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British Columbia: Stanley Park Photos

On a business trip to the US I had the chance to stop by BC to visit my son. Since he had to work the first day I was there I had the chance to visit a few places in Vancouver. I started out at Granville Island an old industrial area mostly turned over to nice shops and galleries. No brand names or outlet but mostly artists and craftspeople. Quite enjoyable. I got this one photo below there.

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Next I went to Stanley Park which is a really big park with lots of hiking trails. It is mostly wild with one highway running through the center and road around the edge. I was blessed with  a very clear but cold day and there were patches of frost in areas where fog banks had coalesced in various areas.

I brought my Rolleiflex 2.8F as a good portable travel camera. I shot Kodak Portra 400 for the speed as these shots would all be hand held. The conditions were challenging however as the winter light is relatively dim and shooting in a deep forest made it much worse. Very often I shot wide open (f2.8) and at 1/60 to 1/30 of a second. Never-the-less I made a few good images and more importantly had a really nice relaxing and fun day out focusing on my photography.

I also discovered what happened when I haven't photographed in a while. I really struggled to get my head back into the photographs and the camera. It seemed my memory muscle needed warming up. Thus I expected to make more errors so was pleased most of the images were well exposed. Other errors crept in however.

I started out with this spotlit scene in the deep forest. I mostly got what I saw but I probably could have exposed it another stop brighter. I was traveling light and as much as I missed my tripod I really missed my spot meter. I think it captures the dark forest and the shaft of sunlight picking out the stump.

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Next I came across one of the coalesced fog banks as hoar frost. I was captivated by the small wintry garden I stumbled onto. Here I did some more intimate photos. One of which I think turned out OK. The turned over tree roots captured my attention with the range of textures. However the I could not capture it well within the depth of field for my exposure. I always find these shots challenging as there is often an overlook branch or sprig of grass in the foreground of the scene enough out of focus to distract and ruin the desired effect. This one does not disappoint in that aspect with the twig on the center left leering into the middle of the scene.

I don't know how I failed to see the problem during the composition. Even so I needed to stop this down at least one more stop as the right part of the image along with the leafed twig in the center are not sharp enough to make this an effective photograph. I did like the soft warm color of the sunlit background that turned out as I wanted it too.

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In the same area I took two more photos of some grass. Again the light behind added some contrasting warmth to a frosty scene. However again not enough attention to the foreground elements that were out of focus ruined the  next image.

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Finally the one decent photo. There is a element of a focal point in the center where a little extra light illuminates the grass and no distracting out of focus foreground elements. The warm color behind is still present. Still a little more depth of field would have help with some the the foreground grass.

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The next photo was close but not quite what I was after. The moss as I recall really glowed with the sunlight behind it. Even so I think I nailed this difficult exposure. I wanted to catch the bright sun from behind so I positioned the camera so the tree branch blocked the direct sunlight. I meter off the tree trunk and shadows as best I could and made this two stops darker. It worked out well as the tree trunk got properly exposed and the sunlit areas are not completely blown out. Still not quite what I was after. The foreground is a bit jumbled and distracting as well.

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Next I came across a patch of sunlight in the base of a cedar tree. These are my favorite tree, sacred to the First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest, it is a beautiful and versatile wood to work and has a wonderful scent.

I wanted to capture the calm dark depths of this temperate rainforest. The exposure I got just right I think. There is a small fern in the bottom foreground that if it had come into focus might have made the shot. Again a tripod would have benefited here. I tried (or rather hoped) the fern would be in focus but no not at all. An alternative crop follows as an attempt to rectify this. However  I think it actually makes me realize the fern works better out of focus.

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Cropped to remove fern.
Next I drove out to the point at the end of the park near Siwash Rock. Her again I encountered another patch of frost and with the late afternoon sun found another scene of warm light amongst the cold winter.

Here I did well with the composition and exposure. Being somewhat back-lit helped to emphasize the warm brown of Autumns leaves. The focus again was a challenge with the twig trailing across the center of the photo not quite being sharp enough on closer examination. It looks Ok here but would probably not stand up to much enlargement.

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And finally a couple of photos of Siwash Rock. I suspect this rock is endlessly photographed.
Normally I shy away from such things but I thought what the hell I am here and it is only film. I don't think I did it justice. The first shot has some motion blur so I must have jiggled the camera as I took the photo. The leaf shutter makes the Rollei rock solid in that regard so my bad. The second is some what better even if not inspired. What didn't get imparted was the way the setting sun reflected off the water was illuminating the face of the rock with a pattern of dancing light.

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