Having just written a post about great fall colour at Whatcom Falls, here is one trip where colour was a bit more of a challenge to find. Fall is one of my favourite times to photograph but finding good fall colour in the Fraser Valley can be difficult depending on the year. In the fall of 2015 colour was hard to find, as it was when these photographs were made – back in 2011. However, as I’ve probably said here before in terms of fall colours (and wildflowers) you often just need one to make a scene work. These photographs show just one Vine Maple (Acer circinatum along Silverhope Creek in Hope, BC. This is one of several good spots for photography along Silverhope Creek on the way to Silver Lake Provincial Park.
A frozen Eureka Falls “flows” into Silverhope Creek near Hope, British Columbia, Canada
Eureka Falls frozen in a recent cold snap (Purchase)
-click to enlarge-
I visit Eureka Falls several times a year on my way to Silver Lake Provincial Park near Hope, British Columbia. This was the first time I had been there in winter, however, and the place looked much different than I am used to. Normally I visit Eureka Falls in early spring when the water levels are higher and of course the foliage is green. The ice on the waterfall was quite thick, but you could still see water flowing underneath the ice. The lower water levels on Silverhope creek at this time of year also allowed me to try some new angles and get closer to the water than I normally am able. Now that I have some more appropriate cold weather clothing I have many locations I want to photograph this winter now that hypothermia is less of an issue! Now all we need is to get some actual snow…
New photograph from Eureka Falls and Silverhope Creek in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia, Canada.
Eureka Falls and Silverhope Creek in the Skagit Valley near Hope (Purchase)
-click to enlarge-
Last week I traveled to the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia, specifically the Vernon and Kelowna areas. I photographed a few waterfalls on my trip to the Okanagan, but the first one I want to share is actually much closer to home. On my way back I stopped at Eureka Falls near Hope, BC. Often this falls has low water levels (or is completely dry) but I think the conditions were just about right last week. I finally was able to make some wide angle shots of this falls without much foliage in the way. Silverhope Creek is in the foreground, and was flowing rather quickly so I did not get too close to it.
You can find more of my photos of Eureka Falls and Silver Lake Provincial Park, in the Silver Lake Provincial Park gallery on my website.
Vine Maples (Acer circinatum) & Silverhope Creek -click to enlarge-
Silverhope Creek (in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia) is one of my favourite spots to photograph fast water and foliage in the Fraser Valley. I have not spent enough time exploring upper parts of the Chillwack River though, and that area also looks pretty promising too. This creek runs along the road to Silver Lake Provincial Park. The creek itself offers many photography opportunities though the area around the lake itself is also quite nice. I really like this scene with the fresh leaves of Vine Maples (Acer circinatum) and the Western Red Cedars (Thuja plicata) growing just above the fast flowing water. I plan to head out to Silverhope Creek again this Spring. I have a few ideas on better compositions than I managed last year. I also hope to be there when the wind isn’t blowing the leaves around so much! I tried many exposures before this one had the leaves at least somewhat well behaved. Next time I will try a few exposures where I leave the shutter open for a long period of time to show the trees moving as well.
Last year the Fraser Valley had some pretty bad Fall color. The Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) that dominate the color around here pretty much went from green to a bit of yellow with a lot of brown – not very photographically appealing. Last week I ventured out into the valley and found some great fall colors, though I need to scout some locations a bit better for next year so I spend more time photographing and less time searching.
This is a photograph I made last week of Silverhope creek which lies just outside the border of Silver Lake Provincial Park in the Skagit Valley near Hope, British Columbia. There was not a lot of Fall colors in this particular spot, though I do like this shot. This area is a great one for photos of the creek with lots of moss covered rocks – and most of it is near the road for easy access.
Last May I traveled back from Kelowna through Manning Provincial Park. In Manning I was driving mostly through a rainstorm but it cleared just as I came down the mountains into Hope, BC. I decided to check out Silver Lake Provincial Park and shot some really nice post storm photos of Silver Lake itself. I spent much more time photographing Silver Creek though. Last winter did not produce much of a snow pack (remember the Olympics having troubles with snow on Cypress Mountain?) but 2011 has been very different. Consequently there is much more water in the creek this year – which I should probably have expected ahead of time considering how much snow still shows in the mountains.
Last night I ventured out into this area again – this “panorama” of Eureka Falls is so far my favourite of the bunch, though my judgement is always questionable this soon after a shot is taken.
When I first started getting serious with a “real” film camera I had a 28-90mm kit lens. Eventually I wished to move on from just taking random snapshots and actually gain more skills and take better photos. I read a bit on the internet about lenses and bought a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4. The “nifty fifty”. It was at this point that I realized the difference lens quality can make. I couldn’t believe how sharp and clear the shots with the 50mm were.
A few years after buying the 50mm I upgraded to a DSLR – A Canon 30D. Wow not only could I take 100’s of shots at one time, I was not paying for film and developing so I could actually afford to experiment and try new things. The 28-90mm kit lens was a bit better on the DSLR (cropped out some of the edge anomalies) but still had nothing on the 50mm. On the APS-C sensor of the 30D (1.6x) the 50mm was more like an 80mm lens. I really wanted to go wider so that I could get more into a shot. I saved up and bought a Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5. Good quality and really wide compared to the 50mm. I shot with the 10-22mm and the 50mm (the kit lens now relegated to a drawer for bad behaviour) for quite a while. I wanted to determine what I was missing the most before I went in that direction with a new lens.
Alpenglow on Nodoubt Peak in North Cascades National Park
A year or so after I bought the 10-22mm I filled in the gap between my lenses with the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. At that point I had opted for crop sensors over full frame (largely due to price of both long lenses and the FF cameras) so the 17-40mm was not on my list. From there I went to a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM to get a bit more reach for wildlife. What I had not really anticipated is that I would be using this lens so often for landscapes.
Abstract Chilliwack River
Often as a beginning photographer I read about wide angle lenses as the be all and end all of landscape photography. Walking in to a camera shop and being asked what I like to shoot – the answer of landscapes would push wide angle lenses in my direction. I was rather surprised to learn what I had been missing in a longer telephoto lens for landscapes. In some scenes I have found it difficult to use the wider focal lengths in that they actually get too much into the frame. Ironic considering this is why I earlier had thought I needed a wide lens. The details of the scene are there, but are drowned out by distracting elements that take the viewer’s eye away from what is important. So my initial impression that I would always want to be at a wide angle all the time has actually changed to looking at the details and what is more essential.
I never would have predicted this sort of outcome when I started. I see many posts and articles devoted to gear and purchasing wide lenses for landscapes. I wonder how many of the beginners reading these thing will eventually start to favour longer lenses for their landscape photography? Would they be better off getting a telephoto lens before a really wide angle one? Maybe this is just a normal evolution for a photographer. Regardless, I am happy I have moved away from all wide angle all the time – the variety of shots possible at longer focal lengths is liberating.
I had arrived at Silver Lake (in Silver Lake Provincial Park) just after passing through Manning Provincial Park on the way home from my trip to Kelowna. Earlier in the year I had visited there on a fairly rainy, bad weather day but noticed potential in Wells Peak to nicely reflect in the lake. So I thought I’d drive by having passed through the rain storms in Manning to see what I could find. I had not intended on staying long, as I’d done about 13 hours on the road that day after 14 the day before. I wound up spending a few hours in this area photographing both the lake, the peaks, and trying out my new ND filter on Silverhope Creek.