Okanagan Beaches – Otter Bay Beach in Vernon

Otter Bay Beach on the shores of Okanagan Lake at Ellison Provincial Park in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

otter bay beach on the shores of okanagan lake at ellison provincial park in vernon, british columbia

Otter Bay Beach on Okanagan Lake

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   As I pointed out in my previous Okanagan beach post, I am not much of a beach goer. However, last year while at Ellison Provincial Park I photographed Otter Bay Beach during a sunny spring day. On my trip this year I went back to this location, but the conditions were not quite right for photography, unfortunately. I will probably be back to try again this fall or in spring 2014.

otter bay beach on okanagan lake at ellison provincial park in vernon, british columbia

Otter Bay Beach on the shore of Okanagan Lake

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   View more of my photos from the Thompson Okanagan.

Sunset from Biggs Park / Jack Point

Sunset over Nanaimo harbour and the Coast Mountain Range from Biggs Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

sunset over the coast mountain range and nanaimo harbour from biggs park at duke point in nanaimo british columbia

Sunset at Nanaimo’s Duke Point (Purchase)

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   I enjoyed the scenery and photographic possibilites at Biggs Park near Nanaimo so much that I shot there on back to back evenings. I remain a bit confused as to what to call the area. The very tip of the peninsula is “Jack Point”, the park is called “Biggs Park”, but the BC Ferries terminal that it is adjacent to is “Duke Point”. Regardless of what the area is called, I enjoyed the sunset I was able to witness – and the sandstone formations (tafoni) always make for interesting foregrounds.

   I also was reminded of what I thought was an already learned lesson in that walking back to the car along a trail in the dark is best done with a flashlight! 🙂

Eureka Falls and Silverhope Creek

New photograph from Eureka Falls and Silverhope Creek in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia, Canada.

eureka falls and silverhope creek in the skagit valley near hope british columbia

Eureka Falls and Silverhope Creek in the Skagit Valley near Hope (Purchase)

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   Last week I traveled to the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia, specifically the Vernon and Kelowna areas. I photographed a few waterfalls on my trip to the Okanagan, but the first one I want to share is actually much closer to home. On my way back I stopped at Eureka Falls near Hope, BC. Often this falls has low water levels (or is completely dry) but I think the conditions were just about right last week. I finally was able to make some wide angle shots of this falls without much foliage in the way. Silverhope Creek is in the foreground, and was flowing rather quickly so I did not get too close to it.

   You can find more of my photos of Eureka Falls and Silver Lake Provincial Park, in the Silver Lake Provincial Park gallery on my website.

Mount Cheam Panorama

Panorama of Mount Cheam in the evening from Agassiz, British Columbia, Canada.

panorama of mount cheam during blue your from agassiz british columbia canada

Panorama of Mount Cheam in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia (Purchase)

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This is a panorama of Mount Cheam, a familiar sight to anyone living or often traveling through the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. I made this photo by the banks of the Fraser River in Agassiz just after sunset in January. The time right after sunset is often referred to as “Blue hour” and you can see why. I often like to photograph buildings in downtown Vancouver at this time as you can still see the outlines of the buildings against the sky (unlike when the sky is darker). I find this is also a great time to photograph mountains – so it is worth hanging around after any potential sunset light or alpenglow has faded. Always wait until the light is completely gone!

License Plates in Vancouver

a collection of license plates outside a store at chinatown in vancouver - british columbia - canada

License Plates

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And now for something completely different…

   This is certainly not my usual photographic subject – but getting outside of your comfort zone is often a good thing. This wall of license plates was in Vancouver’s Chinatown on the wall outside of a store. Funny that in Vancouver there would only be one Canadian plate here, most of the rest are from American States. Perhaps it appeals to the tourists from the US more that way, not sure. Maybe the Canadian plates are comparatively boring? I posted this photo earlier on Google Plus and one suggestion was that people collecting something like this would find more interest in plates from far away. The plates found locally and in surrounding jurisdictions are comparatively boring because they are often seen. Thats as good an explanation as any!

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!

Great Blue Heron at Pitt Lake

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at the marshes near Pitt Lake in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia

great blue heron in the marshes near pitt lake

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

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   A few weeks ago I visited the Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area near Pitt Lake. Shot a lot of landscapes, but this area is always a good place to spot a lot of birds and general wildlife. I walked along the dike for a while, then down into the marsh along a trail. What I should have done was look at the marsh before I came down off the dike into it – as there was a Great Blue Heron standing about 5 feet in front of me looking a bit startled. He took off immediately and landed at a distance just near enough for me to see him and just far enough away that my longest lens wasn’t quite going to cut it.

   I must not have looked like too much of a threat because once I got the wide angle lens back on and started shooting the landscape he flew close again. Not as close as our original encounter but close enough for me to be happy with the photographic opportunity. Was hoping for some hunting shots like I had at Stanley Park recently but today this one seemed much more intent on cleaning and preening itself.

Eureka Falls in Detail

eureka falls in spring
Eureka Falls
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   This is a close up shot of Eureka Falls just outside Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, BC. A bit wider take on the panorama I posted earlier. These falls are pretty easy to get to – they are right on the side of the road. Unfortunately, (as you can see in my shots of this area last year) Silverhope Creek runs between the road and Eureka Falls. At this time of year the river is really roaring (or I presume, as I’ve not seen it any other time of year) and I have not been willing to go down the bank near it. The river is running fast enough, and the rocks large enough, that being swept away would mean I would not be coming back to this spot. I do hope to return later in the Summer or maybe Fall to see if the water levels are lower and the bank more accessible so I can get some different angles on the falls themselves. I am also hoping that Eureka Falls is not a seasonal waterfall and actually exists with lower water levels.