Moon Shot - Nikon Z7 and AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR

Moon shot with Nikon Z7 and AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF

Just a quick post showing the great performance of the Nikon Z7 combined with the AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF lens.  Significant crop from the full frame, edited in Capture One and Photoshop.

1/500s, ISO 200, f/8, 500mm

Moon Shot - Nikon Z7 and AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR

 


RAF Red Arrows Fly By in Vancouver, BC, Canada

British RAF Red Arrows North American Tour

I was sad to miss this year's Abbotsford Air Show, but did manage to see the enhanced fly over by the British RAF Red Arrows team. They have been on a North American Tour this summer and yesterday did a fly by in Victoria and here in Vancouver. Great to seem, my first time seeing this team in action.

I only had my 500mm f/5.6 PF Nikkor so getting some wider shots was just not possible.  Still, it was fun to watch the team perform and I managed to get a few nice shots from the all too short event.  I hope the Red Arrows team can make it to the Abbotsford Air Show one year, they would be a great additon.

Nice formation flying.

RAF Red Arrows Fly By in Vancouver, BC as part of North American Tour

Coming right at us with trailing red and blue smoke.

Red Arrows Red and Blue Smoke Coming Head On - Vancouver, BC

Close up of the BAE Hawk T1 aircraft with modified tail. Used to inject diesel and dye to create the coloured smoke trails.
RAF Red Arrows : Close up with tail injector

Laying down smoke
RAF Red Arrows : White and Blue Smoke Side View 2 - #redarrows #redarrowstour

 

Red Arrows Red and Blue Smoke Bottom View

A few extra shots.


Cottontail rabbit - Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF VR

Birds, Bunnies, and Bugs with Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF

Not my usual post as I just want to share the images and not write too much about an otherwise uneventful day.  These images were shot at Jericho Beach in Vancouver, BC using the Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF lens.  The rabbits are feral and while technically wild they let people get fairly close.  You certainly don't need a 500mm lens to get decent shots here.  A few of my favorites from the day first then the rest.

Cottontail rabbit - Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF VR

 

Rabbit - Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF VR

 

Grasshopper - Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF VR

 

Great Blue Heron - Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF VR

Canada Goose - Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF VR


Moon shot with Nikon Z7 and AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF 1

Hiking Brunswick Mountain


You can download my GPX or KML files for use in your own GPS trackers or mapping tools.

Brunswick Mountain is the tallest peak in the North Shore Mountains at 1788m and has a panoramic view of Howe Sound and other popular peaks including the Lions.  My Garmin told me I climbed 1561m over a 17 km round trip with grades over 40%, which made for a long day.  The effort is worth it in the end though, it's not often you get to look down on Mt. Harvey, Sky Pilot, the Lions, and everything else around.  The hike starts at the end of Sunset Drive in Lions Bay, but there are only a handful of parking spaces and this is the trailhead for several popular hikes.  It's pay parking and they will ticket you.  Nothing is free these days, not even hiking.

The 2D profile for the hike is shown below.  It gets progressively more steep as you go.

 

The trail gets into dense coastal forest immediately.  I took a different route up on the lower slopes than I did coming back (see map above), and it was steeper so I don't necessarily recommend that section of trail.  I did find an old truck frame though which is slowly sinking into the forest.

From the initial section of gravel trail you will come to the route marker showing the way to the Lions and to Brunswick.  Don't miss the marker otherwise you are climbing the Lions.  The way to Brunswick is narrow and over grown, easy to miss.  Once on the Brunswick trail you start climbing through the forest with only slugs to see.  The trail never seems to end and around every corner is just more of the same.  New views at all, you just have to get through it.

As I was hiking I started to encounter fog/clouds and I was worried that the summit might be in cloud cover but I pressed on hoping for the best.

The trees eventually start to thin out but the trail gets even steeper from this point.

After more climbing, you start to see the first views through the trees. You have already gained significant elevation by this point, but there is plenty ahead.

You will come to an intersection with the Howe Sound Crest Trail and there are makers on several trees.   You can head left to Brunswick Lake, Hanover Lake, or Deeks Lake.  To the right is Mount Harvey, the Lions, and eventually Cypress.  Straight ahead (and up) is Brunswick, it should be somewhat obvious at this point.

The trail isn't always obvious, but there are orange markers to help lead the way.

The views are starting to get good though, making the effort easier.

 

The last section of the climb is steep and sometimes loose.

You will reach a plateau where you can finally see over the mountain, but the true summit is just to the right.

Some views before the final summit push.

The summit is actually three separate peaks.  This is peak 1 (which you can see in on the map at the top).

 

If you want to try and tackle the other two peaks it is possible without any special gear.  This view doesn't show it clearly but there is a definite gap between all three peaks with the gap between the first and second being the most tricky.  Obviously a mistake here has high consequences so I don't recommend it unless you are comfortable with such hiking.

The gully between the first and second peaks. It's a long way down.

Raven keeping me company.

The approach to the second summit is a bit sketchy.  I'm not a fan of heights and I just mad sure not to look down too much.

Once on the second peak, you will find some remnants of a structure that is now a bench.  You can see the view back to the first peak here as well.

Final push to the third peak.

 

The third and what seems like the highest peak of the three.  Standing on the highest point in the north shore, which is a very cool feeling.

It's a harsh life for the plants and animals up here.

Hikers on the first peak. Don't want to slip here.

Some final views from the summit, then the long road home.

Mount Harvey in the valley, Lions in the distance, Howe Sound to the right.

 

Cam settings by photokaz.com

Nikon Z7 Focus Shift - Stacked with Adobe Photoshop - Flower Detail 2 (Micro Nikkor VR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED)

Focus Shift Shooting with the Nikon Z7 and 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro-Nikkor

None of my previous cameras had the focus shift feature so I decided to give it a try today.  We had great light and my wife's flowers are in full bloom and made for good test subjects.  There was a very slight breeze but the alignment seems to have done a good job with the slight movement between frames.  If you don't know what focus shift shooting is you can read a bit about Nikon's implementation here.  Essentially, the camera will take a series of exposures while slightly adjusting the focus between each frame.  This allows a razor thin plane of focus to actually move through the subject thus getting it all in sharp focus.  You need to stack the files into a single image using post processing techniques, today I tried this in Photoshop and Zerene Stacker.  I had better results in Photoshop but admittedly I'm a rookie with Zerene.

One thing to note, despite having a very fast computer, processing 30 or so images, each a 45 megapixel raw file, brought the PC to its knees :)  Might be time for another upgrade.   I did four stacks with Photoshop and I'm sharing my Zerene shots at the end, they have issues.

I think all of the flowers shown here are varieties of dhalia.

Nikon Z7 Focus Shift - Stacked with Adobe Photoshop - Flower 4 - Macro focus stack with 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro-Nikkor Lens

Detail

Nikon Z7 Focus Shift - Stacked with Adobe Photoshop - Flower Detail 4

 

Flower 2

Nikon Z7 Focus Shift - Stacked with Adobe Photoshop - Flower 1

Detail

Nikon Z7 Focus Shift - Stacked with Adobe Photoshop - Flower Detail 1

 

Flower 3 (my favorite one)

Nikon Z7 Focus Shift - Stacked with Adobe Photoshop - Flower 2 (Micro Nikkor VR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED)

Detail

Nikon Z7 Focus Shift - Stacked with Adobe Photoshop - Flower Detail 2 (Micro Nikkor VR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED)

Black and white conversion.  Might need a bit more work but that is all the time I have today for editing :)

Focus Shift with Nikon Z7 - black and white conversion Flower 4

Nikon Z7 Focus Shift - Stacked with Adobe Photoshop - Flower Detail 3

Detail

Nikon Z7 Focus Shift - Stacked with Adobe Photoshop - Flower Detail 3

 

A couple of samples with Zerene.  I tried both the DMap and PMax types but preferred the Photoshop stack to either.  The DMap one has some very strange artifacts in the OOF areas, no idea why.

Nikon Z7 Focus Shift - Stacked with Zerene Stacker (PMax) - Flower

 

Nikon Z7 Focus Shift - Stacked with Zerene Stacker (DMap) - Flower


Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Vancouver Aquarium Macro

I have been to the Vancouver Aquarium many times before and always enjoy the visit.  Today I took my six year old twins once again, and brought along my macro lens for some shots.  Before we left the house, I noticed some of our flowers had recently been covered by rain. Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Even though the tanks and displays don't change too often, you always witness new and interesting behaviour by the animals that live there.  It's always worth a return visit.

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

The best part of our visit today was that there were many butterflies on display in the tropical section. The kids loved it.

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens

Vancouver Aquarium Macro Photo - Nikon Z7 and Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Lens


Cheam Peak Hike - Chilliwack BC Canada

Hiking Cheam Peak in Chilliwack

On Sunday of the August long weekend my brother and I scaled Cheam Peak located just outside Chilliwack, BC.  A truly breathtaking hike through alpine meadows towards an unobstructed and panoramic view of the Fraser Valley.  The peak is visible as a prominent landmark from the well traveled Trans Canada Highway that will evoke great memories every time I pass by it.

You can see the location of the hike on the map below, or a larger version here.  It's just east of Chilliwack but getting to the trail head is no easy feat.  It's a one hour drive from Chiliwack following Chilliwack Lake Rd to Foley Creek Forest Service Rd.  From there you take Chipmunk Creek Forest Service Rd where you will need a four wheel drive vehicle with reasonable ground clearance.  I don't recommend anything less as you are liable to get stuck, break your vehicle, or both.

You can download my GPX or KML files for use in your own GPS trackers or mapping tools.

Here is the hike profile.

Hike Profile - Cheam Peak Chilliwack BC As you are driving up the final stretch of the road, you already start to get rewarded with stunning views of the area.

Cheam Peak Hike - Chilliwack, BC, Canada - Captured on 8/4/2019 by Michal Heller using NIKON CORPORATION NIKON Z 7 and AF Zoom 14-30mm f/4.

 

Though we had a relatively early start to the day, there were already quite a few cars in the parking area at the top.

Captured on 8/4/2019 by Michal Heller using NIKON CORPORATION NIKON Z 7 and AF Zoom 14-30mm f/4.

 

The hike starts off with a well marked trail and gradual rise.
Cheam Peak Hike - Chilliwack, BC, Canada - Fraser Valley Hiking - Captured on 8/4/2019 by Michal Heller using NIKON CORPORATION NIKON Z 7 and AF Zoom 14-30mm f/4.

 

As you continue to gain elevation, you catch sight of a peak in the distance.  I initially thought this was Cheam but it turns out this is a different peak called Lady Peak.  There is a trail to that peak as well and it shares the initial part of the route with Cheam.  I'll have to come back to bag that one another day :)
Cheam Peak Hike - Chilliwack, BC, Canada - Fraser Valley Hiking - Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 14-30 f/4 S Lens

 

Since much of the elevation gain was on the drive up to the trail head, you are very quickly walking through the upper alpine area. Views are just stunning (click for bigger).

At about the half way mark of the hike, there is a slight detour that will take you to a nice view to the northeast and a look at Jones Lake.

Cheam Peak Hike - Chilliwack, BC, Canada - Fraser Valley Hiking - Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 14-30 f/4 S Lens

 

The final stretch is well above the trees, exposed, and when we went quite hot.

Cheam Peak Hike - Summit

Looking back from the rise to the summit.

Cheam Peak Chilliwack BC

 

The final stretch to the summit of Cheam, panoramic views in all directions.
Cheam Peak Hike - Chilliwack BC Canada

Views from the summit (click for bigger).

 

Views from the top.

Cheam Peak Panorama with Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 14-30 f/4 S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheam Peak Panorama Nikon Z7

Shots from the way down, just a stellar day for a walk in the mountains.

Cheam Peak Hike - Chilliwack, BC, Canada - Fraser Valley Hiking - Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 14-30 f/4 S Lens

 

I'm testing the app Relive which will draw the hike on a 3D map and add photos.  It's fun and the result is shown below.

Relive 'Cheam Peak'

You can view some of my other hiking related posts at these links:

 

 

 


Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Owl close up

A Visit to Pacific Northwest Raptors

Last weekend, my wife and I visited The Raptors for an all-day raptor experience.  Located a short drive from Duncan on Vancouver Island and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.  We enjoyed it so much we brought our kids and their grandparents the very next day so they could experience it as well.  Not only did we get to hold some awesome birds on our glove, we got to see the flying demo and participate in the Hawk Walk.  Overall, a great time and highly recommended if you want to get up close to some birds of prey.

Plenty of photo opportunities as well, here are a few of my shots.  All taken with my new combo of the Nikon Z7 and Nikkor Z 24-70 f/4 S.

Golden Eagle

Vancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - Golden Eagle

 

Gyrfalcon, which was also in the flying demo.  Very cool.
Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Gyrfalcon head close up

 

Lindsay holding this beauty.
Vancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - Gyrfalcon

Great Horned Owl, possibly my favorite.  During the flying demo he gets so close to the audience you can feel his wingtips on your head. Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Owl flying demo

Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Owl close up

Bald Eagle.  Just awesome to see such a beautiful bird up close. Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Bald Eagle flying demo

Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Bald Eagle flying demo

Boomer, the entertaining Kookaburra Vancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - Kookaburra

Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Kookaburra

 

Spectacled Owl

Vancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - Owl

Vancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - Owl

 

Turkey Vulture Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Turkey Vulture flying demo

 

Red Tailed Hawk coming in for a landing during the Hawk Walk.
Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Hawk walk with Red Tailed Hawk

 

Saker Falcon Vancouver Island Raptors – Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S – Peregrine Falcon close up

 

American Kestrel

Vancouver Island Raptors - Nikon Z7 Nikkor 24-70 f/4 S - American Kestrel

 

 

 


Nikon Z7 Testing - IBIS, Peaking, High ISO - Red cap mushroom : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 3200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

Nikon Z7 : High ISO, IBIS, Focus Peaking

I took a walk around my neighborhood with my kids to look for fall mushrooms and flowers. I wanted to test a few aspects of the Nikon Z7 including high ISO shots, ability of the in body image stabilization (IBIS) to steady shots at slower shutter speeds, and the focus peaking (which none of my previous cameras have offered).  To test, I mounted my 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro Nikkor lens on the FTZ adapter and headed out. It was late afternoon light with some heavy tree cover at times, I first tested focus tracking by trying to get some shots of my kids. I was quite disappointed with the performance of the Z7/105 combo, the tracking was terrible. The camera missed almost every shot, even with the kids just walking. The 105 was never a good performer in this regard and it continues it's poor performance on the Z7.

Regardless, I tested on some static subjects and the results were quite good.  Fairly clean output at ISO 3200.

Nikon Z7 Testing - IBIS, Peaking, High ISO - Red cap mushroom : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 3200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 3200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

Test of manual focus with peaking, worked very well.

Nikon Z7 macro manual focus with focus peaking test : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 160 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 160 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
Nikon Z7 macro manual focus with focus peaking test : 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

This squirrel was running around and I managed a shot.  It's acceptably sharp for web use but not ideal.

Nikon Z7 testing : 1/160s, f/3.2, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/160s, f/3.2, ISO 200 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

This girl was moving on the web and the web was also moving in the breeze.  Of 30 or so shots only two yielded results worth sharing.

Nikon Z7 testing of IBIS, peaking, and high ISO: 1/320s, f/6.5, ISO 1600 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/320s, f/6.5, ISO 1600 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 

This shot was at 1/80s hand held but I tested as slow as 1/5s and could get reasonably sharp photos.  I don't think that would have been possible with my D810, even with a VR lens.

Nikon Z7 testing of IBIS, peaking, and high ISO: 1/80s, f/5.6, ISO 400 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter
1/80s, f/5.6, ISO 400 : Nikon Z7 w/ 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor and FTZ adapter

 


Vancouver Aquarium - Blue Poison Dart Frog : 2018-10-05

Nikon Z7 First Shots

One of my favorite places to visit is the Vancouver Aquarium, and that is exactly where I went to test out the new Nikon Z7. I only had a short amount of time so only two test shots but more to come soon.

Vancouver Aquarium - Blue Poison Dart Frog : 2018-10-05
Vancouver Aquarium - Blue Poison Dart Frog
Vancouver Aquarium - Horned Frog : 2018-10-05
Vancouver Aquarium - Horned Frog

Downtown Toronto Panorama at Night

Visit to Toronto

I had very little time to take photos in Toronto, just one night after work.  Ventured to the islands off of downtown and managed to get a few nice shots.  I'll try to update this post once I edit a few more.

Downtown Toronto Panorama at Night
Toronto, Canada

Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Sea Anemone

Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X

Some photos from this weekend using the iPhone X. Captured in RAW (dng) using Adobe Lightroom Mobile (a free app) and edited with Lightroom on the desktop.

The Aquarium presents especially challenging conditions for any camera (shooting through glass, reflections, low light). Though the quality still pales to that from a camera with a larger lens and sensor I'm impressed with the photos the phone can produce. The future looks bright if this is how far we have come in only a few years.

Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Sea Anemone
Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Sea Anemone
Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Moon Jellyfish
Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Moon Jellyfish

Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Emerald Tree Boa

Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Emerald Tree Boa

Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Clown Fish
Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Clown Fish
Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Toad
Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Toad
Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Horned Frog
Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Horned Frog

 

Last one, not from the Aquarium but I just liked the shot :)  Still an iPhone X shot.

Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Garden Flowers
Vancouver Aquarium with the iPhone X : 2018-09-09 : Garden Flowers

Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Canadian Forces CF-18 in Canada 150 Anniversary Colours

Abbotsford Air Show 2017

I had a post about the Abbotsford Air Show, but my blog decided to act up. There were a bunch of other photos and a description of each but I had to restore from backup and now I don't want to rewrite the content. Here is a random selection instead :)

Taken with a Nikon D810 and Nikkor 200-500 f/2.8 VR and Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8.

Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Canadian Forces Snowbirds
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Canadian Forces Snowbirds
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Canadian Forces Snowbirds
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Canadian Forces Snowbirds
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Silent Smoke Demo
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Silent Smoke Demo
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Aeroshell Demo Team
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Aeroshell Demo Team
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Aeroshell Demo Team
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Aeroshell Demo Team
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Aeroshell Demo Team
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Aeroshell Demo Team
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Jet Demo
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Jet Demo
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Jet Demo with flag
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Jet Demo with flag
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : F16 Demo
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : F16 Demo
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Heritage Flight with F35
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Heritage Flight with F35
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Canadian Forces CF-18 in Canada 150 Anniversary Colours
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Canadian Forces CF-18 in Canada 150 Anniversary Colours
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Grounded F35
Abbotsford Airshow : 2017-08-13 : Grounded F35

 


Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : You're Dead

Squamish Bald Eagles (Again)

This was my third time in Squamish to shoot Bald Eagles, and it will likely become an annual excursion.  Not only do I love Squamish and Brackendale, it is a great opportunity to practice wildlife photography with a photogenic subject.  Unlike my previous trip to the area when I visited in January, this time I came when the eagle concentrations were much higher.   There were several occasions when I saw up to eight eagles all trying to get one or two dead salmon, unsurprisingly some fights broke out.

As I was heading to a new location to begin my search for eagles, I saw an interesting log pincer thingy (correct name) and had to stop.  I managed to get a shot with my wide angle that included the Stawamus Chief in the background.

(As always, click to view larger.  You can also just scroll through all of the photos in a slideshow)

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 14-24 : The Chief and Logging

Getting to the beach at the south end of Squamish was more fun than expected due to deep snow.  Once I arrived, there were no eagles to be seen but I did brave the elements to get this long exposure shot before I packed up and went searching for the elusive birds.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 24-70 : Beach Long Exposure

First stop was near the SPCA.  Mount Garibaldi was looking majestic as usual so a quick shot was necessary.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Telephoto Landscape

I did find a single juvenile bald eagle

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Juvenile In Tree

Pretty sure he saw me.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Juvenile In Tree Close

Also came across a Great Blue Heron

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Great Blue Heron 3

Plenty of crows, which I used to practice my focus tracking for flying birds.Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Crow in Flight

A gang of seagulls.Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Seagull Gang

A few shy ducks.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Ducks Flying

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Ducks in Flight

This is the reason the eagles are here in high concentrations, plenty of dead or dying salmon to eat.  Other bird species also enjoy the annual feast.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Crows Eating Salmon

Finally, in the most popular spot there were plenty of eagles.  These were all found off Government Road near the Watershed Grill restaurant.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Three Amigos

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Raptor on the Wing

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Majestic

This one looking like he has found something interesting.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Pounce

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle in Flight Blue Sky

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle in Tree Close

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle in Tree

As I said previously, fights were not uncommon though rarely seemed to result in any real damage.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Attack Vector

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Smash

I shot a LOT of photos to only get  a few worth keeping.  Not an easy subject to photograph.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Flight 1

The seagulls don't stick around to ask questions when they see the eagles coming in.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Seagull Chase

Another fight sequence.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Attack Sequence 1

This guy wanted to make sure the young eagle knew who the boss was.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Arial Attack

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : You're Dead

And a few more shots.  It certainly won't be my last time visiting the area.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Juvenile Attack

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Dual Landing

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Attack

 

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Seagull Nope Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle Sitting

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-12-12 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle Walking

 

 

 

 

 


Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Display 7

The Wonderful Art of Dale Chihuly

I have been a huge fan of Dale Chihuly for many years.   He is a glass artist from Tacoma, Washington (USA) and now has an amazing gallery in Seattle called Chihuly Garden and Glass.  I don't have too much time to ramble on about each piece, each one can speak for itself.  His incredible versatility and technical execution makes each piece special.  I hope to own a few of his works one day.

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Boats

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Display 2

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Bowls

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Garden 3

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Chandelier 3 BW

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Display 7

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Boats BW

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Bowls 7

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Paintings

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Chandelier

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Bowl detail

 

Dale Chihuly Glass Art : 2013-01-05 : Bowls on Table

 

A bunch more photos from the trip.  Click any image for a bigger version.

 

And one photo from our journey back.  Some random pub in a town I no longer remember.

2013-01-06-Seattle Road Trip : Pub


Brackendale Bald Eagle in Flight : Nikkor 200-500 f/5.6 VR Lens

Squamish Bald Eagles

I was eager to try out my new Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 VR lens that I received for Christmas from my lovely wife.  I knew that Bald Eagles were likely still in Squamish as I had been there previously.  I ventured out one very old morning to see what I could capture.

The sun was rising as I pulled into Squamish and I noticed it was illuminating Mount Garibaldi.  I decided to see how the lens performs for a long distance landscape shot.  Nice detail despite the distance.

The rig

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Shot with iPhone

The shotSquamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Mount Garibaldi Sunrise

I then walked around one of my favorite spots in south Squamish and did encounter a few eagles.Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Flying High

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle and Crow Buddies

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Squawk

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle in Tree

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle In Tree Black and White

One thing I realized is that I have a lot to learn about wildlife photography, especially birds. Learning how to use a telephoto lens has a fairly steep learning curve, and trying to capture birds in flight makes it even harder.  I took a lot of shots but only have a few keepers and even those I'm only mildly satisfied with.  Having said that, the combination certainly does help in comparison to shooting with my iPhone.

Eagle shot with iPhone

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : iPhone Eagle Shot

Same eagle with a Nikon D810 and Nikkor 200-500 f/5.6 VR lens.  Anyone claiming "gear doesn't matter" hasn't tried to shoot wild eagles.Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eagle Playing Rooster In Tree

I relocated several times but had a hard time finding eagles.  I found out later that there are much higher concentrations of eagles in early December and by January they have started to depart as most of the salmon that they are feeding on are gone.  It was still a beautiful day so I made the most of it by shooting some landscape shots.  Even some with my iPhone.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : iPhone Landscape

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 14-24 : Sunrise in Squamish

My trusty Tacoma, it never disappoints.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 14-24 : Toyota Tacoma Glory

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 14-24 : Frozen Landscape

This was actually a hand-held shot with the Nikkor 200-500 lens.  Shutter speed was relatively long but the VR system helped me get an acceptably sharp shot.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Telephoto Landscape Long Exposure

After more driving around and looking in a few spots I have never visited before I did find a few more eagles.  Didn't get the focus or composition right in all of the photos, but I did get a lot of practice in tracking eagles in flight.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : I See Something

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Surveying the Land

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Going Somewhere

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Just Missed Flight Shot

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Eye on Me

Finally, a comparison of iPhone vs Nikon.  See that moon in the top right?

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : iPhone Landscape

Now a little closer with the telephoto.

Squamish Bald Eagles : 2016-01-02 : Nikon D810 & Nikkor 200-500 : Moon Landscape


Garden Flower - Orange, Vancouver, Canada

October Flowers & Mushrooms

Today, when I took the dogs for a walk I decided to bring my camera along. I haven't had very much opportunities to use it recently and needed to get my photo fix in somehow. We have had a very mild fall in Vancouver and there are still plenty of flowers in the neighbourhood. I also came across some mushrooms, and even a few critters.

My route with the dogs

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The flowers, I can't believe we still have this many at the end of October!

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Some mushrooms

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These flowers are still growing in my yard.  Maybe this global warming thing isn't so bad ;)

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Some of the critters.

2015-10-20 Cat at 4K Res

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Graffiti in Santiago, Chile

Exploring Santiago

Though I'm posting this in September, the photos were taken in March. It has taken me ages to find the time to edit and post these shots but such is the life with young twins. I have been to Chile several times in the past but often don't have time to explore due to my work schedule. However, during this trip I had an extra day and decided to explore the city of Santiago.

I contacted Cat at Foto Ruta to see if she had time to plan a custom tour. Not knowing the city well, it's nice to have a local show you around. Cat was very accommodating to my schedule and interests and we planned an afternoon/sunset shoot.  We met at the GAM (Center of Arts, Culture, and People) and wandered the streets for hours from there.

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Not far from the GAM is the "Cerro Santa Lucía".

My favorite photo from the fountain did not turn out great but I had a good laugh at the little boy playing in the water.

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Here are my tour guides for the afternoon, Cat and Alex.  I never did see the photo from the other side :)2015-03-19-Santiago-Chile-0257-MKH

I did try my hand at some sweeping shots of traffic.  Need more practice.

A few shots while walking through the streets.

We then made it to this great plaza where guys sit around and play chess.  Maybe women play too, but likely few and far between. Some interesting characters, and a bit of street art too.

I love old and interesting churches, this one was beautiful.
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Caught this guy in the plaza, his shirt says "I shoot people".  So do I :)

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Some fantastic murals, they were huge and very well done.

This young guy looked relaxed and waved to us.  I like the long shadow in the waning daylight.2015-03-19-Santiago-Chile-0426-MKH

We got into an area of town filled with graffiti.  This is not the crappy work you see in a subway tunnel, but works of art by commissioned local artists.  It was brilliant.

My guides Cat and Alex looking for shots.

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Even the people around here are covered in art.

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A few shots from a rooftop to finish the day.  Thanks for the great tour Cat and Alex!

 

The next day, I only had a few hours before my flight but enough time to visit Centro Artesanal Los Dominicos.  This is a small village full of Chilean handicrafts and a farmers market.  Worth a visit.

My final stop for the day, and a place I have visited twice before, was the Cementerio General de Santiago.  It's an interesting place to roam around, with a blend of old and new.  I'll likely visit again in the future.

I "almost" sat on this at the end of the day.  No idea what it is but it was covered with long, hard, and incredibly sharp spines.  It hurt to even pick it up, so I'm glad I didn't sit on it. It would have been a LONG plane ride home.

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Perseid Meteor Shower 2015-08-13

Perseid Meteor Shower

One shot from the Perseid Meteor Shower. Taken on August 12 near Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver, BC).

Perseid Meteor Shower 2015-08-13


Canada Day Fireworks - Canada Place, Vancouver, BC - 2015-07-01 : 2

Canada Day Fireworks At Canada Place

I haven't had time to process my photos from last night and given my backlog it may take some time :)

I did want to get a few posted though, for those that missed the festivities at Canada Place.  These shots are taken from Waterfront Centre with the Vancouver Convention Centre on the left and Canada Place on the right.  Before the fireworks started, I managed to get a couple of short Hyperlapse videos of the crowd.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3quo9ba0CM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=893YIYYIw-c

This was my vantage point, couldn't ask for better (iPhone panorama).

Canada Day at Canada Place iPhone Panorama : July 1, 2015

A few photos from the evening, I'll try to get some better edits and more photos up soon.

Canada Day Fireworks - Canada Place, Vancouver, BC - 2015-07-01 : 5

Canada Day Fireworks - Canada Place, Vancouver, BC - 2015-07-01 : 6

Canada Day Fireworks - Canada Place, Vancouver, BC - 2015-07-01 : 3

Canada Day Fireworks - Canada Place, Vancouver, BC - 2015-07-01 : 2

Canada Day Fireworks - Canada Place, Vancouver, BC - 2015-07-01 : 1

Canada Day Fireworks - Canada Place, Vancouver, BC - 2015-07-01 : 4