Great Blue Heron at English Bay in Kitsilano

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) sits on the rocks next to English Bay in Kitsilano. Photographed from Kits Beach Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

great blue heron ardea herodas in english bay vancouver

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at English Bay in Kitsilano (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   I believe I have indicated my affinity for photographing Great Blue Herons in the past – they tend to stand relatively still while hunting for food and therefore make great photo subjects. I have a few photographs of herons at night, and this wouldn’t be possible for me with many other species. Not only do the herons stand still while waiting for prey, they often hunt on shorelines where I can use reflected lights to illuminate them during a longer exposure. This particular Great Blue Heron was hunting along English Bay at Kitsilano Beach Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I was busy making blue hour cityscapes of downtown Vancouver and happened to have my longer 70-200mm lens on my camera. This was the perfect lens for my panoramas, and luckily was also the perfect lens for photographing this Heron when I noticed him silhouetted against the lights reflecting off English Bay from Kitsilano. With the naked eye this Blue Heron was barely visible, but with a longer camera exposure (6 seconds in this case) the details of both the bird and the surrounding area were revealed.

For more wildlife photographs take a look at my Animals and Wildlife Gallery in my Image Library.

An Evening at Kits Beach in Vancouver

Wide panorama from Vancouver’s Kits Beach including Stanley Park, Crown and Grouse Mountains (left) and Mount Seymour (right), and the West End downtown towers.

panorama of vancouver english bay and kitsilano buildings and city

Vancouver Coast & Mountains: View of English Bay and City of Vancouver (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   Last week I posted a photograph of the M.V. Fortune and Crown Mountain that I pointed out was just one portion of a much larger panorama shot from Kits Beach. Above you’ll find my finished panorama a view of the anchored M.V. Fortune, Crown/Grouse Mountains and Stanley Park, and the West End of Vancouver and its apartment and condo towers. The two taller buildings on the right of downtown Vancouver are the new Trump Tower and Living Shangri-La. I made this photograph standing just outside the boundary of Kits Beach Park along the seawall path on the west side of the Kitsilano Yacht Club. I think this photo really exemplifies the name “Vancouver Coast & Mountains” which is the tourism region Vancouver is located in.

panorama of vancouver english bay and kitsilano buildings and city

Panorama of Vancouver’s West End and Kitsilano (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   I made a number of panoramas from the Kits Beach area. The one above is similar to the first, but shot from the eastern side of the Kitsilano Yacht Club. I tried to focus on Mount Seymour and the downtown area and included the Kits Beach Boathouse Restaurant in this one. This panorama was made about 15 minutes after the first one so you see many more of the lights on in the city buildings which I prefer over the look of the first panorama.

vancouver condo towers and mount seymour blue hour from kits beach

Vancouver’s West End and and Mount Seymour (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   On this evening I was out to photograph the city with snowy mountains in the background, so I made some single exposures that focused on just these subjects. This photograph shows Mount Seymour and the towers in the West End. The tallest of the buildings in this photo is the Empire Landmark Hotel. In the foreground we have the lights of vehicle traffic on Beach Avenue and the sandy shore of Sunset Beach.

kits beach and the boathouse restaurant at sunset

Kitsilano Beach and the Boathouse Restaurant in the evening (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   This is the Boathouse Restaurant on Kits Beach photographed after sunset. I like the reflections on English Bay in this scene and the rare opportunity to photograph without a crowd on the beach.

For more Cityscapes of Vancouver take a look at my Cities and Buildings Gallery in my Image Library.

North Quarry Gardens in Queen Elizabeth Park

Magnolias and Rhododendrons blooming in the North Quarry Gardens in Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

magnolia flowers in queen elizabeth parks north quarry gardens

Queen Elizabeth Park’s North Quarry Gardens

-click to enlarge-

   Most people visiting the gardens at Queen Elizabeth Park head for the main quarry garden just beneath the Bloedel Conservatory. To the north, under the Seasons in the Park Restaurant is the North Quarry Gardens. This area has a lot of nice Magnolia and Rhododendron flowers, as well as more trails and routes through the park. Something to check out next time you are Queen Elizabeth Park!

For more photographs of Gardens, including Queen Elizabeth Park, visit my Garden Plants Gallery.

English Bay View of Northshore Mountains

English Bay view of the Northshore Mountains and the fishing charter boat Edgewater Fortune

english bay view of northshore mountains and the edgewater fortune charter yacht

English Bay view of the Northshore Mountains and the Edgewater Fortune

-click to enlarge-

   Last week presented a relatively rare late winter opportunity – fresh snow on the local mountains combined with a relatively clear sky. I have had a number of Vancouver related snowy images in mind for several years, but weather and other factors conspired against me getting all the way to Vancouver. This year has been a good year for the skiers, but that doesn’t mean the snow is sitting in the trees easily seen from sea level. Last week, however, we had a bit of fresh snow and good weather so I went straight to Vancouver.

   One of the places I photographed last week was the Kitsilano Beach Park area just to the southwest of downtown Vancouver. I had not visited Kits Beach in many years, but this did show a great angle on the downtown buildings with the Northshore Mountains in the background. This photograph shows Crown, Goat, and Grouse Mountains (and some fresh snow) high above Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge, and the fishing charter M.V. Edgewater Fortune anchored in English Bay. This is just a small portion of a much wider 20+ frame panorama that I will likely post later on. I liked how this one end of the photograph showed just the boat, the park, and the mountains – without much evidence of the big city right next to it.

   The M.V. Edgewater Fortune has a bit of an interesting history. Originally it was the HMCS Fortune (MCB 151) – a Minesweeper in the Royal Canadian Navy before it was decommissioned in 1964. It then spent some time with Greenpeace as the Greenpeace Two, and was later renamed the M.V. Edgewater Fortune and is currently utilized as a charter fishing yacht along coastal British Columbia.

   For more photographs of the Vancouver area visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains Gallery.

Views from Vancouver’s Coal Harbour

Panorama of Coal Harbour from Stanley Park seawall along the western end of Coal Harbour in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

bagley lakes fall panorama

Panorama of Vancouver and Coal Harbour from Stanley Park (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   During my last trip to Vancouver’s Stanley Park in October I photographed a few places I had been before from new perspectives. After having visited the Air Force Garden of Remembrance for the second time I headed to the west end of Coal Harbour. I have photographed some of the buildings of Vancouver’s West End before, but most often from further into Stanley Park near the Totem poles or the 9’oclock Gun. The first panorama here shows a very wide view of what you can see of Vancouver from the end of Coal Harbour. On the left you can see the boat houses of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (and the cranes of Port Vancouver behind them), Canada Place and the Trade and Convention Center, the buildings of downtown Vancouver, and finally Devonian Harbour Park and the apartment and condo towers in the West End.

fog at whytecliff park in west vancouver british columbia canada

Sailboats moored at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and Vancouver Rowing Club (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   The second photograph shows one of the views in Stanley Park from the seawall looking towards downtown Vancouver. These boats are moored at the Vancouver Rowing Club – a building familiar to most as it sits at the entrance of Stanley Park next to Georgia Street.

   Finally we have the photograph below looking towards the West End condo towers from the seawall next to the Vancouver Rowing Club.

condo and apartment towers in the west end of vancouver from the vancouver rowing club

Sailboats at the Vancouver Rowing Club (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

For more of my recent Vancouver area photography please visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains Gallery.

Stanley Park’s Air Force Garden of Remembrance

Fall flowers and the wishing well at the Air Force Garden of Remembrance in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

flowers at air force garden of remembrance in vancouvers stanley park

Air Force Garden of Remembrance (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   One of the many small areas in Vancouver’s Stanley Park that has been on my list to photograph is the Air Force Garden of Remembrance. This is a small area, located just west of the Stanley Park Dining Pavilion and contains a bench, a small garden, a waterfall and a pond. The garden was created in 1948 to commemorate the Air Force personnel who died in World War II. I had previously photographed this in the fall fo 2013, but came back hoping for some nicer leaf colours and a few more of the flowers still around – and I picked the right time this year. The pond’s waterfall was dry, however – likely due to our historic dry summer months in 2015.

wishing well and bench at air force garden of remembrance in vancouvers stanley park

Wishing Well at the Air Force Garden of Remembrance (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   I haven’t tried the starburst/sunburst trick before. It can be a bit of a gimmick in my opinion – you’ll see some photo galleries with the majority of shots with a sunburst in them. Here the sun was right in the way, and I either embraced it in my composition or tried to block it with tree trunks or foliage. Setting the aperture to f/16 and f/18 allowed this effect to work in these photographs. I like the results, but I will probably only use this technique when the sun is getting in the way.

   The photograph below isn’t from the Air Force Garden of Remembrance, but is actually just above the Stanley Park Rose Garden. I liked the way the Douglas Fir trunks lined up, though this certainly doesn’t show a natural forest setting.

silverhope creek fall foliage colours

Fall leaves on the ground in the forest at Stanley Park (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

For more of my recent Vancouver area photography please visit my Vancouver Coast & Mountains Gallery.

HMCS Discovery and Downtown Vancouver

HMCS Discovery and the buildings in the West End of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Photographed from Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

HMCS Discovery and the west end of Vancouver

HMCS Discovery and the West End of Vancouver (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   HMCS Discovery is a Royal Canadian Navy Reserve facility built in 1944 on Deadman’s Island in Coal Harbour, Vancouver. The view of HMCS Discovery is better from the Stanley Park side, though the island lies just south of Stanley Park itself. I made this photograph in the early evening with the lights of both the Deadman’s Island buildings and the tall apartment buildings in West End of Vancouver reflecting on Coal Harbour.

For more of my Vancouver photographs visit the Cities and Buildings Gallery in my Image Library.

Akebono Cherry Blossoms in QE Park

Tourists viewing the spring Akebono cherry blossoms in Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

tourists looking at Akebono cherries in queen elizabeth park

Tourists viewing Akebono cherry tree blossoms in Queen Elizabeth Park (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   This is one of the hotspots for Vancouver cherry blossoms – Queen Elizabeth Park. I have been here in previous years to photograph these trees and the QE Park gardens, but this time there were crowds well beyond what I had experienced in the past. Seems I had forgotten that this was during spring break week, and there were a lot more people out viewing the cherry blossoms. There are many popular spots to view cherry blossoms in Vancouver during the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival but this spot and Stanley Park remain my favourites. I decided to embrace the reality of the crowds and made this and a few other photographs of the people enjoying the cherry blossom. Surprisingly, the rest of the gardens had very few people in them despite the abundant daffodils, magnolias, tulips, and other flowers.

You can view more of my garden photos in my Garden Photography Gallery in my Image Library.