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.

City backdrop

City backdrop. I had fun taking this shot, sizing it up, getting the camera settings right, and then walking back and forth across Cambie St to take the photo in the middle of the crossing πŸ™‚

This was one of my favourite shots from the photo-a-day project, and one I’d had in mind for some time. I always enjoy walking across Cambie St in this neighbourhood with its great view across downtown and to the mountains beyond. This view makes a nice contrast to the photo I posted a few weeks ago that showed the true scale of Crown Mountain.

Looking back on it now, I’d like to reshoot it on a different day with more of Crown visible. Having said that, this shot required a long lens to compress the scene, and I don’t know if I can still achieve that with our current setup – I used a compact ultra-zoom camera to take this photo which I traded in when I bought the Sony RX100II. It’s not a question of pixels, it really does need the long telephoto lens to make the mountains look so close to the city. But maybe I should try anyway…

Another sunset

Well that was quite the sunset tonight! Great clouds over Bowen Island lit up by the last light of the day.

I’d been watching the clouds all day hoping that sunset would provide a nice photo op. And I wasn’t disappointed! Such a lovely towering cloud over Bowen Island, and lit up perfectly by the setting sun. There was another big cloud over Cypress Bowl that looked to me a bit like one of the space invaders, but perhaps that was my imagination getting the better of me.

A Crown for the clouds

A Crown for the clouds – yet another photo of Crown Mountain from my picture-a-day project of 5 years ago.

Crown is a dramatic-looking mountain, and never more so than when the clouds are clearing. I liked this view at the time because Crown appeared to be sandwiched between two layers of cloud. To be honest, I’m not that enamoured of this photo these days – I shrugged when I saw that I’d chosen it for this week’s throwback photo. It feels a little flat and lacking in presence. Back in early 2012, I was still using the JPEGs from the camera – I suspect that if I processed it from raw I would give it a different feel now (mind you, raw processing is no guarantee of a better end result). Plus I feel I’ve taken much better shots since then. Of course, without the pressure of getting something every day, I can afford to be choosy and wait for better light or better conditions so I would indeed hope that I’d taken better photos in the past 5 years!

Grumpy blue heron

Great grumpy blue heron – this heron was standing in a couple of inches of water right next to the trail, and I was surprised at how close I was able to get. Maybe that’s why it looked grumpy πŸ™‚

Oh, I remember this day… We had walked through to Coal Harbour from Stanley Park in order to sample one or more hot chocolates as it was the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival. The highlight was definitely getting a nice close up view of this heron (perhaps it should have been the hot chocolate – good enough, but these days I find them to be far too sweet). The low point was me rolling my ankle as I ran along the seawall near the convention centre, and didn’t see the change in level of the path. That was a painful walk back into the park to get back to our car before our parking ran out. So maybe it was me that was grumpy, not the heron?

Signs of spring

Signs of spring – some cheery, curly witch-hazel blooms.

I love looking out for witch hazel blooms in January. They’re my primary indicator of spring, more so than the snowdrop and crocus bulbs planted in so many front gardens. When I worked at UBC, I’d walk past one particular tree on the way to the bus and enjoyed seeing the curly yellow extensions, a splash of bright colour in an otherwise grey winter. But I hadn’t seen any this winter so far, despite keeping my eyes open on my many walks around the neighbourhood. At least, I thought I was keeping my eyes open. As it turns out, I walked right past this tree several times, though in my defence it was usually dark and I was on the other side of the street. And yet somehow I hadn’t noticed the witch hazel in previous years either.

In any case, I was really pleased to find this tree and took a dozen or more photos to try and capture the cheer, hoping that the residents wouldn’t come out to ask why I was pointing my camera towards their home. And much as I like many of my earlier photos of yellow blooms against a blue sky, I love the depth of colour in this one.

I was surprised to find that I was decidedly not the first person to use the tag “witchhazelwednesday” on Instagram. Who knew that a few dozen others would decide on that tag? Fascinating πŸ™‚