Stanley Park & Aquarium

August 24, 2006 at 01:28 PM | categories: Photography, General | View Comments

Yesterday we saw Stanley park and the Aquarium. We had previously seen many of the species from the tropical section, like the jelly fish to the right, while diving. They also have a section of species from the BC coast. It really showed that no matter where in the ocean you go, there is some really interesting form of life. It's not the fact that lakes are cold that makes lake life uninteresting, it's just the lakes themselves.

The best part were the big water mamals like the dolphins, the sea otters, baluga whales and sea lion. The sea lion was huge! You can get a bit of an idea of the size from the picture, but it still pales in comparison to standing beside it popping out the water like that.

There was also a Amazon rain forest section. Apparently there are about 200 species of fish that feed on fruit and seeds when the Amazon rain forest floods. In North America there are none. As part of the Amazon section there was a little aviary that had ibis and butterflies(left).

After the aquarium we took the free Stanley Park bus which circles the 5.5 mile perimeter of the park. A stop at Prospect Point finally gave me an opportunity to take a half way decent picture of the Lionsgate Bridge. A very tasty dinner at Joe Fortes finished the day for us. Exhausted we returned to the hotel room for our final night before our 11pm flight tonight.

We are having a bit of a lazy morning since we have to give up the hotel room soon, and will not have the option of returning for a rest. This afternoon the plan is to head to Gastown, Chinatown and Canada Place. I don't know if we are going to make it to Granville Island. At the end of what is sure to be a full day, we will have to make our way to the airport for our 5 hour flight. I have to go pretty much directly from the flight to work, at which I am sure to be well rested and alert :)

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August 23, 2006 at 02:37 PM | categories: Photography, General | View Comments

Kate and I are in Vancouver. It's a business trip for Kate and I am along for the ride. We arrived on Sunday in time to spend our anniversary here and on Monday night we went out for a fancy anniversary dinner at Provence Marinaside.

While Kate worked the last two days, I was out taking pictures. I have been walking all over downtown but have yet to make it to the North-East part, which means I havn't yet been to Gastown, Chinatown or Canada Place. I also haven't been to Granville Island yet.

Starting today I have Kate with me for the whole day. We're off to see more of Stanley Park, including the Aquarium, and then it is off to dinner, probably at Joe Fortes. We passed by Joe Fortes last night and it smelled really good.

Tomorrow we are going to see Gastown, Chinatown and Granville Island.

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Motorcycles and Babies

June 10, 2006 at 12:17 PM | categories: Photography | View Comments

Last weekend I got to spend a lot of time with my camera. On Saturday Marc and a bunch of other motorcycle enthusiasts headed down to Cayuga to ride the track at Toronto Motorsports Park. I tagged along to take some pictures. The one to the right shows Marc's new cobbled together bike. It has been dubbed MOB, which may stand for Marc's Own Bike, or Made of Bits. No one could give me a definative answer on what the name means. I had some fun taking pictures and got to try out a few techniques. For the picture on the right I kneeled down at the side of the track, set the shutter to a slow speed and panned the camera to to keep the rider and the bike stationary while the background blurs in a fast action motion kind of way. I think my execution of the technique was generally ok, but the grey day and very green background left something to be desired from the result. I do like how the pavement makes it look like I took the picture riding beside the subject. I also took a bunch of pictures of bikes leaning into the corners of the turns. Ultimately the pictures are probably most intersting to people who know Marc, or who were participants in the track day themselves, but I still had a lot of fun taking them and learned a lot in the process.

On Sunday Kate and I went to Sarah and Will's. We try and see them as much as possible and Kate often berates me for not taking my camera so that I can take pictures of Xavier. I still sometimes feel uncomfortable about bringing my camera with me when I go places. This is mostly because I am concerned that wherever I am going with the camera people will feel uncomfortable about it, or that taking pictures will become the focus of the event. I am much more interested in candid pictures, so I of course don't want picture taking to be the focus. I want everyone to go about their normal business while I photograph it. Sunday however turned into quite the photo shoot. When I showed up I imediately started taking pictures of Xavier. He was kinda cranky and it was a struggle to get a smile out of him. After a while I gave up and put the camera away. That is when the food came out. The camera came out again shortly after. I think some of the best pictures from that day are of the feeding. After the little guy (maybe little is a stretch) finished eating and I had put my camera away once again, it was changing time (Note that the original gallery is not there anymore). Again Xavier started being all cute and I had to take my camera out. The result of the last session is on the right. The thing I like most about the pictures over all, is that they show a great range of emotion from Xavier. I think they capture his expresiveness. Of course I can't have a photographic weekend without learning something. On Saturday I learned that I can have fun taking pictures even if I am less than satisfied with the result. On Sunday I learned two things: don't put the camera away and give your subject time to relax. If you keep your camera with you, turn it off, put the lens cap on, but don't put it back in your bag you won't have far to go when that great shot comes along and you won't have to regret missing it. A relaxed subject is not worried about what you are doing with the camera and will provide you with the oportunity for the great candid shot.

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March 12, 2006 at 11:05 AM | categories: Photography | View Comments

Kate loves plants. This means we tend to have a fair number of them around which means that I end up taking pictures of them. I buy her flowers every now and then and have taken to picking ones that I think will photograph well.

These mums are from Valentines day. They are potted so they have lasted a while. I took this picture last weekend using the sunlight streaming through our porch door. This weekend it looks like the plant isn't going to last much longer.

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