Kalamalka Lake Evening Panorama
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After shooting some great sunset light near Vernon, British Columbia about a month ago I headed to this vantage point just off Hwy 97. The Monashee Mountains can be seen far in the distance behind the District of Coldstream. The houses and lights to the left are in Vernon, and the water in the foreground is of course, Kalamalka Lake.
Waterfall along the Millstone River at Bowen Park (map) in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Waterfall on the Millstone River (-click to enlarge-)
When researching an area I am in or a place I plan to visit, I’ve often just skipped the green squares and rectangles on the google map indicating a city park. Usually what I am going to find there is a playing field or some trees and a picnic table. A better place to eat lunch than the strip mall, but not the kind of photography subjects I am usually after. Bowen Park in Nanaimo is not one of these parks. Yes, it is in the city, but just like Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham, Washington this park has some great waterfalls and subjects for photography despite being right in the middle of civilization.
Waterfall along the Millstone River (-click to enlarge-)
During my trip to Nanaimo I was not able to get as much cloud cover as I wanted for these sorts of waterfall and river photos, so I did the majority of my photography in Bowen Park in the evenings. For the most part this allowed me to have even light across my compositions with only the odd brighter spot in the sky. This worked quite well due to the density of the surrounding forest. Evening was also a nice time to be in the park with cooler temperatures, though the mosquitoes felt the same way. There is an extensive trail system in Bowen Park, and you are able to walk along the Millstone River for much of its run through the park. Just remember to bring some bug repellant!
A Columbian Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus columbianus) watching from his/her burrow at Lightning Lakes in Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. .
A Columbian Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus columbianus
) in Manning Provincial Park (-click to enlarge-)
I always tend to stop at the day use area of Lightning Lake in Manning Provincial Park when driving to the Okanagan. Not only is it just off the Crowsnest Highway (map) it provides a nice view of the lake and is a good place to pause for a pit stop. The field and lake by the parking lot boat launch are home to many species including the Columbian Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus columbianus), Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis), Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica), Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and the occasional Common Loon (Gavia immer). I am sure there are a number of other species around, but these are the ones I’ve seen myself. So far.
Barrow’s Goldeneye Pair
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In a post last year I shared a few of my photographs of the Columbian Ground Squirrels. Though all the ice was off the lake last week and the grass in the field was greening up quite well, their behaviour was no different this time around. I had thought that with more plentiful natural food sources they would be a bit less audacious in their approach to my backpack and other equipment, but they were just as bold. I put my backpack down and it wasn’t too many minutes before two of them had clambered up onto it. I was thinking of photographing this but chewing had started, and I chose the bag over a photo opportunity.
Near the shore of Lightning Lake there were a pair of Barrow’s Goldeneye swimming and diving for food. Not nearly as tame as the Ground Squirrels, I had to sit and wait for them to swim back past me in order to make this photograph. This also makes photographs of them more satisfying than those of the “tame” Ground Squirrels. The female Goldeneye kept diving while the male watched me so it was a bit tough to get a good photo of the both of them on the surface at the same time. They were certainly more interesting than the ubiquitous Mallard ducks I see around Vancouver.
Common Loon (Gavia immer)
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Many years ago I camped with my parents at the Lightning Lakes Campground and heard the Loons on the lake but never saw one. This Common Loon was swimming past the shore just beyond the Goldeneyes and was the first one I’d ever seen. Much more wary of me than the Goldeneye pair, however, and chose to return to the other end of the lake via the opposite shore.
New photograph from Eureka Falls and Silverhope Creek in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia, Canada.
Eureka Falls and Silverhope Creek in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia, Canada (-click to enlarge-)
Last week I traveled to the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia, specifically the Vernon and Kelowna areas. I photographed a few waterfalls on my trip to the Okanagan, but the first one I want to share is actually much closer to home. On my way back I stopped at Eureka Falls near Hope, BC. Often this falls has low water levels (or is completely dry) but I think the conditions were just about right last week. I finally was able to make some wide angle shots of this falls without much foliage in the way. Silverhope Creek is in the foreground, and was flowing rather quickly so I did not get too close to it.
You can find more of my photos of Eureka Falls and Silver Lake Provincial Park, in the Silver Lake Provincial Park gallery on my website.
Post needed a photo so…. Squirrel!
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I am sure many of the photographers that might read this are using Adobe products to do their post processing. Recently Adobe announced that their next iteration of Photoshop would not be CS7, but rather a subscription model called Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud). As one would guess, this has caused some confusion, consternation, and internet rioting over the changes.
Part of this new setup is due to the high rate of Adobe Photoshop piracy. One feature of Photoshop CC is to have your installation check in with the Adobe servers at least once a month to ensure that you are paid up and licensed. I have no problem with this part of using the “Creative Cloud”. I have legit software, and don’t have a problem if Adobe wants to verify that. Stressing that this is the main impetus for the changes does not seem genuine, however. I think the part Adobe is more concerned with is effectively raising the prices of their software, but under a new system so it is not as easy to directly compare.
So lets compare!
The last change Adobe made to Photoshop licensing involved the upgrade paths. Previously you did not have to buy every version of PS, you could skip a few and still upgrade to the new version for approximately $200. Then there were some controversial changes to this program that required you to purchase every version or you would no longer get a “discounted” new version/upgrade. There were some changes to this along the way but I think this is how the system eventually was implemented. I recently upgraded from CS5 to CS6 for $200 plus tax (I live in Canada). Lets crunch some numbers without the tax, and assume a customer that had planned on upgrading to each new version on the old 18 month cycle. The new system requires an investment of $20 per month for just Photoshop CC.
|18 month upgrade: $200 over 18 months
||$11.11 per month
||$133.33 per year
|Photoshop CC Subscription model:
||$20 per month
||$240.00 per year
This is an 80% increase per year just to use Photoshop.
I have to wonder if Adobe will stick to this plan, or at least the pricing it released today. Almost doubling the cost of your software for existing users is something any company knows will draw some ire. Hopefully Adobe was just testing the waters today. I’m not against the need to verify a license, nor a monthly subscription model, but a price increase on this scale is going to be rather hard to stomach. I just wish there was a viable alternative…
New photos from Clayton Beach at Larrabee State Park in Bellingham, WA.
A winter sunset at Clayton Beach in Larrabee State Park – Bellingham, Washington State (-click to enlarge-)
In March of 2012 I visited Larrabee State Park in Washington State. Both of these photos are from Clayton Beach and show the interesting foregrounds possible on this sort of sandstone beach.
One of my favourite features of Clayton Beach was the sandstone along the edge of the ocean. Most of the “beaches” that I know in this region are either sandy or are a rocky beach that is rather slippery. The usual barnacles, mussels, and algae such as Fucus distichus are still present. As they are on a sandstone surface, however, the rocks are not very slippery even when wet. It feels a bit like walking on sandpaper – and it was nice to not have to worry as much about falling on my butt!
Sunset light on sandstone formations at Clayton
Beach in Larrabee State Park – Bellingham, Washington State (-click to enlarge-)
Other than just providing a non slip surface to walk on, the sandstone provides some great textures and shapes (called Tafoni) for the foreground of a photograph. Both of these images have interesting shapes in the foreground, though the second is more pronounced with more visible pockets of erosion. My previously published photo from Larrabee shows a larger sandstone formation.
I have a new gallery of Ocean Photos on my website which includes more from my trip to Larabee State park. More Ocean themed photos are on their way…
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Last week I headed into Vancouver to photograph some of the spring flowers at Queen Elizabeth Park. The flowering Cherry Trees were out in full force, but they are so popular each of them had a crowd of tourists, locals, and photographers around them. I chose instead to concentrate on some of the other flowers in the park.
Sometimes direct sunlight can be a tough condition to photograph wider landscape scenes. These tulip flowers, however, were nicely lit in the bright sunshine. I like how the cup like flowers appear to be lit from the inside when the sun shines on them from this angle.
Cucumber tendrils in a Greenhouse in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia (-click to enlarge-)
A bit of an older image (photographed in 2011) but I found a lot of photography opportunities with my Canon 100mm macro lens and these cucumber tendrils in a backyard greenhouse. I photographed the leaves and the flowers from a few angles but settled on these curled tendrils as the most interesting aspect of these plants.
More of my macro photography can be found in the Macro Photos Gallery.
Panorama of Mount Cheam in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia
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This is a panorama of Mount Cheam, a familiar sight to anyone living or often traveling through the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. I made this photo by the banks of the Fraser River in Agassiz just after sunset in January. The time right after sunset is often referred to as “Blue hour” and you can see why. I often like to photograph city buildings in Vancouver at this time as you can still see the outlines of the buildings against the sky (unlike when the sky is darker). I find this is also a great time to photograph mountains – so it is worth hanging around after any potential sunset light or alpenglow has faded. Always wait until the light is gone!