A Lot of Photos considering it's January
Trip to the Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium is open on New Years
day and has lots of indoor space even if the weather is
poor. The only downside is the crowds so we try to get there
early before the crowds get large.
I actually find taking photos of kids and
the aquarium at the same time is quite tricky - if the kids are
looking at something, they aren't generally looking at you.
This time I had some luck getting photos showing both the kids and
something interesting - I wasn't expecting reflections to be a
tool to do it.
I try not to force an agenda on the kids - they see what they
want. We started with the jellyfish, then saw the beluga
show, the dolphins, the penguins and (Mom now really cold) went
inside for the tropical animals. We left before lunch time.
Claira gets her nap on time and everyone is happy.
VanDusen Festival of Lights
My mother has wanted to go to the
VanDusen Festival of Lights for years but the timing has never
really worked out. Those last few weekends before Christmas
are always so busy, but the time after Christmas is much more
reasonable. The dates worked out so that my Mom and Dad
could come over after new years and the show was still on.
I last went to the VanDusen
Festival of Lights in January of 2009
just after a
snowstorm. This trip was a lot different - kids, no snow and
a lot more crowds. Last time I went, I almost had the place
to myself. This time - there were people everywhere.
That said, we could walk around pretty easily - I image before
Christmas, this place is packed.
The lighting is pretty magical - the kids had a good time as did
the grandparents. I think we would do this again.
Bob - a friend of mine from work - organizes
the office photoclub. He recently decided to take an
extended holiday staycation and was kind enough to join me on a
foggy night to practice some camera technique. Bob does a
lot of really good portraiture work but the tripod long exposure
thing is outside of his usual shooting style so we decided to
shoot some of the bridges in town.
We started at the Cambie Street Bridge and
worked our way west. The fog varied through the night but it
was usually pretty light at the ground and thicker further up.
The real superstar bridge was the last bridge - the Lions Gate
bridge in Stanley Park. This is such a large and high bridge
it really kicked up the fog lighting to the next level.
Another new experience for me - there was a car accident at 2nd
beach and the emergency vehicles blocked the road. We drove
back to pipeline road going the wrong way around the park - a
first for me.
Thanks for the night out Bob!
Some months ago I went with the girls to get
their hair cuts. I even brought my camera but I discovered
at the last minute I didn't bring a memory card and there were no
spares in the small camera bag. I didn't make that same
mistake this weekend:
They go to a grown up hair salon but the
salon also cuts kids hair and it's pretty cheap - cheaper than
either Helen or I would be. Claira is still figuring out
when is a good time to close your eyes.
Vancouver City Skylines
Over the Christmas break Jeremy got a new
camera. He posted some inside photos on Facebook that got me
thinking about another night out of photography. We picked a
theme - "City Skylines" - and did a few hour walk around.
Our first stop was False Creek - some nice city skylines on the
water. We stopped under the Cambie Street Bridge, but the
view from the Olympic village turned out to be better. The
new dome on BC place is quite attractive at night but the lighting
is tricky to balance. The little ferries running around also
give the occasional dramatic element.
I thought it was a pretty clear night but
when we got to Stanley Park (looking to take a photo looking back
at the city), the fog had rolled in and the city was
missing. It was still fun to take photos but we didn't get
to fill in our collection of Vancouver landmarks.
The Lions Gate Bridge is always attractive with a little bit of
fog but that wasn't on target. I decided the first photo -
the bridge with streaks is new enough that I can use it for the
theme. A fun time - thanks for joining me Jeremy!
Yup, I bought a 400mm lens
Nikon recently came out with a new 400mm
f2.8 lens. It's thousands of dollars more than the model it
replaces and while it does have new features (including two pounds
lighter!) the price difference is hard to swallow. The old
model had very little inventory remaining so I decided to buy it
before I couldn't. I quite enjoy nature photography but I've
recently noticed that my 80-200mm lens just doesn't do it. I
remember being on a safari in India and being embarrassed by how
little camera I brought.
So the new lens arrived on Friday and it has done nothing but rain
and pour since. I went out for a brief walk today to try it
out and see how well it works.
It works very well - especially if your goal is to get sore
arms. I need to figure out a tripod solution, a bag solution
and how it will fit into my life, but I am already impressed with
what it enables. I now have a new source of embarrassment -
in five minutes two different groups of people commented on how
big my camera (meaning the lens) is.
The next day the weather improved and I happened to be in South
Vancouver dropping my dad off at the ferry terminal so I headed
over to boundary bay for a brief stop on my way home.
Again, really impressed. Taking
photos with a 200mm lens basically means you photograph and
approach birds until they fly away. At 400mm you get nice
compositions and the bird is happy where it's standing. I
It's wasn't all milk and honey. A bald eagle flew overhead
and the lens spent so long hunting focus I never did get a
photo. Later I spent time watching a Northern Harrier
hunting (a very impressive sight). It perched for a while
and I eventually lost attention. About a minute later,
without me watching, it flew off. I circled around came
right over a few meters away, only a meter higher than my
head. I took a picture of it's bum as it flew away - had I
payed attention longer I would have had a picture of it's face as
it flew toward.
On my drive out I noticed a bunch of badly
parked expensive SUV's and then a whole bunch of long lenses -
many longer than mine. I drove past and then talked myself
into going back. After parking on a side road I walked over
and found at least half a dozen 600mm+ lenses pointing at a Golden
Eagle in a tree. The photos weren't very good and I didn't
feel so good joining a large crowd but hey - I own the lens, I'm
sadly part of that world now.
Tags: night(15), Vancouver(12), bridge(9), fog(9), lights(7), Stanley Park(6)
People: Claira(3), Nara(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2018 to 2005 > January 2015
Last Modified Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 at 21:37:39 Edit
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