Vancouver

Over Thanksgiving break I went to Vancouver, BC for a King Crimson concert.  During my state and on the trip home I was able to capture the beauty of the coastal mountains and the Cascades, along with other cool Cascadian things such as rainforests and interesting frost.

I was not, however, able to get any photos at the concert itself.  Photography was not allowed, which actually made the concert better.  Robert Fripp, the current band leader said something like, “Just enjoy and take in the music with you eyes and your ears.”  This is definitely an idea that I came to hold true quickly.  Before going in, I had already known that photography would not be allowed, but I thought it was stupid.  Then, I thought about how annoying the brightness of phone screens are and came to think it to be true.  As well, when people are busy watching the concert through their phones or cameras, they aren’t really taking in what is going on.  Basically, this blog post has no concert material.

When we went hiking a trail at Buntzen lake in the Vancouver area, we encountered what was not snow, but this fascinating frost that was as white and thick as snow.  I decided to take a couple of macros using the poor man’s macro technique of flipping the lens:
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The detail is certainly there, but the size of the crystals was equally important.  Sadly, the grass blades the only indication below of the size of these frost crystals (had no banana for scale):

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We honestly thought it was snow at first, until we got closer.  Then we realized it was definitely frost.  It think it happens there in Vancouver but not where I live because it is a lot damper.

I took a few pictures in the forest:

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This was a cool-looking fungus:

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When we got to the viewpoint I had to take some shots.  The beautiful blue gradient in these photos was almost exactly what I had witnessed:

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I also took pictures of the beautiful thick-forested surrounding mountains:

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I saw in the distance these beautiful snow-capped mountains.  The trees give natural frame to the true focus:

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I also got this shot, which had no central focus:

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This shot was obviously obligatory.  You have to get a shot like this in the forest:

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I loved the look of these spooky limbs.  They have a lot of detail and they show how alive the forest is:

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Had to get a little more of the area:

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I had to get more pictures of these mountains.  When we drove up to the area to first start hiking, I was mesmerized by these mountains, but it is probably better higher up on the trail than down at the parking lot.  Here they are:

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There was also this cool swamp.  The mist hanging over the now frozen water and the frosted plants made for a very eerie scene:

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There were so many shots to get in this one little area.  I actually got a panorama, but that is not quite finished yet.

The texture on these roots looked so cool:

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Had to get more green:

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I had to get a few shots of the lake at a low shutter speed.  Evidently there was a little shake, even with a tripod:

 

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The mist hanging over the lake is just more icing on the cake.

Later we explored the city.  I didn’t get any great shots, but I have a small selection:

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This is a wall with a very cool pattern (?).  It is in Canada Place.

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The moon next to the water was dying to be captured:

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There was this cool teardrop sculpture near the colorfully lit Canada Place:

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I don’t know what building this was, but it seemed to want a picture of itself:

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The Earth in that building spins.

Then, we left.

I saw this amazing “Welcome to the United States of America” sign near the Peace Arch crossing that was just so good that I had to take a picture of it.

 

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It’s so colorful.  It makes the United States look so crazy and amazing.

I had to get some photos at a high shutter speed while driving, because, well, the beautiful Mt. Baker was asking for it.  Here:

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The second one looks really great.  The slightly blurred brush and the magnificent mountain in the back form a sort of parallax.

I looked to my right at one point during the drive and saw this beautiful gradient haze:

 

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The lighting is just so soft.  So good. Darn.

I had to get a few pictures of the beautiful Cascades.  I mean, damn:

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Look at some of those crags.  Although some of these photos are quite noisy, the darkness makes the mountains look quite handsome and grand compared to the soft gradient of the sky.  To bad this whole area west of the Cascades is a ticking time-bomb.

I decided to use MacOSaiX to construct a photo mosaic of Buntzen Lake out of the photos from the trip.  Here is the result:

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As you can see, it works very well and we have a lot of detail for the overall photo and the photos within.  I think it looks very nice.

I decided to add a texture:

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I also did a little burning of the mosaic overlay to make it fit a little bit better.  It is most noticeable in the upper left-hand corner.

The concert was fantastic.  The interplay between the three drummers was awe-inspiring.  The guitar work was, as always, superb.  The windwork was great, too.  The concert was so cool.

The concert was so cool.  The nature was so cool.  The weather was so cool (literally).  The trip was so, so cool.

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