A moment of colour

Last night’s sunset when the sun peeked under the clouds for a few short minutes before dropping below the horizon.

I’m sure I’ve commented on this before, but it seems to happen quite often in Vancouver that a grey day ends with a brief spell of intense sunset colour. We were walking back towards the car after a wander from Jericho to Locarno Beach when we noticed the sun had dipped under the cloud layer, lighting up everything around us a dusky pink. We walked down to the water’s edge, the tide just beginning to recede after peaking an hour earlier, and watched the waves lap against the shore, the white foamy tips of each breaking wave casting a fleeting mountain-like shadow on the wet sand which reflected the deep coloured sunlight, the underside of the cloud deck now lit up a fiery pink. So pretty.

I took a couple of dozen shots hoping to capture the right wave, but none really worked. In the end I liked this composition – though this version is cropped for the Instagram format, which weakens the line of the water that I had carefully placed across the image (in the full image the water’s edge extends to the bottom right of the frame)… Oh well. The original will go up on Flickr at some point!

Stature

Stature. I’ve taken so many photos of Crown Mountain over the past few years, yet very few have really captured just how imposing a mountain it is. This one comes close but I cropped in too close for it to fit into the stupid Instagram format. The full size version is on Flickr.

Given its impressive, jagged profile and the fact that we have a clear view from our balcony, Crown Mountain must be the most-photographed mountain in our photo collection. A quick check on Flickr shows that we have 79 photos tagged with “Crown Mountain”, which includes photos we took on Crown itself and those taken from neighbouring mountains. (Mts Garibaldi and Baker also feature highly in our photo stream.) Not bad. For the most part, the photos I’ve taken over the years have been what you could call “pretty mountain” photos – in other words, a scene that has intrinsic appeal but remains a bit abstract or detached from reality.

Now, I’ve come to realize that it’s hard to capture the scale of any mountain really, as you need something human-scale in the frame as well. People work well, but failing that buildings. And it helps to use a telephoto lens to compress the horizontal distance and make the comparison more immediate. These are aspects of photography that I already knew, and yet for some reason had never really put them into action, at least not until the other day down at Locarno Beach. It may have taken me a few years, but I’ve finally got a photo of Crown that does a passable job at capturing its stature.

Ruler of the Roost

Ruler of the roost

Another photo from our sunny beach evening, this time a heron that landed on a post near the Jericho pier. I liked the light, the calm water, and the fact that the heron looked taller than any of the high-rise buildings in the city skyline 🙂