On the way home from my photography trip through the Okanagan Valley and Manning Park in British Columbia I passed through the Hope area into Chilliwack. I avoided stopping in some of my favourite places near Hope as this was a Friday evening just before a long weekend. Traffic was very busy near anything resembling a campground or recreational area. In face, there was a pretty good stream of cars from Langley through to Princeton if not beyond! From the highway just outside of Chilliwack I looked up towards Mount Cheam and saw this lower part of the peak still visible through the clouds. I took the next exit, a few back roads and lined up this photo. This is not all there is to Mount Cheam – the mountain itself is much larger, but I liked this small part that was poking through the clouds.
Posts Tagged ‘chilliwack’
Way back in 2007 I purchased my first DSLR – a Canon 30D. I only had the 50mm Canon lens with it (f/1.4) and was forcing myself to use that lens to its full potential before I bought something else. This meant a lot of “zooming with my feet” and compositions that were slightly constrained. Though this was largely due to budget concerns, I do think this helped me choose my next lenses wisely. I always waited at least 6 months between lenses to make sure I knew what I “needed” next. I have not regretted any of my lens choices so far.
I made this photograph in 2007 with the 30D and it remains one of my better photos of Mount Cheam. This location is on Seabird Island just outside of Aggasiz, British Columbia, Canada. I have returned to this location many times, but still cannot seem to find a time where that slough is full of water. A big muddy expanse just isn’t as photogenic!
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.
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.
I have always liked Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park. My parents used to take me there when I was a kid sometimes when we would venture this far out into the Fraser Valley. I remember the hike to the falls being the longest most arduous journey ever. Now it takes me about 6 minutes – though the sign says be prepared for a 15 minute hike. I don’t know who those people are, but I guess if you had to take it slow it could take that long.
On this particular day I was heading out to Hope, BC and planning on driving back through Harrison Mills on Highway 7. I stopped at the falls because the overcast sky was much better for photographing here than the direct sunlight I am used to finding in this location. So I setup and shot a few of the lower falls, very minor, waterfalls along Bridal Creek before heading up to the main Bridal Veil Falls waterfall. As soon as I arrived the skies opened up with a solid rain so this shot here is one of the few that did not succumb to the pitfalls of shooting in the rain and the spray from the falls themselves.
You can not see them in this shot but there are a few teenagers further up just beside the falls who, being somewhat drunken from the looks of things, decided that it would be a good idea to start rolling small boulders down the hill towards the viewing platform and another photographer who was shooting from there. Dodging rocks is usually when I decide to call it a day so I will be back next fall, hopefully with a bit better fall colour and nicer weather – and fewer rocks!
3 exposures stitched, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM @ 17mm
Now that I have written a post about getting away from solely using wide angle lenses for landscapes and to look for the details I thought I would post a wide angle panorama!
One thing I keep noticing with this shot is that the majority of longer exposure river shots I see are looking upstream while this is looking across/downstream. Does this make it look unnatural or different in a negative way?
Alpenglow on Mount Redoubt and Nodoubt Peak from Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park
(click for larger version)
6 exposures stitched, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM @ 144mm
When I spend time shooting I will normally take a quick overview of the days results immediately. There are often a few shots that will stand out – and those are often processed and sometimes show up here on the blog right away. I have learned that taking a long step back from a series of new photos can be beneficial to me in terms of my objectivity in culling the weaker shots. If I were to go through all the shots immediately I still carry my mental image of what I had planned for a photo. Not everything I try works out of course, and sometimes my initial expectations turn out to be too high. Sorting and processing images a month or two later gives me a lot better perspective of what is a “good” shot or a bad one – as many of my initial expectations have settled down. This has generally worked out so far – and I think I am better at choosing strong images than I used to be in part because of it.
I recently had an experience where the month+ delay in processing a panorama didn’t really seem to help. I processed and stitched this panorama 3-4 times – never quite happy with the colour of the sky. Things got to the point where I was no long able to view the photo at all objectively.
For this particular panorama I stood in the snow next to Chilliwack Lake for over an hour, freezing, taking the odd shot but waiting for the right light. When it came – I shot about 3 panoramas (and many single shots) with a few different compositions. I like the composition of this one the best. The colour of the sky seemed quite purple compared to what my brain was telling me looked “natural”. This could be a case of over analysis – but I try to process images such that they are faithful to what I saw at the time. So I processed the 6 shots that make up this image again in Camera Raw with some PS adjustments to account for the colour. Then I did this again. Still not happy I put the image away for a few more weeks. I should note the purple color is present in the raw file – not as a result of some other colour processing I have done.
Now that I have picked up this panorama again, I am still not sure if this looks natural. I like the colour on the mountain peaks, this is how it looked when I was there – but the sky still bothers me. I have stared at it so long I no longer remember what it looked like in person – perhaps that is the downside in waiting to do post processing? Maybe I just have to drop an image for longer or toss it entirely? I again processed an alternate panorama – taken about 7 minutes before the one posted above – and the sky looks bland and the clouds undefined – the whole image is uninspiring.
So what is the good thing about all this?
During this process I learned a few more Photoshop techniques that I otherwise would not have. Tweaking sky colours using Selective Color in Photoshop, for example. Next time I have a sky colour problem as a result of changing colour temperature etc – I know how to fix it. I have also learned that sometimes I might need to move on from processing an image that just isn’t right – or leave it behind entirely.
Not my usual sort of shot I realize – but I think I like it.
I recently revisited some logging roads in the Chilliwack River Valley I had explored for the first time in in february. The Fraser Valley had seen some fresh snow, and I had several spots along the Chilliwack River that I had marked with the GPS as good potential photo spots for the future. While I was waiting for a snowfall with decent post-storm weather, I had not really thought this all the way through. There was a LOT of snow on the logging road, and thankfully some trucks had flattened a lot of it down so I could drive my Nissan Sentra up the road a ways. I stopped short of hitting a lot of the marked spots as the road was still fairly dicey in such a small car – even with my snow tires. I am starting to think there might be a better off-roading vehicle than a Nissan Sentra. When I came to the river I parked myself there for about an hour. It was about -10°C (14°F) with a windchill estimated at about -20°C (-4°F) – much colder conditions that I usually shoot in.
After I had exhausted the possibilities at that location – I headed back to Chilliwack lake to see what the conditions might be there. My previous post shows the great alpenglow on the mountains that evening.
A few days ago I drove out to Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park to see if I could get a view of Mount Redoubt in the not so distant North Cascades National Park. Last time I was there it was fall and there was little snow on the peaks. This time I had a bit more than I bargained for as the park gate was closed and we had to hike in from the road. There was also about 8 inches of snow on the ground which I was not expecting. I shot about 200 exposures, a lot of panoramas of Mt. Redoubt, and some wider shots like the one above.
On the far left we have Mount Edgar. In the middle: Mount Redoubt (left peak) and Nodoubt Peak (right peak). Mt. Redoubt and Nodoubt Peak are actually in North Cascades National Park in Washington State while Chilliwack Lake is in British Columbia.
Still not sure about how I feel about this particular shot. I really like some of the panoramas, which I will post soon, but my post processing skills and the colour of the sky in some of them are still locked in a battle of wills.