Category Archives: PhotoSafari

The Eagle’s Nest

What do you do when you’re down in the dumps? I like to photograph eagles.

Seriously, there are scores of eagles by the Metro Vancouver Landfill. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Eagle in Flight

Bald and Golden eagles camp out along the fringe of the dump/Burns Bog. It’s a prime location for anyone interested in photographing birds of prey.

Eagle's Bath Eagle's Take Off Eagle Eagles NestThere’s over 20 eagles in this picture and this is just one cluster of trees.

Golden Eagle

#PhotoSafari: For The Birds

Angry Birds Bird Canadian Goose Chickadee Eating Seeds Female Wood Duck Fraser Crane Goose Landing Hanging Out on a Post Eating Some Seeds Herron in the Slough Male Wood Duck Mighty Duck Red Winged Black Bird

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The West Coast

Long BeachI really wanted to see the ocean. Not the gentle lapping waters that surround Vancouver kind of “ocean.” I wanted to see real waves.

After the Victoria Film Festival, I made the drive to Long Beach.

I was not disappointed.

Lakes

The drive across the island was beautiful. There’s so many vistas and opportunities to snag a quick pic (like the one above at Kennedy Lake and below in Cathedral Grove).

Cathedral Grove

Old Man Beard

Big Rocks 2

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Any Fog is Good Fog

Lions Gate Bridge cloaked in fog.

Lions Gate Bridge cloaked in fog.

#PHOTOSAFARI: Pacific National Exhibition 2012

I took this, my grandpa’s golden PNE pass…

bought this, a 35mm lens…

and shot this…

… just because it’s the last weekend of the PNE and I needed to keep myself busy with something creative.

I guess I’m getting old because I no longer care about rushing for the Coaster or CorkScrew. Instead, I’m quite content with walking around and tinkering with time exposures.

You can’t go wrong with all the great animals and flashing lights.

Not every photograph was taken with the 35mm lens. I thought I’d have a little bit of fun with the fish-eye.
And, FYI: I hate llamas…

More slow shutter photos of twirling wheels.

After I took this photo, the carney asked, “you didn’t take a photo of me did you?”
“No,” was all I said and I walked away thinking, “I can’t wait to upload this photo.”

Moral of the story: if you say “don’t take my photo,”  while in a public park, I’m probably going to post it on the Internet.

A couple stand for a portrait along a busy walkway at the PNE.

Wave Swinger proved to be a fun ride to photograph. I ended up trying different shutter speeds and f-stop settings to get a bunch of different looks.

Some pics made the Wave Swinger look like a nuclear explosion or a psychedelic neon mushroom.

The fair’s come to an end and, for some, it’s back to school. Have a good one kids…

#TooOldForThisShit

Ever since my Plymouth Neon got totalled, I’ve had a lot of time to go on walks and take public transit.

Today’s walk was pretty good. I saw the aftermath of a minor accident in my neighbourhood.

These pictures are part of a new series called #TooOldForThisShit.

A middle aged man leans on his car thinking, “I’m too old for this shit.”

A fire fighter, called to the scene of a minor accident, looks off to the horizon and thinks, “I’m too old for this shit.”

A woman looks for her belongings inside her car that was hit and pushed into a parked car. She, too, is thinking, “I’m too old for this shit.”

That’s all I’ve got for this round of #TooOldForThisShit series. I know I’ll have more to add to the collection someday down the road.

 

Photosafari: Sasquatch! 2012


I said it before and I’ll say it again; “someone will have to pay me to go back next year.”

Sasquatch! is a young person’s game and I’m getting too old to deal with the hoards of party folk blaring late-night dub-step.

My yearly pilgrimage to the Gorge (a.k.a. the shrub-steppes) now consists of taking photographs while enjoying a handful of musicians.

This year’s lineup was not as spectacular as years prior but there were still some great acts that did not disappoint.

As for the photos, I managed to snag a couple good shots here and there despite not having a “media pass” for the third year in a row. This has got me thinking; I might be the best Sasquatch! photographer to never have proper media credentials.

But, I digress…

Let’s take a look at some of the photographs from this year’s photosafari.

Approximately 1/6 of the campgrounds at Sasquatch!. In the foreground, people play a game called “ladders.” They try to wrap a bola around one of three rungs on their opponent’s ladder.

Before you feast your eyes upon the Gorge’s natural beauty, you must wade through the lawless wasteland that is the campgrounds.

A circular field of farmland transforms into a campground overnight in order to accommodate 30,000 concert goers.

Life in the grounds resembles a frat-house squatters camp. People spend their days drinking, playing games (flip cups, beer pong and “ladders”), listening to music and, if need be, looking for drugs.

Wild winds blow through the campgrounds moving tents around like tissue paper.

During the Memorial Day long weekend, the temperature is always hovering around the mid-high 20s (C). Wind and rain can roll in at anytime making things unpredictable.

Just like the weather, the campground antics is also unpredictable. It is a goldmine for bizarre sights and oddities.

A young man wearing a horse mask is being examined by a couple Grant Country Police horses.

Shower time.

Passed out.

Endless lines.

So many people are vying to expose their unique characteristics and be accepted in a temporary-anarchistic society. It’s a fair assumption to say that the average person cannot handle the four day festival culture that breeds on the banks of the Columbia River in Central Washington.

The beauty of the Gorge with moody clouds.

The Gorge Amphitheatre is the most beautiful theatre I have ever had the privilege of seeing. Every year, I take the same shots but they still seem as fresh and beautiful as my first time at the Gorge. It’s a shame that the Sasquatch! organizers try to impose lens limitations on DSLR’s.

Girl Talk at the main stage.

On the first day, I tried to bring my new GoPro camera into the concert. The bag-check security, that normally looks for booze, told me I could not bring the wide-angled recording device into the fairgrounds. As he was telling me this, a young man with a slack-jawed grin was holding a GoPro in his hands walking through the gates.

I pointed and said, “but that guy has the exact same video camera.”

The guard said I would have to return to the campsite with the camera. I managed to talk my way out of a twenty-minute walk back to camp by promising that the small camera would never see the light of day. I kept my promise because I had other plans for my Nikon and 200-300mm lens.

Jack White with his all male band headlining Saturday at Sasquatch! White was, in my opinion, the best act of the weekend.

People ask how I managed to get all my camera gear into the fairground and every time I’d tell them that I smuggled my lenses in a secret compartment in my backpack. Once I’m past the gates, I’ll take off the 50mm lens from my camera and then fasten an appropriate lens for sniping sweet pics.

Catch Hell Blues.

Tenacious D and the Rize of the Fenix

John C. Reilly and Friends

John C. Reilly and Friends

Photographing musicians/bands is cool but it often leaves me feeling hollow. Unless you are shooting a lively band hell-bent on doing sweet jumps and emitting sweet emotions with a visual display happening right behind them, every gig seems the same. Photographing bands then turns into an act of capturing superficial trophies. It’s kind of creepy in a One Hour Photo type of way.

I’ve made it clear to some that I make this annual photosafari to document the freaks and their adventures at Sasquatch! And, I mean “freak” as in:

a. A drug user or addict: a speed freak.
b. An eccentric or nonconformist person, especially a member of a counterculture.
c. An enthusiast: rock music freaks.

not:

1. An abnormally formed organism, especially a person or animal regarded as a curiosity or monstrosity.

Look at the counterculture all over her face and someone’s flashing a peace sign. #GiveMeABreak

I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty tired of writing this post. I’m probably just going to wrap it up with a couple more photos and say “see you next year.” Hopefully I’ll get some coin thrown my way next time around…

War paint on a pacifist.

Kids love hugging.


Got Bent.

Thanks Sasquatch! I can’t wait till next year when 30,000 people come together to shit on one of the most beautiful places on Earth, again….

“Down by the river…”

A memorial for Steveston firshermen sits along the banks of the Fraser River next to Britania Ship Yards.

A memorial for Steveston fishermen sits along the banks of the Fraser River next to Britannia Ship Yards.

I tend to spend a couple days in Steveston. I’ve been re-exploring the neighbourhood where I once lived. It seems like nothing has changed in the quiet corner of Lulu Island but this is far from the truth.

Steveston has transformed from a fishing village to a trendy nook along the Fraser. The main streets are now lined with cafes and boutiques to accommodate an increase of residents seeking a neo- bourgeois lifestyle.

Richmond has tried to immortalize Steveston’s fishing village image through statues and museums to help visualize a fading history.

One of the bunking quarters at Steveston's Britania Heritage Ship Yard. These houses were made to demonstrate how Stevestonites once lived at the turn of the 20th century and how fishing/canning was their way of life.

One of the bunking quarters at Steveston's Britannia Heritage Ship Yard. These houses were made to demonstrate how Stevestonites once lived at the turn of the 20th century and how fishing/canning was their way of life.

A fisherman's table in the Britania Heritage Museum in Steveston. The museum shows what home decor was like during the early 20th century in Steveston.

A fisherman's table in the Britannia Heritage Museum in Steveston. The museum shows what home decor was like during the early 20th century in Steveston.

An abandoned John Deere vehicle sits idle in a field of wheat during a cold summer's day in Richmond.

An abandoned John Deere vehicle sits idle in a field of wheat during a cold summer's day in Richmond.

The Golden Hour

It's the golden hour at Queen Elizabeth Park and the flora is illuminated by a wonderful light.

I was talking to myself about dabbling in High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI) photography but for the longest time I was not know how it worked.

For those who do not know, HDR imaging creates a beautiful dynamic photograph that blends the brights, darks and colours together in a splendid product.

Often, a single photograph does not pick up the true image we see with our eyes. When we look across the horizon at a sunset, we are able to register the whole landscape with many degrees of shadows, highlights and colours.

When we try to capture the same sunset on a digital image, the end result is often disappointing. Without HDR imaging, photographers are pretty much limited to either a silhouette of the landscape with a dominant sun and sky (left) or an over-exposed sky with distinguishable features of the surrounding environment (right).

Essentially, I merged multiple raw (.NEF) images together to created a balanced image that is more true to what we see with our naked eye.

HDR imaging is perfect for creating truly amazing landscape photographs and I can’t wait to make more.

New Pornographers in the Park

The New Pornographers play the main stage at a free concert at Stanley Park to celebrate 125 years of Vancouver. Three giant inflatable balls were released into the audience and passed around during the performance.

A concert in the park is not a phrase normally associated with Vancouver or Stanley Park but for three days in July the city hosted free concerts showcasing an array of local talent.

The festivities were put on as a celebration of Vancouver’s 125 year anniversary. The location for the event could not have been any more perfect than along the peninsula of Stanley Park’s lush green Brockton Point. The stage and festival goers were surrounded by water and towering Douglas Firs and Western Hemlocks. These grand old trees filtered the day’s radiant dying sun and a slight breeze from Coal Harbour kept the summer night below the average annual temperature.

Saturday night’s headliner was The New Pornographers. They are a successful local band that started back in 1997 and have released several acclaimed albums with hits like “Mass Romantic,” “Use It” and “My Rights vs. Yours.”

The New Pornographers took the stage around 9:30 as twilight set in over Vancouver.

Niko Case singing with The New Pornographers during a free concert at Stanley Park to celebrate 125 years of Vancouver.

For the most part, The New Pornographers’ sound was crisp and clear. The band has a polished live performance and they prove to play with masterful skill. The only technical snag to the show came with moments of sharp feedback when all members of the band sang in harmonious chorus. As the concert continued, most of the audio problems were properly regulated by the sound crew.

The crowd had its moments of douche-baggery. There were a couple of ass-holes in the crowd that pulled some idiotic stunts. The first came during the intro to “Adventures in Solitude.” Some of the crowd started to clap out of time with the rhythm of the slow ambient sound of the intro. Frontman, A.C. Newman started to laugh and stopped playing.

“You’re not even close,” he jokingly said to the crowd. “Do you know how hard it is to play when you’re clapping out of time?”

A.C. Newman sings with The New Pornographers at Stanley Park during free shows to celebrate Vancouver's 125 years as a city.

The band started the song over again replaying the slow intro of a carefully plucked acoustic guitar and the soothing sound of simple piano chords.

A handful of people started a rhythmic clap just like before.

“Stop it!” said Newman with a serious authority.

The clapping faded out a second later but a few people continued the distraction in defiance of the simple request. Newman accepted this and waited a few more beats before attempting to sing.

Another display of idiocy came during the last song of the night. The band had just started singing the final portion of “The Bleeding Heart Show” when someone threw a half can of beer on stage. The can landed to the right of Nico Case and some of the beer showered her as she sang. There was a brief moment of disgust on both Case and Newman’s face but they carried on with the final song.

It was unfortunate to see a beer thrown on stage at a free, family friendly event. I can understand if this happened at a rowdy major music festival. It is a luxury and a privilege to have an opportunity to watch a free concert at a beautiful venue.

It seems like a very small handful of people keep overstepping the boundaries of acceptable behaviour while the rest stand by and watch for what happens. I only hope I’m out of this town when these few rotten apples spoil the harvest for everyone else…