Vine Maple and Pacific Bleeding
Heart in Campbell Valley Park
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Today I have two photos from Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley, British Columbia. One of the things I have been working on with my photography is to improve the photos I make of scenes inside the forest. There can often be so many competing elements all heading in different directions that a pleasing, non cluttered composition can be difficult. So I decided to work on that, and am getting results that I think are an improvement and more compelling than previous efforts. This photo (left) of a Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) with a bed of Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) growing below it is one example.
Walking path in Campbell
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I’ve recently been editing and keywording all the photos I’ve made in Campbell Valley Park over the last few years. Many were already processed, but there was still a lot of work to be done. I’ll place them all in their own gallery on my website soon – right now they are scattered over a few different categories. Campbell Valley Park is only about a 15 minute drive for me, so I will likely be spending even more time there as a lot of the park I have yet to explore.
Barred Owl (Strix varia)-click to enlarge-
I went for a walk through some trails last week and while I wasn’t going there specifically for photography I brought the camera along. I figured that if I didn’t have it with me, an eagle would land in a tree right in front of me and well, I would be out of luck photographically. No eagles this time, but a Barred Owl (Strix varia) did land right in front of me and posed for long enough for me to get a few decent shots of it. I have never seen an owl this close before, and I’m lucky I had a camera poised to take the shot. A few weeks ago I was in the same spot on the trail taking some macro shots of Pacific Bleeding Heart flowers. If the owl had shown up then I would have had the macro lens on (instead of the 70-200mm), camera on the tripod, mirror lockup turned on, the ISO too low, and an aperture stopped down enough that a handheld shot would have been impossible. I guess what I am saying is I feel fortunate to have had all the factors work out for me this time! Getting a nice composition is difficult with so many branches sticking out everywhere though.
Pacific Bleeding Heart
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This is a Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) flower I found in Campbell Valley Park. It doesn’t break any new compositional ground being a simple macro shot, but it did require a fair bit of patience to shoot. While in the middle of the forest, low to the ground, the breeze was still throwing these flowers around quite a bit so getting this shot required about 30 minutes. I managed to get a few shots that were sharp, luckily.
One thing that has helped me greatly in getting sharp macro shots is the live view mode on my new Canon 7D – a feature my old camera did not have. I find that especially with the macro shots zooming in using the screen not only allows me to focus better (using manual focus) but determine when the subject has stopped twitching in the wind. It also means I do not have to lie down on the trail to look through the viewfinder to compose the shot like my old camera.
Had the opportunity today to photograph the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay in Aldergrove, BC.. There hasn’t been a torch relay through here since the 1988 Calgary Olympics and I don’t remember all that much about the brief glimpse I saw of them running by in the dark 22 years ago. However, I had the perfect lens for this and Aldergrove is not one of the centres where I expected a ton of people to show up. I also studied the route map so that I could get in and out fairly quickly – and even catch the torch twice on its Aldergrove journey.
Initially I had picked a spot along the route that apparently was well before the actual start point. This resulted in some quick running down the street as all the official torch relay trucks/support vehicles sailed on by. This did allow me to watch the torch being lit for this leg of its journey, however.
First Torch Bearer: Coleen Christie
The torch is not run throughout the whole route – it gets a ride in one of the support motorhomes. In the photos below you can see the small thermos sized lantern that carries the flame the rest of the time.
At this point I was able to turn and run through an apartment complex parking lot to Fraser Highway where the torch came around the corner and passed me again.
The highway was lined with a lot of people wearing red, and school children in red ponchos. I have no idea what this guy was wearing but it looked interesting.
This time we have a new Torch Bearer – Keary Bott.
The torch was followed by a school group with flags of the participating countries.
Further down the route towards 272nd Street there was a stage setup. Im glad I was able to avoid these crowds – I had enough issues with heads in the way when there were only dozens of people around the torch!