For some reason this made me think of the other side of the rainbow. Maybe because we had nothing but rain before I took this, only there was no rainbow afterward, just clouds. The kind of rain they get here in Vancouver in the winter is not conducive to rainbows, the leprechauns get out of town and winter in Florida. It’s too bad, I would love to set the pot. That didn’t come out right.
To create this image I stood on the shoulders of giants. This is an HDR image which means I combined three exposures to get the maximum amount of light, more than I could get with a single shot. I combined the images in AuroraHDR Pro which is one of the latests products from Trey Ratcliff in collaboration with MacPhun. I created four layers with varying degrees of detail, radiance and color enhancement. I then returned the image to Adobe Lightroom where I used one of Trey’s presets. So, final result was a collaboration of sorts with the creative genius of Trey.
When I create images I use a lot of tools to create something beyond the ordinary. Sometimes I have an idea of what that is when I take the picture, other times after. It’s a highly subjective process and I never know where I’ll end up. Sometimes I struggle, other times it just flows. This image is one of the latter. I knew when I took it what I wanted, and then creating the final result was just a matter of sitting down and letting it happen. It just so happened that this time, I used Trey’s software for most of it. It was easy, fun, and I got where I needed to go. Thank you Trey!
I took this at a Skytrain station in Vancouver. It’s called the Skytrain because most of it is above ground. I’m not from around here so I still call it a subway, but when I do I get glances. The kind of glance that says you’re not from around here are you? Maybe one day I’ll get it right, but its kind of low on the priority list.
That aside it’s the best run transit system I’ve seen outside of Disney World. There are no drivers and everything is automated, a little like Tomorrowland. However as a programmer it gives me just a slight amount of concern, like that glance I get when I say the word subway. It’s subtle but there is a difference. I know what happens when there’s a bug in the code and if my program controls a train, well that opens up all kinds of scenarios. Even so I ignore the thought because the train seems to have been running very well for years, so perhaps the code is bug free. I wipe the consideration from my mind, just as quickly as it enters. I’m getting a little off track.
Skytrain just added something new called a Compass pass. Long story short it’s a convenient way to buy a fare, transfer to a bus or ferry and possibly save money at the same time. Without going into all the details it seems to work pretty well, just as well as the trains run without drivers. Did I mention that? One thing seems certain to me; someone is writing a lot of good code and as a result the whole system seems to run quite well. Now if I could just reprogram my brain to not call it a subway.
The coast of British Columbia is made up of islands, one after another, as far as the eye can see. I imagine this scene must have remained the same for the nine thousand years that the first nations inhabited this area. These were solely inhabited by indigenous tribes up until a couple centuries ago. I know this because when I took this picture I was standing on the grounds of the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. The MoA is largely dedicated to preserving remnants from those people.
The MoA contains artifacts, writings and art from these cultures and I left there with a new sense respect. A good museum does that, takes us outside of ourselves and provides different perspectives we can use to understand the world. I think that whether I descend from these people or not, we inhabit the same space and share the same planet and based on that we are more alike than different. I know that’s a little bit cliche, but it helps me understand their story just a little bit, starting from what we have in common. It’s a stretch, but it’s a start. Regardless, I left feeling a little bit conflicted about the current state of things. A problem for another day perhaps.
The next day I was walking through a crowded park in the city. Along a trail by a pond was a young lady holding her right hand out. I thought that was a little odd so I continued looking as I approached. In fact she was holding out bird seed and feeding some small finches as they landed on her hand. She did not look at me as she remained perfectly still, hand outstretched. I smiled and walked on, not wanting to disturb her communion, but I did think that was an odd sight, not something I see everyday. Is it possible that centuries ago this might not have appeared so unusual, that it might have been as common as, say, sending a text message? I have no way of knowing, but it made me think that we moderns and those ancients are probably closer at the things that matter than we might know.
This is the Koerner Library building at the University of British Columbia. I walked through UBC on my way back from taking pictures along the shoreline. I was amazed at how big the UBC campus is. To me, coming from a small town, it seemed enormous and I suppose this is just one of many libraries scattered throughout. The sun was setting behind the building so it added a dramatic flare, at least to my eyes which never saw this building before.
I think that faculty and students don’t even bat an eye, and the thought of taking a picture of this might seem trite. That’s the value of having fresh eyes. This happens to me all the time back in Florida. I can walk somewhere and not see a thing I’d consider remarkable, but someone from out of town would. We all become blind to things we consider commonplace. In fact, I almost didn’t stop to take this picture because I noticed it was a library, what could be interesting about a library? I’m glad I did.
After taking the shot I continued back to the bus stop to catch a ride back to town. It was Saturday night and sure enough it was full of students heading into town to hang out. It was still pretty early so the bus wasn’t that full, but I’m sure had I left a couple hours later this library would have been empty and all therein lined up at the bus stop for a night away from the library. Not that I know that to be a fact, I’m just sayin.
This is the Vancouver cityscape as seen from Cypress Point. Its probably one of the best locations to get a panoramic view of the city at night, a must see if you are there. I was thinking about Vancouver because I’ll be heading back there soon and was wondering what has changed since I was last there. Last time there was a lot of construction underway and the joke was that the local bird is the crane.
I find that even when I’m away from home for a week or two, I always see little differences when I return. It might be something simple like a new store at the mall or a section of re-paved road, but something new that makes an impression on me because it wasn’t there when I left. When we see same things everyday, we don’t always notice the changes. I ignore a lot because it seems so commonplace, kind of like watching a clock move, we don’t really notice the hands moving but come back in an hour or so and they’re in a different place. So it is with my small town of Palmetto.
Now multiply that by a thousand times and that would be Vancouver. I’m curious to see what new buildings have been constructed, what might have changed at the airport, and maybe even what new shops are at the mall. I’m sure if I ask a Vancouverite they’d say not much has changed and I’d get a chuckle out of that. Having said all that, some things will never change; the beauty of Lions Gate Bridge (pictured here), Stanley Park and the amazing mountain peaks that surround the city.
This is a shot of the mist on Wick beach in British Columbia. Actually the name of this place is Wickaninnish, but folks around here just call it Wick. In any case, this is at the southern end of a very long beach that stretches for miles up the coast. There is a WWII memorial here as well as a lodge with a restaurant that has a few local dishes on the menu. It was a chilly day so we asked for comfort food and we got a local favorite. I can’t begin to remember the name of it but it seemed to have fish and rice all mixed in and it really hit the spot. This area is known for surfing, fishing whale watching. Or, if you’re like me, just long walks on a long beach followed by comfort food.
This is the view of Mount Edith Cavell from Jasper Park Lodge that I took one summer evening before sunset. I think it’s pretty amazing how long the days are in the summer up here. Its kind of hard to fathom, especially now that I’m writing this in winter when it gets dark many hours earlier. In the evening the angle of the sun is low enough to cast a soft light on everything. I understand that Iceland can be like that for months, I guess that’s next on my list. In any case, Mount Edith Cavell is one of the more iconic landmarks of the Canadian Rockies and having hiked up along side of it, I can say it is indeed massive, even when viewed from twenty kilometers away. A couple of days ago I wrote about the age of the trees in British Columbia. Well, these mountains are millions of years old. That really impresses me because just like the size of these mountains, their age is something I can never really wrap my mind around.
Last year I stopped here at Cathedral Grove just outside of Nanaimo British Columbia. These are towering Douglas Firs, the oldest at about eight hundred years old though most are around three hundred years. Even with visitors, the lush vegetation dampens the sounds to provide a quite walk through the old forest. There are a lot of must see places on Vancouver Island, this is at the top of the list. I was here in summer when it was hot, even so the cover the canopy creates its own micro-climate and the whole place is about ten dregs cooler. The grove is reached by a highway leading over the mountains to the pacific coast. I was on my way there to Ucluelet, but even so when I came back I stopped here again. I took a ton of pictures both times.
A couple of years ago I was in Jasper Alberta to visit the Canadian Rockies. I arrived by train from Vancouver and then drove and hiked around. Along the way I stayed at the Jasper Park Lodge situated just east of town on Bueuvert Lake. I used a water texture from the mediterranean on the sky and water to add a mystical feel to the image. I would say there is quite a bit of good energy up here in the Rockies, mystical or otherwise. This is another one of those places I need to get back to and in some respects reminds me a little bit of New Zealand.