That was 2020… What Photographic Adventures will 2021 bring?

That was 2020… What Photographic Adventures will 2021 bring?

In the past, I’ve written a year end recap and look at things I plan or hope on accomplishing, photographically in the coming year. After a one year absence of that post, I am getting back on track. Somehow missing a post looking forward at what 2020 might hold in store for me seems fitting. Not in my wildest dreams (nightmares???) would I have guessed that almost the entire year, and beyond, would be dramatically affected by a global pandemic. I had been looking forward to a major photography trip in October, which had been planned well over a year in advance. At first I thought things might be getting back on track by then, but as the months wore on, it became apparent that it wouldn’t happen and it would be difficult to say when things might be back to a point when I could even consider an international trip would be. I had big plans, in my mind, for the year, but felt sapped of energy and let many things, like this blog, my YouTube channel, local photography outings, etc, slide. As I write this, the first people have received vaccines and while it will take many months yet, better times are in sight.

Bull Kelp

Despite all the cancelled trips, outings and events, there was much that happened for me, related to my photographic endeavours. I started off the year with a photo trip to Tofino, where I explored the wreckage of an old warplane and even made a short video of it. Shortly after that, things first got hectic in my non-photography work and then Covid set in. Still, I became even more involved in the local arts scene. As a Director on the Sooke Arts Council, I was involved in starting our art gallery, and subsequently became Vice President of the Council. This took up a lot more time than my earlier involvement did, however, it has been very rewarding, and working with artists of various other forms has been a positive influence on my artistic development.

Gallery by Sooke Arts Council

I also became more involved in various social media endeavours. While I have not grown my Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Flickr followings significantly (in fact, I have not kept up on them nearly was much as I wanted), I have made more connections with other photographers and artists through them, which has led to positive artistic growth. As a direct result of my involvement in some of these sites, or reaching out to those on them, I have had the opportunity to appear, or have my photography be featured, on various mediums. Images of mine have been reviewed on episodes of Behind The Shot. I have been a returning guest on Latitude Photography Podcast, and represented the Sooke Arts Council on the All Sooke Days Podcast. I even had my picture in the local paper, hanging the sign for our new Gallery… and there’s still time for a little more exposure before the end of the year!

BC Legislature & Victoria’s Inner Harbour

I did manage a couple quick trips on Vancouver Island, where I scouted areas I hadn’t previously been to. Strathcona Park and the surrounding area have much to offer, and I know I will be doing a lot more exploring there in the future. My short trip to Campbell River included a whale watching trip with Aboriginal Journeys Wildlife & Adventure Tours, and had a fantastic day viewing Humpback whales, seals, sea lions, various birds and other sea life. This is another area that I want to spend much more time in with my camera!

Humpback Whale “waving goodbye”

This all brings me to the point where I look forward to 2021. A lot of things are still uncertain and trying to make any definitive plans will be difficult, but I have some general goals in mind. One of those is quite simple. Get out with my camera more often than in 2020. Along with that, I want to be more regular and consistent with my blog posts and YouTube videos. Hopefully, I will be able to grow followers on both, as well as other social media platforms. In addition, I want to continue to increase my exposure on through appearing on podcasts, blogs, local media and anywhere else I can arrange. With any luck, travel will be back in the cards in the not too distant future. I’ll definitely be exploring more areas on Vancouver Island and if all goes well I’ll be checking out more of British Columbia this year, as well as at least one more distant locale. I’m looking forward to a great year and hope you follow along on my adventures, here and on my other sites.

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 LakeÔĽŅ 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. ūüôā

Whiffen Spit Phogtography

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.

birds on log on a foggy day at the shore

Two crows perch on driftwood at Whiffen Spit

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Exploring the Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula (and Olympic National Park) is just a short ferry ride across the Straight of Juan de Fuca from Victoria, and somewhere I’ve been meaning to visit for years. ¬†I’m glad that I finally did!

US flag waves on back of ferry across the Jaun de Fuca straight

Victoria recedes in the distance as MV Coho departs for Port Washington

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Top Ten (favourite) Images of 2017

Top Ten (favourite) Images of 2017

Once again another year has drawn to a close and it’s time for my now annual review of my favourite ten images of the year.  I started posting my Top Ten Favourites three years ago after seeing Jim Goldstein’s Blog Project: Your Best Photos From (year) and I now look forward to participating in it and seeing the best Jim and others have to offer.

There never seems to be enough time to get out with a camera as much as I’d like and this year was definitely a hectic one.  Perhaps in 2018 I will be able to stick a little closer to my intended photographic path.  

In no particular order, here are my favourites of 2017:

Bubbles in Ice.jpgAt the beginning of 2017 it stayed just below freezing for long enough for a thin layer of ice to form on a small local lake.  Looking at the tiny bubbles in the ice somehow reminded me of outer space, so I made sure the background was as dark as possible.  If you look at the bubbles on the lower portion of this image, you can see my reflection.

the sun shines thru a crack in a giant old growth tree in Avatar Grove forest
Sunburst through a Tree

I always enjoy going for a hike in the forest, especially places like Avatar Grove, on Vancouver Island, where there is still some very impressive old growth, including this tree which has seen better days, but still survives.

beautiful backlight green leaf
Nature’s Pathways

The way the sun was lighting up the patterns on this leaf in a garden a Hatley Park caught my eye and I couldn’t walk past.

abstract reflection of a boardwalk
Rippled Reflections

I love reflections and this abstract image is of the boardwalk near Ed McGreggor park in Sooke, BC.

Shades of Grey Turned Upside Down
Shades of Gray Turned Upside Down

Take a closer look at this black and white image and you will see that it is actually upside down.  I made this photo while peeking through a gap in the low hanging trees and ground, on walk around a partially ice covered local lake.

details revealed in driftwood
Here’s Looking at You, Woody

I love walking along the many local beaches and looking for interesting driftwood.  Often the patterns of the wood can have hidden surprises, like this one, seeming to me to reveal some sort bizarre of animal face.

rocks potholes clouds and waves at the beach
Nature’s Playground

Botanical Bay, at Port Renfrew, is an amazing place to visit at low tide, when the many pothole looking tide pools are revealed.

butterfly on poppy
Time to Pollinate

The (mostly) black and white butterfly presents a stark contrast to the bright orange and green background and gives me a warm feeling.

a BC Ferry crossing the Salish sea in front of a dormant volcano
Come Sail Away

While travelling on another ferry I saw one of the newest ones in BC Ferries fleet (the Salish Eagle) and was able to time it so that Mount Baker, in Washington state, was in the background.

BC Legislature Parliament building and fountain at twilight
Light up with colourful lights for the winter holiday season

Every December the British Columbia Legislature lights up the Parliament building with colourful lights.  I prefer having some colour in the sky so I only waited about twenty minutes after sunset to make this image.

If you enjoyed my favourites consider following my blog so you can see more of my photography!  I hope everyone has a very happy and healthy 2018.

A New Place and an Old Favourite

I recently learned of another park nearby; the Blinkhorn Nature Park, which has a wooded trail surrounding a small lake and today was the perfect day to check it out.  For most of the way around the lake, the trail was far enough away that you could only catch the odd glimpse of the water through the trees.  There was one nice approach to the lake that offered an interesting view, though.

a mirror image photograph of Blinkhorn lake, partially covered in ice

Looking across Blinkhorn Lake

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A day by the sea

While things have been busy lately, I did manage to get out with my camera recently and make some photos at a couple nearby spots.  First I was by Esquimalt Lagoon, in Colwood, where there were plenty of ducks and seagulls.

ducks and seagulls on the water

The lagoon is a favourite resting place for many birds

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Reflecting Upon a Restaurant

I went for a brief walk around the Cooper’s Cove area in the Sooke Basin and had a chance to take a few photos of the Stickleback West Coast Eatery, which, by¬† the way, is a great place to grab a meal after a day of kayaking. ¬†This is a favourite area of mine, because it is close to the Galloping Goose regional trail, where I take a lot of photos, and provides great access to a sheltered cove. ¬†I have seen many excellent photos taken from kayaks, but as of yet, I have limited myself to using an iPhone in a waterproof case when I am on the water. ¬†The idea of taking my DSLR in a little kayak makes me rather nervous, to say the least, but it is really something I want to do. ¬†Perhaps, in the future, I will venture out on a calm day and ease into it. ¬†For now, I leave you with an HDR image of the Stickleback.

a seaside restaurant reflecting on calm waters in HDR

The Stickleback West Coast Grill

Canada Day with the Dogs!

It’s been a little longer than usual between posts, but I’m back with a quick one here on Canada Day. ¬†Today was Canada’s 148th birthday and falling on a Wednesday, it nicely broke up the work week. ¬†Instead of making big plans I took the day to relax and watch some of the celebrations across the country on TV (which is something that has only been turned on a handful of times since the beginning of the year).

After that, I took the dogs down to the ocean for a swim and to cool off in the 25C heat.

A Favourite Waterside Activity

A Favourite Waterside Activity

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A Busy Weekend With Little Time For Photography

This was a busier than expected weekend and things didn’t work out like I had planned. ¬†The oldest of the family dogs had really been showing his age recently and suddenly took a turn for the worse on Saturday. ¬†This necessitated an emergency trip to the vet’s. ¬†Sadly, he didn’t make it to see his 16th birthday, the next day. ūüė¶ ¬†That kind of put me off doing anything else for the rest of the day, other than returning home to play with our other dogs. ¬†Sunday I decided to start a project at home that I’ve been thinking of for a while. ¬†I will be working at it bit by bit and when things get a little further along, I will post some photos to show the progress. ¬†That brings me to the brief break I took this evening, to get out by the water, mostly to relax a bit. ¬†I found an old broken down dock along the water’s edge that looked interesting and the rest of the time I just soaked in a few rays of sunshine and the ocean air. ¬†an old dock in disrepair sits along the shoreline

I have big plans for next weekend and the weather looks good, so I expect to have a more substantial post.