My first time in Quebec City. Camera-wise (and this is a photo-centric blog) I prepared by ditching the zooms and packing a bag of primes ---- 10, 20, 30, and 85 --- along with my trusty d300. The downside of course is the chance of missed shots and having to do more lens swaps but the upside is a set up that I find more discreet and more fun.
This building is a couple blocks from the Victoria Clipper dock, which is how I arrived in Seattle. The Clipper is a pair of catamarans that sail a two-and-a-half hour run between downtown Seattle and downtown Victoria. No vehicles, just passengers, in a craft that is less claustrophobic than a plane and noticeably faster than the BC or Coho ferry. The trip is almost as scenic as the Tsawwassen – Swatrz Bay ferry that runs between the outer edges of metro Vancouver and metro Victoria.
Canadians use the Clipper to shop for discounts in the US, something the Canadian government doesn't discourage. Last summer, Harper's government doubled the 24-hour duty-free limit to $200 and quadrupled the 48-hour limit to $800. Which was plenty to cover what I bought at REI and Trader Joe’s.
Americans travel the Clipper to visit the most British of British Columbia cities. Downtown Victoria is human-scale and partially preserved, but it's British-ness is weak tea. Remember, Victoria is 7,700 km (4,800 miles) from London and surrounded by a country that differs from the US only in the details.
Cold blue skies have given way to cool grey. I look forward to travelling south.
The photo is looking back at Government Street, Victoria, through a mirror. Shot with a D800E and a 85/1.8d set at f/2.8.
I tend to organize things -- photos, folders, correspondence, notes -- by date, so my labels start with yyyy-mm-dd which the computer quickly sorts into chronological order. This date format is called big-endian notation because the first in the series is the biggest item (the year), followed by the next biggest, and on to the smallest (the day). Of course, the existence of big-endian implies the existence of small-endian.
Yet what might be called middle-endian - December 17, 2013 - looks most pleasing to my eye. Why? Probably because I was raised in the US, according to the Guardian's Americans are almost alone in their use of mm-dd-yyyy.
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.