A Beautiful Day… Trashed

A Beautiful Day… Trashed

Okay, I may have overstated things slightly in the title of this blog post, but it is really annoying when some people have to be so inconsiderate, especially when they are out in nature. This isn’t something that is specific to this day trip I took, unfortunately it is something that is far too common. Today started out great. It was a clear, albeit frosty, morning, which was a relief from all the rain we have had to start the year. I had decided to go explore an area hadn’t been to before, as well as some of the surrounding area that I was more familiar with.

A Frosty Start to the Day

The half-hour drive to the turnoff went smoothly, but I was certainly glad to be driving a 4×4 vehicle once I was on the, at times, very uneven, rough, gravel road. The great thing about the rough road and the fact that it is a little more remote and rustic area, is that there are less people and vehicles around, so it is easier to make photos in nature than some other areas. As I drove along the road towards my destination, I came across several little waterfalls that I had no idea were there. While there was a lot of branches obscuring them from a clear view, I was able to get a couple images of them and now know they are there so that I can return in the future.

One of the Unnamed Falls Along the Way
Scenes Like This Seemed to be Around Every Corner

I pulled up to my destination, by the Diversion Dam, which was by no means the end of the road, but it was as far as I had planned to explore on this day. A quick look around and the area was beautiful… but it didn’t take long before I saw signs of the kind of people who have to trash a place and so often result in areas being closed to the public or otherwise restricted.

Warning (Sign) Shot

One of the first things I noticed was a yellow warning sign, which had a bullseye target taped to it, and had been shot to hell. Although hard to tell without looking closely, the sign warns that when the siren sounds the water may rise fast, due to operation of the diversion dam. Nearby, there was a large circle of rocks that someone had made for a fire pit, and close to that were several deteriorating boxes of used shotgun shells and other debris. Sadly, this wasn’t the only area along my drive on the backroads that I saw this type of junk, along with other trash.

An Old Campfire Rock Ring and Pile of Shot Shells
The Outdoors is Not a Dumping Ground 😦

As it was still frosty out and the way down to the water and river below the dam was slippery and steep, I decided not to go down there on this occasion, but instead went up to the top for a better view.

The Diversion Dam
A Thin Layer of Ice Still Partly Covers the Surface Beyond the Dam

Having scouted out the area, I started my return journey and stopped for a coffee at the wonderful Cold Shoulder Cafe, in Jordan River.

Jordan River’s Best (and Only) Coffee Shop

Despite the 6°C (43°F) temperature, there were quite a few people in wetsuits on stand-up-paddleboards, surfing & kayaking. The local campground had quite a few people in it as well. While most of those would have been day campers, I had noticed several cars in the area with heavy frost on their windows at a campsite I had passed earlier in the day, so apparently some people are cold weather campers.

Is That How They Surf Down Under???

Thanks for taking the time to check out this post. Please make sure not to be one of “those people” who leaves a mess… better yet, try and take back a little of the litter that others have left there, to leave things a little better than you found them. It’s the least we can do.

Paddling Off Into the Sunset

 

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!