Okanagan Beaches – Kal Lake Beach in Vernon

Okanagan Beaches: Kal Beach at the north end of Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

kal beach in vernon british columbia on a spring morning

Kal Beach on the north shore of Kalamalka Lake (Purchase)

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   I am not much of a beach person. I prefer uncrowded natural places, I don’t swim, and I tend to avoid heat when possible. This made spring the perfect time for me to photograph some of the beaches in British Columbia’s Thompson Okanagan region – a summer destination for many people. Right now I presume Kal Beach in Vernon is packed elbow to elbow with people trying to cool off in the current heat wave.

kal beach in vernon british columbia on a spring morning

Kal Beach in Vernon, BC

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Chase River Falls in Colliery Dam Park

Chase River Falls in Colliery Dam Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

chase river falls in colliery dam park in nanaimo british columbia canada

Chase River Falls in Nanaimo (Purchase)

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   I had already walked around Colliery Dam Park in Nanaimo on two separate occasions before someone asked me if I had seen the waterfall. I had thought they meant the two spillway waterfalls from each of the two dams in the park, but apparently there was a natural waterfall just a minute or two walk from where I stood. I am rather fortunate that this was pointed out to me, as research of the area and my own exploration had failed to discover Chase River Falls.

   Another reason I feel I was fortunate to be pointed to these falls at that time is that Colliery Dam Park itself will largely cease to exist due to removal of the two small dams. This will create large holes where the two small lakes now sit. I do not know if access to the Chase River Falls will change, but either way, strolling through a nice forest next to a lake is certainly more picturesque when compared to a construction site or open pit.

See more of my Waterfall Pictures.

Eureka Falls and Silverhope Creek

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 british columbia

Eureka Falls and Silverhope Creek in the Skagit Valley near Hope (Purchase)

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   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.

Spring Tulips at Queen Elizabeth Park

sunshine backlight on a tulip flower at queen elizabeth park in vancouver

Tulip Flower

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   Last week I headed into Vancouver to photograph some of the spring flowers at Queen Elizabeth Park. The flowering Cherry Trees were out in full force, but they are so popular each of them had a crowd of tourists, locals, and photographers around them. I chose instead to concentrate on some of the other flowers in the park.

   Sometimes direct sunlight can be a tough condition to photograph wider landscape scenes. These tulip flowers, however, were nicely lit in the bright sunshine. I like how the cup like flowers appear to be lit from the inside when the sun shines on them from this angle.

Focus Stacking ‐ Spring Crocus Flowers

a crocus flower - crocus vernus - emerges from the ground in one of the first signs of spring

Crocus vernus
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   A closeup of two Crocus (Crocus vernus) flowers in the backyard last Spring.

   This photograph was a bit of an experiment. I wanted to have a shallow depth of field that would blur the background. Since these flowers were at different heights, having them both in focus was not going to occur along with a shallow depth of field. I might have been able to get these both in focus with an aperture of f/16 or higher, but this would not have the background bokeh effect I was looking for. So this is a blend of two exposures shot at f/2.8 each focusing on the top of one of the flowers. The two exposures were then merged in Photoshop. I like the effect this created, and it shows that a “focus stack” doesn’t have to have everything in focus through the composition.

   More photos of Spring flowers and gardens can be found in my Garden Photos Gallery.

Magnolia Tree in Queen Elizabeth Park

A Star Magnolia tree at in full bloom at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

flowering magnolia tree in queen elizabeth park, vancouver, british columbia

Flowering Magnolia Tree in Queen Elizabeth Park (Purchase)

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   On Friday I headed into Vancouver to photograph the Cherry Blossoms blooming this Spring. One of my first stops was Queen Elizabeth Park. I was there just over a month ago when there was still some snow on the ground and the only plants that were showing themselves were a few Snowdrops. Now, however, the gardens are coming to life with many bulbs in bloom and some trees such as Magnolia and Cherry in full bloom. This is a Magnolia Tree just to the north of the Blodel Conservatory. I made this photo from underneath because I liked the contrast of the flowers and the blue sky, and the path was very busy with tourists flooding the park from the parking lot.

   Queen Elizabeth Park is a busy place, but I didn’t expect there to be four tour buses in the parking lot. There were a lot of tourists in the park, which made wide angle shots of some of the Cherry and Magnolia trees impossible. When there are 5-10 tourists climbing the Cherry tree it is hard to get a shot without people in it. I can only imagine what this park is like in the Summer! Next time I go back I will try a time lapse of all the people – that might be interesting.

From Queen Elizabeth Park I headed to Stanley Park to photograph downtown Vancouver during “Blue Hour”. I will be posting some of those images really soon. Stay tuned!

EDIT: I also have a new photograph of this same magnolia tree showing fall colours

First Signs of Spring ‐ Crocus Flowers

a crocus flower - crocus vernus - emerges from the ground in one of the first signs of spring

Crocus vernus

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   Lets ignore the fact I had a bit of snow a week ago, yesterday it was +16°C/61°F and felt like Spring. These Crocus flowers (Crocus vernus I believe) in the backyard are helping to convince me that Spring might actually be here. At least it feels closer although today is raining and a bit chilly.