Posts Tagged ‘capilano river’

Capilano River Regional Park – Second Canyon Trail

Second Canyon Trail winds through the temperate rainforest at Capilano River Regional Park in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

second canyon trail in capilano canyon - capilano river regional park

Second Canyon Trail in Capilano River Regional Park (Purchase)

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   The lower part of Capilano River Regional Park is one of those spots that many tourists likely miss on the way to see the Capilano Reservoir and Cleveland Dam. Below Cleveland Dam you’ll find the Capilano River Hatchery and Capilano River Regional Park – but the left turn into the park is easy to miss (and I have, many times). I’d been to the hatchery before, and photographed Herons foraging along the river and a few other things, but I had never really hiked many of the trail network in the park. In May I visited this park again hoping to get a better idea of the trails in the area and what views they may offer. The image above is from the Second Canyon Trail as it nears a viewpoint where you can see a waterfall, the Capilano River, and the Cleveland Dam from a much different perspective than most are used to from the top of the dam.

waterfall flowing into capilano river in capilano river regional park

Waterfall in Capilano Canyon (Purchase)

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   The viewpoint at the terminus of the Second Canyon Trail is also a good spot to look at a beautiful waterfall flowing into the Capilano River. I am not sure of the origin of the water in these falls (or the name, if it has one). It may be related to the Metro Vancouver water supply, of which Capilano Reservoir provides 40%, or perhaps to do with the hatchery. Natural or not, it provides a relaxing scene from the viewpoint platform.

waterfall flowing into capilano river in capilano river regional park

Waterfall in Capilano Canyon (Purchase)

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   A more impressive waterfall is formed below the spillway at the base of Cleveland Dam. While this is basically a waterfall at the bottom of a concrete chute, I tried to make this view look as natural as possible. Capilano Canyon is quite narrow from the perspective of the viewing area, so a wide angle view of the “waterfall” is not possible from this perspective. During much of the year a large volume of water flows down the spillway, and this waterfall doesn’t even likely exist – lost in sheer volume of water coming over the dam.

door to nowhere in capilano canyon

Door to Nowhere in Capilano Canyon (Purchase)

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   One interesting item of note in the canyon is the existence of this “door to nowhere” over looking Ring Bolt Pool and the base of Cleveland Dam. This door protects the end of a tunnel built during the construction of Cleveland Dam in the 1950’s. Originally there was a ladder from the base of the canyon up to this door to allow access for workers. Now it is an area where the dam and canyon can be visually inspected as required.

   I’ll have more photographs from Capilano Canyon soon. I had planned on seeing much more of the park when I was there, but photographing all the subjects I encountered took more time than I’d anticipated – which is not a bad thing at all. A relatively small area that can keep me photographing for 3-4 hours is a spot to revisit!

For more photographs of Capilano Regional Park and the surrounding area visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains Gallery.

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) hunts along the shores of the Capilano River in North Vancouver, British Columbia

great blue heron - ardea herodias - at the capilano river

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at the Capilano River (Purchase)

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   Late last year I published a post on this blog called “Creating Drama with Shutter Speed“. While at the Capilano River in North Vancouver, British Columbia I had made a few photographs of a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). By utilizing different shutter speeds I found that (in this case) a shutter speed of 0.6 seconds brought a lot of drama to the scene by blurring the river in the background.

   This photo is another photo I made that day of the same Heron, again with a slower than normal shutter speed ( 1/6th of a second in this case). While I think my favourite of the day is the slow shutter speed Heron photo from that other post, this one comes in a close second for me.

My 10 Best Photos of 2011

reflection of mount shuksan in the silhouette of picture lake
Mount Shuksan Alpenglow

   It is always tough to narrow down a years worth of images into a list of the “best”. I did this last year and I think it is a valuable exercise. Jim Goldstein of JMG Galleries creates a list of everyone’s top 10 images each year. I made my first top 10 last year. This years list has fewer landscape and more wildlife photos. This is partly due to my not getting out to shoot as many landscapes as last year, and partly due to my backlog in image editing.

   You can click on each of the following images to go to the blog post that may tell a bit more about the location and how I made the photograph.

In no particular order my “Best of 2011″…

(more…)

The Capilano River

photo of the capilano river in north vancouver
The Capilano River
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   I made this photograph back in October at the Capilano River in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I like how the water flows slowly around these rocks while the river rushes by in the foreground. You may remember one of the earlier photos of a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) that I posted from this location a few weeks ago. The Heron photo showed how a small tweak in shutter speed can make a huge difference in the photographic result. In this case, a shutter speed of 1/3 of a second gave me just the amount of water blur that I was looking for. Enough to show the water “in motion” but not so much as to blur it to the point of abstraction.

   With my 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM lens I was able to isolate this part of the river for the photograph. Another example of why I often use long lenses for landscape photography!

Creating Drama With Shutter Speed

great blue heron - ardea herodias - at the capilano river

Great Blue Heron
(Ardea herodias) – 1/125 seconds

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   In October I visited the banks of the Capilano River in North Vancouver in search of some fall colours. I didn’t find much there, but the canyon is always so beautiful that I knew a photo opportunity would be likely regardless of the state of the leaf colours. Lucky for me, this Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) was lounging near the bank and posed for some photographs.

   Often when I shoot wildlife with my 70-200mm f/4 L IS lens, I switch to AV mode and f/4 so that I am always getting the fastest shutter speed possible. I do not know what I am going to encounter a lot of the time, and this gives me a good chance of being able to catch whatever action I may happen upon. On this day I had upped the ISO to 640, so that I had a bit of extra shutter speed available (1/125 sec) for this photo. Thankfully the 7D does great with much higher ISOs than this – so there is some room available for dealing with low light. When I came upon this Heron, I was able to make this photo quite easily with these settings.

great blue heron - ardea herodias - at the capilano river

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) – 0.6 seconds(Purchase)

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   While I like the above shot I thought there might be an opportunity to make a better photo. Having tried a number of ideas with a faster shutter speed, I decided to try a slower one to see what I could do with the water in the background. I changed my aperture to f/18, and lowered my ISO to 100 in order to create the longer shutter speed. Using a tripod, I made the photograph on the left with a shutter speed of 0.6 seconds.

   I believe that the blur in the river created by the slower shutter speed makes the second photo here much more dramatic and interesting than the first. The Heron doesn’t really change between them, the rocks remain the same, but the longer shutter speed creates a great effect in the river. While I do this quite often with static landscape subjects, this is one of the first times I have tried this with a wildlife photo. Granted, the Heron made a great subject for this attempt, but this really shows how varying shutter speed can have dramatic impact on the photographic result.