Closeups in the Hood

CK Wright Photo Trips 2 Comments

I had a productive Sunday morning wandering around the neighbourhood capturing closeups of the flowers and other interesting items.

I started off in the City in the Park gardens and captured the roses with moisture still on them from the overnight watering.

The gardens are paved in square and rectangular blocks and with my wide angle lens, it forms an interesting pattern.

Next up was the abandoned railway line as I was looking for foxgloves which prefer disturbed areas.

The daisies were also in bloom and set against the grass it made for an interesting composition.

I wanted to try a different composition and spotted this flower with a dandelion stem intersecting it.

The edge of the railway line was carpeted in buttercups and I composed this one with the blurred grass creating geometric patterns in the background.

I like this composition because the buttercup appears to be standing still while the grass appears to be in movement.

The seedpods from the cottonwood trees made an interesting composition on the gravel ballast.

I wandered over to the Byrne Creek Ravine Park and spotted this interesting flower, though I have not been able to identify it.

Along the pathway was Herb-Robert, an introduced Eurasian weed.

Surrey Central

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An area I have wanted to photograph for some time is the area around the Surrey Central Skytrain station. There are some interesting architectural buildings including the City Centre Library, the SFU Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering building, and the SFU Surrey Campus and adjoining buildings.

The rain on Saturday finally stopped mid-afternoon so this seemed a perfect time to head there given the limited time remaining in the day. Upon arriving at the first stop, the City Centre Library, we were surprised to see the entire exterior being used as a movie set. This building will have to wait until a return visit, though I did manage to find one composition free of the movie set gear. I love the curving glass windows with the exposed concrete wall.

A block away is the SFU Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering building with a very interesting cladding of glass and steel with a distinctive shape. I tried a few different compositions of the exterior.

We headed across the street to the Central City mall and the SFU Surrey Campus. I liked this simple composition with the various strong linear lines and the reflecting glass.

We headed into the SFU Surrey Campus and spent some time capturing the unique architecture.

The centre skylight and reverse spire made for some interesting compositions.

We headed outside near dusk and captured another photograph of the front façade with the dusk light, clearing sky and clouds.

One of the towers on that site had the top roof edge illuminated in the setting sun. I don’t normally show two similar compositions, but I thought it was interesting to show the different perspective on that tower.

Pattullo to Alex Fraser

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Along the Fraser River from the Pattullo Bridge to the Alex Fraser Bridge, there are several interesting pocket sized parks with views of those bridges and the Fraser River, along with walking paths.

Brownsville Bar Park, located on the south-east side of the Fraser River in Surrey, has impressive views of the three crossings here; the 1937 Pattullo Bridge for vehicle traffic, the 1989 Skybridge for the rapid transit line, and the 1904 New Westminster Bridge for trains.

Here is the Pattullo Bridge and the New Westminster Bridge. The Pattullo is slated to be replaced within the next few years.

This black and white composition works well to show the intricate steel work of the through arch bridge design.

The Skybridge is a very sleek and modern design making for some great photo compositions.

Downriver and on the opposite bank is the New Westminster Quay, with views back to those bridges.

The walking path offers diverse views of the river, the plantings, and the marine traffic.

There is a large sandbar that is present at low tide and I was able to capture the clouds reflected in the bar with the Fraser Surrey Docks behind.

My previous attempts to capture the Inn at the Quay hotel have not been successful, but on this visit I felt I captured it well.

The First Capital Place office building has a striking façade, though on this composition I used the building edge to lead the eye into the swirling clouds.

Across the river on the eastern end of Lulu Island is the New Westminster community of Port Royal. The roses were in bloom with an abundant aroma! In this view, the Quay and the Skybridge is visible.

The Pacific ninebark shrubs were flowering with a light scent.

The railway swing bridge and condo towers reflecting in the Fraser River.

Downriver from Port Royal, at the south end of the Alex Fraser Bridge, is a First Nations park with views of the adjacent cedar mill and the bridge. The river is wide here though the current was still strong.

Form and Reflection In Downtown Vancouver

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I had a very enjoyable walk through the downtown Vancouver recently, photographing the various sights there. While I enjoy photographing natural settings, my other interest is architectural photography.

I like the strong compositional line and the reflection from the glass wall in this composition of the Parq Vancouver. Even the traffic arrows add to the flow, as does the Zhang Huan Slow sculpture of the bears heading towards the building.

Here is the mother bear in Zhang Huan’s Slow sculpture.

The Robson Square offers views of the Hotel Vancouver and the old courthouse containing the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The Arthur Erikson designed court house made for an interesting study in form with the heavy rectangular concrete columns supporting the rounded slender steel roof posts.

The North Plaza at the Vancouver Art Gallery recently had an update and I was very impressed with the paving tiles consisting of various shapes and tones.

How many different colours and shapes can you note in this plaza shot?

When I spotted the Hotel Vancouver reflecting in the TD Tower, I decided to try a composition where the decorative posts on the plaza shelter roof (see the last photo) would be placed in front of the reflection. The end result is pleasing with various straight and curved elements.

Tucked behind Cathedral Place and elevated above Hornby Street is this small park. I liked the soft and vibrant tone grass contrasting to the hard straight edged building material.

Rising from the Christ Church Cathedral is the 100 foot bell tower, containing stained glass panels designed by Sarah Hall. I will have to visit at night time and capture those illuminated.

I am often times drawn to compositions that mix the natural with buildings such as this composition of the Scotiabank Tower. I like contrasting the colour and tonality difference between the darker blue glass and the green leaves, plus the straight window lines and the curved branches.

This is an interesting study in lines, rectangles and squares, and reflections.

The MNP Tower has this interesting curved wall section and with a cloudless sky, the black and white composition is striking.

Here and There in the West Fraser Valley

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Over the last few weeks I have explored various areas in the western Fraser Valley . This is really the first year that I have spent any time poking around here and I must say there are some interesting areas and vantage points.

Devon Falls is tucked behind residential housing on the south-west side of Sumas Mountain. The conditions were perfect with overcast and early morning light.

We climbed up the nearby McKee Peak and were rewarded with spectacular southward views overlooking the tulips fields and the Fraser Valley.

Almost directly north is the Matsqui Regional Trail that follows the Fraser River on the south side.

The CP Rail bridge crosses the wide Fraser River, with one swing section for marine traffic.

The spring leaf out was so very vibrant combined with the blue sky.

I spotted this composition and thought the tree with the lone cloud centred above would be an interesting study.

The Highway 11 bridge makes for some interesting compositions with the strong red linear shape set against the blue sky.

Cultus Lake is the type of place that I avoid during the busier times of the year, but in the early spring it is so quiet.

We hiked the nearby Seven Sister Trail to Teapot Hill and took advantage of the shade and later cloudy conditions to photograph the flowers and understory.

Red Elderberry growing alongside a western red cedar.

One of the remaining old growth Douglas-fir trees towering over the forest. Standing under a tree that is over 600 years old is certainly impressive!

The moss draped forest was quiet and well lit on this early morning outing.

Western Trillium.

Dull Oregon-grape flowering is neat to see given the short duration it flowers.

I was very pleased to capture a sharp photo of the fern frond opening given the breezy conditions.

Of course, being Teapot Hill, one would expect teapots to be decorating the forest and we were not disappointed. In fact, it was difficult to not become obsessive trying to photographing all of them!

The hazy conditions did not make the view very spectacular but I wanted to include the view for completeness sake.

We hike up a local trail called Abby Grind that is very steep, ascending 500 metres in about 2.5 kilometers. The conditions were a bit hazy for the south looking view, but the understory was photogenic.

Field Chickweed.

On the way down, I spotted this backlit red alder forest with the vibrant new growth.

Good Friday In The Hood

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With the clearing weather conditions near noon as forecasted on Good Friday, it was time to explore the area where I live in south Burnaby. At this time of year, the area is so green and lush. It was a beautiful afternoon wandering around the neighbourhood capturing an ecliptic set of photos.

The tulips were in bloom in the small City in the Park gardens and even though I prefer flowers in overcast conditions, I do like this composition.

Here are a few photos of the gardens and the surrounding residential towers.

One of the interesting things with the gardens is the combination of open areas as seen above and more sheltered areas such as this pathway lined with trees.

The Edmonds Skytrain station is nearby as is the BC Hydro Edmonds Campus tower and midrise buildings. I have mentioned before how much I like photographing buildings and I spent part of the outing capturing them and the clouds.

I liked the curving pathway with the shadows and thought it would make an interesting black and white composition.

One of the subjects I like to photograph is the mixture of natural and artificial, such as this pair of green leafed trees and the grey brick wall.

Crossing over the Skytrain line are these painted wooden fish, created by students at the nearby elementary school.

Looking through that chain link fence, the Expo line tracks curve southwards. I am not sure how effective the photograph is with the blurred fence lines, but I wanted to try a different composition.

Uphill from the trenched line is the original railway bed and I wandered along it looking for something interesting to photography. I soon spotted this crabapple tree in bloom.

The clouds were photogenic and I found a few more compositions to showcase those.

Kapalua Part II

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Continuing on from the previous article on my Spring Break trip to Kapalua on the island of Maui, here is the second half of this dual post.

The early morning light looking over Namalu Bay towards the island of Molokai was lovely with soft pink and orange tones.

This was a brief photo shoot because I wanted to head up to the “jungle” at Honolua Bay. This impressive section of forest has large Banyan trees that is a sight to see.

It was a beautiful walk through the forest, made all the more interesting by the numerous wild chickens running around!

Later that day, I headed over to Slaughterhouse Beach, accessed from the highway down an extensive set of steps.

The beach had fine sand and more exposed dark rocks, all with a view towards the island of Molokai.

There was more lava tubes here and I found this interesting composition showing the different textures and colours.

As I noted in the first article, there were lots of flowers to be photographed and here are two more of my favourites.

On my last day in Maui, I headed out early for the first light of the day. The rocky headland between Kapalua Bay and Namalu Bay with beach naupaka and the island of Molokai.

With the sun partially risen, the beautiful landform of Molokai is visible.

The adjacent Montage Kapalua Bay resort has well manicured grounds including palm trees and flowering trees.

Punalau Beach was the final location before it was time to head to the airport. It is a beautiful beach, with a certain wildness to it.

Lipoa Ridge is located at the western end of the beach and rises sharply.

Kapalua Part I

CK Wright Photo Trips

Over the spring break, I joined my brother, sister-in-law, and the nephews in Kapalua. In between family activities such as snorkeling and walks, there was time to wander around the Kapalua area and take photos.

Unlike my previous trip to Maui in 2010, this trip was spent in the northwest corner of Maui. This provided plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the lighting and to revisit areas. I have split this post into two parts as there are so many interesting photos.

Molokai, Hawaii’s fifth largest island, was the nearest island in this region and a constant presence in the landscape photos I took. Here it is at first light with the slow shutter speed misting the ocean as it washed onto the rocky headland.

The pools in the rocky areas are in a constant state of being filled and then drained by each incoming ocean swell.

Later on in the day and you can see the rising sunlight on that rocky headland and Molokai. Notice the interesting oval shaped lava pattern in the lower left.

A closeup of the oval pattern formed from the lava.

The early morning light was perfect for capturing the rocky lava in the ocean.

I was very intrigued with the way the sinuous lava flow has created a distinct pattern compared to the base rock.

Near DT Fleming Beach is the Honokahua Burial Site, containing some 1,100 remains of ancient Hawaiians. The remains were discovered during construction of the Ritz Carlton, resulting in a redesign and relocation of the hotel. A hedge separates the area and delineates the off limit section.

A monkeypod tree grows inside the hedge.

DT Fleming Beach had a nice rocky headland near one end and I found this composition interesting.

Oneloa Beach was a quick walk from the condo, good for early day photography.

There were lots of upturned lava that made for interesting photography.

A few beaches have good lava tubes with a mixture of textures and colours.

After a few days of working the landscapes and intimate landscapes, it was time to photograph the flowers.

Beach naupaka is a frequent ground shrub along the shoreline areas. I spotted this large section of it and liked how it appeared to be reaching for the blue sky.

Throughout the Kapalua area were stands of Cook pine with their distinctive “wire brush” form.

Views From River Road

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Earlier this month I took a drive along River Road which follows the Fraser River, on the south side of the river on Lulu Island. I had been out to the Pitt Addington / Grant Narrows the day prior, so this was a day to simply explore and see the opportunities.

The River Road section between the Knight Street Bridge on the west to the Queensborough Bridge in the east contains an eclectic mix of residential and industrial, along with small mooring areas on the Fraser River.

I started from the east at the No. 7 Pier Park which appeared to be a re-purposed rail car loading dock. There were tug boats moored along the Richmond side near first light.

These condo towers and low rise condo buildings across the river in Vancouver reflected in the moving water.

I spotted these alder branches in the water and liked the curved shape they formed in the water, along with the vertical tree reflection.

Across River Road from the park was a container facility and I thought the flattened end on perspective would make an interesting composition with the squares of different colours.

I really like industrial subject matter (if you hadn’t guessedby now!) and this sawdust loading facility was a must capture. I like the utilitarian form and the slender structure poking out over the river.

Heading westward I passed by this boat shed slowly rotting into the river. I captured a few different compositions.

The CN train bridge from the mainland to Lulu Island is normally kept open for the frequent river traffic. The black steel structure looks so massive yet balanced, framed by the blue water and sky.

A final shot of the log booms, the river, Burnaby condo towers, and the North Shore mountains.

The North Side of False Creek

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Once an industrial hub, False Creek has made a dramatic transformation to a beautiful area of housing, interesting architecture, and pathways for walking and cycling.

Last Sunday I walked the pathway along the north side starting at Science World. The low angle early morning light was reflecting off of the dome and adjacent buildings as I started the walk.

I stopped off at the Plaza of Nations, built during the 1986 Expo. The start of the redevelopment of False Creek was certainly tied to Expo86. While the building has seen better days, the photography opportunities were plentiful. Here are my four favourite compositions.

Adjacent is a new casino with deep bronze glass that was glowing in the early morning light.

I utilized the flag poles seen in the earlier photo and their shadows in this black and white composition.

Here is a section of the walking and cycling path, looking towards the Cambie Street Bridge.

Condo buildings rising above and reflecting in False Creek.

While the views are interesting, it is the smaller and tighter compositions that I look for. Here is an entrance to one of those condo towers, with the round steel design, I noticed how the associated shadow mimicked the curve and thought it would make a great composition.

These glass roof sections along the seawall made an interesting composition with the strong rectangular lines and the strong linear shadow lines.

Speaking of shadows, I spotted this scene a ways back and hustled over to capture it. I love the strong shadow lines from the Granville Street Bridge ironworks reflecting on the False Creek Yacht Club building, combined with the vibrant red cladding.

I took a few more compositions of the club building. I find that black and red are such strong complimentary colours.

Artwork painted on the north footing of the Granville Street Bridge just adds to the funky vibe.

And now the Granville Street Bridge itself, with boats and across the inlet is Granville Island Market.

The third crossing of the inlet is the Burrard Street Bridge and my turn around point. It was a little after noon and time to head back to the Main Street Science World Skytrain station for the ride home. The first photograph is the bridge with the distant mountains and then the second photograph is the underside of the bridge.