Canso Bomber Crash – Tofino

Recently I went on my annual trip up to Tofino, B.C. I have done a lot of exploring of the town and surrounding areas, including Ucluelet, on previous trips, but this time wanted to explore something new. I was aware of a Royal Canadian Air Force Canso Bomber that had crashed in what is now the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, in 1945, but had never been there before, so that’s what I set my sites on. When I got to the area, it had been raining for days, but seemed to have stopped when I was setting out on my hike.

Heading to the trail

The first part of the hike was an easy walk along the highway from the parking area, but it started to rain a bit, so I put my rain cover over my backpack and hand carried my tripod. The trail soon turned into the bushes and at first it was a pretty easy walk up a gentle slope towards the remains of an old building. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to learn the origins the building and it had long since fallen into disrepair.

The abandoned building serves as a concrete canvas for graffiti

After passing the building the trail went downhill and so did the trail conditions, but at least the rain had stopped. I stopped several times along the path to make some photos of the landscape along the way. At some point, I took the rain cover off my backpack and stowed it, then clipped my tripod back on the pack and carried on along the trail. Much of it had what appeared to be a pretty new rudimentary boardwalk, which was good considering how swampy and muddy the area was.

Trees along the path

Approaching the wreckage of the old Canso bomber, a small section on the ground was the first piece visible, then looking through the trees, the first glimpses of the main wreckage could be spotted.

First glimpse of the wreckage

After circling around the plane for some time and getting some good shots, I started to head back along the trail and suddenly realized that I no longer had my tripod. The area around the plane was close so I didn’t use it there, but I backtracked and circled a couple of times, however, was not able to locate it. On the way back up the trail I searched for it, but again, my search was unsuccessful. The only thing I can think of that makes sense, is when I clipped it on the backpack on the way up the trail, the latch must not have been secure, and on a later stop, it must have let go when I placed the bag on the ground. The tripod then may have rolled off the trail and hidden itself from my view. I had been thinking of eventually replacing the tripod with a better one and relegating that one to a backup, but now I had no backup or main tripod. I have since ordered a new one and it should be here within days.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you want to see more of the crash site, I created a YouTube video if it (just click the link). Please feel free to leave a comment!

Top Ten (favourite) Images of 2019

This will be the fifth consecutive year that I have compiled a list of the top ten favourite of my images from the past year. Every year I create this list, in part, to participate in Jim Goldstein’s blog project on his JGM Galleries site, where he encourages photographers to participate by linking a post with their top photos of the year. It is also a great way for me to see what progress I have made over the year and to have something to look back on to see the changes in my photography over the years.

Without further ado, here are my personal top ten images, in no particular order.

Lions Gate Bridge with Downtown Vancouver

I have been wanting to do more night photography for some time, so I was very happy to get out to West Vancouver and look back at Vancouver for this night image. The lights of downtown are nicely set between the bridge and Stanley Park, and if you look closely, you will see a bird standing still in the water, just to the right of the near point of land.

Falls Through the Trees

I found it tough to winnow the list down to just ten, so I had to make some tough choices. There are a lot of great areas for photography within a couple hours drive that I get out to often, but I thought I’d try exploring some of the lesser known areas that are even closer to me this year. I discovered this little gem on one of those hikes. This image narrowly edged out another hidden waterfall I stumbled upon which was featured in my most recent prior blog post.

High Speed Seaweed

Another thing I’ve found myself doing more of in 2019, is making minimalist images. Often I find compositions I like on the beaches and this little bundle of seaweed, with the sand pattern created by waters retreating back to the ocean, reminded me of a comet streaking through the heavens above.

Fast Moving Fog

In the matter of a few minutes, fog rolled off unseen fields, just to the left of the area viewed in this image. This beach is at the very northern end of Vancouver Island and I had gone on a several day hiking & camping trip to get there, as well as other places in the park.

Flames of Sand

This is another image that started out as quite minimalist, but I decided to get more creative with it. I have a version with natural colouring and that closely lost out to this one for my top ten list. When I saw these patterns in the sand I immediately thought they reminded me of flames that would be painted on the hood or sides of a muscle car, so when I was processing the image, I used a red & yellow split tone effect to achieve what I saw in my mind’s eye. I have since made a large metal print of this and it is on display at the BC Ministry of Health building in Victoria for the month of December.

Milky Way over the Sooke Bridge

I have several Milky Way images from this year, some of which show it much more clearly and fully than this one; however, I chose this for this year’s top ten list because I like that it features the bridge into Sooke, BC. I have only recently been experimenting with astrophotography and low level lighting and can see myself doing a lot more of this in the future.

Mirrored Globe

This reflective ball sits perched upon a pedestal at The Buchart Gardens on Vancouver Island. I found the scene reflected to be fascinating but had to act quickly as there were quite a few people milling about and the reflection covered a very wide angle. A little patience paid off and I managed to get this image, with a starburst from the sun and no people in it, while I hid myself behind one of the reflected bushes at the centre of the image. There were a few little bits of me that were visible that I used Photoshop to make disappear.

Centre of Attraction

Even though I’ve already included one image from The Buchart Gardens, I had to add this one from the Japanese gardens there, as well.I loved the way the sun highlighted the tree and how the branches sprawling throughout it.

Seaweed and Shadows

Looking down on this floating bull kelp, I found the contrast between the lighter sandy bottom and the darker area where the pier cast a shadow on the ocean floor interesting.

On Final Approach

The gardens and castle at Hatley Park are another favourite location of mine to go for photography. There were lots of bees in this particular area of the gardens and so I was getting some shallow depth of field shots of them on these thistles, when I saw one approaching a thistle-head that another bee was crawling on. I was able to adjust my position and capture this image that really makes me happy every time I look back at it.

So that’s it. My Top Ten (favourite) Images for 2019. Now it’s just about time to start working on building up my 2020 portfolio and creating a large digital stack of images that I’ll be sorting through for next year’s list. Before I go, I am leaving one last “bonus” image, that was something of an experiment. I created it early in the year and then left it. I came back to it a couple times and decided to print it out. I framed it in a wide black frame, with a white matt that had a black inner edge, and just love it. While it didn’t officially make the cut for my top ten, here it is (I’ve given it a black outline just for display here)…

Please let me know what you think about the images on my list and make sure to check out some of the other images by some fantastic photographers at JGM Galleries.

Exploring Photography

My latest photography adventure was practically in my back yard. I thought I’d explore one of the vast areas of wilderness that is only a short drive from my place and, while it has many interesting trails, I have only explored a few of them so far. From doing some online research and living nearby, I had a good idea of the general type of scenery I’d find, but I was hoping there might be something a little different than what I’d found on other nearby trails. I figured it would make for a good YouTube video, so I took all my gear for that as well as for still photography.

Beautiful scenery along the trail

As I walk to my planned destination I record footage of me travelling along the route, explaining a bit about where I am and what my goal is for the day. I had been doing that and was going along a route which would probably be easy to identify to anyone familiar with the general area, which ordinarily is not a major concern, as most places I go are well known (at least to locals and online). More on this later.

It was still early enough in the day that the light frost we had overnight had not melted fully from shaded areas. While going up a steep, but small, hill, to set up video to record my approach, I managed to slip on the frost, but didn’t land too hard. Of course I wear a small backpack for my photography gear, with my tripod strapped to the back and when I hit the ground, the tripod head hit the back of my head. Ouch! No damage done, other than having annoyed myself greatly at being careless. At least I was up and back on the main trail a few seconds before some hikers came in to view.

I continued my journey and found the side trail I was looking for, so I took that and continued to film and talk about where I was headed. Then came a steep drop where the trail went down to the creek that I was hoping to find. I debated if I should go down such a steep embankment, but though I’d cautiously try and if it seemed too risky, I’d reverse course. Half a dozen steps down and the earth beneath my feet gave way, sending me onto my backside for a short slide. After that, the rest of the way down didn’t look as bad and I figured I might as well see if I could at least come away with some decent photos, since I was almost at the bottom. When I got to the creekside, I caught a glimpse of what I thought might be a waterfall in the distance, so I made my way across the water to the opposite bank where there was a trail I could follow. One more slip, as the ground gave out on the opposite bank, but this time I didn’t fall, I only slid a couple feet. Then I was rewarded with a good view of the waterfall.

I have no idea the name of this waterfall… I didn’t even know it was there

Having ‘discovered’ a waterfall that was previously unknown to me, and was something I had not found in any research, I wasn’t sure if I should use it in my video, because I was worried about it becoming popular and damage happening to the trail and local area, as I had seen happen at many other places. Then, as I got closer to the falls, I saw something else which I knew, if I did post it in the video, with all the information and clues as to it’s location that I had already recorded on my journey there, it was likely to result in a negative impact upon the area.

A moss covered Vauxhaul

There a short distance from the base of the waterfall was an old Vauxhall. While I have no idea what model or year it is, it’s safe to say it’s been there for a few decades. I decided I might do a video on the falls and car without any details that may give away the location, and while doing some filming, my audio recorder fell out of my pocket and into the water. After draining it and removing the batteries, I have left it to dry out and once it has had plenty of time, I will see if it still has life. At least I ended up with an adventure and some interesting photos on my day of exploring!

Beautiful colours on the old Vauxhall

My next post will be my annual Top Ten (favourite) Photos of 2019.

Art in the Park at the Sooke Car Show

Art in the Park at the Sooke Car Show

I’ve been with the local Arts Council for the past couple years and have slowly been getting more involved. I’ve had a couple showings through them this year and just finished participating in one of our “Art in the Park” events. This one was held at the Sooke Car Show.

Some of my prints at one a SAC booth

This was the first time I’ve set up a table at one of these events and it was definitely a learning experience. In the future I should have a much better setup and now know what to expect. It was a beautiful day for the event, but the one thing that made life a little difficult was the wind, although I didn’t have any serious issues with it. The worst that happened to me is a couple art cards blew off the table. Others had paintings and prints blown down and one person had a large glass pane from a framed print smash when it blew over.

At the end of the month I have a print at the largest juried art show on Vancouver Island, then in early August I have another Art in the Park event, which should be much bigger. It looks like a busy summer! I’ll leave you with some photos from today at the car show.

The Vegas Photography Adventure

At the end of March, I travelled to Las Vegas for the Create Photography Retreat, where there were three days packed full of photography lectures, interactive classes and practicing practical skills. I thought I’d share a brief review of my adventure here!

roman statue in the desert in Nevada
Caesar’s Palace Centurion Visits Red Rock Canyon (Composite)
Hiking, Photography and Creating on YouTube

Hiking, Photography and Creating on YouTube

As I recently mentioned, I have started to create videos on YouTube, following along on when I go out photographing on my hikes around (mostly) local areas. With all the time I have spent on creating videos, I have had less to spend on the blog, so I thought I’d give a little recap of some of the recent hikes I’ve been on. Each of the locations mentioned has a hyperlink to the video, and it would be great if you could view some (or all) of them, like those you enjoy, and leave a comment or two on YouTube to let me know that you thought.

My new hiking / photography companion, Cosmo

In my first video, I visited Sheringham Point Lighthouse, at Shirley, BC and I brought my new hiking buddy, Cosmo. He’s since made appearances in several other videos.

lighthouse at Shirley BC with blue sky
A beautiful day at Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Next, I took a quick, exploratory trip up to Mount Washington, to see some snow. My other frequent travelling companion, Henrietta (who you’ve met before) was introduced in this video. I had never been there before and I know I will be returning at some point in the future.

Fresh snowfall on Mount Washington

I then went to Mary Vine Falls, which is in Sooke Potholes Regional Park, and an easy hike from the trailhead. As of this time, it is the most watched and liked video I have published.

January brings lots of volume to Mary Vine Falls

A trip up to Tofino and Uclulet followed, and I visited Amphitrite Lighthouse.

The light shines brightly at the Amphitrite Lighthouse

On the same trip, I stayed at my favourite resort on the beach just outside the town of Tofino. I hiked around the trails at Cox Bay at that time.

Storm watching is always enjoyable at Cox Bay

For my most recent video, I travelled just past Port Renfrew, and visited Fairy Lake, where there is a unique little tree growing from a mostly submerged stump in the middle of the lake.

The Fairy Lake tree is probably the most photographed tree in the region

Most of my excursions are local and not planned long ahead, however I do have two more significant photography trips planned for later this year. One just a little further than I’ve been before on Vancouver Island, and another outside British Columbia, so keep an eye out for my upcoming posts and videos.

As far as my YouTube channel goes, before I started it, I thought I’d start slow, and do one video a month. As soon as I began, I realized that would be too infrequent and I wanted to get some content out there before slowing the pace a bit, so I have been publishing a new video every Sunday morning. Very soon, I will be settling in to two videos a month, coming out on the First and Third Sunday’s of each month. This should allow enough time to get new, interesting content and process it, but hopefully not too infrequent to grow my followers. Thanks for checking out this post, and I hope you were able to watch some videos as well. 🙂