Sunset at Juniper Point in Lighthouse Park

   Last week I visited Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver to photograph a potential sunset from Juniper Point. My plan for the day had been to hike and photograph in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park as the forecast was for a cloudy (but dry) day that would be perfect for exploring forest and river photo opportunities. As it turned out the day was mostly sunny with just a few clouds. After 10km of hiking and only a few photo I decided to switch gears and spend the evening at Lighthouse Park to explore some of the trails I hadn’t previously walked. Juniper Point seemed like a great place to start.

sunset view from juniper point in west vancouvers lighthouse park

Sunset View from Juniper Point at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   Upon arriving at Juniper Point I found the opposite issue to what I’d seen in Lynn Headwaters – too many clouds. This is great for even light on waterfalls, rivers, and plants in the forest but not often conducive to ocean/sunset photography. I’ve learned to be happy with just getting the layout of an area on first visits, so not coming home with some good photos was going to be just fine. There were a lot of rock climbers at Juniper Point so I sat down and watched them for a while, and photographed the occasional boat passing on the water. It was nice to be sitting outside in the evening at Lighthouse Park and still be able to feel my fingers! As sunset was still well over an hour away, I had almost decided to wander a few more trails when I started talking to a local photographer Jason Darr instead. I am glad I did for a number of reasons but this also kept me at Juniper Point until the light became very worthwhile.

   As you can see from the first photograph above, the relatively grey skies gave way to a pretty decent sunset in one area of the sky over one of the Grebe Islets, Bowen Island and the mountain peaks in the Sunshine Coast’s Tetrahedron Range. The main photography “star” of this spot is this one tree that hangs over the cliffs. While the area is called Juniper Point, this tree appears to be either a stunted Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) or perhaps a Grand Fir (Abies grandis) both of which are native to the park. The large cones on this specimen eliminate the possibility of this being one of the other tree species in the area from what I can tell. I am not always in biology mode when photographing, so as usual I came home without all the right evidence for a proper identification.

sunset over the grebe islets, bowen island, howe sound and the tetrahedron range from juniper point in lighthouse park

A vivid Howe Sound sunset from Juniper Point (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   While I may still occasionally ignore the lesson to stay at a location until the light is entirely gone, the above photo illustrates the potential benefits of waiting. Even without the colourful light there were many great textures and patterns in the clouds above the sunset, but for just a few minutes they lit up too, though in a more subtle manner. I used one of Howe Sound’s Grebe Islets as a foreground element which lined up nicely with the sunset over the Tetrahedron Range, as well as those textured clouds higher in the sky. I prefer to do minimal post processing work on my images, so my 2 stop graduated neutral density filter had a lot of use in the various compositions I made with this particular scene.

   One does not need vivid sunset light to make interesting photographs, though it certainly helps. When I first arrived at Lighthouse Park I found fairly harsh light showing through the clouds, with poor visibility in the distance (towards the south and Vancouver to the south east). This worked well for the photograph below of a small Hunter 280 Sailboat heading through the Salish Sea towards Vancouver. The mountains in the background are located on Vancouver Island – most likely near Ladysmith.

a small hunter 280 sailboat on the salish sea georgia straight west of vancouver bc

A small Hunter 280 Sailboat in the Salish Sea/Georgia Straight (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

For more photographs made in West Vancouver visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains Gallery.

Liberty Bell Mountain from Blue Lake

Liberty Bell Mountain and Early Winter Spires at Blue Lake in the North Cascades of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Washington State, USA.

liberty bell mountain from blue lake in the north cascades

Liberty Bell Mountain and Early Winter Spires at Blue Lake in the North Cascades (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   A few years ago I hiked up to Blue Lake in the Washington Pass area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest – an area I had always thought of as part of North Cascades National Park. While Washington Pass is very close to the National Park, and some of area is in part maintained by the National Parks Service (especially the Washington Pass Overlook), it is part of the National Forest not the National Park. The parking lot and trail head can be found along Highway 20 (North Cascades Highway) 1.26km/4128 feet west of the Washington Pass Overlook turnoff. The short hike to Blue Lake is only 3.2km/2 mile and gains 350m/1050 feet of elevation to a total of 1906m/6254 feet. This photo is made a few hundred feet higher than that, along (and up) a trail to the west of the lake.

   As you can see from the above photograph, Blue Lake is aptly named. I was fortunate on this trip to arrive when the Subalpine Larch (Larix lyallii) were turning colour. Subalpine and other species of Larch are one of the few conifer species that are deciduous – they lose their needles each fall. This can be a beautiful display but is only found in higher elevations in this part of the world. Blue Lake is situated immediately below the iconic Liberty Bell Mountain. Liberty Bell is the spire on the left hand side of this photograph next to Concord Tower, Lexington Tower, and the Early Either Spires (North and South). Another view of Liberty Bell can be seen in my older post with some photographs from Washington Pass.

For more photographs from the Washington Pass area of the North Cascades visit my Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Gallery in the Image Library.

Sunset at Kitsilano Beach Park in Vancouver

Kitsilano Beach Park and buildings in the West End and downtown Vancouver at sunset. Photographed from Kitsilano Beach Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

kits beach sunset panorama vancouver city

Sunset at Kisilano Beach Park in the City of Vancouver (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   Earlier I shared some blue hour photos of similar scenes of Kitsilano Beach Park, Vancouver’s West End, and English Bay that I made back in March. The two photographs here were made about 20 minutes earlier when there were some sunset colours in the sky, and even a hint of Earth’s shadow (aka the Belt of Venus – top, right). This is the kind of sunset photograph I enjoy – the light from sunset in the sky, on the mountains and the buildings to the east. I was in Vancouver on this day due to the good weather and that we had just had some fresh snow on the Northshore Mountains – conditions that had eluded me the previous winter. The top photograph here includes Mount Seymour with some fresh snow above the buildings of the West End of Vancouver city. I think the two make a good combination.

kitsilano beach and the boathouse restaurant at sunset

Kitsilano Beach and the Boathouse Restaurant at Sunset (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The second photograph here shows the Boathouse Restaurant at Kitsilano Beach Park during the night’s sunset. It had not yet become chilly at this point in the evening, so there were still quite a few tourists and locals on the beach. On a typical summer day (I shot this in March) I doubt you’d be able to see any sand around the beach goers from this vantage point – Kits is a rather popular beach during the summer.

For more photographs of Cities and Buildings (mostly Vancouver) visit my Cities & Buildings Gallery.

PCT Renard 58 under the Lions Gate Bridge

PCT Renard 58 is an Orca class steel-hulled Royal Canadian Navy training and surveillance craft shown here passing under the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver.

pct renard 58 passing under the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver

PCT Renard 58 passing under the Lions Gate Bridge (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   I had been walking along the Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver’s Stanley Park to photograph the view of the snow on the Northshore Mountains with the Lions Gate Bridge. All sorts of interesting vessels pass under this bridge, from rowboats to giant cruise ships. This particular ship is the PCT Renard 58 which is an Orca class steel-hulled Royal Canadian Navy training vessel. PCT stands for “Patrol Craft Training” and the 8 Orca class PCT ships are based in CFB Esquimalt on Vancouver Island. I did make a photograph consisting of just the Northshore Mountains and the Lions Gate Bridge but I thought I would share this photograph as it has a bit more of a story. The peaks you see in the background are Beauty Peak, Crown Mountain, and Grouse Mountain (L to R).

For more photographs made in Stanley Park visit my Stanley Park Gallery.

Harrison Lake Sunset

A vivid Harrison Lake sunset near Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada. The distant mountains are Sasin Peak and Deroche Mountain.

harrison lake sunset near harrison hot springs

A vivid Harrison Lake sunset near Harrison Hot Springs (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   A few days before I made these photos of a sunset at Harrison Lake I talked online about not making very many sunset photographs and generally avoiding them. Most often at sunset I am photographing what that light is reflecting off of, not the sky itself. I find the majority of sunset photos out there to be rather banal unless they have an actual subject of interest other than the sunset itself. That said, I had to pull over to the side of Rockwell Drive on the shore of Harrison Lake when I saw this light starting to develop (somewhere between Sasquatch Park’s Green Point and Harrison Hot Springs). The challenge then was to find something to do with it, and there was no time to get in position somewhere I knew to be favourable. The first photo here shows Sasin Peak, Deroche Mountain, and some fortuitous rocks and old dock pilings in Harrison Lake. I also made a square version of this Harrison Sunset.

   Before the colours to the west really exploded, I made this exposure looking north towards Mount Breakenridge. The colour here is much more subtle, but it works regardless. When the sky to the west became really vibrant this last scene here had very little color, even less than when I made this photo. Strange how that sometimes works out.

harrison lake sunset

Harrison Lake and Mount Breakenridge after Sunset (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   As you know I occasionally work with black and white for some of my photos, and so here is one last photo of the same scene with a different composition.

black and white photo harrison lake sunset

Harrison Lake and Mount Breakenridge in B&W (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

For more photographs of Harrison and other lakes visit my Lakes & Rivers Gallery.

Twin Otter Seaplane and North Vancouver

A West Coast Air Twin Otter (De Havilland Canada DHC-6-100 Twin Otter C-FGQH) at the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (CXH).

twin otter at vancouver coal harbour

West Coast Air Twin Otter at Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The float plane in the foreground is a De Havilland Canada DHC-6-100 Twin Otter (C-FGQH) built in 1968 which had its first flight on February 23, 1968. Currently the Twin Otter flies for West Coast Air (now part of Harbour Air Seaplanes) and carries 18 passengers. Behind the seaplane docked at Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (formerly Vancouver Harbour Water Airport) is North Vancouver and the Northshore Mountains (a subset of the Pacific Ranges). I photographed this scene from the Vancouver Trade and Convention Center (Vancouver Convention Center West Building) in downtown Vancouver.

For more of my Vancouver area photographs visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains gallery in my Image Library.

Video of Dunlin (Calidris alpina) at Crescent Beach

Video of Dunlin (Calidris alpina) foraging in the sand at Crescent Beach in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

Dunlin (Calidris alpina) foraging at Crescent Beach

 

   I photographed these Dunlin (Calidris alpina), or at least I think that is the right species ID, back on New Years Day at Crescent Beach, Surrey, BC. I don’t shoot a lot of video, but in this case I thought it would show the frenetic activity on the beach as they foraged. The Dunlin here are most likely feeding on the biofilm and small invertebrates in the intertidal zone. These birds just almost never sit still – seemingly always moving, running, or flying as a group. The video looks like it might be sped up (it isn’t) but watch the Seagull, who hasn’t had the stimulants the Dunlin appear to have consumed. This species only stays here in estuary during the winter, and has usually moved on to breeding grounds by spring. I have thought about purchasing a small microphone to record audio along with the video as the internal microphone on my Canon 7D isn’t that great and likes to pick up all sorts of extra noise. That probably wouldn’t have helped me in this case, as someone behind me on the path was loudly complaining about their coffee maker. This video has no sound as a result, and is better off for it.

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) Flowers

   The Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) is the official flower of the province of British Columbia. Growing only in the southwest corner of British Columbia, the Dogwood is not yet endangered, but is nearing that distinction. A fungus (Dogwood anthracnose) infects Dogwood trees and has helped diminish their numbers along with deforestation and the 2002 removal of protections against destroying Dogwoods (and other species) by the Provincial government. Dogwood flowers are a familiar sight in British Columbia as they are used on many company logos and even the Provincial Coat of Arms. The High School certificate of graduation issued by the Province is called the Dogwood Diploma (I have two of them – figure that one out).

pacific dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii - in british columbia

Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) flowers (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The photograph above shows the native species of Pacific Dogwood here in British Columbia, but there is another common Dogwood tree as well. “Eddie’s White Wonder” Dogwood is a hybrid between the Pacific Dogwood (C. nuttallii) and the Flowering Dogwood (C. florida). This hybrid was developed by British Columbia’s Henry Matheson Eddie (1881-1953) in 1945. The hybrid was created from the Pacific Dogwood and the Flowering Dogwood partly to avoid the fungus that damages the Pacific Dogwood.

hybrid dogwood flowers - pacific dogwood cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood flowers (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The hybrid has shown to be only partially resistant to the Anthracnose fungus, however. The hybrid Dogwood is shown in the photographs below, and tends to have larger, broader overlapping bracts and a much higher density of flowers. Some also have a slight pink hue to the flowers, as some of the original dogwood crosses were with pink varieties of C. florida.

hybrid dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood flowers (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The last photograph here shows another individual of the hybrid Dogwoods with a much higher density of flowers.

hybrid dogwood flowers - cornus nuttallii x cornus florida in british columbia

Eddie’s White Wonder hybrid Dogwood – note high density of flowers (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

For more photographs of the flora of the forests of British Columbia (and Washington) take a look at my Forest Photos Gallery in my Image Library.