More Nightshots From Vancouver

the new-and-improved BC Place

the new-and-improved BC Place

Canada’s birthday is on Sunday (July 1), and we have Monday off. Let’s see many shoots I can get edited in three days! I’m trying to have a productive Friday evening of editing on a few hours of sleep, but thankfully I can SLEEP IN tomorrow and not be rudely awakened at 4:45am by the two phone alarms I need to get up at that hour. It’s been a long week… roll on, long weekend! I’m going to try and shoot part of the Pride Parade, for the first time since 2008. Every year since then I’ve been out of town or otherwise occupied — 2011 was in Montreal, 2010 was at a cottage up north, and I was volunteering that day in 2009. I’ll have to stake out a good spot on Sunday in advance — I’m short!

I posted one night shot from Vancouver when I came back, but I’ve uploaded a few more. I love nightshots, but it’s a bit risky doing it on my own — I’m glad my friend was up for it. All the shots were taken between 2:00-3:00 in the morning, without a tripod. Or a beverage of any kind.


night shooting around False Creek

night shooting around False Creek

night shooting around False Creek

night shooting around False Creek

Golden Hour, English Bay


Gotta love the warm glow of Golden Hour. This was shot at 8:16pm in English Bay (Vancouver). A couple of other pics shot around the same time:



SOOC (straight out of the camera) — I did a straight RAW-to-JPEG with nothing in between.

The Vancouver trip photos (90 thus far) are best viewed as a [slideshow], but can also be viewed as [thumbnails] or in the Pictobrowser below:

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Was Garish Yellow Ever En Vogue?


The North Vancouver-Vancouver Seabus terminal corridor connecting to the West Coast Express train, Skytrain, and out to West Cordova St. I don’t know when this was built (the 80’s? Skytrain originated with Expo ’86), but somebody had the bright idea to use Ronald McDonald colours. Those poor North Shore commuters.

Due to time constraints only 20 of the 300 photos I’ve uploaded to the Vancouver photo album thus far were edited (less than 7%), so once I start editing some of the photos in the “to edit” queue, that percentage will rise. Comparing this Vancouver album to the ones from earlier this year (April – 116, July – 77, September – 51), I’ve uploaded a LOT more this time around. At 3+ weeks, it was a longer trip, but I think the other reason for more photos is a combination of familiarity with the camera (I’ve only had it three months), which means shooting faster, shooting more, and consequently uploading more SOOC (straight out of the camera). I’ve got a stack of NEFs (RAW files) in the queue, too, but a manageable number.

It was a great trip! The set features many children, domesticated pets, marine animals, farm animals, and the Pacific Ocean!

Cloudy Days Don’t Have To Be Gloomy

Canada Place

Take, for example, this photo at Canada Place. The clouds are pretty threatening, but provide a contrasting backdrop to the brightness of the sails to the west and the cranes to the east.

View Large On Black

I took this photo below in the bridge walkway between Waterfront Skytrain Station and the Seabus terminal (you can see some reflections in the left side of the photo). It’s also the terminus station for the West Coast Express commuter train, which you can see in the far right of the photo. With the sun reaching under the clouds and bouncing off the colourful train cars, the layers of clouds give a sense of depth and softness behind all the linear patterns of trains, tracks, and buildings.


My last example of how rain clouds can be underappreciated in photos is this one taken by my cameraphone while I was driving over the Alex Fraser Bridge into Delta on Wednesday. Most of the time my cameraphone takes horribly blurry, grainy pictures with blown-out highlights and weird colour casts. Well, what do you know — with medium light, monochromatic grays, and a compelling subject it really didn’t do badly at all. This is probably the best picture I’ve ever seen come out of my Samsung U510.

Alex Fraser Bridge

Georgia Street

Georgia Street

View Larger On Black

Man, did I ever need a tripod for this one. I made do by steadying the camera on the balcony railing on my scarf, bumping up the ISO, and using the 2-second timer.

The Best Seat On The Skytrain

best seat on the Skytrain

There’s a single seat at the back of the (newer) Skytrains in Vancouver that faces to the rear, and I always try to get it so I can take these motion blur shots when the Skytrain picks up speed departing the stations. Unless riding at night that back seat is usually taken, but if you have a camera and you like this sort of light-in-motion shooting it’s worth positioning yourself to get into the last car.

I love motion blur

You can tell by looking at my previous attempts of this type of shot with a point-and-shoot digicam (Canon A80) that having the control of a DSLR and a higher-quality lens makes a big difference.

Heritage Vancouver: A Call For Artists

This email languished in my inbox for nearly two weeks, and I hadn’t given it a second look until today:


Below is a link to a Call for Artists for an exhibition Heritage Vancouver is hosting to coincide with their Annual General Meeting on October 18th at the Vancouver Museum.

Vancouver Arts & Culture Forum: Call to Artists

To get things started we have created an on-line gallery of art inspired by the Burrard Street Bridge. One of your works has been included in the gallery to provide an example to show how each work of art can be displayed on line and linked to the artist’s web site.

Heritage Vancouver: Burrard Street Bridge Online Gallery

If you would like to show or sell any of your work related to this theme at the exhibition, add more art work on the theme to the on-line gallery, or if you would like to have your work removed, please let us know. Also, if you know of other artists who may wish to participate, please feel free to forward this message.

Thank you

Janet Leduc, Heritage Vancouver and Roger Chilton, Vancouver Arts and Cultures Forum

The photo they used for the online gallery of art inspired by the Burrard Street Bridge is this one:

Burrard Bridge 6/9

One of my favourite photos, I shot it more than two years ago with the Canon A80. Not bad for a point-and-shoot. It’s the third piece from the left, and one of the few photos in their online gallery.

The AGM for Heritage Vancouver is the day after tomorrow so this is probably too late, but hey, it’s worth submitting your art if you can.

Sawan Mela Festival

For a while now I’ve been thinking of moving my blog over to a “real” (i.e. paid) domain, but several things have stopped me. Not so much the cost, but the hassle factor (the more entries I write, the more there is to move and format) and maintenance.

Here, I don’t deal with a hosting company, the servers haven’t been getting a lot of downtime, I don’t worry about getting hacked, there’s no sign of Blogger discontinuing, it’s easy to update (all I need is a browser), and… well, I’ve talked myself into inertia again, haven’t I?

However, you get what you pay for and when it’s free, there’s only so much customisation one can do. I’ve been considering WordPress or TypePad, but we’ll see how it goes. I might be tempting fate with this post — will the Blogger servers go down after I hit submit?

Any suggestions/recommendations are welcome.

In the meantime, I’ve made some small changes on the template and will be making some colour changes soon.

One thing I’ve been neglecting lately is posting links to some of the video clips I’ve got stored on my .Mac account.

Here’s one from the summer, four months ago to the day:

Sawan Mela (3mins)

Sawan Mela Festival

3rd Annual Sawan Mela Festival
Plaza of Nations
June 19, 2005
A celebration of South Asian culture in Vancouver.

South Asian Family Association:

These dancers from the UBC are fantastic! So high-energy — check out their moves near the end, all three rows.

Sawan Mela Festival

Sawan Mela Festival

Sawan Mela Festival

Sawan Mela Festival

Sawan Mela Festival

Sawan Mela Festival

Sawan Mela Festival

Sawan Mela Festival

Sawan Mela Festival stage

Sawan Mela Festival

Sawan Mela Festival

Sawan Mela Festival