Posts Tagged ‘pitt marsh’

Pitt Marsh Sunset Redux

Sunset at the Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area on the shore of the Pitt River in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada

sunset at the pitt river marsh

Sunset at the Pitt River (Purchase)

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   I am always learning new techniques in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop, and often a consequence of this is the desire to revisit older photographs and reprocess them. A lot of my older photos were processed using methods that were time consuming and sometimes not that effective. Finally learning to use masks was a gamechanger, for example. There are a lot of these photos where I am happy with the processing, but others that I have started to revisit in order to process them with my current vision of how they should appear. Thankfully my new methods are a lot faster, and the occasional revisit to an older photograph doesn’t take me nearly the time it used to.

   This photograph is a good example of one where I wasn’t happy with the initial processing. I like this photo – but the initial version has a foreground that was too dark, the colours were slightly reddish, and there were a few other brightness issues I wanted to fix. I think this processing balances the colours much more faithfully to the original scene as I remember it, and deals with the darker foreground. You can read a bit more about the things I learned while actually photographing this scene in the original post.

Reflection of Mount Blandshard

mount blandshard - the golden ears - reflected in a pond at the pitt-addington marsh in pitt meadows
Mount Blandshard
(The Golden Ears)
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   The mountain peak here is Mount Blandshard (1 716 m or 5 630 ft) and it is always nice to see it reflected in the ponds of the Pitt Marsh in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. Mount Blandshard is known locally as “The Golden Ears” and is probably one of my favourite local mountains as I was able to see it out my bedroom window when I was a kid. Looking at Mt. Blandshard from the south the mountain has two peaks which sort of resemble pointy ears. However, it seems the name is more likely a corruption of the mountains original name The Golden Eyries.

   This was a cold day, and you can see a bit of ice in the water of the pond messing with the reflection just a little bit. The last time I was making photographs here I managed to catch some epic sunset light. On this day I was actually a bit surprised that I did not find snow at ground level – so, as usual, the planned shots went out the window. This location is only 30 minutes or so (plus a toll bridge 🙁 ) from my house, so I will be visiting it again – I have quite a few ideas I’ve never found the right conditions for that I am itching to finish.

   My next post will likely be another photograph I made at this location on the same day – but of the same view as my previous “epic sunset” photo. A change in seasons creates a very different photograph!

Mosquitopalooza at the Pitt River

sunset at the pitt river/addington marsh
Pitt River Sunset
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   Even though it is nearing the end of July, Summer has not yet reached Southwestern British Columbia. Normally we have had a warmer July than this, and we are just starting at least about 3 weeks with no rain and warm temperatures. Not this year. As I generally do not like hot weather anyway, I have not been too disappointed with this. No sunburns, no “heat domes”, no drought. The other side of this coin is we had a much cooler, wetter spring/early summer than usual. While that is nice weather for being outside a lot of the time, it can also mean mosquitoes.

   I have never purchased bug spray. I used it once, but it gave me a rash so I’ve just put it out of my mind for the last few years. With the exception of one evening up at Artist Point near Mount Baker, I have had very few run ins with mosquitoes. At worst an evening in the bush or near a lake meant a bite or two at the very worst. Returning last week to the Pitt-Addington Marsh I was in for a very different experience. Luckily, the light ultimately did turn some of the clouds a nice pink color, so I got the sort of shot I was looking for. What I was not looking for were the 45 mosquito bites I suffered while making this and other photographs of the area. The back of my neck was like bubble wrap the next morning, but the majority of the bites were actually through my shirt on my back. I will be buying bug spray soon!

   I have learned from previous experience that “stay until all the light is gone” is wise advice. I made this photograph after I had completely packed up my equipment having had decent but not awesome colour in the sky. I stayed in the location though, and the image above shows what ultimately showed up in the sky. I quickly setup my tripod again, got out the GND filters, and tried to take advantage of this light. From start to finish I had 4.5 minutes before it was completely gone, for good this time.

I made this image with my Canon 7D, EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens, B+W Polarizing filter, and my Sing-Ray 2-stop graduated neutral density filter.

Great Blue Heron at Pitt Lake

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at the marshes near Pitt Lake in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia

great blue heron in the marshes near pitt lake

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

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   A few weeks ago I visited the Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area near Pitt Lake. Shot a lot of landscapes, but this area is always a good place to spot a lot of birds and general wildlife. I walked along the dike for a while, then down into the marsh along a trail. What I should have done was look at the marsh before I came down off the dike into it – as there was a Great Blue Heron standing about 5 feet in front of me looking a bit startled. He took off immediately and landed at a distance just near enough for me to see him and just far enough away that my longest lens wasn’t quite going to cut it.

   I must not have looked like too much of a threat because once I got the wide angle lens back on and started shooting the landscape he flew close again. Not as close as our original encounter but close enough for me to be happy with the photographic opportunity. Was hoping for some hunting shots like I had at Stanley Park recently but today this one seemed much more intent on cleaning and preening itself.

Pitt Marsh Sunset

sundown at pit-addington marsh wildlife management area near pitt lake
Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area
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   This photo was taken 2 days ago just outside the gates to Grant Narrows Regional Park. Well, it used to be a regional park, it is now in limbo and under the jurisdiction of the Province. I suppose the overall area can be labelled the Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area for now.

   I have long had my eye on this area because it is so close to where I live and seems capable of great scenery at sunset. I’ve never quite managed to be there at these times though, the area loves to gather the first clouds coming into the Lower Mainland around Vancouver. I still have a lot of shots developing in my head that I wish to take in the future – but new ones always come to mind as soon as I am there and in conditions I hadn’t planned for! Each time I am there, regardless of weather conditions I am always rewarded with either great scenery or a lot of wildlife, mostly waterfowl.

   This scene is not really a “sunset” as the sunset was actually somewhat to my back as I took this – but I like how the clouds opened up and let in some colour over the mountains (probably the area around Raven Peak). I will have more images from this location posted soon.