My 2022 Nature Calendars are now available! I have put together some of my favourite recent photographs into a 11″x17″ (28cm x 43cm) calendar. Included are 12 photographs of landscape, wildlife, and nature scenes from British Columbia and Washingon State. As the purchase website no longer has a preview available, take a look at the index below for a small preview of the images contained in the calendar.
30% OFF! Use the code SAVE30 (case sensitive) for 30% OFF at checkout through November 30th.
Here are 3 photographs from a recent effort I made to deal with some of my post processing backlog. These photographs were made in 2017 and 2019, but sometimes a few images are left behind while I ponder post processing decisions or other selection issues. In my latest attack on the backlog I published over 70 new photographs, some which can be seen in my New Images gallery.
Mount Baker (Kulshan) in Washington State’s Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
I posted a similar photograph near this location back in 2017 when I last made a trip to the Mount Baker area. For some reason, at the time, I found the photograph below to have some post processing challenges. There is a lot of dynamic range here (range from light to dark) which was part of the issue. I’ve learned a few things about processing images from my then new camera (shadow recovery mostly) in ways that were not possible with my previous one – and this is the result. This photograph of Kulshan at sunset was made from a trail on Kulshan Ridge at Huntoon Point in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Mount Baker/Kulshan at sunset from Huntoon Point (Purchase)
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Hovering Over Salmon
I have photographed Bald Eagles in the Fraser Valley many times over the years. I usually make a trip to the area near the Harrison River in or around the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival when the salmon are spawning and the eagles are gathered. This particular eagle was hovering in place over some spawning salmon likely looking for a good candidate for lunch. There can be thousands of eagles in this area as the salmon spawn and expire – and are then quickly recycled. This photograph was originally shot in a landscape format, but it had a bit too much of “nothing” on either side of the eagle. So with this one I cropped to a portrait orientation and I think it is a better image for it.
Bald Eagle (H. leucocephalus) hovering over spawning salmon (Purchase)
White Rock Fireworks at the Canada 150th Celebration
Earlier on this day I photographed the Canadian Forces Snowbirds during White Rock’s Canada 150 Celebrations in the summer of 2017. I went back down to the beach for the fireworks display, but decided that trying to get onto the pier would be an exercise in crowds that I wouldn’t enjoy, and would likely be too close to the fireworks anyway. Ultimately I was slightly too far away, but I didn’t have to deal with elbow to elbow crowds at least! I had not photographed fireworks since roughly 2002 so this was a good chance to give it another shot. The post processing decision I had to make here was how to crop the photograph (200mm wasn’t quite long enough). I often keep the same aspect ratio to my crops, but in this case a square crop worked better for the shape of the fireworks and the overall scene. The size of these is pretty impressive – as you can tell from a 100% crop of just the people on the pier. I went back a few years later and watched a display from up on the hill right above where they launched and it was a bit too much like being in the middle of them. Too close, too bright, too large, and the shock waves went right through me. If I’d had my camera my 17mm wouldn’t have been wide enough! Next time I’ll be back where I shot the photo below, only with a longer lens!
Fireworks Display over White Rock Pier during Canada 150 (Purchase)
You can see more of my newly published images in the New Images and other galleries in my Image Library.
The peaks of the Mount Cheam Range above Fraser Valley farmland – from Hillkeep Regional Park in Chilliwack, BC.
Mount Cheam Range Peaks (Cheam, Lady Peak, Knight Peak, Welch Peak) and Chilliwack Farmland from Hillkeep Regional Park (Purchase)
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Hillkeep Regional Park in Chilliwack
A few years ago I photographed the view from Hillkeep Regional Park (link) in Chilliwack, British Columbia. The day was cloudy and rainy, and I could barely make out the Chilliwack Airport below. It was a nice walk with a lot of lush growth in many areas but some of the trails were a bit overgrown and underused. Earlier this year after a question from a client I wanted to get some newer photographs of Mount Cheam (Lhílheqey) from a new angle. Hillkeep Regional Park (on a nice day) seemed like the perfect place to start.
The view at Hillkeep Regional Park is quite nice, and the walk up to the viewing platform is short but does require a small amount of elevation gain to get there. During some times of the year you may want to reconsider wearing bare legs as the trail can be quite close to Stinging Nettles. The first photograph above is an image I made of Mount Cheam and the peaks behind it in the Cheam Range from the viewing platform. In the lower part of the photograph you can see a mixture of farmland and houses that make up much of this part of the Fraser Valley.
Mount Cheam’s Stó:lō name is Lhílheqey (“mother mountain”) and is a significant physical and cultural feature of the valley. The peak names from left to right are Cheam Peak, Lady Peak (Dog Face), Knight Peak, and Welch Peak. Mount Archibald is in front of the Cheam Range between Knight and Welch Peaks.
Mount MacFarlane, Crossover Peak, and Mount Slesse from Hillkeep Regional Park (Purchase)
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Another noteworthy (though less prominent) peak you can see easily from Hillkeep Park and nearby parts of the Fraser Valley is Mount Slesse. At the end of a small range of peaks, Slesse is the most prominent and memorable. The photo above shows (from left to right) Mount MacFarlane, Crossover Peak, and Mount Slesse after some fresh, late winter snows. The word “Slesse” means “fang” in the Halq’eméylem language. Mount Slesse is also known as the site of the crash of Trans-Canada Air Lines Flight 810 in 1956 which killed 62 people and remains the 6th deadliest in Canadian history.
From the Hillkeep lookout there is not just view of the surrounding mountains but also Highway 1 (Trans Canada Highway), the Chilliwack Municipal Airport (YCW), and a lot of housing developments and farmland. The photograph below shows a mix of all of these elements, with the airport in the foreground. The airport was fairly busy on the day I was at Hillkeep, and as a consequence many of my panoramas and photographs from this afternoon had multiple planes in them. One managed to get into almost every frame of a 10 frame panorama, which was a feat I think only a few (feathered) birds have accomplished in the past.
Chilliwack Municipal Airport from Hillkeep Regional Park (Purchase)
Mount Cheam from Agassiz
Here is a “bonus” panorama of Mount Cheam/Lhílheqey I made later in the day from Agassiz near the Fraser River. I’d classify this as a “mountain portrait” as it doesn’t have any of the surrounding land in the photograph. While I’ve made a few of these in the past I still enjoy Cheam as a subject – it is a peak with character, especially with some fresh snow.
Fresh snow on Mount Cheam (Lhílheqey) as photographed from farmland in Agassiz, British Columbia (Purchase)
Another quick round of random photos that I wanted to share but don’t quite fit into other blog posts.
Towering Cumulus from Steveston Harbour
Towering Cumulus clouds drift across the evening sky over fishing boats in Steveston Harbour (Purchase)
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Last fall when I visited a few parks in Richmond, BC I ended the day at Steveston Harbour and Garry Point Park. I liked the shapes these Towering Cumulus clouds were making in the background and I thought this phenomenon might have a specific name. It turns out, after asking on Twitter, that these are Towering Cumulus clouds which would normally be mostly vertical, but as there were stronger winds at lower elevations, the bottom sections were blown to the left. An interesting formation, and one I wouldn’t know about if a meteorologist hadn’t answered my question!
Ice on the Fraser River
Ice along the Fraser River in Glen Valley (Purchase)
This was not a particularly harsh winter in the Fraser Valley, but we did have a cold stretch that lasted long enough for some ice to come down the Fraser River from colder areas in the interior. Some ice formed along the shore of the river, but there were also chunks floating down from upstream. This spot is at Glen Valley in Abbotsford, BC, and shows the east end of Crescent Island and the ice buildup there. Not that common an occurrence so I do try to get out and photograph it when possible. The mountain showing through the clouds in the background made the photograph worthwhile IMO, or I might have gone for a longer lens and focused just on the ice.
Reflections at Deer Lake in Sasquatch Provincial Park
Alder trunks reflecting on the surface of Deer Lake in Sasquatch Provincial Park (Purchase)
I have photographed this location (The Point) at Deer Lake in Sasquatch Provincial Park (one of my favourite park names) on a few occasions. Strangely I’ve twice had some serious colour issues when processing images from this location. I wrestled with a few of the photos from this evening for a while, but ultimately sent two of them to my friend Alex Kunz who showed how he would develop/process them. Naturally, two photographers will probably never be in complete agreement on what to edit in a photo due to monitor calibration choices, how we individually see colour, choices that are simply a matter of taste, etc. Seeing how others would approach a problem is often useful though, and I did manage to see how Alex works with some of the tools in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)/LR which may influence how I process a few things in the future. ACR has more and more capabilities with recent updates and I need to investigate those more often to see how they rank against the methods I’ve been using in Photoshop. I’ve moved more and more processing to ACR recently including stitching panoramas, graduated neutral density filters, and some colour tweaks as ACR has better results, or is easier to use, than the Photoshop equivalent.
As for the photograph itself, I’m clearly a sucker for reflections. While these Red Alder (Alnus rubra) trees don’t show a lot of fall foliage character, their partially white trunks work well in a reflection. Some of the grasses and shoreline shrubs offer a bit of colour which still gives it an autumn feel.
Alder Trees at Katzie Marsh
Sunlight touches the moss and lichen covered branches of Red Alder at Katzie Marsh (Purchase)
During a visit to Pitt Lake and the Katzie Marsh in Pitt Meadows, BC a few years ago I made this photograph of the sunlight lighting up a few branches on these Red Alder (A. rubra) trees. As the photograph above shows, Red Alder don’t really do anything interesting in the fall, and are a somewhat generic green deciduous tree during spring and summer. Their bark, however, does have some interesting patterns on it in the winter and in this location had a lot of moss and lichen that adds to the character of the branches.
More of my newer images can be found in my New Images Gallery.
Fall foliage colors on Maple trees along the Stanley Park Seawall at the west end of Coal Harbour.
Fall Foliage along the Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver (Purchase)
Last Fall I made several trips into Burnaby and Vancouver to photograph various areas – and twice I wound up at Vancouver’s Stanley Park as my late afternoon/evening destination. Fall foliage in 2020 was hit and miss, and in some areas just plain bad. In this part of Vancouver, however, it was pretty decent in many places. Stanley Park is always a good spot to look for fall foliage, and even if there isn’t any, I never dislike an evening spent there. Even in the rain! After a walk around Lost Lagoon and a few other park areas, I headed further towards downtown to Devonian Harbour Park and made this photograph of a few people walking along the Seawall with some good fall leaves as a backdrop. This location is next to the Vancouver Rowing Club building at the west end of Coal Harbour.
Colourful lights on the sails of Canada Place (Purchase)
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I have photographed Canada Place many times, but not always at a higher resolution, so I made the above photograph and a few others to change that. Zoomed in at 100% you can’t tell the title of a book someone on one of the benches is reading, but you can tell what colour the cover is! I was going to make some panoramas including Canada Place and the Trade and Convention Centre next door, but the pandemic thwarted those plans. Not only are there not conventions going on at the moment, but some floors of the newer Convention Centre space are still reserved for a makeshift hospital should the pandemic overwhelm local hospitals (which has not happened, luckily). As a consequence all the lights on many of its floors are off. It just doesn’t look great in the evening with the lights off, so I skipped it entirely. Canada Place is my favourite anyway, and I like this colour scheme of lights on the “sails”. Sometimes I don’t like the colours used here, and really do prefer the light projections they had back in 2012. Not sure how often these are changed, but I liked the 2020 version.
Evening light on trees along the shore of Lost Lagoon at Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Purchase)
I have visited Lost Lagoon many times in Stanley Park, but had never walked all the way around it. I fixed that in October and walked the entire loop. There was not much left in the way of fall leaves, but I did like the scene above in the way that the light lit up the edges of the trees (mostly Red Alder, here) even without their leaves. I didn’t photograph the waterfowl around the lagoon much at all, as I knew I had a lot of those kinds of photographs from my earlier trips to Burnaby Lake Regional Park. I did photograph the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) below on the walk though. This one seemed to be having a bit of a dispute with the passing Wood Ducks who swam really close on their way by. This Heron was opening up its beak and making a lot of squawking noises to tell them to keep their distance (I presume). Songbirds they are not!
A Mildly Irked Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at Lost Lagoon at Stanley Park (Purchase)
Brockton Point Lighthouse
Sunset Lights Up The Sky Behind the Brockton Point Lighthouse (Purchase)
I enjoy sunset light and while I don’t often sit around and wait for it, I am always happy to use it when available. When I stopped at Brockton Point in Stanley Park to photograph the Brockton Point Lighthouse and various subjects in North Vancouver, I got lucky with some high cloud that turned a nice pink colour. The Brockton Point Lighthouse was built in 1914 and sits along the northeast part of the Stanley Park seawall. The area gives nice views of Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver, the Lions Gate Bridge, as well as downtown and the Port of Vancouver. A bit later in the evening I made this panorama of the view of North Vancouver with Mount Seymour behind it. There are a lot of new towers and construction since I last photographed North Van from across the inlet, but the shipping traffic is omnipresent. While I’d prefer they weren’t in the photograph, I included the large bulk carrier Federal Illinois on the right as that kind of ship is a very frequent presence on the water there. I plan on making this photograph again when I am able to get back to Stanley Park while there is some snow on the mountains.
North Vancouver and Mount Seymour from Brockton Point in Stanley Park (Purchase)
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Lumberman’s Arch and a path through a double row of London Plane Trees (Platanus x acerifolia) (Purchase)
Originally this area was a village site called Xwáýxway before the Federal Government “claimed it” as their own. The Lumberman’s Arch above was erected in 1952, replacing an older arch called the Bowie Arch which was dismantled in 1947. The gravel path in this photograph winds south through the Lumberman’s Arch picnic area, past the Aquarium (behind the green fence on the left) to the Japanese Canadian War Memorial and beyond. The trees lining this path are called London Plane Trees (Platanus x acerifolia) and this appears to be the only spot they are planted in Stanley Park.
When I was in this same area a week later I photographed the Lions Gate Bridge from the Stanley Park Seawall. I’ve always liked this bridge at night with the reflection off the water of Burrard Inlet and the lights of West Vancouver beyond. This is a scene that I often shoot as a panorama as it fits the shape of the bridge well, and it eliminates a distracting, lighter coloured sky above that can happen during sunsets. There is no sky in the photograph below. The Lions Gate Bridge was opened in 1938 and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2005. The official name of the bridge is actually the First Narrow Bridge, though I rarely hear it actually called that.
Lights illuminate the Lions Gate Bridge and the waters of Burrard Inlet at night (Purchase)
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Fall Foliage at Painter’s Circle in Stanley Park (Purchase)
Painter’s Circle is one of the areas in Stanley Park where artists (but not photographers) can sell their work with a permit. I liked these 3 park benches in Painter’s Circle lined up with the fall leaves behind them and made this photograph. I am not sure what species of trees these are, and normally that would really bother me but since so many different, non-native species are planted in Stanley Park this isn’t unusual. In some cases I can find mention of them such as the London Plane trees near the Lumbermans’ Arch above, but this is a bit more of an obscure location. These look to be much younger trees and perhaps do not have as well a documented history. I should have tried the app Seek by iNaturalist on them but I didn’t remember to do so at the time. Sometimes I’ll take a closeup of leaves on a plant I can’t identify and that app will ID right off the computer screen too. Even if it doesn’t know the species it quite often points me in the right direction. Really useful app!
Devon Falls on the slopes of Sumas Mountain at Bassani Park in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada.
Updated: I revisited Devon Falls twice since I originally made this post and have an update below.
Devon Falls in Abbotsford, British Columbia (Purchase)
Despite going to University for 3 years in Abbotsford, and driving past this location many times, I had no idea until earlier this year that Devon Falls existed. Upon learning this interesting waterfall was there, I went out and photographed the falls a few weeks ago on my way to a few other locations. It seems to be a waterfall that always has a relatively low level of water in it, but the surrounding erosion created by the different kinds of rock in the area (mostly comprised of feldspar, quartz, and sandstone) make it an interesting location. The soft sandstone has eroded and created the multiple tiers of this waterfall and the almost cave like areas behind it.
This waterfall on the slopes of Sumas Mountain was named Devon Falls in 2010 after the death of Devon Clifford. Devon was a 30 year old Abbotsford musician who died during a performance in Vancouver earlier that year. The falls were a favourite spot of his to visit.
Update: Since the fall are so easy to see, I’ve been there twice since I first wrote the above post. The next visit was in late October where I was hoping for a bit of fall foliage at the falls. There was just a small amount of foliage, but it was accompanied by a very small volume of water flowing down the falls. If I’d added a garden hose or two I probably could have doubled the flow! The water doesn’t really even show in the photographs, so it seems unless the fall has already been wet, this might not be a good viewing time!
The next time I visited Devon Falls was in mid-December after a series of rain storms. There was much much more water flowing this time, and it made for an even more striking waterfall photo than the first photograph here. It was a dark and dreary day, which was perfect for a waterfall photograph! I’m not sure if this is a near peak flow for this falls, but I’ll probably check it out again later in the winter to find out. I did notice the addition of the large tree trunk that has fallen down into the ravine. I’m not sure if this was the natural result of gravity, or was helped by teenage shenanigans, but I can’t say it is a welcome addition to the scene!
For more photographs of the area visit my Abbotsford Gallery.
A few months ago I came across an online photograph of Deer Lake Park and realized it looked like a good destination for photographs. Despite living in Burnaby (north Burnaby) years ago I’d not visited there recreationally. I did visit on a cold fall Saturday morning when I was in University for a field trip of sorts learning to use various underwater instruments from canoes. I mostly remember that day for the moment where I threatened the grad student TA with an oar if he wasn’t going to keep his butt in the center of our canoe after multiple suggestions/warnings. He complied.
On three occasions this past October I visited Deer Lake Park in Burnaby to see what photographs I could make. I planned out a few things on the various maps of the many trails in the area, but ultimately Covid-19 restrictions chose my route for me – the majority of the trails are now one way. So I started at the boat launch area parking lot, and walked clockwise around the lake, with one added loop at the west end. The trail starts along a small street passing a few lakeside houses (including the Baldwin House shown below) before moving to a smaller gravel trail heading west. This was a nice walk, and ultimately I completed about 7km of trails including the main loop. I enjoyed exploring around the lake and eventually stopped at the area where Deer Lake Brook flows out of the northeast corner of Deer Lake where it continues on into Burnaby Lake. The area I photographed below is fenced off as it is a recovering ecological area – I’m sure people trample the stream bank otherwise.
The photograph below shows the “Baldwin House” on the south shore of the lake. The Baldwin House was built in 1965 for Dr. William and Ruth Baldwin and was designed by renowned architect Arthur Erickson. Most around Vancouver will know Arthur Erickson as the designer (along with Geoff Massey) of Simon Fraser University. The Baldwin House is valued as an example of Burnaby’s post WWII modern heritage, progressive architectural style, and was added to the Canadian Register of Historic Places in 2005.
Baldwin House (designed by Arthur Erickson) on the shore of Deer Lake in Burnaby (Purchase)
On my third October visit to the park I photographed this scene looking down towards Deer Lake. I was photographing the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts (photo below), the Burnaby Art Gallery (Ceperly House) and the Century Gardens – and liked the sunny and colourful view down the path towards the lake. When the surrounding Maples really light up in a good year for fall foliage I’ll hopefully be visiting and be able to make more photographs of the area.
Fall Leaves over a path down to Deer Lake (Purchase)
The last photograph here shows the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts at Deer Lake Park. The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts is a popular venue for live performances, art programs, community events, and festivals.
The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby (Purchase)
My 2021 Nature Calendars are now available! I have put together some of my favourite recent photographs into a 11″x17″ (28cm x 43cm) calendar. Included are 12 photographs of landscape, wildlife, and nature scenes from British Columbia. As the purchase website no longer has a preview available, take a look at the index below for a small preview of the images contained in the calendar.
30% OFF! Use the code BFCM30 (case sensitive) for 30% OFF at checkout through November 30th.