A West Coast Air Twin Otter (De Havilland Canada DHC-6-100 Twin Otter C-FGQH) at the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (CXH).
West Coast Air Twin Otter at Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (Purchase)
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The float plane in the foreground is a De Havilland Canada DHC-6-100 Twin Otter (C-FGQH) built in 1968 which had its first flight on February 23, 1968. Currently the Twin Otter flies for West Coast Air (now part of Harbour Air Seaplanes) and carries 18 passengers. Behind the seaplane docked at Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre (formerly Vancouver Harbour Water Airport) is North Vancouver and the Northshore Mountains (a subset of the Pacific Ranges). I photographed this scene from the Vancouver Trade and Convention Center (Vancouver Convention Center West Building) in downtown Vancouver.
North Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains – photographed from Stanley Park (best viewed large)
City of North Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains
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I made this photograph of City of North Vancouver below the North Shore Mountains (The Coast Range) back in 2013 from Stanley Park seawall near the Brockton Point Lighthouse. Earlier in the evening I had photographed another version of North Vancouver that I have shared here previously. That photograph has turned out to be relatively popular so I thought I would share its panoramic cousin. Some day the North Shore Mountains will again have a lot of snow on them so I can make a number of photographs of the city with a snowy backdrop – I am looking forward to that.
The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge in Lynn Canyon Park, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
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The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge at Lynn Canyon Park in North Vancouver is always best photographed on gloomy days. There are fewer reflections off of the trees and the metal floor of the bridge. Each time I visit this bridge I am reminded how much more satisfying the experience here is compared to the more famous, larger, Capilano Suspension Bridge. The bridge in Lynn Canyon is not only free, it offers a much more scenic and natural location and without any of the “tourist trap” feel of the Capilano Bridge. On my trip here last fall I did some hiking and also photographed Twin Falls which is just downstream. If you visit I highly recommend you head down the stairs, stairs and more stairs to the falls, though I be aware it is probably full of fence hopping swimmers in the summer months.
While I am usually looking at downtown Vancouver when I photograph in this part of Stanley Park, I usually point my camera towards North Vancouver as well. On this evening in April there was still some snow on the North Shore Mountains, which made for a great backdrop to North Vancouver’s lights in the early evening. Crown Mountains is the peak in the background above the lights of North Vancouver.
Late last week I had some good weather so I visited 3 parks in Metro Vancouver. Queen Elizabeth Park, Stanley Park, and Lynn Canyon Park. Queen Elizabeth Park had some great fall colour in the Japanese Maples and Magnolia Trees, Stanley Park had not much at all, and Lynn Canyon had almost zero fall colours. This was not a problem, as one of my main goals there was to photograph Twin Falls on Lynn Creek.
I made two mistakes in heading from Stanley Park to Lynn Canyon. First, my mental note of “its only a 15 minute drive” was a sufficient provocation to Murphy’s Law that I ended up suffering considerably in the eventual 80 minute nightmare traffic jam hell I encountered in North Vancouver. The best part was the large speed bumps every hundred feet for the last mile of the roadway. I only point this out because I learned that if you visit Lynn Canyon, parking in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve side makes for a much longer trek to the suspension bridge and Twin Falls. The last time I was there, I don’t believe the Lynn Canyon Ecology Center existed, and parking there is a much easier. I don’t mind a good hike, but my knees would prefer I avoid going up, down, back up, and down again on 200 feet of stairs. Then having to rush back through that all again to get my car out of a parking lot that closes at 7. Live and learn!
As there are many fools who like to jump into the canyon and drown, there are fences all around Lynn Creek. Easy to jump over, but hard to photograph near. The above view of Twin Falls was not easy to photograph. I had to hang my camera on the top of a chain link fence, with only one tripod leg able to reach the top of the rock I was standing on. This made for some rather precarious shooting, but using Live View I was able to wait the 5-6 seconds it took to make my camera still before using my remote to trip the shutter. I made a few extra exposures just to make sure that I didn’t jostle the fence or my camera during the 8 second shutter speed.
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 (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.
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) – 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.
I have always liked the view of the North Vancouver Sulphur Works from Stanley Park – especially at night. Always reminds me of a roller coaster that just dumps passengers into Burrard Inlet. I have an earlier panorama from this location in Stanley Park but it is not nearly as clear – owing to my old shaky tripod and lack of techniques such as a shutter release and mirror lockup.