2015 Nature Calendar Now Available!

2015 nature calendar british columbia washington mountains

2015 Nature Calendar Covers – Canadian/US Holidays (Calendars use the same interior images)

-click to enlarge-

30% OFF! Use the code NWC30 (case sensitive) at checkout and get your for 30% off! Code valid through January 26, 2015.

   My 2015 nature calendars are now available! I have put together some of my favourite images made in the past year into a 11″x17″ (28cm x 43cm) calendar. Included are 12 photographs of landscape and nature scenes from British Columbia and Washington State. There are two versions of this calendar – one with Canadian holidays and one with US holidays. The Canadian Calendar’s cover photograph is from British Columbia, the US version has a photo from Washington state – but all the images within the calendar are the same.

You can view a full preview and purchase this calendar through the links below (be sure to choose the correct version!)

Organic Concord Grapes (Vitis labrusca)

A cluster of organic Concord Grapes (Vitis labrusca) in a British Columbia vineyard.

concord grapes in a fraser valley vineyard

Concord Grapes in a Fraser Valley Vineyard

-click to enlarge-

   A photograph from the fall of 2009, this was one of my first photographs using my (then) new Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS. This is a group of Concord Grapes (Vitis labrusca) which are often used for grape jellies, grape juices, and sometimes wines.

Table Mountain from Heather Meadows

Table Mountain and Heather Meadows near sunset at the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State.

table mountain at sunset from heather meadows

Table Mountain at Sunset from Heather Meadows

-click to enlarge-

   This photograph of Table Mountain was first published here on my blog back in 2009 but has since been reprocessed to bring out a few more details in the sky and the foreground. The path here leads down to the Bagley lakes and trails that lead further up towards Herman Saddle and the lakes to the west.

You can view more of my photography from this and surrounding areas in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.

Point Atkinson Lighthouse Redux

The Point Atkinson Lighthouse in Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver, Canada

ruskin dam with 3 spillways wide open

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver

-click to enlarge-

   Occasionally I look back at some of my older images with a bit of disappointment due to the new post processing skills I have since learned. This photograph of the Point Atkinson Lighthouse at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver is a good example.

lighthouse park lighthouse in west vancouver

Lighthouse – old version

-click to enlarge-

In the older version (left) I made a number of bad decisions, and just didn’t know how to get much out of the file. While going through older images recently to do some keywording and uploading to my Image Library I found this lighthouse photograph from 2011 and decided to improve the image.

   Both of these versions were processed from the same single raw file using Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and Photoshop. I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to edit out the rock “island” in the foreground. I did an reasonable job of making that seamless, but the decision to remove it (or manipulate anything to that degree) is now puzzling. This is not the kind of editing I wish to do to images any longer, and most with that level of manipulation have never seen the light of day anyway. The main issue with my previous version is the colour balance and the details in the sky. While the newer versions of ACR (and Lightroom) are much better at bringing out detail in highlight areas, I’m sure the older versions were capable of much more than I knew how to accomplish at the time. When processing the new version I fixed the colour issues (older version was way too warm in my opinion), brought out some details in the sky, and added a layer to function somewhat as a digital graduated neutral density filter. At the time I photographed this I did not own any ND filters that I recall, and even if I had this scene is a tough one to implement them with the trees on the left. Many seem to debate between a physical GND filter and a digital alternative but I tend to use both. I much prefer the results when using a physical filter but often tweak things in post slightly using a digital one (usually in Photoshop not the tools available in ACR or Lightroom). I hope you agree this new version is an improvement. : )

For more photographs from the Vancouver area please visit my Vancouver, Coast and Mountains gallery.

My Top 10 Photos of 2014

   I tend to consider this list more of a top 10 favourite photographs of 2014 than the “best”. Choosing the images for my Nature Calendars always helps me narrow these things down a bit ahead of making my final list below. Once again, I am making this post so I can be a part of Jim Goldstein’s annual Your Best Photos project. Look for his post early in the new year with all the entries from a wide variety of photographers. Always a great place to find new photographers and their work.

   I hope you enjoy the following photographs and I am curious if you have a favourite. Clicking on each photograph takes you to my Image Archive but below you’ll also find links to corresponding blog posts. In no specific order here are my top 10 photographs of 2014:

trout lake creek moss and rocks
Trout Lake Creek flows through the rainforest in Sasquatch Provincial Park

(Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia)
Blog post: Sasquatch Provincial Park

lions gate bridge and downtown vancouver from ambleside beach
The Lions Gate Bridge and downtown Vancouver

(West Vancouver, British Columbia)
Blog post: Lions Gate Bridge from Ambleside Park

Read the rest of this entry »

Mount Redoubt from Chilliwack Lake

This was supposed to be a post about Bald Eagles at the Harrison River but it isn’t…

snow blowing off mount redoubt in the north cascades

Snow blowing off Mount Redoubt and Nodoubt Peak in the North Cascades

-click to enlarge-

   Last weekend I headed out to the Harrison River area to look for Bald Eagles with Steve Cole. As was the case last year, it was very cold by our standards and I had to break out my “big” jacket and a down vest to keep warm (it was -10°C at Chilliwack Lake). This year the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival was a few weeks in the past but reports were indicating there were a lot of Bald Eagles still out on the flats near the Harrison River. Reality turned out to be a bit different as we hardly saw any when driving on Highway 7 and up Morris Valley Road through to the Chehalis River. We saw a lot of eagles in 2012 and last year there were still quite a few eagles though the frozen water made it tough for them to get at the salmon. This year, there wasn’t even a few random ones sitting up in the trees. I suspect the roughly 150mm (6″) of rain earlier in the week that flooded the Harrison River’s banks flushed out all the salmon and the eagles moved on. Last year we decided on Silver Lake Provincial Park as a landscape photography backup plan (which taught me a good lesson at the same time). This year I was still hoping to find where the Eagles might have picked as a secondary location and therefore opted for the Chilliwack River Valley through to Chilliwack Lake.

snow on trees over the chilliwack river

Trees along the Chilliwack River

-click to enlarge-

   Unfortunately, I think we saw a total of 2 Bald Eagles at the Chilliwack River Valley and Chilliwack Lake (adding to our grand total of 4 earlier in the day), so clearly they had not congregated there. The water levels in the river were quite high, as were those in the lake. My hopes of recreating some of my earlier photographs of the shoreline patterns at Chilliwack Lake didn’t quite work out as the water level in the lake was several feet higher than it was last fall. Walking down to the bridge over the Chilliwack River did present this scene with some snow on the light coloured branches of these trees (likely Red Alder) overhanging the Chilliwack River. I made a few photographs from the bridge before we headed back to the flooded boat launch area to photograph the sunset on Mount Redoubt. I always enjoy being at Chilliwack Lake and even if the sunset doesn’t do everything one would hope there is usually a nice view of Mount Redoubt and the North Cascades peaks in the area.

For more of my photographs from this area check out my Chilliwack Provincial Park Gallery in my Image Archive.

Road to Artist Point at Mount Baker

The Mount Baker Highway (SR 542) winds towards Artist Point in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington State, USA

road to artist point in the north cascades

The road to Artist Point

-click to enlarge-

   Having finished photographing the Heather Meadows area back in early October, I headed up the Mount Baker Highway to Artist Point. These three photographs were made from Artist Point, but show the highway (SR 542) on the way up between Heather Meadows and Artist Point.

parking spot near artist point under table mountain north cascades

A scenic parking spot in the North Cascades

-click to enlarge-

   I photographed this small car in this way to not only include some of the late evening light on the rocks above (the lower part of Table Mountain) but also to make it look a bit like a car in the middle of nowhere. The photograph below shows the scene in a bit more context. I think someone had pulled out into that spot for a nap, even when I left after dark they were still in there with the back hatch open.

scenic parking spot near artist point in the north cascades

Scenic parking spot near Artist Point

-click to enlarge-

You can view more of my photography from the North Cascades in my North Cascades Gallery.

Heather Meadows Fall Foliage

   During my recent trip to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, I photographed a variety of scenes around Picture Lake, Heather Meadows and Artist Point/Kulshan Ridge. In my previous post I showed a few of the photographs from the Heather Meadows area that included peaks of the North Cascades. In this post I have a few more images of fall foliage colors from Heather Meadows, but these scenes are not as wide in scope and in the case of the first image here (my favourite), a bit abstract.

sky reflection in austin pass lake at heather meadows in the fall

Austin Pass Lake Reflections at Heather Meadows

-click to enlarge-

   I think the above photograph of Austin Pass Lake is my favourite of these four images. I had already photographed a wider view of the the area and then tried to isolate the details at this end of the lake. I liked how the clouds looked a bit like they were flowing from the inlet out into the lake.

mount herman fall reflection in austin pass lake at heather meadows

Mount Herman Reflecting in Austin Pass Lake at Heather Meadows

-click to enlarge-

   A similar angle on Austin Pass Lake to the first photograph but this time with the reflection of Mount Herman.

photographer and fall colour heather meadows

Photographer/Hiker at Heather Meadows

-click to enlarge-

   Can you spot the hiker/photographer in this photograph? I don’t photograph all that many people but when someone stands still in a place like this it is a good way to show the scale of the scene. Reminds me a bit of my photograph of Silver Falls in Mount Rainier National Park where someone standing in the scene really gave an indication of its scale.

terminal lake panroama at heather meadows

Terminal Lake below Table Mountain

-click to enlarge-

   I liked the fall foliage colors in this landscape around Terminal Pass Lake in Heather Meadows (below Table Mountain). Everything here almost seems to be going westward (to the right). The water looks to be flowing into the lake, and the rocks look a bit like they are flowing down the talus slopes. The trail (the Fire and Ice Trail I believe) is leading you in that direction as well.

You can view more of my photography from this and surrounding areas in my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Gallery.