This is a panorama of eastern Vancouver taken just after sunrise. It’s a perspective I had from the twenty-second floor of the Vancouver Delta Marriott. Actually I took this through windows next to the elevators. I was waiting for the elevator to go down to the lobby. When I saw this I decided not to get on, instead I went back to my room to grab a camera. Hopefully the people in the elevator didn’t mind too much.
If I’m not mistaken the big building in the foreground is called The W. If you zoom in you’ll see a big sign of the letter W to the right of it. Several years ago I went to the top with a friend of mine, Andrew Gerrard. Using his magic he got us access to the top where much to my surprise there was a W-shaped hot tub full of beautiful women. But of course I was only there for the scenery.
Speaking of which, the view from the W is amazing. Here is a link to one of the images from that night (https://justenoughfocus.smugmug.com/Portfolio/Canada/i-ZWv8Kzx/A).
On the left side of this image is Gastown and one the right is Chinatown. And off in the distance are the towering apartment buildings of Burnaby. It seems every time I come back there are one or two new towers on the skyline.
This image is comprised of about six high-resolution photos so it contains an amazing amount of detail, especially a full resolution version (link) that’s nearly seven feet wide. I love looking at the details in images like this; I can spend hours in a gallery exploring all of the interesting little facets. Wouldn’t it be ironic if we hung this on the wall of that elevator I walked away from? At least those people could have something pretty to look at when someone decides not to get on.
Continuing with the theme yesterday of repetition and practice, this is pier I have taken many times. It’s a slightly different perspective simply because each time I come here I look for different compositions, or maybe similar compositions but in different light and conditions. So even though the location is the same, the image is new.
It’s a little like taking pictures of clouds, no two will ever be the same. I go back to the same places for two reasons; one, I like the scenery, and two, I’m practicing the art of capturing perspectives. The scene may be similar but the details are different.
In some respects photography is no different then other pursuits in that it takes repetition and practice, and for the most part that is done in our own backyard. That is how we hone our craft so that when we do travel we’ll have perfected not only the mechanical aspects but also the subtle and infinite variations that go into composition. Not everyone will notice but some will, you being chief among them.
I do photography to satisfy my own longings and passion. So by practicing over and over at home not only am I getting better, I’m enjoying something I like to do. To be sure, I’m not always satisfied with the outcome, but the effort is never lost. Even failed efforts lead to new understandings and help avoid mistakes. We learn by doing and by doing something we love, we are simply adding to a big circle of happiness in our lives. And for me, that’s as good as money in the bank.
This is a study of light and impressions from familiar scene; it’s a public boat dock along the river. Folks sometimes dock their boats here and walk over to the nearby restaurants. In reality it’s not used all that much. More often people come here to sit and watch the water. It’s a regular stop for me when I’m out walking with my dog Mr. Wiggles.
I’ve taken a lot of pictures of this location at various times of the day and night and from different angles. So I guess you could say this is a study of how the scene changes each time. It’s also how I practice, by shooting the same subject slightly differently and then working with it in post. In this case I noticed the lights just as dawn was breaking from the east. It was a quick shot that I hadn’t preplanned.
But later I’ve spent hours working on this. As you know, images out of the camera do not always reflect the mood or scene as we remember it. Our images seem to come out flat and a little boring. So I’ve done a lot of things in an attempt to being back that feeling. I’ve enhanced the lights from the lampposts and I’ve saturated the colors to accentuate the reflections on the water.
So does it work? It’s all completely subjective; I’ve created something partially resembling what I saw yet something completely different. In the end it is what it is, a study of light and impressions from a familiar scene.