Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) Fruit Closeup

Closeup of a Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) fruit in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. Salmonberry flowers are a favourite flower of hummingbirds – and food for birds, mammals and the occasional hiker.

salmonberry fruit rubus spectabilis in fraser valley

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)

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Adapting to changing (web) technology

   As technology moves forward, the manner in which we display our photography on the web has had to adapt. It was not long ago I was instructed that the largest screen size I could safely code for was around 800 pixels wide. At the time, 1280 pixel wide monitor resolutions were current technology, but many people were still using older monitors, and you had to have a website they could use too. As monitors became larger and larger, the size one could safely build a website for slowly increased. Then came the cell phones…

   I’ve enjoyed gradually being able to show my photos larger and larger on my website (though not fullscreen). My first website had larger images at only 480 pixels wide. Now it seems we are being pulled in two directions at once as we need to support both the larger personal computer screen resolutions (ie. retina displays) and cell phones simultaneously. Early in 2014 around 5-10% of my site users were on tablets and cell phones. Now that number is approaching 40-50% – and the current website here doesn’t play nice with smaller screens. Usable on a tablet but not very pleasant to use on a cell phone. Now that Google is changing their standards for search – those who do not have mobile compatible websites will often be left out of search results entirely.

   So with this development, and the percentage of mobile users that have been getting a poor experience on my sites, I’ll be learning how to convert to a responsive design that adapts to whatever platform is being used. I already have a prototype for my main site that doesn’t change the layout (for desktops) and works fine on a small cell phone. This blog will be more difficult to adapt, as will Photoshelter – if I don’t simply change both to a pre-existing mobile supported theme. So you may see some changes here and things won’t look like they did before, but I’ll likely work towards having all 3 of my site areas (site, blog and image library) looking as similar as possible – and mobile friendly!

   Stay tuned!

Ohanapecosh River Fall Foliage

Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) fall foliage colors along the Ohanapecosh River at the Grove of the Patriarchs – Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA.

ohanapecosh river fall foliage colors in mount rainier national park

Fall Foliage at the Ohanapecosh River in Mount Rainier National Park

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   I first photographed this scene at the Ohanapecosh River in Mount Rainier National Park in the fall of 2009. This spot is right next to the small suspension bridge that crosses the Ohanapecosh River on the trail to the Grove of the Patriarchs. I liked the fall foliage colors of these Vine Maple (Acer circinatum trees along the blue waters of the river. I have visited this spot a few times since during the fall and have either been there when the leaves are still green, or after they have turned brown and begun to fall off – but it is always a nice spot to eat lunch. I’d love to photograph this scene again with a fuller extent of oranges and reds in the foliage, but that will be a matter of getting my timing right. Now that I’ve discovered what the park is like when the wildflowers are in full bloom which is usually in August, exploring Rainier for fall foliage colours may have to wait a few more years.

For more photographs of this area including other versions of this scene please visit my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery in the Image Library.

Moon over the Lions Gate Bridge

The Moon rises over downtown Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge – from Ambleside Beach Park in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

moon over the lions gate bridge in vancouver

Full Moon over Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge

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   When I photograph a location in the evening I try to look up where the sun is going down, and where the moon may be rising (or its general location). As I had no plans to photograph in the evening on this day, and instead to photograph and hike in Seymour Provincial Park – I skipped that part of my usual preparation. Naturally I found myself at Ambleside Beach in North Vancouver photographing the Lions Gate Bridge and surrounding areas at sunset. During blue hour the moon was very bright in the sky. After a few compositions trying to ignore it I found the reflections without a known source looked rather odd. This composition included the moon so the reflection on the water made some sense.

For more of my photography of the buildings in Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge Cities & Buildings Gallery in my Image Library.

Harrison Lake Waterfront Property

A large house on the shore of Harrison Lake near Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada

waterfront house on harrison lake

Harrison Lake Waterfront Property and Fall Foliage

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   I have been editing some more of my photo backlog and came across this photograph of Harrison Lake from 2009. This was one of those years with great fall foliage colours in the Fraser Valley. The leaves you see here are mostly Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) which often turn a yellowish brown but on this occasion had great oranges and yellows (somewhat accentuated by the sunset light). I made this image in the Green Point Day Use Area of Sasquatch Provincial Park on the shore of Harrison Lake just outside Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. I don’t know anything about this particular waterfront property, but it does appear they have a great view!

For more of my photography from this area visit my Fraser Valley Gallery in the Image Library.

Mount Rainier from Sunrise

Mount Rainier and the White River Valley in late Summer from the vantage point of the Sunrise Rim Trail in Mount Rainier National Park. Foreground flowers are Alpine Aster (Aster alpigenus) and Paintbrush (Castilleja parviflora).

mount rainier and wildflowers from the sunrise rim trail

Wildflowers at Mount Rainier’s Sunrise Rim Trail

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   Back in 2012 I was on a trip photographing Mount Rainier National Park. This was the first time I had visited at a good time for the wildflower display at Rainier. I had already photographed some great flower displays at Tipsoo Lake, but was visiting the Sunrise area as Paradise was fogged in. You can’t see any of the clouds in this photograph but on the other side of the mountain visibility was very poor all day. From Paradise you could barely make out the Tatoosh Range through all the clouds. This is one of the reasons I enjoy the fact they have web cameras at various areas of the park – I can scout the locations ahead for time for weather that might be a problem. On this day I opted for the Sunrise area over Paradise (due to what I saw on the webcam) so I would be able to see Rainier itself. This photo is from the Sunrise Rim Trail on the way back from Shadow Lake.

For more images of this area visit my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery in my Image Library.

8 Reasons I No Longer Use 500px

500px rf sales message   Three years ago I signed up for an account on 500px – an online photo sharing website. I was pleased to see they were based in Toronto and I liked the notion of supporting a Canadian based photo sharing site as I had with Flickr back in 2004. I read their TOS, and all seemed straightforward and uploaded some photographs. Considering how many followers I had a the time, I had a good reception, and one of my photos even had an “editors choice” which gave me some early attention.

   I don’t want to give the impression with this list that I hate the people involved in producing 500px, or the users on the site. If 500px still works for you, great – you should keep using it. I do like the layout and manner in which 500px displays its user’s photography, and the reaction to my photography there was generally positive. I wrote this over the period of the last few months, but have hesitated to publish as it’s more of a negative post than usual. The subject of 500px comes up often enough in online conversation I thought it would be beneficial to write down some of the issues I’ve had over the years and communicate why I no longer participate in sharing, voting, or viewing there.

1. V+F

   I wrote this section a few months ago. Since then I’ve read a great post by Sarah Marino titled “Photo Consumption, Conformity, and Copying in Landscape Photography“. Sarah’s post nicely sums up the issues with voting, goals of popularity, and the resulting conformity better than I did, so you should just go read her post. Well, after you finish mine. ;-)

I’ll just say that since I left 500px I don’t miss comments simply consisting of “V+F” or the emails I had saying that they would vote for my images only if I would vote for theirs first.

2. Pricing of Digital Downloads

   When 500px launched their 500px Market option that allowed users to opt into limited canvas sales and digital downloads I was interested. The canvas side of things seemed reasonable, but it was tied to the digital download, and you couldn’t pick one over the other. The digital download gave out a large file (if not full resolution) for around $3. As I was not willing to give images away for that price, I wasn’t allowed to access canvas sales on 500px. I should point out this was not the same as the 500px Art store I mention below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tatoosh Sunset from Mazama Ridge

Wildflowers and the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA.

table mountain at sunset from heather meadows

Wildflowers on Mazama Ridge

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   A slightly different version of some previous photographs of the Tatoosh Range from Mazama Ridge in Washington State’s Mount Rainier National Park. I had a great evening on Mazama Ridge, and this sunset was a strong part of that.

You can view more of my photography from this and surrounding Mount Rainier areas in my Mount Rainier National Park Gallery.