Form and Reflection In Downtown Vancouver

CK Wright Photo Trips

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

CK Wright Photo Trips

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

CK Wright Photo Trips

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

CK Wright Photo Trips

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

CK Wright Photo Trips

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

CK Wright Photo Trips

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.

What Lies At The End Of The Road, Redux

CK Wright Photo Trips

Two years ago I posted photos from the Grant Narrows Regional Park and Pitt Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area which lies at the end of Rannie Road in Pitt Meadows. Last weekend I had the opportunity to revisit the area and to explore other sections. Check out the older posting for comparison.

We started off just outside of the regional park in the Pitt Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area, walking along the dykes.

The lighting was beautiful and the snow capped mountains were very photogenic in the early morning. Widgeon Peak is reflected in the Pitt River slough.

We drove the short distance into the regional park and walked past these boats at the dock. There are many boat only access cabins along Pitt Lake and this dock is the last road access point.

As I did on the previous visit, I took a south west shot from the observation tower though there was snow on this visit.

The back slough area was partially covered with ice and I thought it would make an interesting composition. Notice the strong lines formed from the dried grass covered dyke, the open water sections, and the closed ice covered sections.

I like this composition as it contains a wide tonality range from the shadowed dyke and tree, the mid-tone hills, and the distant bright snow capped peaks. The shadowed tree is certainly a strong element and helps to ground the photo.

Speaking of grounding or anchoring elements, I spotted this grass and bush clumps and liked how it complimented the water and mountain.

At this time of year the sun is still low enough through the day to cast shadows and I used that to show the tall cottonwood trees.

Pitt Lake and mountains with pilings.

Pump to Dinky Peaks

CK Wright Photo Trips

On Saturday we headed out at first light, snowshoeing in the Mount Seymour Provincial Park. There was plenty of snow on the ground, though very little snow on the trees as there had been the previous weekend on Cypress. The trail rises steeply as it ascends towards Pump Peak, though the views at the top are certainly worth the effort.

Rising up through the trees and then emerging, we were greeted with
spectacular views of Vancouver and English Bay, with no clouds or fog obstructing the views.

Just below Pump Peak was an interesting side bench with unobstructed views of Burrard Inlet and ships at anchor. I like how the previous photo and this photo are almost identical in the direction, yet the latter photo was taken at a higher elevation.

There were several compositions I liked here including this cornice leading the eye towards the eastern snow covered mountains.

I liked this view towards Pump Peak with the three different sloped planes, the deep blue sky, and the way the ski and snowshoe tracks lead the eye towards Pump Peak.

We ascended the final climb to Pump Peak and enjoyed the views of the surround mountains. Here is a view looking northwestward.

After some food and a view of the mountains, we decided to explore the areas to the east of the peak. There were lots of areas with untrampled snow and we were eager to explore and photograph. Here are some of my favourite photos from here.

After a few hours of exploring and photographing, the clouds moved in to the point where the good lighting was gone. As we descended back towards the parking lot, the cloud coverage was less and I spotted these two interesting compositions. I always like simple compositions with just two or three strong elements.

We decided to stop off at Dinky Peak, located just above the parking lot with views southward. The parking lot and ski area is visible in the lower right, Burrard Inlet and Port Moody in the middle left, the Port Mann Bridge and the Fraser River in the middle centre, and snow squalls in the mountains to the far south.

Black Mountain to Eagleridge Bluff

CK Wright Photo Trips

On Sunday I explored the western side of Cypress Provincial Park, visiting Eagle Bluff, the two peaks of Black Mountain, and Cabin Lake.

Ascending from the parking lot, the trail ascends steeply and the first views northwest across Howe Sound are visible.

Below the north peak of Black Mountain is Cabin Lake, well snow covered and with long shadows in the early morning light.

Leaving the north peak for the afternoon, we headed south to the south peak of Black Mountain, stopping along the way to photograph the snow covered trees.

The south peak offers good views of Howe Sound and northwards of The Lions.

After the south peak, the trail descends southwest and enters forest for a kilometre before emerging out onto a rocky set of benches with views over Vancouver, West Vancouver, and the Sunshine Coast.

Passage Island, Queen Charlotte Channel, and Bowen Island are visible.

Here is a closeup of Passage Island in amongst the cloud and fog.

The views of Metro Vancouver were obscured in the fog and low clouds, though at one moment, Point Grey was visible jutting out of the fog. We had lunch here and watched the fog rolling around.

Returning to the trail and retracing our path towards Black Mountain through the forest, we took time to photograph the forest.

Emerging from the forest just below the south peak, I spotted this snow well and was taken with the strong shadow bisecting it.

One feature of winter photography I really like are the shadows cast by the low angle winter sun. I thought this lone tree out in the open with those shadows combined with the swirling clouds would make a good composition.

The snags are always a welcome sight as they make interesting compositions standing against the blue sky.

Ascending onto the north summit of Black Mountain was this interesting view of Bowen Island and Howe Sound with the rising fog and snow covered forest.

Looking northeast is Mount Strachan and the ski runs with the contorted snow covered trees.

It was really nice to have the colder temperatures to hold the snow on the trees such as this composition. I though the shadow line on the lower right snow would lead the eye inwards to the lone tree.

The curved domes of snow and shadow are another aspect of winter photography I look forward to. I positioned the camera to shows those against the rugged trees.

Returning towards the parking lot, I spotted this cypress and fir trees in the undisturbed snow. The various textures and tones was what drew my eye to this composition.

So after a very productive day of photography and feeling like I had captured some good compositions, we took a side loop trail back to the parking lot that passes by a water tank. Cool, industrial photography! Now that is icing on the proverbial cake!