Almost all my photos are taken on weekends.
Nikkei Matsuri - Japanese Festival
First time event for us - Nikkei place
has been putting on a Japanese Festival at the end of summer with
a variety of food truck delights, a small shopping area and some
activities for kids. Like most cultural things in Vancouver,
it was crowded.
Like a robin attracted to worms, our kids
of were strangely attracted to the Hello Kitty room.
Thankfully it was a do it yourself arts and crafts project - a
sand painting. Basically you get a precut sticker where you
peel off areas to receive equal colour and fill in the newly
exposed sticky surface with coloured sand. There is some
technique to it (do the darker colours first) and different images
have different difficulties (number of colours and number of
Jesse and Family were at the same event so
we got to meet up with their kids. Abby and Haley got in the
face paint line before it was completely mobbed - perhaps the best
face paint I have ever seen at an event.
Claira still naps so we had to head home
at a reasonable time. There was a woman selling traditional
Japanese Popsicles - frozen watermelon on a stick. Given
that watermelon originally came from Africa and freezing things on
demand is only about a 150 years old, I don't think this
traditional goes back a long ways. That said, a dollar a
slice makes for a good return on investment - a solid Japanese
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park
We happened to go to Chinatown for brunch
and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden isn't far away so we popped in for
some family photos.
This is a small park and I already have
lots of photos of the kids looking at the Koy. I thought I
would try and do something with the bamboo to make it look more
China. That said, I don't remember a lot of bamboo in Hong
Happy Birthday Mom!
My Mom was in town to help Nara with here
integration into Kindergarten. My Mom's birthday happened to
fall mid that week so we went out to a Chinese bakery to get a
cake to share. The kids really like birthdays because it's
pretty much the only time they get cake (other than trips to
A Day at the Farm in Delta
Our weekends are mostly defined by the classes the kids are signed
up for. This season we have Saturday mornings free so we
decided to drive out to Delta to see their Day at the Farm
event. One of the farms we visit quite often (Westham Island
Herb Farm) was the center of attraction so we parked in the field
and got a tractor ride.
You never really know what the kids will take an interest
in. One part of the farm had a "dig your own bag of
potatoes" event by donation. Nara was really keen on doing
this so with a little help from the parents she was digging up
potatoes. It this the discovery of potatoes when the fork
tines come up was really compelling.
Tsawwassen Salt Marsh
We were picking up Grandma at the Ferry
Terminal so decided to go a little early with Nara so we could go
for a walk around the Salt Marsh at the end of Jetty. There
is a small parking lot near the marsh (mostly full of taxi's)
where we parked an started walking. I was surprised to see
There were a dozen great blue herons in various lumps in the marsh
but that wasn't my target for the day - I wanted to see if there
were Oystercatchers out today. I crested the beach and sure
enough - three Oystercatchers were very surprised to see me!
I went back to where I was, got my camera read and tried again -
the Oystercatchers were still there.
Nara was curious about what I was looking at
so she popped up next to me. The Oystercatchers didn't like
that so much so they fled. Oh well. We went back to
the car and picked up Grandma from the ferry.
Looking at photos of Vancouver on Reddit, I
saw an image of the hotel Europe (our mini version of the flatiron
building) in gastown. I lost the page, tried to find it
again and couldn't find it a second time. Co-incidentally,
there was light rain on the weekend so I thought I would try to
create a similar image.
Saturday night is not a good time
try and take photos in gastown. There are a dozen clubs and
a never ending stream of taxi's double parked in the
streets. Trying to get a photo of the hotel was an exercise
in frustration as one taxi left only to be replaced by another
dropping off. In the end I wound up seaming two images
together to get an image without a taxi.
It was a fun night, but next time I'll try
going mid week.
Richmond Nature House
Nara had Chinese class in Richmond on a
Sunday morning so I had Claira for a few hours. I'm a big
fan of the Richmond Nature House/Park so went for a walk on the
boardwalk to see turtles and birds. A first for me, I
spotted a Garter snake in the leaf litter. I took a photo,
changed my footing and the snake took off.
After we completed our loop (and watched the squirrels) we headed
over to the Nature House to see the bees. I was surprised to
find today was a special event - a live insects show! Claira
does like spider webs and bees so it wasn't much of stretch to
scorpions and tarantulas.
We had such a good time, we brought Nara over after her class was
Stanley Park looking for Cormorants
It was a rainy Sunday afternoon and the kids
just wanted to stay in and do crafts. My wife gave me a pass
to run around Stanley Park and try to find Cormorants while she
did baking with the kids. My first stop was Brockton Point
Lighthouse - there is a large kelp bed with a good view from the
sea wall and I figured it was a good place to get a shot.
Sure enough there was a cormorant. I went back to get my
camera out of the car (you can see my mistake) and the bird was
gone. Cormorants are diving birds so I waited around for
about 10 minutes to see if it had gone for swim and popped up
somewhere else - no luck.
I know there are usually Cormorants on the pier of the Lions gate
bridge. I moved the car and went for a walk. The first
thing I see is a bald eagle hauling a fish back to a tree in the
park. It was great to see the bald eagle, but I don't think
the Cormorants were too thrilled - they promptly took flight from
it to the bridge pier - sure enough there were cormorants, but
they weren't close enough that I could get a photo. They
have their own lives on the bridge pier - birds coming and
going, squawks when birds arrive and leave.
I got back to the car and decided to go
visit Beaver Lake while the sun was setting. I happened upon
a small flock of wood ducks - colourful birds for the colourful
light. I tried to remember two things I'd recently seen in a
video - get low so the angle is more "as an equal" rather than
looking down on the animal and look for different angles in the
light - move to change the contrast.
I didn't get any nice photos of Cormorants but I did have a good
Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival
There are a lot of smaller events in
Vancouver that really show the spirit of a neighborhood to come
together. This is my second year at the Renfrew Ravine Moon
Festival and this year we go here early enough to join the parade
for it's walk to the lantern lit park. You can hear the band
well before you see the parade and the kids were quite happy to be
able to go in with everyone else.
After walking a few blocks we met got to the
park next to the Renfrew Community center where all the lanterns
are setup. There are a number of areas you can walk around -
some busier, some less busy. We picked the West side of the
creek which was initially quite empty so it was easier to take
photos and talk to the kids.
The first time I went into the lit up ravine part of the walk
I was in wonderment at all the lanterns lighting the park
up. This time I knew a little of what to expect - it
turns out that many of the lanterns are recycled year to
year. I was really impressed with the light wire logs
this year - someone spent a lot of time modeling the shapes
you expect to see in a piece of wood.
I saw lots of people
trying to take photos with their phones - I think the SLR on
tripod is a winning combination. That said, the contrast
is so high I often had to rework the images quite a bit from
RAW to get a pleasing set of highlight details as well as
The kids had a great time
and didn't want to go home. I wanted to stay a little longer
and try and get some portraits, but maybe that can wait until
the kids are a little older and can stay up a little later.
Tags: Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival(7), lantern(7), Vancouver(4), night(3), Gastown(3), face paint(2)
People: Claira(12), Nara(11), Theresa(2), Haley(1), Abby(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2016 to 2005 > September 2015
Last Modified Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 at 21:57:05 Edit
Copyright and Contact Information.