Downtown Vancouver Panorama

panorama of downtown vancouver including canada place and the new convention center - seaplane terminal

Panorama of Downtown Vancouver from Stanley Park

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   I have not posted a large panorama in a while. This is a 14 exposure panorama of the iconic view of downtown Vancouver from Stanley Park. Canada Place is the building on the right and is used for convention center space. The next building is the new Convention Center. Next to the Convention Center is the 2010 Olympics torch (you can just see the top of it) and then we have the Seaplane Terminal. I was in the park looking for fall colors, and was initially attracted to this scene due to the great leaf color on the right hand side near the seaplane terminal. I made another row of photos to catch more of the buildings but the light had changed in the 3-4 minutes from the first exposure and the result was not pretty. So I only included the lower row. I’m going to have to get better with my timing or just work faster next time!

Lights on the 5 Sails of Canada Place

Canada Place in Vancouver is now a trade and convention center, as well as a cruise ship port, but during Expo ’86 it was the Canadian Pavilion.

lights on the sails of canada place in vancouver, british columbia

Lights of Canada Place in Vancouver (Purchase)

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   I’ve always enjoyed the shape of the Canada Place building in downtown Vancouver. I remember it being one of the few distinctly shaped buildings in the 80’s (in addition to Harbour Center, Science World and BC Place). While Vancouver’s skyline has many new additions – Canada Place is still one of my favourites. Recently they replaced the covering on the 5 sails and projected images on them during the Olympics. Photographing them from Stanley Park I recently made this image of one of the various projected images currently on the sails. These change every few minutes or so – and sometimes this can cause some unwanted effects in a 30 second exposure! I was careful to make this image within just one variation in the lights. I like the various colour versions but this one is probably my favourite – the lights are relatively subtle.

   This is just one image from many I’ve recently added to my Vancouver Coast & Mountains Gallery.

Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge at Night

Cars (and a bicyclist on the left) cross the Lions Gate Bridge from Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia to/from North Vancouver at night.

traffic on the lions gate bridge at night from stanley park, vancouver

Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge from Stanley Park (Purchase)

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   I think that I photograph the Lions Gate Bridge from one angle or another every time I go to Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I just can’t resist. Yesterday I again tried photographing the bridge from this overpass on Stanley Park Drive. I’ve been here before, and pulled off a lucky (for me at the time) film shot of this about 10 years ago. Since making the move to digital I’ve never been quite happy with my results, or there simply hasn’t been enough traffic to make a nice long exposure trail from the headlights and tail lights. I think the key was not trying this at 1 am on a weekday this time around!

   If there is sufficient traffic you can do a few things to try to get a good light trail across the bridge. I usually count how long it takes the the cars to get out of sight from my end of the bridge, and see if I can have an exposure long enough to try to get the whole light trail. Completely forgot to do this last night but it worked out anyway. From the variations I made yesterday, this one was my favourite for a few reasons. First, you can see the faint outline of Grouse Mountain in the background – another benefit of not shooting this at 1am. Next, the light trails are mostly complete from one end of the bridge to the other, and there are even two lane changes that took place at exactly the right time to create a crossover. What is truly something I will be unlikely to replicate again is that dotted light trail you see coming up the left side of the bridge on the sidewalk. A cyclist was coming in our direction with a flashing headlight on his bike. I didn’t notice this at the time but upon reviewing my exposure noticed it in the LCD. I do think it adds a bit of uniqueness to most images I’ve made from this location.

More of my bridge photos can be found in my Bridges Gallery.

Downtown Vancouver During Blue Hour

Downtown Vancouver at dusk from Stanley Park – including Canada Place (left) and the new Trade and Convention Center.

downtown vancouver at dusk panorama from stanley park

Downtown Vancouver Panorama photographed during Blue Hour (Purchase)

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   I have photographed downtown Vancouver from Stanley Park a few times in the past – with fair but not spectacular results. When my first DSLR was new I would try to photograph the skyline well after sunset. At that time of day there isn’t much contrast between the dark buildings and the sky, so these photographs did not turn out very well. I learned that if you photograph during “Blue Hour” there will be much better contrast between the dark buildings and the sky – with much better results! Blue Hour is the period of time between total darkness in the sky and sunrise or sunset. Just like the “Golden Hour” this may not actually last an hour. In Vancouver at this time of year I think the blue hour lasted about 20 minutes facing southeast though there was still good blue light facing west for about another 10 minutes after that.

   This Panorama, taken during the blue hour after sunset, shows a dark sky but you can still see the profile of all the buildings. Much better than a photo taken when the sky is really dark!

   FYI – if you ever photograph downtown from Stanley Park near the Nine O’Clock Gun is the location I made this photograph. I was still there at 9 o’clock… with a few others who had gathered to hear its blast. Well, this isn’t a cap gun, the shockwave was dramatic even though I was standing 50 feet away. There were some tourists and teenagers who were standing right next to the wire cage that houses the gun, and one passerby tried to get them to plug their ears or step away from the thing as it was almost 9. This sage advice was ignored and when the gun went off there was a lot of screaming and even some tears due to the noise. If you are out there photographing near 9 o’clock and the red flashing lights go off – plug your ears!

North Vancouver Sulphur Works Panorama

Night panorama of the North Vancouver Sulphur Works from Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia

panorama of the north vancouver sulphur works from stanley park

North Vancouver Sulphur Works

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Panorama of the North Vancouver Sulphur Works from Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC.

I have always liked the view of the North Vancouver Sulphur Works from Stanley Park – especially at night. Always reminds me of a roller coaster that just dumps passengers into Burrard Inlet. I have an earlier panorama from this location in Stanley Park but it is not nearly as clear – owing to my old shaky tripod and lack of techniques such as a shutter release and mirror lockup.

Point Atkinson Lighthouse

I have reprocessed this photograph with new editing techniques and a few things I’ve learned since this post. Follow the link here to see the new version of this Point Atkinson Lighthouse photo.

lighthouse park lighthouse in west vancouver

   This photo of the Point Atkinson Lighthouse was not what I pictured in my mind when I headed to Lighthouse Park. I had not been in Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver for any length of time since about 1996, so I was a bit rusty in terms of good photo locations. I quite like this spot though, and there may be better in the park I just haven’t investigated it thoroughly enough yet. However, I did envision an decent sunset, which did not occur. A band of clouds over Vancouver Island came in and obscured the direct sunlight. I find this version appealing but I think the sky will offer something more dramatic if I keep checking this spot out.

Lions Gate Bridge Panorama

panorama of lions gate bridge from stanley park

5 exposures stitched, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM @ 116mm

Panorama of the Lions Gate Bridge from Stanley Park. Lights in the background are in West Vancouver.

Drove to Stanley Park on Wednesday to get some night shots of downtown Vancouver. Now that I have a really nice tripod that can actually hold my camera steady for 30 seconds this was a lot easier than before. It became evident last year when I tried this that portrait shots on my old tripod were causing things to slip just slightly each time – which is quite evident on a 30 second+ exposure! On Wednesday there was a lot of construction on Stanley Park Drive including Brockton Point. This kept me away from the lighthouse but perhaps that was a good thing – it forced me to take this pano from further down the drive. I have never noticed this sort of reflection of the bridge lights on the water before – perhaps that is not as evident from the usual Brockton Point angle. Sometimes it is good to be forced to use new angles on a subject – and a reminder to seek those on my own.

Cabin on Green Mountain Road

arrowleaf balsamroot balsamorhiza sagittata old log cabin green mountain road between penticton and keremeos

I am not sure what municipal jurisdiction this area fall under, but Green Mountain Road runs between Penticton and Keremeos, BC. Drove through here on my way back home from a visit to Kelowna, BC. This was a nice drive through the interior mountains near the Apex Alpine ski resort.

I did like this old log cabin though. Hope to go back up there in spring when more flowers are blooming. Mostly just saw the Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) picture above.