(The Golden Ears)-click to enlarge-
The mountain peak here is Mount Blandshard (1 716 m or 5 630 ft) and it is always nice to see it reflected in the ponds of the Pitt Marsh in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. Mount Blandshard is known locally as “The Golden Ears” and is probably one of my favourite local mountains as I was able to see it out my bedroom window when I was a kid. Looking at Mt. Blandshard from the south the mountain has two peaks which sort of resemble pointy ears. However, it seems the name is more likely a corruption of the mountains original name The Golden Eyries.
This was a cold day, and you can see a bit of ice in the water of the pond messing with the reflection just a little bit. The last time I was making photographs here I managed to catch some epic sunset light. On this day I was actually a bit surprised that I did not find snow at ground level – so, as usual, the planned shots went out the window. This location is only 30 minutes or so (plus a toll bridge ) from my house, so I will be visiting it again – I have quite a few ideas I’ve never found the right conditions for that I am itching to finish.
My next post will likely be another photograph I made at this location on the same day – but of the same view as my previous “epic sunset” photo. A change in seasons creates a very different photograph!
Cheam Lake Fall Colours-click to enlarge-
Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park is one spot in the Fraser Valley where I always go looking for fall colour. An old limestone mine, the park was created in 1990 and now is a great place to photograph not only fall colours, but wildlife – especially birds. Always a bit out of my telephoto range though.
I visited Cheam Lake twice this fall. Someday I need to explore it further – it is close to so many other locations I like to shoot at that I tend to not have enough time. The first time I was there this year I did not find a lot of color but I did manage to make this photo of a Rabbit. I realize this may not be the most exciting or exotic species, but I’ve always like rabbits.
)-click to enlarge-
This Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus – an introduced species here in British Columbia) allowed me to briefly make some photographs of it. A few more mouthfuls of grass and it took off into the deeper underbrush near the lake. Considering the amount of these I have in my backyard, I am surprised my first photo of one was taken over an hour away from home.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens-click to enlarge-
Today I have the privilege of being a guest blogger on Dan Bailey’s blog with my review of the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens which you should go read now! Dan is a great adventure photographer from Alaska and in addition to great photography writes a lot of blog posts that always have interesting and useful information. You should also check out his ebooks!
Great Blue Heron
) – 1/125 seconds-click to enlarge-
In October I visited the banks of the Capilano River in North Vancouver in search of some fall colours. I didn’t find much there, but the canyon is always so beautiful that I knew a photo opportunity would be likely regardless of the state of the leaf colours. Lucky for me, this Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) was lounging near the bank and posed for some photographs.
Often when I shoot wildlife with my Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM lens, I switch to AV mode and f/4 so that I am always getting the fastest shutter speed possible. I do not know what I am going to encounter a lot of the time, and this gives me a good chance of being able to catch whatever action I may happen upon. On this day I had upped the ISO to 640, so that I had a bit of extra shutter speed available (1/125 sec) for this photo. Thankfully the 7D does great with much higher ISOs than this – so there is some room available for dealing with low light. When I came upon this Heron, I was able to make this photo quite easily with these settings.
Great Blue Heron
) – 0.6 seconds-click to enlarge-
While I like the above shot I thought there might be an opportunity to make a better photo. Having exhausted my ideas with a faster shutter speed, I decided to try a slower one to see what I could do with the water in the background. I changed my aperture to f/18, and lowered my ISO to 100 in order to create the longer shutter speed. Using a tripod, I made the photograph on the left with a shutter speed of 0.6 seconds.
I believe that the blur in the river created by the slower shutter speed makes the second photo here much more dramatic and interesting than the first. The Heron doesn’t really change between them, the rocks remain the same, but the longer shutter speed creates a great effect in the river. While I do this quite often with static landscape subjects, this is one of the first times I have tried this with a wildlife photo. Granted, the Heron made a great subject for this attempt, but this really shows how varying shutter speed can have dramatic impact on the photographic result.
White Water Lily-click to enlarge-
I made a series of photographs of these water lilies in a backyard pond last year. Many many photographs – so much so that this took me a while to go through and determine which ones I liked the best. This is one of my favourite angles, but was different from others that had nearly identical compositions. The few rays of sunlight that are falling on the flower made all the difference to this particular shot, and images taken immediately before and after did not have the same sort of impact. The great part about this is that I don’t recall noticing the direct sunlight at the time, so this was a happy accident when I was sorting through them later. I am often finding that if I stay with a subject for a while, and shoot a variety of compositions, not only will I find the winning composition, but something unexpected may also occur that changes the impact of the photo. Certainly a case for making more than one photo of a specific subject.
Silverhope Creek-click to enlarge-
Last year the Fraser Valley had some pretty bad Fall color. The Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) that dominate the color around here pretty much went from green to a bit of yellow with a lot of brown – not very photographically appealing. Last week I ventured out into the valley and found some great fall colors, though I need to scout some locations a bit better for next year so I spend more time photographing and less time searching.
This is a photograph I made last week of Silverhope creek which lies just outside the border of Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia. There was not a lot of Fall colors in this particular spot, though I do like this shot. This area is a great one for photos of the creek with lots of moss covered rocks – and most of it is near the road for easy access.