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A few Random Photos from Stanley Park in Vancouver

Fall foliage colors on Maple trees along the Stanley Park Seawall at the west end of Coal Harbour.

fall leaves on the stanley park seawall coal harbour vancouver

Fall Foliage along the Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver (Purchase)

Last Fall I made several trips into Burnaby and Vancouver to photograph various areas – and twice I wound up at Vancouver’s Stanley Park as my late afternoon/evening destination. Fall foliage in 2020 was hit and miss, and in some areas just plain bad. In this part of Vancouver, however, it was pretty decent in many places. Stanley Park is always a good spot to look for fall foliage, and even if there isn’t any, I never dislike an evening spent there. Even in the rain! After a walk around Lost Lagoon and a few other park areas, I headed further towards downtown to Devonian Harbour Park and made this photograph of a few people walking along the Seawall with some good fall leaves as a backdrop. This location is next to the Vancouver Rowing Club building at the west end of Coal Harbour.

lights on canada place in vancouver

Colourful lights on the sails of Canada Place (Purchase)

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I have photographed Canada Place many times, but not always at a higher resolution, so I made the above photograph and a few others to change that. Zoomed in at 100% you can’t tell the title of a book someone on one of the benches is reading, but you can tell what colour the cover is! I was going to make some panoramas including Canada Place and the Trade and Convention Centre next door, but the pandemic thwarted those plans. Not only are there not conventions going on at the moment, but some floors of the newer Convention Centre space are still reserved for a makeshift hospital should the pandemic overwhelm local hospitals (which has not happened, luckily). As a consequence all the lights on many of its floors are off. It just doesn’t look great in the evening with the lights off, so I skipped it entirely. Canada Place is my favourite anyway, and I like this colour scheme of lights on the “sails”. Sometimes I don’t like the colours used here, and really do prefer the light projections they had back in 2012. Not sure how often these are changed, but I liked the 2020 version.

Lost Lagoon

sunset light trees along shoreline lost lagoon

Evening light on trees along the shore of Lost Lagoon at Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Purchase)

I have visited Lost Lagoon many times in Stanley Park, but had never walked all the way around it. I fixed that in October and walked the entire loop. There was not much left in the way of fall leaves, but I did like the scene above in the way that the light lit up the edges of the trees (mostly Red Alder, here) even without their leaves. I didn’t photograph the waterfowl around the lagoon much at all, as I knew I had a lot of those kinds of photographs from my earlier trips to Burnaby Lake Regional Park. I did photograph the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) below on the walk though. This one seemed to be having a bit of a dispute with the passing Wood Ducks who swam really close on their way by. This Heron was opening up its beak and making a lot of squawking noises to tell them to keep their distance (I presume). Songbirds they are not!

great blue heron at lost lagoon at stanley park in vancouver

A Mildly Irked Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at Lost Lagoon at Stanley Park (Purchase)

Brockton Point Lighthouse

sunset lights up sky behind the brockton point lighthouse

Sunset Lights Up The Sky Behind the Brockton Point Lighthouse (Purchase)

I enjoy sunset light and while I don’t often sit around and wait for it, I am always happy to use it when available. When I stopped at Brockton Point in Stanley Park to photograph the Brockton Point Lighthouse and various subjects in North Vancouver, I got lucky with some high cloud that turned a nice pink colour. The Brockton Point Lighthouse was built in 1914 and sits along the northeast part of the Stanley Park seawall. The area gives nice views of Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver, the Lions Gate Bridge, as well as downtown and the Port of Vancouver. A bit later in the evening I made this panorama of the view of North Vancouver with Mount Seymour behind it. There are a lot of new towers and construction since I last photographed North Van from across the inlet, but the shipping traffic is omnipresent. While I’d prefer they weren’t in the photograph, I included the large bulk carrier Federal Illinois on the right as that kind of ship is a very frequent presence on the water there. I plan on making this photograph again when I am able to get back to Stanley Park while there is some snow on the mountains.

north vancouver and mount seymour from brockton point in stanley park

North Vancouver and Mount Seymour from Brockton Point in Stanley Park (Purchase)

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Lumberman’s Arch

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Lumberman’s Arch and a path through a double row of London Plane Trees (Platanus x acerifolia) (Purchase)

Originally this area was a village site called Xwáýxway before the Federal Government “claimed it” as their own. The Lumberman’s Arch above was erected in 1952, replacing an older arch called the Bowie Arch which was dismantled in 1947. The gravel path in this photograph winds south through the Lumberman’s Arch picnic area, past the Aquarium (behind the green fence on the left) to the Japanese Canadian War Memorial and beyond. The trees lining this path are called London Plane Trees (Platanus x acerifolia) and this appears to be the only spot they are planted in Stanley Park.

When I was in this same area a week later I photographed the Lions Gate Bridge from the Stanley Park Seawall. I’ve always liked this bridge at night with the reflection off the water of Burrard Inlet and the lights of West Vancouver beyond. This is a scene that I often shoot as a panorama as it fits the shape of the bridge well, and it eliminates a distracting, lighter coloured sky above that can happen during sunsets. There is no sky in the photograph below. The Lions Gate Bridge was opened in 1938 and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2005. The official name of the bridge is actually the First Narrow Bridge, though I rarely hear it actually called that.

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Lights illuminate the Lions Gate Bridge and the waters of Burrard Inlet at night (Purchase)

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Painter’s Circle

fall foliage and benches at painters circle in stanley park

Fall Foliage at Painter’s Circle in Stanley Park (Purchase)

Painter’s Circle is one of the areas in Stanley Park where artists (but not photographers) can sell their work with a permit. I liked these 3 park benches in Painter’s Circle lined up with the fall leaves behind them and made this photograph. I am not sure what species of trees these are, and normally that would really bother me but since so many different, non-native species are planted in Stanley Park this isn’t unusual. In some cases I can find mention of them such as the London Plane trees near the Lumbermans’ Arch above, but this is a bit more of an obscure location. These look to be much younger trees and perhaps do not have as well a documented history. I should have tried the app Seek by iNaturalist on them but I didn’t remember to do so at the time. Sometimes I’ll take a closeup of leaves on a plant I can’t identify and that app will ID right off the computer screen too. Even if it doesn’t know the species it quite often points me in the right direction. Really useful app!

More photos from Stanley Park can be found in my Stanley Park Gallery.

Moon over the Lions Gate Bridge

The Moon rises over downtown Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge – from Ambleside Beach Park in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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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.

Lions Gate Bridge from Ambleside Park

The Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, and downtown Vancouver from Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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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.

You can find more photographs of bridges in my Bridges Gallery.

My Top 10 Photos of 2012

   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.

   All of these photographs are available as Fine Art Prints.

   So in no particular order these are the “top” (probably better termed as favourite) photos I have made in 2012.

kalamalka lake provincial park panorama
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Spring Panorama

(Coldstream, British Columbia)

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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.

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.

Vancouver Pt. 2!

A few more from downtown Vancouver at night.

deadman island in coal harbour vancouver vancouver new convention center

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.

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A Brief Tour of Stanley Park

Wandered around Stanley Park in Vancouver a little a few weeks ago. The bright sunny morning turned out to be a bit of a challenge… but some turned out:

harryjeromestatue

brocktonpoint seawall1 brocktonpoint brocktonpoint brocktonpoint

And yes, I was “attacked” shortly after…

canadageese canadageese canadageese

coalharbour harryjeromestatue

They are going to cut this down as its a safety hazard now. Apparently they don’t want someone to get it across the head. Attractive blue fence ain’t it?

hollowtree

horsetour

I love this bridge:

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ionsgatebridgeseaplane lionsgatebridgeandgrouse lumbermansarch overhang seawall

Big storm a few winters ago just completely decimated this part of the park. Before there was no way you’d see the ocean from here…

stormdamag stormdamag