21 matches for Vancouver Isl
New / Old / A to Z / Z to A
 
 
Nov 26, 2013 Tue
Sea Lion Caves    28-200 20/2.8 Vancouver Isl
Dec 6, 2013 Fri
Winter Arrives    Vancouver Isl Juan de Fuca St 17-55 35/2
Dec 16, 2013 Mon
East Sooke Coastal Trail    17-55 Vancouver Isl
Dec 20, 2013 Fri
Two on Water    Juan de Fuca St B&W Vancouver Isl
Jan 29, 2014 Wed
Fungus Amongus    24-120/4 Vancouver Isl
Feb 4, 2014 Tue
Bluff Mountain    Vancouver Isl B&W Hiking 24-120/4
Mar 20, 2014 Thu
Vernal equinox at Jordan River    Vancouver Isl
Apr 2, 2014 Wed
Forest for all Seasons    JdF Land Trust Vancouver Isl
May 27, 2014 Tue
Honeybee Awareness Day    Vancouver Isl 24-120/4 JdF Land Trust
Jan 14, 2015 Wed
Jordan River    Vancouver Isl 24-120/4
Jul 2, 2015 Thu
Controlling Distortion    10.5 Vancouver Isl
Jul 16, 2015 Thu
What I saw on the ferry    15/2.8 70-300vr Vancouver Isl
Aug 21, 2015 Fri
Jimmy Carter    Sooke US Politics Vancouver Isl 50/1.2
Aug 31, 2015 Mon
Juan de Fuca Trail    Hiking 24-120/4 Vancouver Isl
Aug 29, 2016 Mon
Seals at Muir beach    XC50-230 Vancouver Isl
Mar 22, 2017 Wed
Bali vs Vancouver Island    Ubud Vancouver Isl
Jun 26, 2017 Mon
Mystic Beach    Vancouver Isl
Jul 6, 2017 Thu
Ferry    Vancouver Isl
Mar 22, 2018 Thu
Equinox celebration    Friends Vancouver Isl XF16
Jul 25, 2018 Wed
Beecher Bay    Panorama Juan de Fuca St Vancouver Isl XF18-55
Aug 20, 2018 Mon
Apocalyptic    Vancouver Isl XF16
 
 
 

Sea Lion Caves

 
Tuesday • November 26, 2013
28-20020/2.8Vancouver Isl
 
 

Yesterday I hiked the sea lion caves trail, which leads to a community of large, fleshy, and boisterous beasts on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island.

The hike takes about two hours each way and briefly shares space with the Juan de Fuca Trail. The sea lions trail head is south of Port Renfrew, near the bridge over Jack Elliot creek. The first third of the hike is an easy walk on a fire road but the rest is a challenging scramble over and around and under a gnarly and slippery mass of roots and limbs. Following a narrow spine that falls away sharply on both sides, the path is not for the faint of heart. But as one approaches the coast, the call of the sea lions beckon. While listening to this odd soundtrack, the barely-a-path becomes a slip and slide down a long slope to the rock shore, assisted only by a worn rope with an occasional knot. Gloves are recommended for the belay down, and then the back up on return. 

I traveled light, taking only a 20/2.8d and the almost-as-small 28-200g for the D800E. The 28-200 hasn't been out since being on a Nikon D70 in Peru in 2005. I've kept the 28-200 as a candidate travel lens, though its quality and ergonomics - the plastic mount and the short-throw between extreme focal lengths - pale in comparison to my other lenses. The 70-300, with its longer reach and VR, would have served better for capturing the sunning sea lions and the swimming silver-backed seals, but the 28-200 served me well. 

 
 
 
Vancouver Island shoreline      Photos
 
Sea lions      Photos
 
Hikers, Sea Lions cave trail      Photos
 
Vancouver Island shore      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/50
 
 

Winter Arrives

 
Friday • December 6, 2013
Vancouver IslJuan de Fuca St17-5535/2
 
 

Winter has arrived on the island: wind, snow, and temperatures below zero. Of course, if you're from, say, Winnipeg, you may find this shorts-and-flip-flops weather, like the fellow on line in front of me yesterday. But having sent much of my life in Texas and California, for me the weather is too cold for man or beast.

Two from yesterday. The day started with a colorful sunrise over the Juan de Fuca Strait (taken with the 17-55 at 55mm f/5.6), but it ended with a snowy drive to Victoria and back (35/2.0d at f/6.3), both on the D300.  

 
 
 
Strait of Juan de Fuca      Photos
 
West Coast Road, Otter Point      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/58
 
 

East Sooke Coastal Trail

 
Monday • December 16, 2013
17-55Vancouver Isl
 
 

Yesterday I hiked the coastal trail in East Sooke Regional Park, from Aylard Farm to Beachey Head. The coast-hugging hike is rocky and the trail footing treacherous in places. To be fair, the experienced rock climber, and there was at least one among us, will find the path but a stroll in the park. But I am not so brave.

I kept the D300 snugged into my pack much of the day to keep it from distracting my scrambles over the exposed damp rocks that hang over the rough waves of the strait. This reminds me to pull out the camera harness I wore when hiking in the Alps. 

I'm not pleased by any of the day's shots. This means more work to find a single photograph to show for the day's hike. This is in contrast to the rare instances when I like a shot, in which case it is easy to process as I recognize when I'm done. The second-tier shots are hard to massage because I don't know what to do with them. I find myself taking these shots along several different paths, a time consuming process.

The accompanying pictures of the hiking group are one picture (or a set) processed several ways. The multiplicity isn't because this is a fine shot; just the opposite. Perhaps the best of a poor lot. The first two result from a 5-shot HDR set: the brightest by Nik, the second Photomatix. The third is the middle shot processed with Capture. And the fourth is from NIk's Silver Efex. Nik's HDR colors are bright for my taste but I'm entertaining the idea that their intensity will grow on me. The exif shows the 17-55 was at 17mm and f/9.

The take home: bring a circular polarizer, especially if shooting by the water and/or on a sunny day. 

 
 
 
5-shot HDR from Nik      Photos
 
5-shot HDR from Photomatix      Photos
 
Capture NX2      Photos
 
NIK Silver FX      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/57
 
 

Two on Water

 
Friday • December 20, 2013
Juan de Fuca StB&WVancouver Isl
 
 

The container ship on the strait and Young lake.

 
 
 
Young Lake      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/62
 
 

Fungus Amongus

 
Wednesday • January 29, 2014
24-120/4Vancouver Isl
 
 

A couple of fungi: one resembling a carved carrot, the other an earmuff filled with chocolate. I've no clue as to their identity. Taken in East Sooke with the 24-120/4 at 120 mm. 

 
 
jamesgaston.ca/73
 
 

Bluff Mountain

 
Tuesday • February 4, 2014
Vancouver IslB&WHiking24-120/4
 
 

Monday I hiked Bluff Mountain. I started from the scout camp Camp Barnard, just outside of Sooke. The trail is a slog with the island's typical mossy rocks that don't promise secure footing. The worst was the sea of six-foot-tall Salal where all that one could see of the hikers was a rustling of the plants. Brought to mind Children of the Corn. But the weather and views of the Olympic mountains made the trek worthwhile.

While beautiful to look at, the view to the mountains looks into the sun, which produces glare and shades the details of the Olympic range. Taken with a D800E and a 24-120 f/4 then converted with Silver Efex. The hikers are 24 mm and f/8 and the harbor is 105 mm and f/8.  More photos at Bluff Mountain.

 
 
 
Bluff Mountain      Photos
 
Bluff Mountain      Photos
 
Bluff Mountain      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/77
 
 

Vernal equinox at Jordan River

 
Thursday • March 20, 2014
Vancouver Isl
 
 

This evening, about 7, twelve of us gathered where the Jordan River empties into the sea. We came to celebrate the vernal equinox with wine, hot dogs, and a bonfire. The weather was windy cold but clear. A ritual to honor a point in the calendar. Humans have been doing this for as long as we know. An acknowledgement of a pattern of nature, something we cannot change but must adapt to and work with.   

 
 
 
Vernal equinox at Jordan River      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/128
 
 

Forest for all Seasons

 
Wednesday • April 2, 2014
JdF Land TrustVancouver Isl
 
 

The Juan de Fuca Land Trust hosted a poetry walk last Sunday. Held at the Admiral's Forest, it attracted about 150 visitors and helped raise awareness for their goal of preserving the forest.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
jamesgaston.ca/135
 
 

Honeybee Awareness Day

 
Tuesday • May 27, 2014
Vancouver Isl24-120/4JdF Land Trust
 
 

Last Sunday I helped represent the JdF Land Trust at Tugwell Meadery's Honeybee Awareness Day event, which featured demonstrations, mead-tastings, and tours of their bucolic flower-filled grounds.

Song of the day: Salala by Angelique Kidjo featuring Peter Gabriel.

24-120 f/4

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
jamesgaston.ca/157
 
 

Jordan River

 
Wednesday • January 14, 2015
Vancouver Isl24-120/4
 
 

The barely-there community of Jordan River made the news recently when the regional district decided to close the community's campgrounds. Turns out, visitors to this campground are at risk of drowning should a powerful earthquake strike. (In fact, much of the community is at risk). But it isn’t a tsunami that the government is concerned about, though there is certainly a risk of that. The government is concerned about an old hydroelectric dam upstream on the Jordan River. This dam, one of two on the river, needs a retrofit if it is to survive a big temblor but no retrofit is planned. Therefore, the government decided that no one should camp downstream of the dam.

I was curious about the dam, so I traveled to check it out. It's about 10km to the top which  takes about 2.5 hours. The first shot is, of course, the road to the dams. The second and third shots are of Elliott Reservoir, which is held back by the hydroelectric dam. The fourth shot is of the Diversion Reservoir which is held back by the higher-altitude earthen dam. As shown in the last shot, there is a lot of clear cutting in this area of the island.

 
 
 
Jordan river watershed      Photos
 
Jordan River watershed      Photos
 
Jordan River dam      Photos
 
Jordan River watershed      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/229
 
 

Controlling Distortion

 
Thursday • July 2, 2015
10.5Vancouver Isl
 
 

I've been preoccupied with fisheyes of late and here is one more, an example of a fisheye shot that doesn't look like a fisheye shot. The key is to place the horizon in the middle of the frame and pick a subject that has no clear verticals or horizontals. A rocky beach such as this works perfectly.

 
 
 
Muir Beach      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/274
 
 

What I saw on the ferry

 
Thursday • July 16, 2015
15/2.870-300vrVancouver Isl
 
 

Yesterday was still and warm, perfect for a quick trip to Vancouver. I was glad to have a telephoto and a fisheye as I got a glimpse of a pod of killer whales plus several shots of sunstars.

 
 
 
Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay ferry      Photos
 
Killer whale from Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay ferry      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/280
 
 

Jimmy Carter

 
Friday • August 21, 2015
SookeUS PoliticsVancouver Isl50/1.2
 
 

The news from President Carter while of course very sad is also an opportunity to contrast his character with those who have either followed him or who aspire for his old position. And quite a contrast indeed! Just try to fit both Jimmy Carter and, lets say, George W in ones head at the same time and youd wonder how could that happen, how could we elect these two very different men to the highest office in the land. One man is known for trying to do the right thing regardless of cost to himself and the other man only thinks of himself, rightness be damned. It was as if the country plunged down the rabbit hole into wonderland. Of course Carter is the rarity. The filtering that takes place as people rise to power selects for a certain un-Carter-like character. And we are poorer for it.

I hiked to Peden Lake a few days ago and took it as opportunity to use only a 50mm for the day. A 50 doesn't come to mind when you think landscape lens, but I thought I'd see what I could do with it. Aside from my forgetting to switch metering from matrix to center weight, the lens performed fine given the limitations of it's width. It's better as a people lens but it will certainly do landscapes in a pinch.

 
 
 
Peden Lake      Photos
 
Peden Lake      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/298
 
 

Juan de Fuca Trail

 
Monday • August 31, 2015
Hiking24-120/4Vancouver Isl
 
 

Yesterday I woke to the sad news of Oliver Sacks. It wasnt a surprise; he had written earlier in the year of his diagnosis. And of course he wrote as he had written on many other topics - like the mysteries of the brain, recreational drugs, and being gay clearly and rationally. He lived an interesting life, made many contributions to the human condition, and was always a pleasure to read.

Sacks was in my mind yesterday as I hiked part of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, a damp, grey trek accompanied by the crashing of the cold Pacific. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is one of two long trails on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. The two trails - the other being the West Coast Trail - would be one if it werent for the bay of Port San Juan.

The section I hiked was from Botanical Beach to Parkinson Creek. The hike is a bit of a slog, which is because the west coast of Vancouver Island is a lush rain forest overlaid on a jagged outcropping of rock. There is no flat land and there are no stretches of dirt path. The ground is largely rock and root.

Following the shore, which is what both trails do, means hiking a sequence of ups and downs, down to a creek then up to a ridge then down to another creek. And the footing sucks. The spiderweb of roots that blanket the ground are slippery smooth, just tempting you to stand on them where the slightest movement translates to a slip and a fall. There are the occasional breaks, wooden boardwalks and clever wooden stairs, which help make the hike a bit easier, but there arent enough and the dampness rots the wood faster than they can be repaired.

The day started with sunshine but it soon reverted to the norm of mist and rain. I spent most of the hike staring at my feet, calculating what placement offered the best hold. The hypnotic crash of wave on stone was background music to the hike.

Lucy the dog came along for the hike, her first adventure with the hiking group. She quickly assumed the typical dog behaviour of running ahead then back then ahead again, easily tripling the distance her fellow humans covered. She was full of energy all of the way but was so tired by the time she landed in the truck that, for once, she forgot to get carsick.

 
 
 
Juan de Fuca Trail      Photos
 
Juan de Fuca Trail      Photos
 
Juan de Fuca Trail      Photos
 
Juan de Fuca Trail      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/303
 
 

Seals at Muir beach

 
Monday • August 29, 2016
XC50-230Vancouver Isl
 
 

These Muir beach seals appear to be enjoying today's mild weather. That's the Olympic peninsula in the background.

Despite my enthusiasm for film simulations (see yesterday's post) this photo is not a sim, it's a raw file edited in Lightroom which for some reason I prefer to the Velvia and Acros sims that I also created.

I'm listening to an interview with Colson Whitehead (NYT books podcast, 8/11/16). He writes with Garcia Marquez' effortless transitions between realism and fantasy. The interview helped me see and understand some of the fantasies in his novel The Underground Railroad, which I just finished reading.

 
 
 
Seals, Muir Beach      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/465
 
 

Bali vs Vancouver Island

 
Wednesday • March 22, 2017
UbudVancouver Isl
 
 

Just for fun here are some Wikipedia facts for comparing Vancouver Island with Bali.

 

AREA

Vancouver Island: 32,134 km2 (12,407 mi2)

Bali: 5,780 km2 (2,230 mi2)

 

HIGHEST POINT

Vancouver Island: 2,195 m (7,201 ft)

Bali: 3,148 m (10,328 ft), Mount Agung

 

POPULATION

Vancouver Island: 759,366 (2011), 23.94 /km2 (62 /mi2)

Bali: 4,225,384 (2014), 730/km2 (1,900/mi2)

 

RELIGION

Vancouver Island: According to the 2001 census the religious breakout for British Columbia is: none (atheist, agnostic, and so on.) 35.9%, Protestant 31.4%, Roman Catholic 17%, United Church of Canada 9%, and Anglican 8%.

Bali: The island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 83.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13.4% Muslim, Christianity at 2.5%, and Buddhism 0.5%.

 

CLIMATE

Vancouver Island: The mildest in Canada, with temperatures on the coast in January usually above 0 C (32 F). In summer, the warmest days can rise to 28C (82F).

Bali: As it is just 8° south of the equator, Bali has a fairly even climate year round. Average year-round temperature stands at around 30 C with a humidity level of about 85%.

 

Sources

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_Island,

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bali

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Columbia.

 
jamesgaston.ca/620
 
 

Mystic Beach

 
Monday • June 26, 2017
Vancouver Isl
 
 
 
Mystic Beach      Photos
 

Today we walked the 2km trail to Mystic beach. A beautiful June day, though it was chilly because Canada.

 
jamesgaston.ca/702
 
 

Ferry

 
Thursday • July 6, 2017
Vancouver Isl
 
 
 
On the Swartz Bay - Tsawwassen ferry      Photos
 

I like this photo's geometry, the blue/b&w split, and the converging lines, though I would like it even more if it had a level horizon.

 
jamesgaston.ca/716
 
 

Equinox celebration

 
Thursday • March 22, 2018
FriendsVancouver IslXF16
 
 

We gathered Tuesday evening to celebrate the equinox. We do this twice a year, always at the same location, where the Jordan River empties into the Pacific.

 
 
 
Vernal (Spring) equinox, Jordan River      Photos
jamesgaston.ca/896
 
 

Beecher Bay

 
Wednesday • July 25, 2018
PanoramaJuan de Fuca StVancouver IslXF18-55
 
 
 
Beecher Bay      Photos
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1018
 
 

Apocalyptic

 
Monday • August 20, 2018
Vancouver IslXF16
 
 
 
The view from here      Photos
 

Well no my life isn't really endangered, it's just the opaque grey sky and the smoky still air feel like the run up to some horror movie story.

 
jamesgaston.ca/1060