job is the one you’re carrying.

Two tone

Two-tone fog over Stanley Park.

Another shot harking back to my photo-a-day project, and yet another of those wait-until-the-end-of-the-day photos! I remember running down the street to get down to the water’s edge near Kits Beach to get this view of the fog that had been drifting around most of the day. I got there just in time to catch the sun lighting up the top of the fog bank while the lower half was in shadow, creating this nice two-tone effect. I always like shots of fog in the tree tops – I don’t have as many of those photos as I would like, something I should clearly work on!

Smoothed out

The high-rises of the West End reflect the glow of the western sky. The seawall at Kits Pool comes in handy for long exposures!

A fine Monday afternoon and – as was so often the case in my photo-a-day project – I wandered out for some fresh air and possibly scope out a photo-op or two. The tide was on its way out so I headed down onto the beach at the bottom of Balaclava Street and walked towards the city, watching the last light play on the mountain tops. By the time I reached Kits Pool, it was dark enough to try a few longer exposures and the high-rises in the city were reflecting the lovely yellow-orange glow of the sky; an urban alpenglow. I didn’t have my tripod so the seawall came in very handy. Two seconds was just long enough to smooth out the water and highlight the reflections of the buildings.

Snowy beach rocks

Snowy beach rocks.

Not much to say about that really 🙂 We’d woken to fresh snow this morning and I knew I had to get down to the beach to see snow on the sand there. The tide had gone out a little, leaving some unsnowy beach exposed – I was hoping to get the waves lapping at the snow – but these rocks were still wearing their white caps and made a nice grouping against the city skyline. Or what could be seen of the city skyline given the grey murk in the distance!

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.