Vancouver : Portside / Crab Park : Vancouver skyline reflection 2 : 2012-11-21

Vancouver's CRAB Park at Portside

We had a small break in the rain tonight so I decided to head out to catch the last bit of daylight. I visited CRAB Park at Portside (Create A Real Available Beach), which is close to Canada Place and the Vanterm TSI Container Terminal.  I didn't have much time but did get a few shots before heading home. It is certainly a place I will visit again soon.

 

One of my first shots when I arrived. Unfortunately in my haste I didn't check my settings and shot this image at ISO 3200. I had to apply a lot of noise reduction so it's softer than I would want. Still, the sky was very dramatic and I'm happy I got the shot.
Vancouver : Portside / Crab Park : Vancouver skyline at sunset : 2012-11-21

 

The Vanterm TSI Container Terminal. An active port in Vancouver's Burrard Inlet with the North Shore mountains in the background.
Vancouver : Portside / Crab Park : Vanterm TSI Terminal : 2012-11-21

 

Tug boats at the port.
Vancouver : Portside / Crab Park : Vanterm TSI Terminal black & white : 2012-11-21

 

I found a small pond which created some great reflections.
Vancouver : Portside / Crab Park : Vancouver skyline reflection : 2012-11-21

 

Vancouver : Portside / Crab Park : Vancouver skyline reflection 2 : 2012-11-21

 

And finally a long exposure on my way out. Needs a return visit to try and get something better.
Vancouver : Portside / Crab Park : Vancouver skyline long exposure : 2012-11-21


Vancouver Animal Control : Shelter Dogs For Adoption : 2012-11-09

Shelter Dogs Nov 10 2012

When needed, I try to help out at the local animal shelter (Vancouver Animal Control) by taking photos of their dogs available for adoption.  I believe the quality of the photos makes a difference in the dogs adoption so I’m happy to help out when I can.  It helps me and helps the dogs.  You can see the animals they have available at PetFinder.com (not just dogs but rabbits, lizards, and at times even more strange things).  You can also see previous shelter dogs I photographed here.


Vancouver False Creek At Night

Last night, I went out for a few sunset and night time shots with my friend Scott. Sunset was a bust, but we did get a few shots of Science World and the Vancouver skyline. Overall, a fun night out and made better as we finished up with a pint at the new tap house.


Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

Fall Colours in Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park

Just as I did last year, I took a short walk through Queen Elizabeth Park to view and photograph the fall colours.  The weather forecast said rain, and lots of it, for the next week so I knew it was my last chance before things got really wet.  I hope to go back in a week or so, weather permitting.   The conditions were not ideal, it was a bit foggy and I could not get a good shot of the whole garden without losing a lot of contrast in the background.  I used a polarizing filter to cut some of the glare but some shots just didn't turn out that well.  It was still nice to get out, the colours are really great right now.

This was one of the first images I shot. As you can see, the trees in the background are starting to get lost because of the foggy and humid conditions.

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sky was very bright which made some exposures more difficult but the fog and overcast conditions made for a nice diffuse light.

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Fall Colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my way out of the park, I stopped by the duck pond to watch the action and take a few shots. There were at least eight species of birds in and around the pond when I was there.

This guy was taking a bath in the pond just a few feet away from me.

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Duck Pond Crow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

King of the pond.
Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Canada Goose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His little minion.

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, BC : 2012-10-11 : Mallard Duck


Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : View & Me

Hiking Stawamus Chief South Peak - Squamish, BC

Last week, I decided to head up to Squamish to hike the south peak of the Stawamus Chief. As with the Lions hike, I'm not going to go into how to get to the trail, etc. There are plenty of sites that can give you good info about the trail: Vancouver Trails, Club Tread, Trail Peak, Live Trails.

I wish I had got a better shot of the rock face, I'll have to do that next time.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Rock Face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a very popular hike in the area, expect to see at least a few people on the trail and on all of the peaks. The south peak is the most popular and the shortest hike as well. Middle and north peaks are less popular but still see their fair share of hikers. The Chief is not only popular with hikers, but is also a huge draw for climbers who come to challenge themselves on the granite face. I found this interesting video while writing this post: Patagonia climbing ambassador Sonnie Trotter climbed the first free ascent of Cobra Crack (5.14). Props, that is something that I'll never do.

You start your hike in the campground, nice and easy.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Campground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A map and some info before you start the hike.

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also a warning. The trail isn't long (about 6Km round trip) but it is steep and if you are unprepared you can get into trouble. I saw some yahoo going up in flip flops!
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Warning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trail is very well maintained. Kudos to the crew that come out to maintain this for the rest of us, very much appreciated.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Trail start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sure beats the stair climber at the gym.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Stairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another sign along the route, very easy to follow as long as you pay attention. There are several of these along the way which will guide you to any of the peaks along with some of the other trails available in the area.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Trail sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trail is quite steep for most of the route.

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though well maintained, no cake walk and Mr. FlipFlop likely had a fun time in some sections.

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lower part of the hike is in the forest and the shade makes it easier on a hot day. As you get near the summit, you start to see the sun trickle though.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a few ladders on the route, don't see that on most hiking trails.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Ladder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Ladder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A large overhang looms over the trail.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Overhang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warning on the trail. As I said before, the area is popular with climbers so do not throw anything over the edge.

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Warning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know you are reaching the summit when the forest gets thin and the rocky soil yields to solid granite.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Near summit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Near summit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A chain and ladder help you navigate the grade.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Chain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Ladder 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soon after, you start to get rewarded with some great views.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't get distracted though, one wrong step and you are going over the edge.

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Cliff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now just a scramble to the top.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Scramble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tough life for trees that live on the summit.

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once at the summit, you get a beautiful view of Howe Sound and Squamish.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like on the Lions hike, this raven took the easy route to the top.

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Squamish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also see the middle peak with a few hikers enjoying the view.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Middle peak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some hikers coming down from the middle peak.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Middle peak climb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ventured to the cliff edge, though didn't spend much time there.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Cliff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along with my trusty Nikon I brought up my tripod and f-stop Guru backpack. It's a great pack for a day hike with photo gear.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Gear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soon after I arrived, I was joined by a chipmunk.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Chipmunk buddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We became good buddies after I gave him a couple pumpkin seeds from my trail mix.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Chipmunk buddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got any more???

Stawamus Chief - 2012-09-13 - Chipmunk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Chipmunk buddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few more views from the top. Can anyone tell me the name of the mountain in the background? Please post in the comments. UPDATE: It is Mount Garibaldi (thanks Jesse).
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me wrecking a perfectly good shot.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : View & Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A good spot for lunch.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : View & Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a map of my route to the summit tracked using Runkeeper on the iPhone.
Stawamus Chief Hike - Map KML : Google Maps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While at the top, I also shot a complete panorama which resulted in a 100 megapixel image. If you want to see the full size image check my previous post.
Stawamus Chief Panorama : Sept 13, 2012 : 2048 pixels

 

 

 

 

 

On my way down, I stopped along the creek to take a few photos. I tried some shots with a polarizing filter and a neutral density filter to get longer exposures.

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Creek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Creek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, on my way home I topped in at Shannon Falls which is only a few minutes from the Chief. First, an HDR image of the falls, I was hoping it would turn out a little different.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Shannon Falls HDR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just a regular shot, but taken with a polarizing filter to get a longer exposure.
Stawamus Chief - South Peak - Squamish BC - 2012-09-13 : Shannon Falls


Vancouver Animal Control - Dogs For Adoption : September 13 2012

Shelter Dogs Sept 13 2012

When needed, I try to help out at the local animal shelter (Vancouver Animal Control) by taking photos of their dogs available for adoption.  I believe the quality of the photos makes a difference in the dogs adoption so I’m happy to help out when I can.  It helps me and helps the dogs.  You can see the animals they have available at PetFinder.com (not just dogs but rabbits, lizards, and at times even more strange things).  You can also see previous shelter dogs I photographed here.


CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions

CFL Football: BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes Sept 8 2012

Yesterday I went to my first CFL football game of the season thanks to a friend who couldn't use one of his season tickets. I like to go to a few games each year and the BC Lions are sitting at the top of the league standings and playing well. This was also my first visit to the new and improved BC Place Stadium and since it was a nice day the roof was open.

 
One of the first shots I took once inside. Seats were great.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : BC Place Stadium Open Roof

 

I had my Nikon D800 with me and two lenses: Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8 wide angle and Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 telephoto. Despite a decent reach of 200mm I still had to crop the images of the play. Also, while bright I had to shoot at ISO 400 otherwise shutter speeds were just not fast enough to freeze the action. Here is Tim Brown (35) ready to do his thing.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Catch

 

Anthony Calvillo (13) set for the snap and for the toss.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Snap

 

CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : QB

 

Paul McCallum (4) field goal.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Field goal

 

There are always some interesting characters around.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Fan

 

Certainly one of the best parts of the game is when the Felions squad takes to the field.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions

 

This image is just to show the great ability to crop images from the D800. A 100% crop from the full size image.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions

 

CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions

 

CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions

 

This guy has a tough job.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions Cameraman

 

CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions

 

CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions

 

Thanks ladies.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions

 

Always some crazy games for the fans. If it were me I would have ran into the field in that thing, they can keep the t-shirt or whatever you win.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Games

 

Back to football, Sean Whyte (6) punting away the ball as the Alouettes couldn't get it done.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Punt

 

Travis Lulay (14) chased by the pack and making the pass.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : QB

 

CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : QB Toss

 

Travis Lulay (14) scramble.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : QB Run

 

Lining up on the 10.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Lineup

 

Crushing hit, one of the best in the game.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Big hit

 

The Lions get the TD.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : TD

 

Here are a few views of the stadium from the upper deck.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : BC Place Stadium Vancouver

 

CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : BC Place Stadium Vancouver : HDR

 

CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : BC Place Stadium Vancouver : HDR

 

Back to the game, Tim Brown (35) takes another kick.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Punt Return

 

Travis Lulay (14) in action.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Play

 

Another Paul McCallum (4) field goal, I think he missed this one.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Field Goal

 

Souvenir?
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions

 

Attendance at the game was 29,734 and the 50/50 jackpot went up to $34,500. The lucky guy who won it was in my section, high fives all around.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : 50/50 Winner

 

As always, some guys decide to start the wave. I'm all for it, but you are supposed to do it when the opposition has the ball. Just an FYI.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : The Wave

 

After some perseverance they did get it going.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : The Wave

 

Tracking it, patience.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : The Wave Coming Around

 

Pretty happy with themselves.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Wave

 

Looking over the images, I noticed a zombie in the crowd. Glad I'm not in that section.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Zombie

 

Is Khalif Mitchell (96) doing the robot?
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Robot

 

Lions on the one yard line, not looking good for Montreal.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Not good for Montreal

 

TD, no surprise.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : TD

 

And the free throw is good too.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Football free throw

 

A few more shots of the Felions, can't go wrong.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions Routine

 

CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions Routine

 

Dude, you're doing it wrong.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Doing It Wrong

 

CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : Felions

 

Despite the wide angle lens, I still couldn't get the whole stadium. Here is a panorama stitched from several images shot with the 14-24 lens.
CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : BC Place Stadium Panorama

 

Since there are some BC place photos in the mix, some previous shots I took of the stadium.
BC Place HDR with D90 and 14-24

 

BC Place Stadium At Night


Vancouver Animal Control - Dogs For Adoption : August 30 2012

Shelter Dogs August 30 2012

When needed, I try to help out at the local animal shelter (Vancouver Animal Control) by taking photos of their dogs available for adoption.  I believe the quality of the photos makes a difference in the dogs adoption so I’m happy to help out when I can.  It helps me and helps the dogs.  You can see the animals they have available at PetFinder.com (not just dogs but rabbits, lizards, and at times even more strange things).  You can also see previous shelter dogs I photographed here.

Some very cute dogs in the bunch. My favorite is Tug, the little bull terrier.

These images should automatically display in high resolution for anyone who has one of the fancy new Macs with a Retina display.


Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : the lions

Hiking the Binkert Trail To The Lions

The Lions are two very familiar peaks that can be seen from Vancouver. I have hiked most of the mountains in the immediate Vancouver area but the Lions always looked down on me with a smug look. Every time I looked to the North Shore I could see the twin peaks and I knew I had to get up there one day. On August 18th, five of us decided to make the trek and I was the only Lions virgin in the group.

The trail starts in Lions Bay and is a 16km round trip journey. The elevation gain is 1280m (4200') with some very steep sections you will feel in your legs. This is a strenuous hike and of the hikes I have completed may be second only to Black Tusk in terms of effort.  I would not bring your dog on this trail, there are sections that would not be easy for your four-legged friend and there are some very steep cliffs.  The hike took us about 3.5 hours in each direction, with a one hour break at the top to enjoy the view, eat lunch, and take photos.  For more detail on the trail feel free to check out these links (some include updates on conditions): Vancouver Trails, Club Tread, Trail Peak, Live Trails.

Some photos from the hike.  First, the motley crew ventures out at the start of the day.  The trail is fairly flat and everyone is feeling good.

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : motley crue

Things begin to get steeper, everyone is still having a good time and chatting.

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : getting steeper

 

One of the only waterfalls along the route. Not much rain in the area lately and the snow pack is almost gone so it's really just a trickle at this point. Harvey Creek is much bigger with pools large enough for a dip. There is a well built bridge over this creek so you will certainly know when you are there.

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : waterfall

 

The trail takes a sharp turn up and chatting turns into cursing.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : the slog

 

Coming out of the trees, you are finally rewarded with stunning views of Howe Sound.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : howe sound views

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : Inuksuk over howe sound

 

The Lions are still looming, a long way to go.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : break with lions looming

 

The group taking a breather after a few hours of hard climbing.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : group taking a break

 

Back on the trail, hiking turns into scrambling.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : the rock scramble

 

And now with snow :)
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : the rock scramble with snow

 

Near the top of the rock scramble, views are still great and a good motivator.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : boulders

 

After a few more tricky sections, you finally reach the ridge and see a full view of the Lions before you.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : west lion on left, east lion on the right

 

It was a bit hazy, but the view from the top was truly spectacular. Hard to beat and makes the 3.5 hour climb completely worth it.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : view from the lions hike

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : both lions

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : Howe Sound from the Lions

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : amazing view

 

You need to be careful with your footing on the ridge, there are very steep cliffs on both sides. One misstep and you won't be around to tell anyone about it.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : view and cliff

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : gap cliff and view

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : Inuksuk and the lions

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : view and cliff 2

 

Up close and personal with the West Lion.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : up close and personal with west lion

 

The West Lion towering over Scott and Jason.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : west lion looms in the background

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : west lion towers over Scott and Mason

 

It is possible to climb to the top of the West Lion, but only for those with some experience with this type of activity should even attempt it. It is a high consequence climb with no room for error. If you decide to do it, you need to descend down a small cliff (a rope is provided). People here are waiting to climb down.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : waiting at rope

 

Once on the West Lion, find the best route up. You can see how steep it is in the photos below.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : climb up west lion

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : tiny people on west lion

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : tiny people on west lion 2

 

The hike is popular in the late summer, especially on a nice day. We didn't see many people on the trail, but there were a few at the top.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : lions ridge and view

 

Of course, some things didn't have to climb to the top. Cheater :)
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : Raven on the lions

 

I can imagine life at the top is not easy for any plants or animals that choose to live here.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : rough life on the lions

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : both lions

 

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : east lion

 

Vancouver feels very far away when you are up here.
Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : Vancouver is far away

 

On the way down, your knees will take a serious beating. The trail through the forest and the gravel road seem to stretch on forever. At the end of the day though, it's an amazing climb and worth the effort for anyone who wants to make the journey.


Antrodiaetus pacificus trapdoor spider

Antrodiaetus pacificus Trapdoor Spider

Antrodiaetus pacificus trapdoor spider

I was walking my dogs near the University of British Columbia (UBC) today and came across a spider I have not encountered before.  It looked like a small tarantula: similar body shape, hairy, black, and rather menacing.  I only had my iPhone 4S with me (wish I had the D800 and 105mm VR Micro) and took a few photos before moving on.

It turns out this is a trapdoor spider (or folding-door spider) and fairly common in this area.  They are not often seen because they tend to stay in their burrow.  This one is specifically Antrodiaetus pacificus, and it is a type of tarantula.  It is likely a male out of his burrow in search of a mate.

More info on these guys here (PDF).  Also found this video on Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUa-Fc088NU


Siwash Rock At Sunset : 2012-07-06

Siwash Rock at Sunset

 

I was waiting for a nice sunny day in Vancouver as I wanted to get out to photograph Siwash Rock. This basalt stack is the only one of it's kind in the Vancouver area, and I wanted to catch it when high tide was at or near sunset.  This is an HDR image created from several exposures.

Siwash Rock At Sunset : 2012-07-06

And a shot I took with my iPhone 4S as my D800 was taking the 7 bracketed shots for my HDR above.

iPhone Siwash Rock D800

 

And a few more shots from that evening including some fun with a neutral density filter for longer exposures.

Vancouver : Siwash Rock Long Exposure B&W : 2012-07-06

Vancouver : Siwash Rock Long Exposure Color : 2012-07-06

Vancouver : Siwash Rock Sunset : 2012-07-06


UBC Botanical Garden Yellow Lily

UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research

Last weekend, my wife and I paid a visit to the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research (at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver).  Despite having lived in Vancouver a combined 35 years it was the first visit for both of us.  We were very fortunate because one of the volunteers, Dana, took us for a private tour as no one else was there for a tour when we arrived.  He spent several hours with us, taking us first on the Greenheart Canopy Walkway, which is a series of bridges and platforms in the trees.  It's a bit wobbly, but fun at the same time.  Also, you get an interesting view from up there that you don't often see.  The canopy system is hung from the trees but is done in such a way that it doesn't harm the tree, it's rather amazing actually and the only one of its kind in Canada.

UBC Botanical Garden Tree Top Walk

UBC Botanical Garden 1

UBC Botanical Garden Feet

UBC Botanical Garden Katie in the trees

UBC Botanical Garden Tree Top Walk

 

There are a lot of vines in the garden, from all over the world.

UBC Botanical Garden Vine

UBC Botanical Garden Vine

 

It's not all plants and flowers.

UBC Botanical Garden Mushroom

 

Though there are a lot of beautiful flowers as well.

UBC Botanical Garden Flowers

UBC Botanical Garden Borrage

UBC Botanical Garden Flower Mosaic

UBC Botanical Garden Yellow Lily

 

They also have a big garden with all kinds of edible things.

UBC Botanical Garden Yummy

 

Including the most interesting way to grow fruit.  These trees are trained to grow at an angle and only have branches in one plane.  Because of the angle, the tree bears fruit much sooner than they would otherwise.  Also, they are very easy to pick being no more than six feet high, some only a foot with branches parallel to the ground.  I wish I remember what this growing style was, if you know please leave a message in the comments below.

UPDATE: The technique of training trees in this manner is called Espalier (thanks to Wendy Cutler!).

UBC Botanical Garden Fruit trees

UBC Botanical Garden Fruit trees 2

 

In one section, they have plants from all of the continents including a lot of desert varieties.  Apparently there are fire ants too, though I didn't see any.

UBC Botanical Garden Fire Ants

UBC Botanical Garden Chicks and Hens

UBC Botanical Garden Burrs

UBC Botanical Garden Carpet

UBC Botanical Garden Cactus in Bloom

UBC Botanical Garden Flower

UBC Botanical Garden Crocosmia in Bloom

 

There is also a section of the garden dedicated to plants used in the medical field.  This sundial is in the middle, accurate though doesn't adjust well for daylight savings time :)

UBC Botanical Garden Sundial in the medical garden

 

We found this interesting bee hive, which was a temporary art installation.  The solar panels provide energy to open and close it daily.

UBC Botanical Garden Bee Hive Fine Art

 

Finally, there is a fantastic water fountain the garden located in the amphitheatre.  It was designed by William Pye who installs these amazing water sculptures all over the world.  I'll have to go back to get more photographs.

UBC Botanical Garden Fountain Reflection


Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 6

Birds At Acadia Beach in Vancouver, BC

Took a short walk with my dogs on Acadia Beach today.  The best time for birds, especially Great Blue Herons, seems to be on the rising tide early in the morning.  The Herons like to walk around in the shallow water and pick off smelt and other small fish who are too dumb to notice a three foot tall bird.

I didn't get any stellar shots today but did see a Bald Eagle, a few Great Blue Herons, Geese, and a few of the usual suspects as well.   Overall, a fun day and always nice when an eagle is around.  The birds were quite far away so these are crops from much bigger images shot with the Nikon D800 and 80-200 f/2.8D lens.  In cases like this, a longer lens would sure be nice.  If an updated 80-400mm VR becomes available I may be tempted to sell the current zoom and go for the bigger reach.  Teleconverters do not work with the 80-200.  There was also a strong backlight so I had to dial up the shadow recovery introducing some noise.

I definitely got some better shots when I went to Brackendale to shoot the Bald Eagles with a borrowed 400mm f/2.8.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 5

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 4

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 1

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 3

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 6

 

Impressive talons on this guy, wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of those.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Bald Eagle 7

 

The geese didn't seem to care that a top predator was in the area.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Geese

 

The heron also went about his business catching fish.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Great Blue Heron
I even managed to catch a crow in flight.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Crow Landing

 

The image above was rescued from a very underexposed shot.  The screenshot below shows the impressive dynamic range of the Nikon D800 which allowed me to recover the shadows and save the image, if only for web use.

Acadia-Beach : 2012-07-10 : Nikon D800 Shadow Recovery In Lightroom 4

 


Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Guts and Glory Race 2

Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival 2012

Some shots from the 2012 Vancouver RioTinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival.  Saturday, June 16th was an absolutely miserable day with solid rain all day.  I didn't even go down to the event as sitting in the rain watching is not much fun.  Sunday was much nicer, and I did get out to watch the racing and take a few photos.

 

Heading out to race

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Team Too

Racing

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Racing 2

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Guts and Glory Race 7

One of the racers, a dragon boat team, and me.

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Bob, the team, and me

Concord Pacific Flying Dragons One and Too (processed in the style of "300")

Dragon Boat Festival: 2012-06-17 : Group : 300 Style

 

The Gong Show that is the Guts and Glory race.  16 teams race 4 legs of 500m, which means they need to make a three turns.  These boats, with 22 people, don't turn on a dime and the turns are where the action is.  A lot of fun to watch.

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Guts and Glory Race

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Guts and Glory Race 2

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Guts and Glory Race 3

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Guts and Glory Race 4

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Guts and Glory Race 5

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Guts and Glory Race 6

 

Looks like the geese are enjoying the racing too.

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Geese like the show

 

The Hastings Street Band providing entertainment for the fans.

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Hastings Street Band

Dragon Boat Festival : 2012-06-17 : Tuba

 

I also found a very cool video, shot by the steersman for team "Kai Ikaika" of Portland, Oregon, winners of the 2012 Guts and Glory race. Looks like an exciting race.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxyRqJ8Xmhk


5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

The Fifth Annual East Van Show and Shine

My friend Eli and I attended the Fifth Annual East Van Show and Shine held at the Whip Restaurant.  It is a fundraiser that features live bands, a barbecue, local vendors, and vintage and classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Proceeds support the Canadian Cancer Society.  We have attended the event for the last few years and it's always fun.  There were a few new cars this year, including a late 60's Charger and a late 60's Camaro which are both near the top of my favorites list.

On our way out of the house, Eli noticed a rainbow around the sun.  More info about this in my previous post, but it was very cool and not a common sight.
Vancouver Sun Dog

 

And shots of the cars.
5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

Very cool old Volvo.
5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

The most popular attraction as not the cars, girls, band, or food.  It was a pug in a side car :)
5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

Everyone was stopping to take photos.
5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

There were some cool bikes down there too.
5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

 

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

Guard dog on duty.

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)

Mr. Grumpy Pants.

5th Annual East Van Show and Shine at the Whip Restaurant (Vancouver, BC. May 27, 2012)