The Moon rises over downtown Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge – from Ambleside Beach Park in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Full Moon over Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge (Purchase)
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When I photograph a location in the evening I sometimes will look up where the sun is going down, and where the moon may be rising (or its general location). As I had no plans to photograph in the evening on this day, and instead to photograph and hike in Seymour Provincial Park – I skipped that part of my usual preparation. Naturally I found myself at Ambleside Beach in North Vancouver photographing the Lions Gate Bridge and surrounding areas at sunset. During blue hour the moon was very bright in the sky. After a few compositions trying to ignore it I found the reflections without a known source looked rather odd. This composition included the moon so the reflection on the water made some sense.
For more of my photography of West Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge visit my West Vancouver Gallery.
The Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, and downtown Vancouver from Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, and Downtown Vancouver from Ambleside Park (Purchase)
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After a bit of hiking last week around Mount Seymour, I headed to Ambleside Park in West Vancouver to see if that location would offer a favourable view of Stanley Park, downtown Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge. I have photographed the Lions Gate from Brockton Point and Prospect Points in Stanley Park before, and wanted a new view of the Bridge. As it turns out, I think Ambleside Park actually offers a better view of the bridge than from most of Stanley Park. Clear and unobstructed, and during dusk at least – with a nicer background that is more evenly lit. The only issues I had last week at Ambleside were the giant tankers coming into the port occasionally and the nearly full (and not super) moon just above the bridge.
I always find it difficult to narrow down a years worth of photographs into one list of the “best”. It is a good exercise, however, to really sit down and go through your work and determine what images best fit your current vision for your photography. I did this back in 2010 and 2011 as a part of Jim Goldstein’s project and I am please to enter my images again for this years version.
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.
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.
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.
Not entirely happy with the traffic shot on the Lions Gate Bridge. Version I did many years ago (on film no less) had a much nicer outcome (especially when printed). There was just very little traffic after midnight. I guess in order to get a lot of traffic you’d have to be there earlier in the evening, and in order for it to be dark then, it would have to be winter. So in short, good Lions Gate Bridge shots = freezing your face off.