Safari Sunset

Safari Sunset

I set this photo as my desktop wallpaper a couple days ago, and that seems as good a reason as any to share it. This was taken on our first game drive at Londolozi.

1/800sec, f4.5, ISO100, April 2, 2013

Silhouettes

The clear, cold weather over the weekend brought with it a lot of shivering, but also a lot of great photos opportunities.  I had Spencer with me, so I was more concerned with his well-being and enjoyment than getting the perfect shot… but, I still managed to get a few that I really like.

I hadn’t set out with a theme in mind, but the strongest photos of the weekend were all silhouettes (a clear topic for the blog – hurray!)

I see a Cooper's Hawk on nearly every weekend walk I take out at the dikes, and still they catch me by surprise most times.  I was glad I had the camera set to capture it in flight.  The setting sun is glimmering off of some of the ice floating in the river.  1/1250, f5.6, ISO100.
I see a Cooper’s Hawk on nearly every weekend walk I take out at the dikes, and still they catch me by surprise most times. I was glad I had the camera set to capture it in flight. The setting sun is glimmering off of some of the ice floating in the river. 1/1250, f5.6, ISO100.
I saw this pair on the dike as we were pulling into the parking lot, and snapped a few quick photos without thinking too much more about it.  This is one of my favourites from that afternoon. 1/1250, f4.5, ISO100
I saw this pair on the dike as we were pulling into the parking lot, and snapped a few quick photos without thinking too much more about it. This is one of my favourites from that afternoon.
1/1250, f4.5, ISO100
Cool tones in the sky, and ribbons of ice lining the river's edge.  The ice creaking in the dark made things a little bit spooky.   I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops in processing, so I guess I should have bumped my ISO to start or waited an extra 10 seconds or so during the exposure.  61sec, f22, ISO100
Cool tones in the sky, and ribbons of ice lining the river’s edge. The ice creaking in the dark made things a little bit spooky.
I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops in processing, so I guess I should have bumped my ISO to start or waited an extra 10 seconds or so during the exposure. 61sec, f22, ISO100
While we were walking, I saw this shape in the water, and thought it was a oddly shaped stump.  When I realized it was a heron resting, I set up right away, and didn't bother adjusting my settings; I just hoped it would stay still long enough to get a shot.  Like the Golden Ears photo, I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops...but I am glad I pressed down on the remote when I did, as he soon shifted position.  34sec, f29, ISO100
While we were walking, I saw this shape in the water, and thought it was a oddly shaped stump. When I realized it was a heron resting, I set up right away, and didn’t bother adjusting my settings; I just hoped it would stay still long enough to get a shot. Like the Golden Ears photo, I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops…but I am glad I pressed down on the remote when I did, as he soon shifted position.
34sec, f29, ISO100
I love the sky before sunrise, with the beautiful warm tones to the east, and cool tones to the west.   2.5sec, f22, ISO100
I love the sky before sunrise, with the beautiful warm tones to the east, and cool tones to the west.
2.5sec, f22, ISO100
Beautiful Mount Baker, about a half hour before sunrise. 6.0sec, f25, ISO100
Beautiful Mount Baker, about a half hour before sunrise.
6.0sec, f25, ISO100

Things I missed

Sunday morning walks with Spencer are my very favourite.  When we get up and head out early, we can find, for a few brief moments, a bit of quiet space.  On Sunday mornings, the trucks aren’t moving around in the gravel pit along the river, and fewer people are out early in the mornings.  There are gaps when we don’t hear a train in the distance or the hum of the airplanes on the landing path into YVR – and we can hear the birds chirping, the geese honking, the ducks quacking and the breeze rustling the trees.

It was in one of these blissful gaps that I realized how much I miss while out walking the same stretch of dike.  How did I fail to notice the blinking light on the top of the buoy in the channel?  I’ve seen it every weekend for months, I’ve been past it on a jet ski and on boats, but until today I never actually looked at it.  I know this is true in all aspects of my life – how much gets done or accomplished in busy-ness without really thinking about it, rushing around without really seeing what’s happening, being consumed with mental clutter and stress…

So this morning, I took photos of some of the things I have missed, over and over again.

I spent most mornings through the fall heading out to the dikes to take photos for my fog project, and I don't know how I failed to notice the flashing yellow light on the river!
I spent most weekend mornings through the fall heading out to the dikes to take photos for my fog project, and I don’t know how I failed to notice the flashing yellow light on the river!
The dikes are dotted with memorial benches, and occasionally Spencer will pause long enough to let me read the plaques.  These flowers have long lost their lustre, but are now home to one or more spiders.  I wouldn't have noticed the webs without the fog collecting on them.
The dikes are dotted with memorial benches, and occasionally Spencer will pause long enough to let me read the plaques. These flowers have long lost their lustre, but are now home to one or more spiders. I wouldn’t have noticed the webs without the fog collecting on them.
I'm not sure how I failed to notice the bright orange-yellow tone of these branches before, but this morning they stood out amongst the dead grasses and blackberry brambles.
I’m not sure how I failed to notice the bright orange-yellow tone of these branches before, but this morning they stood out amongst the dead grasses and blackberry brambles.
I'm not sure what type of birds these are, but their music was beautiful.  It was so quiet this morning that I could hear them singing and chattering long before I could figure out which tree they were perched in.
I’m not sure what type of birds these are, but their music was beautiful. It was so quiet this morning that I could hear them singing and chattering long before I could figure out which tree they were perched in.

Frosty Morning Walk

I love the band of peach through the fog, and the touches of pink in the clouds.
I love the band of peach through the fog, and the touches of pink in the clouds.

Frosty Branches

The light this morning was stunning.  I don’t even have words for how beautiful it was, and doubt the photos do it any justice.  It was crisp this morning, with all the trees and grasses covered in thick frost.  There were banks of fog swirling around close to the river; alternating between showing the water and mountains, and obscuring them.  The sky was dotted with fluffy clouds, and the mountains all had a generous coating of snow… the early morning positively glowed and showed off the most subtle colour palate of pastel tones.  And, it was blissfully quiet, without another person around, just the dog with me and the birds singing their wake up songs.

All in all, the perfect start to a Sunday.

I took several photos of the frosty branches, and love the difference in colour between the one facing east (above) and the one facing west.
I took several photos of the frosty branches, and love the difference in colour between the one facing east (above) and the one facing west.

Frosty Morning Walk

The sun was just beginning to come up, had I been an hour later, the frost on the trees would have been long gone.
The sun was just beginning to come up, had I been an hour later, the frost on the trees would have been long gone.
With the sun up, it was time to head for home.
With the sun up, it was time to head for home.

Autumn Days

Each year, the transition into autumn hits me harder and harder.  I find the grey skies and rain day after day a bit much to handle (the colder temperatures don’t impress me that much either).  However, we have recently had some gorgeous weather, and I’m glad I had my camera with me to capture a little bit of it.

Flock of Geese Sunny Afternoon Mountains Fun at the river

I had my “photo assistant” along to enjoy the lovely weather.  While I took photos of the river, he dug in the sand 🙂

Autumn Reflection

This young deer was not far from where I saw several bears a few days earlier.  I'm glad I was prepared this time with the correct lens.
This young deer was not far from where I saw several bears a few days earlier. I’m glad I was prepared this time with the correct lens.

Autumn Sunrise Foggy Tree Autumn Days Foggy Mountains Foggy Tree 2 Foggy Branches

 

Pacific Spirit Park

I spent time with my landscape photography class at Pacific Spirit Park last weekend, taking photographs on the theme of texture and patterns in the forest. It turned out to be a lovely day as the rains had stopped and the occasional sun beam burst through the trees.

I hadn’t planned on posting any photos, but when reviewing my favourites with some classmates in my Photoshop course, I was told that I should be enlarging and printing on canvas my forest photo. It’s not something I’m planning on doing, but I thought it is at least worth a share on my blog.

Pacific Spirit Park - Sun in the trees

Branches forming the shape of a heart
Branches forming the shape of a heart

Whistler

I spent the Labour Day long weekend at Whistler, enjoying wonderful company and witnessing the marriage of two lovely friends 🙂  The weather was perfect, and the beer and wine were free flowing.  I dragged up all my camera gear… and made very little use of it.  I was simply too busy relaxing and socializing to spend too much time staring through my viewfinder.

But I did take a few photos…

You can't get a more postcard perfect day than this!
You can’t get a more postcard perfect day than this!
The ski hills don't look nearly as inviting like this - but I certainly prefer the hot sunny weather to the snow!
The ski hills don’t look nearly as inviting like this – but I certainly prefer the hot sunny weather to the snow!
I'm not sure exactly what this little one is, but it stayed still long enough for a crisp close up.
I’m not sure exactly what this little one is, but it stayed still long enough for a crisp close up.
Green Lake and the mountains
Green Lake and the mountains
A beautiful clear night for a BBQ and some beers (I highly recommend Whistler Brewing Co. Grapefruit Ale).
A beautiful clear night for a BBQ and some beers (I highly recommend Whistler Brewing Co. Grapefruit Ale).
My first attempt at a star trail photo.  I had a few issues with the interval timer (i.e. not knowing properly how to set it) resulting in some gaps... but all in all I am not displeased with my first go.
My first attempt at a star trail photo. I had a few issues with the interval timer (i.e. not knowing properly how to set it) resulting in some gaps… but all in all I am not displeased with my first go.
A panorama of Green Lake, just past upper Whistler Village on the way to Pemberton.
A panorama of Green Lake, just past upper Whistler Village on the way to Pemberton.

Maple Ridge

I’ve been neglecting working on this blog for some time – and even though I don’t have much to say about these photos, I really need to get back in the habit of posting.

I spent some time out in Maple Ridge collecting a few final shots for a photography assignment, here are some of my favourites.

The forest at Cliff Falls, Maple Ridge, BC
The forest at Cliff Falls, Maple Ridge, BC
I love long exposures of moving water.
I love long exposures of moving water.

Cliff Park

Cliff Falls in Maple Ridge, BC with a long exposure
Cliff Falls in Maple Ridge, BC with a long exposure
I was taking interval photos to practice star trails, and while this one was quite boring, I did like this one photo.  I don't know if that is a plane or a shooting star going across the top o the photo.  September 2013
I was taking interval photos to practice star trails, and while the final star trail photo was quite boring, I did like this shot. I don’t know if that is a plane or a shooting star going across the top o the photo. September 2013

Sundowners

I first came across the term sundowners on a trip to Hong Kong.  Basically, it’s just a fancier way of saying an after work drink.

Now, popping into a nice pub or sitting on a patio having an after work drink is a great, but having a sundowner on the African Bushveld, or a Zambezi River cruise – that’s absolutely fantastic.   I admit freely that these photos are not the best pictures I have taken.  The photos really weren’t the point – they were almost an afterthought.

On the river cruise, I relaxed and chatted with my parents, enjoyed a cold Zambian beer and spotted wild life and birds on the shore.  I had some fun playing with my camera photographing the sunset on full zoom, and ended up with the photos below, filled with colour.

Sunset on the Zambezi River, April 2013
Sunset on the Zambezi River, April 2013
Sunset of the Zambezi River, April 2013
Sunset of the Zambezi River, April 2013

For sundowners at Londolozi, I enjoyed the company of our fabulous guide and tracker, Talley and Freddy, the other guests along for the game viewing, and a cold glass of Chenin Blanc (and far too many Chili Bites).  I even left my camera on the vehicle, not just once but on two different evenings and had to climb back up for it, as I was so content simply enjoying the peace and tranquility of watching the sunset in what I can honestly say was my favorite place on earth.

Game Drive Sunset, April 2013
Game Drive Sunset, April 2013
Game Drive Sunset, April 2013
Game Drive Sunset, April 2013

I am shocked I managed to get this last photo, as I didn’t have a tripod and was trying to avoid the dreaded camera shake on a fairly lengthy exposure.

Game Drive Sunset, April 2013
Game Drive Sunset, April 2013