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Monday, November 20, 2017

Worth a Second Look 9

Here's a set of photos I originally posted in 2008, along with the original captions.

Wisteria
I keep trying to get a good picture of the beautiful purple wisteria flowers in the back yard...

...but something...
...keeps getting in the way.
Must be something to do with that new trampoline.
That charming little girl is my grand-daughter Rosie who, despite being all grown up now, remains as charming as she was 9 years ago.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Look Up


Lights, golden leaves and a lion. - Fern

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wet Weather

Lots of rain lately. Here's what the strait looked like this afternoon from Saxe Point.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Found Composition

As an artist one of the side effects is that where ever you go you see interesting things to look at it. Even in a parkade for example. - Fern

Friday, November 10, 2017

Winter

It was unseasonably cold here for several days - we even had a light dusting of snow - but it has warmed up a bit the last few days though still damp and cold. Here's what it looked like along the West Bay Walkway this morning.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Worth a Second Look - 8

Yesterday's photo reminded me of another photo I posted a year earlier, in 2010, entitled "Curiosity". This photo was taken at the Harbour Ferry stop in the Inner Harbour. The two boys were excitedly peering at the anemones and other undersea plants/animals that grow on the underwater parts of the dock while their parents were sitting placidly on the bench behind them. Here is the caption I attached to the photo at the time:
Though we never really lose our curiosity completely it does seem to be one of those characteristics that fades as we mature. I suspect it has to do with the growth of confidence and decisiveness. You can't act with confidence unless you feel sure that you have a firm grip on the nature of reality. There is no place for wonder in such a state of mind. Yet curiosity is what enables us to explore the world, meet new people and learn new things, a process that should never end.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Worth a Second Look 7

Here's another of my favorite photos, from August 2011. I think my original remarks on this photo are still the best caption:
As adults we often forget that "play" can be deeply serious and satisfying. It's not only running and jumping and giggling, important though those are. Play may involve deep concentration that is a kind of practice for the most important work we will do later in our lives. One of the most fascinating aspects of beach-watching is to see how often this environment induces this profound level of contemplation and purposeful activity in children.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Worth a Second Look 6

Here's a couple of photos from the summer 2011 when, in case you haven't noticed, I discovered HDR processing and, like many of its early practitioners, pushed it to the max. I still like these photos (the top one actually won a prize in a local photo contest) but I'm happy that I now have learned to use HDR with a little more restraint. The top photo is of a friend's vintage restored truck and the photo below was taken on a trip to the beautiful nearby city of Seattle, Washington, in the USA.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Worth a Second Look 5

This from Victoria's Victoria Day Parade in 2011. I photograph this parade every year and of all the dozens (or hundreds) of photos I've taken of the parade this is my favorite. I think it's pretty hard to go wrong with a bunch of bare legged teen girls leaping with such energy, but the black-suited marchers in front of them make a nice contrast and the low angle in this photo also contributes to the sensation of bursting upwards into the blue spring sky. I've tried a crop that cuts out a lot of the right side of this photo but I ended up not cropping it since I like the way the relatively empty space on the right makes the photo feel less crowded. Those little girls sitting on the pavement are also sharing this low point of view so I like to have them there too.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Worth a Second Look - 4

I've taken many photos of these huge floating hotels while they are moored at Ogden Point or entering or leaving the harbor but I think this is my favorite. I took it in May 2011. There was lots of snow on the Olympic Peninsula mountains that year. I like the contrast between the bright mountains in the background and the dark rocks of Work Point in the foreground and the way these two features frame the huge ship.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Worth a Second Look 3

I took this photo in April 2016. Droplets on a spiderweb have been photographed by many photographers before me but what I think makes this photo worth a second look are the several ways the delicate web contrasts with the muscular cables.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Autumn on The Gorge 3

In the last couple of photos of the Gorge we have been looking south towards the city. Here we are looking in the opposite direction, up the Gorge towards the Tillicum Bridge.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Halkett Island

Towards the middle of the Selkirk Waters lies this small, rocky island. Local First Nations people often used such small islands for burials. The one pictured above is now called Halkett Island. A plaque on the Selkirk Walkway reads as follows:

In 1850, the "Island of the Dead" contained subsurface burials, but was mostly covered with small sheds, burial boxes and canoes containing human remains. The deceased were often placed in a fetal position and wrapped in a cedar bark mat. Adults were placed in a European-made, metal trimmed trunk and children were often placed in wooden cracker boxes.

Life sized carved wooden memorial figures representing prominent individuals were a common feature of burial locations.

The Lekwungen people, from the old Songhees reserve across the water, came to the island at twilight for feeding of the dead ceremonies. Sticks with chunks of sap were thrown into a fire to keep it blazing until midnight. Ritual words and chanting proceeded, as food to feed the dead was thrown into the fire.

Burials were no longer placed here after 1867, when a fire set by three Victoria boys got out of control and burned off the island. The boys' parents were heavily fined under the Indian Graves Protection Act. The island was taken away from the Songhees in 1924 by a Federal Indian Reserve Commission, but was restored to them by court order in 1993.

Joseph Pemberton, Victoria's most prolific early map maker, gave the name Halkett to the island in 1851. The Halketts were a well known, prominent British Navy family at the time.


(From a plaque placed on the shoreline near Halkett Island by the City of Victoria)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Autumn on the Gorge 2

Like yesterday's photo, today's was taken from the Selkirk Trestle, but looking south towards the city.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Autumn on the Gorge

Many of the trees along the water's edge of the Gorge are turning now. I took this photo near the center of the Selkirk Trestle, an old railroad bridge that has been repurposed as part of the Galloping Goose trail for walkers and cyclists.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Dusk On Old Blue

Just about 6 p.m. and the sun is almost down. *sigh* - Fern

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Worth a Second Look 3

I posted the photo above back in February of this year but the original (below) is from June 2015. I liked the original enough to post it. It's got a nice lines that run across the photo and up and down that make a dynamic opposition to the diagonal line of the skater's body. But after I had thought about it for awhile I realized that the color in the photo was distracting from those dynamic lines. I tried a few monochrome versions before I arrived at the above. As well as the composition I like how it exemplifies the kind of natural grace many kids have. This boy's stance, his one legged balance, couldn't be more perfect if he'd been trained in classical ballet.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Mount Douglas Park 4

Here's another kind of mushroom I encountered on my recent visit to Mount Douglas Park. These ones appear to be a favorite meal for slugs.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mount Douglas Park 3

Well, forest trails and autumn leaves are fine but what I really went out to Mount Douglas Park for was to see if any mushrooms were up yet. Above is the first one I saw. We've had a couple of days of rain lately so I expect that next time I'm out in the forest I'll see a good selection of these autumn delights.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mount Douglas Park 2

Mount Douglas Park has a splendid grove of enormous Bigleaf Maple trees. At this time of year they provide this perfect autumn carpet.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mount Douglas Park

It was a bright, windy autumn day today so I thought it might be a good day to visit Mount Douglas Park and take a walk through the forest. As usual, it was inspiring, awe inspiring. We are very lucky to have such forest giants within easy reach of the downtown core.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Worth a Second Look 2

Here's a photo I don't think I've posted on this blog though it's been on my wall for a couple of years. It's a street scene taken on Douglas Street in downtown Victoria in 2014. I think if you look closely you'll soon see why I like this photo.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Out After Dark

It's getting noticably darker in the evenings now as we inch closer to winter. Even I, who is not a night person was out after sundown and on a crisp fall night could see a few stars even in the city. - Fern

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Worth a Second Look

Posting a daily photo blog is really challenging for a photographer. It's hard to come up with a new photo every day. And I'll go so far as to say that it's impossible for even the best photographer to come up with a great photo every day. I figure I take about 3 or 4 photos every year that I am genuinely satisfied with. The remaining 400 or so that I post are adequate but generally not worth a second look. So, from time to time from now on I plan to take a second look at photos I am pleased with. I'll try to write a bit about why I think they are worth "a second look."

The above photo of a Falun Gong Drummer was taken during the Victoria Day Parade in May 2016. For me there's a lot to like in this photo. First, the drummer is having a good time. Second, I like the bright, vibrant colors. Third, it's got dynamic lines running diagonally across the photo in both directions that make you feel the movement. And finally, the subject is in sharp focus and the rest is nicely blurred. Comments are very welcome.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Autumn on Work Point

Cold nights lately are making the leaves turn. Here's what it looks like on Work Point, the westernmost end of the Inner Harbour.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Rainbow Park

Here's a view I photograph often, for two reasons. First is that I like it and second is that it is always the first view I see when I walk down to the West Song Walkway. It's always different according to the weather and the time of day.It's actually a small park called Rainbow Park - a few benches overlooking the harbor, a picnic table on that little spit, a doggie bag dispenser and a drinking fountain. It's a great place to start a walk either towards the city or west towards the West Bay Marina.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Glacial Grooves

Wherever the bedrock is visible on the coastline of Victoria you will see these large grooves gouged out of the rock. They were made by glaciers grinding across the rock as they flowed down to the ocean, about 15,000 years ago. I read up a little on ice ages today because it suddenly occurred to me that the planet has had great periods of temperature fluctuations in the past. There have been about a half dozen ice ages in the last couple of million years, times when it got very cold and much of the world was covered with ice and then it warmed up again, all without the benefit of our pollution. The scientists' best guess at this time is that these global temperature fluctuations were caused by cyclical wobbles in the earth's spin and orbit, possibly in conjunction with changes in the ocean currents due to the shifting of the continents. Apparently we are still in an ice age since the defining characteristic is that there are areas that are permanently covered with ice, though these are rapidly receding.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Moonrise

When the moon finally did escape the clouds enough to be seen it had not risen over the skyline like I imagined but much further south. Oh well, it was a nice way to spend an evening. I suspect the moon does rise over the skyline here but not perhaps until next spring.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

It's Finally Here!

Here is the barge holding the pieces of the new Johnson Street Bridge so things will move ahead finally. I hope. - Fern

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Sunset Skyline

The reason I was out on Macaulay Point a few evenings ago was not to catch the sunset, although it is a good place to do that, but to catch that big harvest moon we had a few nights ago. I wanted to photograph it rising over the city,somewhere near the center of the photo above. As you can see, it's not there. I'll explain why in Monday's post.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fleming Beach

Fleming beach is a small cove on the western side of Macaulay Point. It is protected by a breakwater and the small docks are used by sport fishermen.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Macaulay Point Sunset

I want to start using what photographers call the golden hour just before and after sunset and sunrise. I just came in from Macaulay Point in Esquimalt where I took the photo above. Here we are looking south towards the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula in neighboring Washington State, USA.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Study in Blue

The city is an ever changing landscape of growth, decay and rebirth. Things never stay the same, like this old building at the corner of Douglas and Bay which is shrouded in blue while it gets a facelift. The colorful flags give it a somewhat festive look. - Fern

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fuchsias

As well as some lovely ocean views and a bit of forest, Saxe Point Park also has some well-tended flower beds and I couldn't resist these luscious fuchsias.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Looks Warm...

Looks warm...but it's not! The waters off Saxe Point are usually this clear blue. Apparently one of the reasons this area is popular with scuba divers is because the water is so clear. But in this area they always wear wet suits, as do surfers further up the coast on the famed Long Beach because though it looks warm and inviting, the North Pacific is a cold ocean. If your boat should tip over while you are out on the open water the cold will kill you in about 45 minutes.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mushrooms?

We've had a couple of good rains now and the air has got that autumn sharpness so I thought I would check out the bush in Saxe Point Park to see if I could find any mushrooms to photograph. It seems I'm a little premature. No mushrooms were in sight. I suspect we need a few more rains and cooler weather. Saxe Point Park is beautiful even without mushrooms.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Love Locks?

On the rocky shore below the West Bay Walkway is this strange construction of flotsam and jetsam that has lately been attracting those mysterious people who like to put padlocks on fences at significant locations. Someone told me that lovers who plight their troth like to mark that pledge by locking a padlock at that location as a symbol of their undying love. Hmmm...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Ripple Effect

Walking around Langford Lake on a section of raised boardwalk I was peering over the edge looking into the water when I realized what a lovely pattern the breeze was creating on the water's surface. - Fern

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Jammin'

Another bright and beautiful day today and the causeway was almost as busy as mid-summer. I was lucky to catch one man band Dave Harris doing an afternoon performance when he was joined for a few numbers by Marty Lewis on harp and vocals. It was a great way to spend an afternoon.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Lunch With A View

Victoria has a number of seaside restaurants that boast a nice view but for my money the best of them is Red Fish Blue Fish below the old Customs House on Wharf Street. Judging by the lineups at this place, the food is great; if it's even half as good as the view, it must be. I've not eaten the fish but the chips are excellent.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

What the...?

So, the unusual rigging on this ship caught my eye as I wandered around on the docks below Wharf Street yesterday. It intrigued me to the point where today I looked up the ship's name, Amara Zee, online. That strange rigging on top is not, as I guessed, a fishing platform for some unusual kind of fish or fishermen. The ship is a performance vessel and is here to perform "Nomadic Tempest", an experimental rock opera performed on a tall ship. On the preview video it looks like an incredible spectacle - it's on tonight and I may drop down the the harbour to see what I can see. Here's a link to the website - Caravan Stage Company.