Vancouver Sun Dog

Vancouver Sun Halo

Yesterday, on my way to the East Van Show and Shine, my friend Eli pointed out a circular rainbow around the sun.  Not something you see every day, and since we both had our cameras we took some photos.  Someone suggested that this phenomenon is called a sun dog or sundog (Wikipedia), but I think it is actually a sun halo.  A sun dog is a 'mock sun', or a bright point of light similar to the sun.  I this case, it's a complete circular halo around the sun and looks like a rainbow. There are some references to these things here and here.

Vancouver Sun Dog

Update (May 29):  After posting on a forum, it turns out this phenomenon is called  a sun halo.  It is seen when thin cirrus clouds are present high in the atmosphere on a sunny day.  Light refracts off ice crystals and creates the effect.  More info here: 22° halo at Wikipedia, NASA.


Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Pit Bull

Shelter Dogs May 11 2012

Another trip to Vancouver Animal Control to photograph dogs.  Photos from previous visits can be seen here.  As always, you can see the animals available for adoption from this shelter by visiting their PetFinder page or just drop in at the shelter.

First up, this young pit bull who is a bit chunky but loves to play.

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Pit Bull

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Pit Bull

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Pit Bull

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Pit Bull

I had to visit the puppies again, they are great dogs and won't last long.  Previous photos of these little guys are here.

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Puppies

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Puppies

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Puppies

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Puppies

A playful and very cute Pomeranian.

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Pomeranian

Call of the wild

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Pomeranian

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Pomeranian

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Pomeranian

And a German Shepherd who was more interested in napping in the grass than having her photo taken.

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - German Shepherd

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - German Shepherd

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - German Shepherd

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - German Shepherd

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - German Shepherd

Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - German Shepherd

 

 


Vancouver Aquarium - 2012-05-01

Another visit to the Vancouver Aquarium

I have had a membership at the Vancouver Aquarium for the last few years and I like to visit often.  It's a great place to just walk around and relax.  I almost always see something new and different.  I like to bring my camera, you never know what you will see.

Don't bug me, I'm crabby

Vancouver Aquarium - 2012-05-01

Best buds, Gus and Ollie, hyacinth macaws

Vancouver Aquarium - 2012-05-01

Vancouver Aquarium - 2012-05-01

Vancouver Aquarium - 2012-05-01

Vancouver Aquarium - 2012-05-01

Vancouver Aquarium - 2012-05-01

Vancouver Aquarium - 2012-05-01

Vancouver Aquarium - 2012-05-01

Vancouver Aquarium - 2012-05-01

Vancouver Aquarium - 2012-05-01


Dragon Boat Spring Sprint - Vancouver, BC - 2012-05-12

Dragon Boat Spring Sprint in Vancouver

What a great day for some dragon boat racing.  Since my wife is on a team, I went down to take some photos and enjoy the nice weather.  Spring Sprint is a warm up to the big Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival, which is in mid June.   The boats are smaller, only 10 paddlers instead of the usual 20 and the distance is substantially shorter as well.  Still fun to watch, especially when you can soak up the sun after the miserable April showers.

The races are held in False Creek with downtown Vancouver as the backdrop.  Hard to find a nicer venue than this.

Dragon Boat Spring Sprint - Vancouver, BC - 2012-05-12

The staging area is right beside Science World.

Dragon Boat Spring Sprint - Vancouver, BC - 2012-05-12

Some shots of the action.

Dragon Boat Spring Sprint - Vancouver, BC - 2012-05-12

 

 

Dragon Boat Spring Sprint - Vancouver, BC - 2012-05-12

Organized chaos.

Dragon Boat Spring Sprint - Vancouver, BC - 2012-05-12

Dragon Boat Spring Sprint - Vancouver, BC - 2012-05-12

Dragon Boat Spring Sprint - Vancouver, BC - 2012-05-12


Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

A Walk on Wreck Beach, Vancouver, BC

I don't always take my camera when I'm out walking the dogs, but since the D800 is new I decided to bring it along today. I was using the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR lens, which I love. All shots hand held, so may not be critically sharp especially when shooting in the shady areas. It's still too early in the year, and too cold, for the nudies to be out so I had the beach to myself.

This is one of my dogs, Jammie.  She is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, small but thinks she is a big dog.

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

You see some interesting critters when you start getting close

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

I have also been playing around with black and white images more and more.  The D800 captures so much detail and has so much dynamic range you can really get great effects with b&w.

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

This was a bit random, looks like someone brought it to the beach and stuck it in the sand.  I didn't see these growing anywhere.

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

The horror! Actually they are rather cute, as long as they don't decide to set up shop in my back yard.

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

And the fern somewhat reminds me of the furry caterpillars.

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

 

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR


Light painting Toyota Tacoma

First attempt at light painting

This didn't start out as a light painting shoot. My friend Andrew wanted to get some long exposure shots of planes taking off so we ventured down to the airport near sunset. Before the sun went down, we took a few shots at Iona Beach.

Iona Beach Sunset

The beach wasn't particularly interesting, so as the sun was going down I decided to try out the variable ND filter I purchased.  First time I have ever used an ND filters, but it was a day of firsts so why not.  Here are a couple of shots, looks like it could be fun and the effect can't be duplicated any other way.

Iona Beach Sunset long exposure with ND filter

Iona Beach Sunset long exposure with ND filter

And here is Andrew setting up for a sunset shot.

Iona Beach Sunset Andrew

The sun finally set so we found a spot where we could see the runway and decided to shoot planes on the way in and out of the airport.  There were not a lot of flights and we couldn't get a decent photo.  Out of the photos I took, this was the best one and it is average at best.

Vancouver airport airplane light trails

We quickly got bored, and decided to try some light painting.  Started with waving the flashlights around.

Light painting attempt

Then we noticed the back hoe, so we decided to try some light painting on that.  The idea was to trace the bucket and tracks with brighter light and fill in the rest.  For a first attempt, somewhat successful.

Light painting attempt back hoe

And better after we stumbled on some better camera settings.

Light painting attempt back hoe 2

Found a bulldozer nearby as well.

Light painting attempt dozer

And finally my truck before we wrapped up for the night.

Light painting Toyota Tacoma

Finally, I asked Andrew to paint on some horns, he must of thought I said "propeller".  They sound so similar I can see where he got mixed up.

Light painting Toyota Tacoma Andrew horns

So I had to try it myself

Light painting Toyota Tacoma Mike horns


George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Mallard in flight

A Visit to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Today I paid my first visit to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary located near Ladner, BC.  It's a great spot to spend a few hours and I'll definitely go back more than once to see what species of birds visit this park.  Cost is $5 to get in, well worth it.  Here are some of my photos from the day.

My first shot was actually taken in the parking lot, this girl was walking around in the grass right behind my truck (Mallard Duck).

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary Mallard Duck

Not sure what this guy is, someone needs to help me identify it.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary Duck

Napping while standing on one foot, showoff (Canada Goose).

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary Sleeping Canada Goose

I think this is a Northen Pintail, beautiful birds.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Duck

Just a common blackbird, but a break from the waterfowl photos.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Blackbird

The ducks are everywhere.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Ducks

I like how this guy shows up in camo, even a camo lens coat, and there are kids running around in pink and purple yelling.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: camo dude

Managed only a couple of good action photos.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Mallard in flight

 

And the geese are all over the place too.  You certainly don't need a big zoom lens to get some good shots of birds here.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Geese on path

This guy was constantly hissing at me. Come to think of it, must be a female :)

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: goose hissing

Spring is here, flowers are popping up.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: flowers

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: flowers

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: flowers

The first time I have ever been this close to Sandhill Cranes

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Sandhill Crane

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Sandhill Crane

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Sandhill crane closeup

Not the most graceful creatures when they take off though.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: sandhill crane flying

 

 

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: sandhill crane flying

The Sandhill fly-by, they almost look like jets.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: sandhill flyby

Out of nowhere, a duck fight breaks out.  It was a ball of white water and feathers accompanied by a lot of noise.

[tag-gallery tag=duckfight columns=4]

This little guy was collecting all of the bird seed the visitors left for the ducks.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: squirrel

And what landed in the water the carp would clean up.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: carp

On my way out, I had to stop to take a few shots of these Snow Geese.  There were hundreds of them.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: snow geese

I had to stop one more time as I was heading into Ladner as I saw these tow Bald Eagles in the tree.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good angle on them.  More eagle photos can be seen from my visit to Brackendale.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: bald eagles

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: bald eagle

They didn't stick around for long.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: bald eagle flying

I had my lens on manual focus as it was having a very hard time getting the eagles among the branches.  Unfortunately, when they took off it didn't make for a good shot.  Too bad, this would have been nice.

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: bald eagle


Shelter Dogs March 17 2012

Another set of dogs from Vancouver Animal Control, you can see others here.  As always, you can see the animals available for adoption from this shelter by visiting their PetFinder page or just drop in at the shelter.

The little husky puppies are still there, and still cute.  The first dog today was Root Beer, a very active but loving young pit bull.

 

At one point go got a case of the zoomies.

 

This girl likes to lean on you while getting some attention, I don't think she knows how big she is.

 

Coming in for my close up.

 

 

 

A young shih tzu, very playful.

 


This guy looks grumpy, is missing a tooth, but he is a friendly giant.

 

And a new litter of puppies!  Furry face ones too, my favorite


VanAquaJan12 Fav 9

A Trip to the Vancouver Aquarium

I visit the Vancouver Aquarium several times a year and always enjoy it.  They recently expanded and also have bioluminescence displays which were great to see.   A friend of mine stole (ok, borrowed) my favorite lens for my visits to the aquarium, the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 Micro VR, so these are all shot with the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8.  Since everything is hand held, the VR is actually quite useful.

One of my favorite tanks showing the Pacific Sea Nettle.  I feel very relaxed after watching it for a while.
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A shrimp in the west coast exhibit.
VanAquaJan12 Fav 20

It was divers weekend (discount if you bring your cert card).  Lots of interesting info for divers.  Here, coast guard divers prepare to dive in the big tank next to the entrance.
VanAquaJan12 Fav 17

I caught the dolphin show from the underwater viewing gallery.  These animals are amazing, incredibly fast and agile.  Here, one of them makes an entrance after some acrobatics.

Part of the bioluminescence display.  Preserved deep sea fish that use lights on their body to attract prey.  Wouldn't want to run into this guy while swimming in the ocean.
VanAquaJan12 Fav 15

This little guy seemed quite interested in me.
VanAquaJan12 Fav 14

Leopard frog taking in the rays.
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The colours on some of these frogs is just amazing.
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Not my wife's favorite.
VanAquaJan12 Fav 11

Hangin' out, looks nice and relaxed.
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You see a lot more than fish at the Vancouver Aquarium.
VanAquaJan12 Fav 7

Rays, another favorite.
VanAquaJan12 Fav 5

The Arapaima, one of the largest freshwater fish in the world.
VanAquaJan12 Fav 4

Looks like this guy just finished molting or is about to.  Great looking snake.
VanAquaJan12 Fav 1

 

And the rest of the images from the day.

[tag-gallery tag=VanAquaJan12 columns=3 twidth=250]


Vancouver Skyline from Olympic Village 3

Vancouver's Olympic Village At Night

A friend of mine just purchased a new Gitzo tripod and was eager to try it out. We decided to head down to the Olympic Village in Vancouver to get some shots at night. Below are some of the shots that turned out ok, all shot with a Nikon D90, 3 exposure HDR at +/- 2 EV. Processed with Lightroom, Photomatix, and Photoshop.

This is the first time I have attempted an HDR panorama. This is a panorama stitched from four HDR images. I don't think it turned out that well, but I learned a few things and will try something different next time. I think some of the other images from the nights shoot turned out better. Shot with a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8.
Vancouver Skyline from Olympic Village Pano

This shot is taken with the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 wide angle lens from the Aqua Bus platform near Science World. Really enjoying this lens and can't wait to use it on an FX body. I like the how the reflections turned out in this shot.
Vancouver Skyline from Olympic Village 3

Vancouver Skyline from Olympic Village 1

The new and 'improved' BC Place along with the Plaza of Nations.
Vancouver Skyline from Olympic Village 2

Great design on this bridge, lit up at night and looks great.
Olympic Village Bridge

Some funky stairs and cool blue lights. They did a great job with the design and architecture at the new village. I'll be back to take more photos for sure.
Olympic Village Stairs

Science World always looks good at night.
Science World Vancouver


Full Moon at 400mm

Almost a full moon

A friend of mine (Maggie) told me about the December 10th lunar eclipse.  No idea how I missed the fact that this is happening, very unlike my geek self.  We had a clear sky tonight, and I still have the monster 400mm f/2.8 lens I borrowed for the Bald Eagle shoot so I decided to take a few practice shots.  No real point posting more than one photo, the moon doesn't do much different between shots.  The lens, as expected, delivered great results on my D90.

Full Moon at 400mm


Queen Elizabeth Park

Fall in Vancouver

It was a beautiful fall day in Vancouver today. I decided to visit Queen Elizabeth Park to try and catch some fall colours.

Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park


Science World HDR

BC Place and Science World HDR Photos

A couple of HDR photos shot in the false creek area of Vancouver, BC. The new BC Place stadium and Science world. I processed with a demo version of PhotoEngine which I like a lot.

Science World HDR
Science World HDR
BC Place HDR
BC Place HDR

 


iPhone 4S HDR

My First iPhone 4S HDR

This is the first photo I took with the iPhone 4S in HDR mode.  Untouched, this is how it came from the phone.  Rather impressive considering it was shot in low light.  Looking forward to testing this new camera more now that I see the results.

iPhone 4S HDR
iPhone 4S HDR

Same file with some edits in Lightroom

iPhone 4S HDR Edit
iPhone 4S HDR Edit

And for comparison an HDR from the same scene, same time shot with a Nikon D90, 14-24 lens, processed with PhotoEngine and Lightroom. The iPhone photo isn't bad, but I don't think anyone can argue it's as good as shooting the scene with a decent camera.

BC Place HDR with D90 and 14-24
BC Place HDR with D90 and 14-24

One more shot, I had a request to try and tone the iPhone photo to more closely match the D90 shot.

BC Place iPhone 4S re-edit in LR3 to match D90
BC Place iPhone 4S re-edit in LR3 to match D90

Puppies

Puppies!


Puppy Chomp
Puppy Chomp

We are fostering eight little monsters.  More photos to come.