Posts Tagged ‘blueberries’

Trying something new – Blueberries, a Lightbox and Lights

Freshly picked Fraser Valley Highbush Blueberries in a bowl.

fresh organic highbush blueberries from the fraser valley in a bowl

Experimenting with my lightbox – a bowl of blueberries (Purchase)

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   In early 2015 I decided to try something new photographically, which is probably a good idea to do from time to time. Occasionally I want to photograph something that isn’t a landscape, nature or macro subject. I’d seen many tutorials on how to construct your own lightbox on the internet, so last spring I built one. Then I didn’t use it for a few months as I made excuses about not having the right equipment (I didn’t) or subjects (I did). When I was picking blueberries at the end of last summer I decided I would try to get a “product” shot of these fresh blueberries in a bowl. Typically my blueberry related photography has been more along the lines of blueberries still on the bush. Next it was a matter of finding a relatively photogenic bowl which was harder than I’d first anticipated.

   After a number of exposures only using my Canon 7D’s built in flash and two desk lamps shining in the sides of the lightbox, I fully realized that this was a whole new kind of photography thing altogether. I’ve never tried to artificially light subjects, and not owning a dedicated flash seems to be a bit of a drawback in that regard. However, trying something new shouldn’t always be easy, and so there were many ugly exposures before this one came to life. So, thinking this was my best effort so far, I put it up on the blog here which drew my attention to how “white” the background of the image is (or isn’t, in this case). That is my point here though – I’m trying something new and that is not something that usually starts with success right away. I am hoping I will soon regard this image as a failure, even though right now it is the best of its type that I have – because that would mean progress has been made.

   I believe I will soon be buying a flash for this kind of photography and a few other uses I have in mind. Once I spend some actual cash and not just time putting together a cardboard and poster paper lightbox the real “pressure” will be on!

Mount Seymour’s Flower Lake

   A few weeks ago I headed to Mount Seymour Provincial Park in North Vancouver. Mount Seymour was one of the nearby locations I had not visited in quite some time and thought I should check out again. I hadn’t been to Mystery Lake in 12 years, and didn’t really remember much of my last trip, so this was my first stop. As it turns out, even during a summer weekday Mystery Lake is a swimming destination. So rather than finding a quiet mountain lake I found boom boxes, beer and the scantily clad (or not). I did enjoy the view all the way up the Fraser Valley from up there, but with the relatively thick haze this was not all that photogenic either.

   The other destination I had in mind at Mount Seymour was Flower Lake. I didn’t quite have enough time remaining in the day to go all the way to Goldie Lakes, so that will have to be on my next trip (along with Dog Mountain). The Flower Lake Loop Trail was quite easy compared to the Mystery Lake Trail and actually offered more photography opportunities. The first of these was this near mature Corn Lily or False Hellebore (Veratrum viride). I haven’t photographed all that many of these, but I can see why they are a popular subject with the patterns and textures in the leaves.

corn lily leaves

Corn Lily/ False Hellebore (Veratrum viride)

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   Flower Lake itself is not very large, and is really a rather large pond full of various species of aquatic plants including Yellow Pond Lily (Nuphar polysepalum) and Floating Leaved Pond Weed (Potamogeton natans) and many others. I didn’t see any frogs or tadpoles, but I’m sure there are plenty there. While the lake itself is a bit like any other lake in the forest, there was some interesting characteristics to the shoreline. I made this photograph of a fallen and dead tree along the shore of the lake along with the aquatic plants.

flower lake shoreline

A fallen tree along the shore of Flower Lake

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   One of the features along both the Mystery Lake Trail and the Flower Lake Loop Trail was the ever present Oval-Leaved Blueberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium) bushes. Most of the bushes had a lot of berries on them, except in the areas near the parking lot where people (presumably) had been picking them. I found this particular bush full of berries right next to Flower Lake. maybe I am too used to the cultivated Blueberries in my own backyard, but these wild ones weren’t nearly as sweet. Perhaps it was just a bit too early in the season.

oval leaved blueberries vaccinium ovalifolium

Wild Oval-Leaved Blueberries (Vaccinium ovalifolium)

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   From the Flower Lake Loop Trail I headed back to the parking lot and went to Ambleside Beach Park in West Vancouver to photograph the Lions Gate Bridge.

For more images from this part of British Columbia please visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains Gallery.

Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum)

Organic Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia

blueberries

Ripe Highbush Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) in the Fraser Valley of BC

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   These are some Highbush Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) I photographed back in August of 2011. I didn’t get the final editing done until now – but I wish I had processed these when I could actually eat some. Viewing these gave me a craving for some fresh Blueberries! Unfortunate that I will have to wait until around August before I can have some fresh ones again!

   A few more photos of these can be found in my image archive.