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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
My next post will be my annual Top Ten (favourite) Photos of 2019.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
This will be the fourth consecutive year I have compiled a list of the top ten favourite images of the past year. I was first inspired to do so after seeing 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. There are always a lot of great images there and I’d encourage everyone to go check them out.
This year I could have picked more than ten images, but I was able to narrow it down. I list them as my “favourite” images rather than “best”, because while they may not be technically perfect, each one is special to me, in some way.
The first image is from Botany Bay, in Port Renfrew. This is a fascinating area, as the adjoining Botanical Beach features some amazing tide pools and geological features. I liked the effect from the receding water taken with a longer shutter speed here which produced interesting patterns. I have only recently started trying to sell/market my images, and this was the first large print that I sold.
For this image, I was sitting on a small island (at least it is at high tide) in Cox Bay, Tofino, BC, watching surfers in the distance. It took a fair bit of patience to get this image, where the wave was large enough that it provided a nice curl behind, and looming over the surfer, but eventually I got what I was hoping for and was able to retreat to the beach before the rising tide was able to trap me on the little rocky island.
The day after I captured the image of the surfer at Cox Bay, I was out on the beach with the intent of getting some sunset images. There was a light rain falling and when I turned back towards the resorts, there was a beautiful double rainbow above them. While the second rainbow was not as bright, it was also above the brighter one and I couldn’t easily fit it in the image. While the sunset images were okay, they were not nearly as special as this lovely rainbow scene was/is to me.
The west coast of the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington state, is only a short trip south from Vancouver Island, but this year was the first time I made the trip “down south” to visit it, and I’m glad I did! what a beautiful place. It was a foggy/misty day and these sea stacks in the distance almost seemed to be floating in the pastel shades of sunset.
Ruby Beach, on the Olympic Peninsula, is a popular location for photographers, as I found out, but it is still easy to get some interesting images without other people in them. Photographing in a location like this left me wanting to search out more sea stacks!
My quest for sea stacks to photograph led me to the farthest northern tip of Vancouver Island. While it was a long drive, including some brutal gravel roads at the end, it was well worth it. The hike in to San Josef Bay was pretty easy, but the rainstorm that started just after we arrived on the beach was brutal and kept us in the tent most of the time until the next day. In the morning, the tide was out and the sea stacks looked magnificent, with interesting patterns in the sand around them.
At various times throughout the year we can get a lot of fog around the water. While this limits some types of photography, it opens up others to explore. I like the simplicity and symmetry of this image.
I have not done a lot of astrophotography, primarily because I keep finding excuses not to, even though I enjoy it. I wish I had a wider & faster lens, or that there was more interesting scenes in the foreground, or that it wasn’t so cold, or cloudy (okay, that last one might be a little more legitimate)… One of the few times I did get out this year was during a meteor shower and once again, I was glad I went out. After no success capturing much in the way of meteors, I thought I’d try getting a couple images of a portion of the Milky Way over some of the trees that were getting a bit of light from the partial moon (I don’t remember the phase, but know it was not a full moon). As luck would have it, not only did I get the shot I wanted, it included two meteors streaking side by side, just over the trees.
After a quarter century, last year was the first year I wasn’t in the military during Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day in the US), however, I wasn’t able to attend a ceremony. This year I had the opportunity to attend the ceremony at the BC Legislature grounds, where there were huge crowds and it was hard to be in a good position to capture interesting photographs. When I saw the historic aircraft were doing a flypast of the Provincial Legislature building I quickly adjusted my position so that I would be able to capture this image of a plane on either side of the dome, with Captain Vancouver (the gold statue) standing above & between them.
This WW I soldier, stands on guard above the memorial with memorial plaques tributing the fallen Canadians of past conflicts. The Canadian flag above flaps rapidly in the wind and is well lit on a dark night. Beyond any artistic merit there may be in this image, it means more to me than all the rest.
I hope you enjoyed this years top ten and that you go to check out the other photographers lists on the JGM Galleries Blog when they are posted in January, 2019. Hope to see you all back here next year!
Lately I have been more active in the local art & photography community. It’s something I enjoy and is definitely beneficial to my photography, as I feel encouraged to get out with my camera more often and enjoy the ability to show some of my work. One of the things I am involved in is as a member of the board of directors at the Sooke Arts Council. It is through SAC that I had the opportunity to hang six of my prints in the lobby of the Richard Blanshard Building, which houses BC Ministry of Health offices.
Along with four other artists work (painters and photographers) my prints will be hanging there for December 2018 and likely January 2019 as well.
I had a number of mid-size prints around that I used, as well as having the one, shown above, printed just days before the hanging. Normally, I have my images printed on some variety of fine art paper, then frame them, but for this image, I chose to have it printed on canvas by a new, local printer, VI Spectrum. I’m very pleased with the results. At 24″x36″ it’s also the largest print I have on display. Images smaller than 13″x19″ I generally print myself, as was the case with the two 8″x11″ prints I hung. A fantastic photographer I know (check out his wonderful images here) spoke highly of the Hahnemühle Matte Fine Art paper I used for these prints, and since trying it earlier this year it has become one of my favourite papers to print on.
I encourage everyone local or who is visiting Victoria to stop by the lobby of the building, at 1515 Blanshard Street, to check out my work and that of others from December, 2018 through January 2019. Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed it!
My plans for some early morning landscape photography were derailed by heavy fog near the ocean, so I adjusted them and went to a location where I figured I could use the fog to my advantage and make some interesting photographs; Whiffen Spit.
Tofino is always one of my favourite places to go to get away. No matter what time of year you go, there’s always something interesting to do… or you can just relax in nature and escape the hectic pace of everyday life. This trip I went in search of gray whales, with Jamie’s Whaling Station, onboard the Chinook Princess.