For this shot, I used a 12mm wide-angle lens and mounted the camera on the ground with a Platypod. The Platypod is like a tripod for low perspectives. This is a long-exposure that would have been difficult to shoot any other way. With the Platypod it was a breeze.
On one side of Lost Lagoon is Stanly Park and on the other is the big city of Vancouver. You can walk from woods to towers in about ten minutes.
The name “Lost Lagoon” comes from a poem written by Pauline Johnson and laments how she lost the use of the lagoon for canoeing when the tide was out. I looked up that bit of trivia, so now we all know the origins of the name. The lagoon is now a lake cut off from the bay, so presumably, you can canoe without worrying about the tides.
I got this one afternoon when I decided to take a walk in the park. This is Stanley Park in Vancouver and is one of the best urban parks in North America. It rivals Central Park and Golden Gate Park. I took this at a little pond known as Lost Lagoon where there are some resident swans. You can usually line up a good shot if you just wait for the right moment.
Waiting for the right moment is good advice for landscape photographers. If you stay in a single spot long enough, something is bound to happen. It’s all a question of how long you want to wait. Usually I’ll walk up on a scene and not see anything in particular. The scene can be like a puzzle, however it almost as though a sixth sense tells me there’s something there. I just have to recognize it, compose it, and take the photo. So it could be a matter of focusing in on a small area, or it could be just slowing down and waiting for something to unfold. It’s an inexact science but the longer I wait, the more likely I am to walk away with something worth my time.
Another little technique to add to this is pick a time of day when you think something might happen and then get there a little earlier. For instance, in Florida, right at the crack of dawn the pelicans will fly from their nighttime resting spots to their daytime fishing locations. So if you want to get a sunrise with some pelicans flying by, you get there a little early and wait, but be ready because you might only get one chance, believe me I’ve missed more than I care to admit.
With this image I planned to come in the afternoon because I knew the sun set across the water from a section of the path. So I got there, waited, noticed the swan swim by, then click and I had my image.
Oh, and one other thing, if you’re going to be out in nature, bring mosquito repellant. I got swarmed as I stood here and waited. Next time I’ll take my own advice and bring some.
Here are some apartment towers across the pond at the edge of the Vancouver downtown facing Stanley Park. Both the towers and trees cast a reflection on Lost Lagoon as I walked by here not too long ago. Lost Lagoon is a funny name for a pond in the middle of a big city, it conjures up images of a tropical island in the middle of the pacific somewhere, yet here it is in a big city. Maybe they figured no one would think to look for it here.
I once made up a rule about landscape photography, that the more elements a photo has the more interesting or impactful it becomes. By elements I mean fire, air water and earth. So…, the idea is that the more I incorporate in a photo, the more it resonates. Take this for instance, it has water, earth and air. There’s a hint of fire on the right from the setting sun. I have no idea if any of this is true, but it’s an idea and I kind of like it.
Speaking of lost, I wish they’d make another series like Lost. I was hooked on that real bad; wouldn’t it be cool if they did another one? Lost 2, or Lost Again, or better yet, Lost lagoon. I have the perfect location.
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!