My favorite photos, mostly HDR but a little of everything.
In certain neighborhoods of Vancouver can be found urban gardens where residents work with the soil to produce vegetables or just beautiful flowers. The gardens have little plots, each uniquely representing the labor of the local gardener. As someone who walks through this city, I really enjoy the energy that comes from these little havens in the concrete jungle.
Recently I posted another shot of the beach from inside this Gazebo. The structure had just been built as part of the Tortuga Inn Beach Resort in Bradenton Beach, Florida. In any case I thought the design of it pretty cool, the kind of place I could see hosting a Florida wedding reception, complete with sunset and Jimmy Buffet music.
This is the lobby of the Residence Inn in Vancouver. I only stayed here once but my first impression was that "it's not your father's" Residence Inn. Apparently it was recently renovated and the rooms where all state of the art, very clean and modern. Late one night when I came in from a photo walk I took this while the lobby was empty. I think I caught the hotel manager by surprise as I setup my tripod. In any case, once I got the picture I headed up to my room to use the state of the art microwave to make a bag of popcorn.
I happened to walk by this building the other day but it took a while before realizing it was the Vancouver library. Last night I walked by another smaller library in another section of town and I found myself wondering how libraries are doing these days. Lately I read books from a tablet. In any case, I liked the shape of this library which vaguely reminded me of Roman architecture.
This is the False Creek Yacht Club in Vancouver. I honestly don't know anything about it, I just happened to be walking by with my camera and was struck by the design of the building, as well as the location just under a large bridge. It seems wherever I walk in Vancouver I end up with unexpected sights that interest me as a photographer. This is just one of several that I'll be posting from a walk this evening.
This is a chamber in the Banff Springs Hotel which to me looks like it belongs to a king. I'm sure there's another name for this room, but the first time I saw it King's Chamber came to mind. The architecture of the Banff Springs is designed after a Scottish castle and with rooms like this you could easily be transported to another place and time.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
I saw a picture by a local photographer of this bridge. Living in the county on the other side I racked my brain trying to figure out where it was taken. After a little checking I figured I had the spot so I headed out early one morning, Dunkin Donuts coffee in hand. Being my first photo trip I was a little apprehensive but nonetheless picked my way through the predawn to find the spot. I set up my tripod and waited in silence on the isolated shoreline off an isolated road. Just then lights and the sound of tires approached and I had no idea what to expect. Wouldn’t you know it, another photographer showed up, followed by two more after him. That’s when I realized this must be a popular spot and I was the new one to the party.
From Bridge Works
Joey Bentall One
Something about a cafe on a busy street. I like sitting by a window and watching the world go by. But just as often, when I’m walking by, I like to look in. You can pick up on the character of a place, the type of patrons, the conversations, or perhaps people just, well, watching. Don’t ask me where I’m going with all this, probably nowhere. In any case, this upscale cafe is Joey Bentall One on Burrard in downtown Vancouver. This particular morning they hadn't yet opened, it was early. But in a few hours, it would be, and so would the street outside.
From A Look Inside
I’m not the sharpest tack in the drawer. For a couple of weeks after I took this I couldn’t remember the name of this hotel. This is the lobby of the Pan Pacific in Vancouver. What caught my attention as I walked by was a banner outside which says Tea at Two. Expecting to see old world charm, or perhaps the queen, I headed in and was presented with this surreal scene. For whatever reason not a single hotel guest was in sight which had me glancing back at the door to make sure I was in the right place. In any case, I’m coming back here one day at two and ordering tea with my best British accent, assuming I haven’t forgotten the name of it by then.
From A Look Inside
Timing Is Everything
About a half hour before sunset I told the taxi driver to take me to this beach as I wanted to get a photo. Sounds simple enough, right? For whatever reason he dropped me about a mile from here at a trail-head. To this day I still can’t imagine why. Of course I’m not from the area so only after he drove off did I realize my predicament. A quick look at the trail-head sign to get my bearings and I started walking towards the beach, somewhat disappointed, knowing that by the time I reached it the sun would be down. Going as fast as I could I felt a little helpless as I could see the sun setting through the trees. I should have just enjoyed the moment surrounded by huge pines, alone on a quite trail, only I had that feeling you get when you’re late for a meeting. As I walked my mind kept going back to the taxi driver, what was he thinking? When I finally reached the beach, the sun had just set. Somewhat defeated, I setup my tripod and took this photo and it was only then that I realized I had arrived for the picture at the perfect time.
From By The Water
Through the Looking Glass
A reflection is removed, not the real thing, it somehow affords us perspective. Kind of a luxury when you consider the demands of everyday. None of this was on my mind when I took this photo, but upon reflection, maybe it makes sense.
Court of AppealsI received a jury summons yesterday for the exact same day I have a ticket to fly out of the country. I wonder if the judge will excuse me, or will I end up having to excuse myself from the boarding line. On the same day, there was a news item about a man suing his ex-fiance for her $48,000 engagement ring. I found my self turning the merits of that case over in my mind. (What that says about me we’ll save for another day.) Seems there’s a difference of opinion depending on whether your a man or a woman. All of this made it seem appropriate I should post this picture of the Court of Appeals…, or not.
From Shades of Gray
Look the Other Way
On this particular day I had it in my mind to take a picture of the sunset. Before doing so I found myself captivated by this city view of Vancouver looking across Stanley Park. When I got home and looked at my photos, this one, rather than the sunset shots seemed the better choice. I guess the trick is to not always “assume” I know what’s going to work. Easier said than done for a left-brain guy like myself.
From By The Water
This bridge connects the city of Vancouver with the city of North Vancouver. I’ve taken dozens of photos of this bridge but on about my third trip I realized that you could walk across it. On this morning it was just before dawn and not much traffic, it felt a little erie to be the only person on such a large structure. However, as night gave way to day there was a little surprise. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of steal started to make a sound I can only describe as a moan. I was a little unnerved and decided to finish up the shoot and walk back to land. Upon reflection I surmise it was the light causing normal stresses which happened to be audible. Lets just say it was an experience I’ll not soon forget.
From Bridge Works
The is the Burrard Street Bridge which crosses False Creek in Vancouver. On a typical evening its filled with cyclist, joggers and folks enjoying the view. This evening a dozen strangers and I stood on this bridge taking pictures of the sunset across English Bay. Just after nightfall I left the bridge and I looked back to realized I needed to put a few more megapixels in my camera. I love bridges and this one practically begs to be photographed, and of course I am always eager to oblige.
From Bridge Works
Despite the old world look, this picture was taken this summer while in Banff. This is the front of the Banff Springs Hotel and is usually crowded with cars, buses and people coming and going. However, if you're eager enough to get up at the break of dawn you just might glimpse a view that's perhaps more reminiscent of the old glory days. Not much of the Banff Springs architecture has changed in a hundred years and walking inside or around this structure you appreciate the old world grandeur normally reserved for faraway places and long passed eras. In any case, I was just glad to get this shot before the first tour bus pulled up about five minutes later.
Sunsets are complicated, you never know what you’re going to get and of course no two are ever the same. On this day I resolved to learn about sunsets by staying in one place before, during and after the sunset to see what range of colors I might see. This is a composition of that study and after nearly forty five minutes in the same place taking dozens of photos, I can honestly say I’m not sure what I learned. Nevertheless, it was good fun and easy on my legs.
From By The Water
This was taken at Bradenton Beach just after sunset. It seemed this Blue Heron was happy to pose, or perhaps it was just eyeing a fish. Nevertheless, everyday at sunset hundreds of visitors and residents alike line up on this beach to snap a photo as the sun goes down. We have a favorite restaurant on this beach and there’s usually live music at sunset, a nice setting. For years they had this musician who always sung “Here Comes the Sun”. To me that seems a little odd, …isn’t that about a sunrise?
From By The Water
This is an iconic apartment building on Vancouver's west end which is about fifteen stories high. At the very top, overlooking English Bay, is this tree that you can't help but notice. It's a strange feeling you get from this tree, isolated, by itself at the top of a building, in full view and exposed to the elements. I glance up at it every time I pass by and think surely there must be story here, but what? On one of those occasions there was a double decker tour bus stopped in front with everyone looking up and listening to the guide. As I walked by this is what I heard; that the purpose of this tree was to remind everyone how tall the trees here where before they started cutting them all down to make room for the apartment buildings. I have no idea if that's true, but it resonated in a way that I cannot forget.
This is the Pirate Bar and Grill where the atmosphere here is defined by it's setting under a bridge on a bike path. If you're looking for a secluded setting where you can sit outside at night and enjoy sights and sounds then this place is a real winner. Look for it under the Burrard Street bridge in Vancouver.
From Bridge Works
This is Vancouver's BC Place which is a large stadium for sports and entertainment. I love the fact that it's downtown and accessible on the major subway line. The architecture, like everywhere else in Vancouver, is amazing and the first time I saw it at night I thought it looked like some kind of mother ship the way they the roof is lit up. Beam me up Scotty.
This fountain can be found along the Coal Harbor section of Vancouver. It’s unique in that it has stepping stones such that you can walk right through the fountain, almost like a stream in an urban setting. I found it quite peaceful, however the night I was there a young man on his stunt bike was hopping from stone to stone on one wheel. Probably not what the architects had in mind, but I was impressed nonetheless.
One day while walking through Vancouver I noticed these front steps all nicely aligned in a row. Even though they look the same, beyond each threshold lies a vastly different story. I live in a townhouse that looks just like the one next to it and so I suppose that to someone else my neighbor and I might appear very similar. And to me, folks on the opposite side of the globe might also appear similar. But we're not, and the chances are that I have more in common with you than I do with my next door neighbor. Good morning neighbor, wherever you are.