Top Ten (favourite) Images of 2018

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.

waves crash on the beach then return to the ocean past a small islet
As quick as it came in, the water recedes

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.

a surfer rides the waves
Catching a wave

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.

as the forest reflects on the wet sand, a rainbow arches overhead
Rainbow over the beach resorts

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.

several sea sacks appear to rise out of the misty sea in a pastel sunset
Sea Stacks Rising

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.

Sea Stack Sunset at Ruby Beach

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!

sea stacks erupt from the sand
San Josef Bay sea stacks on a cloudy day

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.

fog enshrouds a pier and rocks
Simple lines of a pier reflecting in calm water

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.

Historic Aircraft Flypast of BC Legislature

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.

Standing On Guard

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!

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Night Photography in Sooke

Night Photography in Sooke

I have done very little night time photography, but hope to do more in the future.  It will be fun to explore astrophotography and light painting and then post about it here for you to enjoy.  

starlight illuminates the Sooke boardwalk
Night at the Sooke Marine Boardwalk

The Sooke Marine Boardwalk is a great place for a walk at any time.  It stretches between the Rotary Pier, near the bottom of a long staircase from the south end of Murray Road, to the long winding pathway & up to Ed Macgreggor Park.  During the day there are lots of people wandering about it and you’ll often see people crab fishing off the pier and boardwalk.  

blurred people walk along the Sooke waterfront at night
Ghostly Walkers on the Marine Boardwalk

There are always a few boats anchored in the harbour.  Some of them seem to remain in place almost all the time, while others come and go.

a meteorite can be seen streaking above a sailboat in the Sooke harbour
A Sailboat in the Sooke Harbour

A clear night at this time of year made for almost ideal conditions to watch the sky for meteors and other celestial events.

twin meteorites streak across the Milky Way
Stars and Forest

The year has been going by quickly and soon it will be time to reflect upon the past and look toward the future.  With that in mind, it won’t be long before I start work on my top ten image list of 2018 (which, as usual, will be published in January) as well as and exciting new project I will announce before the end of December.

Top Ten (Favourite) Images of 2015

Top Ten (Favourite) Images of 2015

After seeing some fantastic photos from other photographers this past year, my attention was brought to JMG Galleries “Blog Project: Your Best Photos From 2015” and I was inspired to go through my images from 2015 and put together my own top ten list.  The ten photos I chose for this are some of my favourites and cover a variety of styles.  I hope to take some even more creative and interesting photos over the course of 2016 and have an improved batch of top ten photos for next year.  

One thing going through my photos from 2015 has done, is given me the opportunity to see the progress I have made and realize that what I once thought was really good, now I see there is room for improvement in.  It should be a fun year.  I hope you will have a chance to enjoy my posts.

LightedPath
Sunbeams Illuminate the Path on the Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, BC

Early in the year, I took a trip to Tofino and slipped down to Ucluelet for the day, were I enjoyed a hike around the Wild Pacific Trail.  I always find this part of Vancouver Island to be a very special place.

Egg
Empty Shell

On a hike in East Sooke Regional Park at low tide, I climbed up a small rocky island and found this egg shell.  At first I wondered if a little bird had hatched, but I noticed it wasn’t in a nest and there seemed to be some dried yolk on the rock just in front of the egg shell, so I was left believing another creature had lunch.

two ducks flying low over the water
Caught in Flight

Sometimes I like to go down to the waterfront in Sooke and just watch what is going on.  This time there were quite a few birds around, including these ducks, skimming over the water on a quiet morning.

rubber chicken face down on a bottle in a stream
A New Low

Once upon a time… one of my favourite photography sites, Oopoomoo, had a project called the “Chain Mail Chicken“, where they had several rubber chickens that they sent to photographers all over the country, to photograph and tell a story about.  I had been on the list to have one of the chickens visit me, but it flew the coop before it arrived and I never had the chance.  Not satisfied with this outcome, I met Henrietta chicken, and helped her search for her missing relative.  This was quite a fun challenge, and I enjoyed writing the story of Henrietta’s quest.

water flowing like silk over moss covered rocks at Mary Vine Falls
Mary Vine Falls

As you may have noticed, many of my photos are taken while I am on hikes, including this photo of Mary Vine Falls, near Sooke Potholes Provincial Park.

a group of people row a boat
Where Be The Vikings?

On another trip down to the local waterfront, I saw this group of people rowing what reminded me of a Viking boat, across the calm waters of the harbour.  I liked the look of it best with the selective colouring I used here.

Fisgard Lighthouse after dark with stars in the sky
Night Light(house)

This past summer I had the opportunity to stay after the park closed and take some photos of the park and Fisgard Lighthouse.  There was just enough lighting from Victoria to illuminate the lighthouse and allow me to get the stars without too much movement.

a little girl in a dress spins around in a circle
Dancing Queen

The summer in Victoria brings with it many festivals and I had been at Busker Fest for this particular day.  As I was walking between venues, I saw this young lady in her own world, dancing away with seemingly not a care in the world.  It was almost as if she had planned the shot for me, as she was right in the centre of an ornate circle.

window washer on the side of a building
Hanging From A Thread

Whenever I travel, even for a short day trip to Vancouver, I try and make sure I have my camera with me.  On this trip I had enough time to linger a little near Canada Place, where I saw this window washer seated on a tiny little platform, suspended by a couple simple ropes as he went about his day.

BC Leg
BC Legislature at Night

On a very rainy night in November, I thought it would be a good idea to take out my camera and get a picture of the BC Legislature building.  I got soaked, but kept my camera dry enough to continue working.

As I said, there were a variety of styles and genres of photos here and I plan on continuing to explore my creative side, so I hope you enjoyed this review and will be checking back, soon!