Kalamalka Lake Panorama

View of Cosens Bay from Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park near Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

panorama view of cosens bay from kalamalka lake provincial park in vernon british columbia canada

Cosens Bay from Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park

-click to enlarge-

   During my recent trip to the North Okanagan region of British Columbia I spent some time in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park. Of all the parks and areas I visited, I think this is my favourite view of Kalamalka Lake – a view looking down on Cosens Bay. The flowers in the foreground are Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) and I found them in full bloom which was fortuitous timing to say the least.

   What was perhaps not as lucky timing was what happened next. I walked a bit further up Cosens Bay Road and then jumped on a few rocks out into the grassy meadow for a better vantage point on some Balsamroot plants that looked promising. I try not to walk on vegetation if at all possible so rock hopping is a good opportunity to avoid this. I was about 10 feet into the field, standing on a rock, finishing up a photograph when I heard a distinctive rattling sound – but only twice. This made me uncomfortable to say the least – there are Western Rattlesnakes in the park and I’d just read a sign on the way in about them. They say on the sign that when you hear this sound you should identify where the snake is, then walk far around it. Great advice IF you can find its location! I could not – and it wasn’t rattling anymore so determining the source was not exactly going to be easy. Unable to find it I extended the legs of my tripod to their fullest extent and swept the grass as far ahead of me like I was looking for mines – and made my way back to the road. This was uneventful. I’ve read that people find unexploded WWII ordinates in the park too, so mine sweeping might not have been that far from the truth. The Cosens Bay area was a WWII mortar practice range. Every 10 years or so someone finds an unexploded mortar which has to be disposed of!

Downtown Vancouver During Blue Hour

downtown vancouver at dusk panorama  from stanley park

Downtown Vancouver Panorama photographed during Blue Hour

-click to enlarge-

   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!