Friday, December 31, 2010


DSCN0072, originally uploaded by VancouverDoug.

As a photographer you eventually realize that 50% of the picture is being in the right place at the right time. Timing counts for much. The other 50% of the picture comes from your skill at composition and your ability to let your camera fully express 'itself'.

This is one of my favorite shots from the first decade of the 21st century. On the far left is me, holding my first digital camera, the 1 mega pixel Nikon Coolpic 950, bundled inside Snowbird 1 5,000 ft above the Fraser Valley in British Columbia Canada. In the middle of the shot is Snowbird 3, 15 feet away, upside down. Ahhh to live that moment again.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Sunset Vancouver Dec 29 2010 Diana Lens HDR

A black and white rendition of what was a pretty colorful deep winter sunset in Vancouver - December 29 2010. This was a high dynamic range (HDR) composite of 3 images shot in color with a Diana fuzz-o-rific lens attached to a Nikon D300 digital SLR. Post processing of the HDR set was accomplished via the latest version of Photomatix Pro (4.0.2) using the B&W setting.

Post post processing via Capture NX/2.

Vancouver West End At Sunset Diana Lens HDR Dec 29 2010

I've decided that my first resolution for 2011 is to let my inner impressionistic painter take control of my photographic moments.

2009 and 2010 were all about exact focus and hyper focal calculations (yes there is an iPhone app for that). What became an often futile quest for perfect focus. It was as though each image I took had to measure up to a National Geographic cover shot. While I loved the results (mmmmm crisp) it's time to tack a new course in this infinite digital photographic sea. I resolve to let 2011 become a year of soft tones, much fuzziness and a total disrespect of laser sharp focus. My Infra Red camera is going to love me. :)

As part of this quest I've picked up a Diana lens from Photojojo and really like the first set of HDR shots we've produced.

Mmmmm .... fuzzy. :)

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Burrard St Bridge Winter Sunset Dec 04 2010

The venerable and historic Burrard Street Bridge that connects Vancouver's Kitsilano region to its downtown core. Looking all warm and magical on a cool winter's night.

North Shore Snow Laced Sunrise Dec 03 2010

After days of rain in Vancouver the perfect cure is a warm golden sunrise reflected off the snow dappled North Shore mountains.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

English Bay Blast of Sunshine DSC_7284_5_6_tonemapped

Who says Vancouver never gets sunshine during the winter? We do - in bite sized chunks 20 km away. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

HR MacMillan Space Centre Vancouver Nov 25 2010 HDR.jpg

Snow arrived early in Vancouver near the end of November 2010 and while it didn't stay long it created it's usual level of chaos and, as always added a soft and gentle charm to the city core.

Looking appropriately like something straight out of a remake of the TV series Stargate or Battlestar Galactica (both filmed in Vancouver) here's the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre preparing for lift off from the late fall snow. "We're go for launch ... 10 ... 9 ... 8 .... main engine start ... 5 ..."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beach Fireworks 01 Sunset Beach Oct 30 2010 DSC_7083.jpg

Vancouver, and most of the British Columbia lower mainland and island for that matter, is nicely laid back when it comes to fireworks. In particular during 'key moments' such as Halloween, New Years eve, Christmas eve, John Lennon's birthday, International Soap-On-A-Rope Day, etc. A popular spot for launching those $39.99 bad boys, perfectly devoid of "other stuff that can accidentally burn", is Sunset Beach in Vancouver's West End. Here's a shot of a couple close enough to feel the heat of their personal pyrotechnics last Halloween. Rock on.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beach Ave and Cardero St Vancouver Looking South IRHDR Nov 10 2010

As fall slowly trickles towards Vancouver's two weeks of winter here's a nice flair shot of Beach Ave and Cardero St just before Remembrance Day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We Come In Peace Nov 10 2010_DSC2819_20_21Enhancer

The English Bay Inuckshuk looking all ambasadorial in the later afternoon November sun. "Greetinks peables of da urt. We come in pieces."

Biennale Arc Sunset Beach Nov 10 2010 IRHDR_DSC2810_1_2Enhancer

B&W goodliness thanks to Infra Red High Dynamic Range. Sort of like the colorful icing on top of the B&W cake.

Sunset Beach Concession Stand Nov 10 2010 IRHDR

Winter, or as close as we Vancouverites get it (6'C brrrr), is settling in. The city however is not without it's Infra Red High Dynamic Range photo-ops including the silent summer time concession stand at Sunset Beach.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

HDR Hibiscus Feb 182008 Rev 2010

I loved it when the world of 35mm faded into the digital age in 1999. Since then we've gone from 1 million pixel cameras to 16 million pixel CMOS equipped devices previously the stuff of Star Trek. And, as the software and hardware evolves those HDR sequences of yesteryear get to be reborn.

With my new 8-core i760 computer system from Gateway I can scream through the latest HDR software. New software used to process an old (2008 in this case) series of HDR shots. It's like being able to process your negatives through new and improved chemicals.

I love this shot so much more than the first rev. It's more 3D.

Three years of working with Photomatrix (the HDR software I use) has taught me much. I can't wait to redo this shot in 2020.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Foggy Kits Nov 02 2010.jpg

Foggy Kits Nov 02 2010.jpg, originally uploaded by VancouverDoug.

Kitsilano BC, an urban-burb of downtown Vancouver, caught in a sunrise fog. Looking all '90s rotoscope and such. I love this treatment.

Foggy Sunrise Burrard St Bridge Vancouver Nov 02 2010.jpg

A gentle fog rolled in from False Creek towards English Bay Tuesday Nov 02 2010. A perfect mix of humidity, temperature and prevailing winds reversed the usual English Bay to False Creek path of the English Bay fog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Foggy Sunset English Bay Vancouver 02 Oct 2010

Combine fog with a mid fall sunset over English Bay Vancouver and the effect is almost magical. Long shadows track across the top of the clouds as the sun sets behind the UBC campus off to the west.

Monday, October 25, 2010

08 Aug 06 2010 Manotick 034b.jpg

Part 3 - Manotick Lily. Without a doubt this collection has proven to be my favorite of this year (2010). I'd admired the lilies in front of sister's home for days while back in Ontario on vacation and knew they'd look awesome right after a rain. I was right and the hardest part was waiting for the afternoon rain storm to end before I could head out with my camera and photograph the lilies.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Foggy Planetarium Vanier Park Vancouver Oct 20 2010.jpg

Looking nearly like an Egyptian pyramid Vancouver's MacMillan space center and planetarium emerges from the fog at sunset. Suddenly I want to watch the movie "Stargate" again. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bay Fog at Beach and Thurlow Vancouver Oct 20 2010 from 1011 Beach DSC_6976_7_8.jpg

The corner of Beach Avenue and Thurlow Street in Vancouver's West End during a recent visit by our perennial visitor - the bay fog. As a photographer I love the bay fog. It adds nearly infinite compositional and lighting options to my craft.

Bay Fog English Bay Oct 20 2010 01_DSC_6964_5_6.jpg

Mid to late October, if we're lucky, English Bay in Vancouver gets this most fantastic fog. The air is moist enough and the temperature low enough to, every few hours, let this moist bank of air roll in to the city, chill (hey it's Vancouver) and cover use with this delicious fog. It's a very organic phenomena to the point that, with enough pot, the fog banks become almost alive. Fog rocks.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

English Bay Oct 19 2010.jpg

My first digital camera, the totally amazing Nikon CoolPic 950 had a gigantic 1 million pixels. Ten years later the 5 million pixel camera in my iPhone 4 captured this photo. My how times they are a changin'.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nelson Park West End Vancouver Oct 10 2010

Nelson Park is pretty much the upper most geographical point in the the West End of Vancouver. Recently renovated it's a 'tranquil oasis in the midst of the chaotic maelstrom that is the heart of Vancouver". Actually, I only wrote that to see if Google Chrome could spell-check 'maelstrom' (it did). Downtown Vancouver being mostly residential is only a chaotic maelstrom when the Vancouver Canucks loose a Stanley Cup final or Canada's Olympic hockey team wins a gold medal ... and during the fire works festival. :)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Six Trilliums - Pen and Ink - 1981

Drawn near Westport Ontario during a lazy, hazy spring after in the forest. The provincial flower of Ontario - the trillium.

I really think my many hours spent drawing nature scenes has helped with my compositional skills when it comes to photography. Nothing teaches you more about structure and form then starting at something for the 2 hours it takes to sketch it. :)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Rain Sprinkled Lily

Rain Sprinkled Lily, originally uploaded by VancouverDoug.

Rain + thunder + flowers = A nice mix.

I'm working on the greeting card series for 2010 and this one is certainly a contender.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

English Bay Falcon Sept 25 2010 03 DSC_6455.jpg

Yesterday, as I approached English Bay beach along Vancouver's Seawall walk I noticed the resident flock of ravens and seagulls were going nuts. Either they'd re-watched Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" the night before or a raptor was somewhere in the vicinity. It turned out it was the later and a large falcon had popped in to check out the view. Looking to snatch a tasty apartment sized doggie perhaps. :)

Each fall we Vancouverites (those that venture out into the rain that is. :) ) are treated to numerous moments like this in and around Stanley Park as the falcon and eagle 'collectives' make their way to and from the salmon feeding grounds north of here. It's always a thrill to not only see such majestic birds in the flesh but also to watch the reaction of the resident seagulls and ravens who are anything but impressed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tickle Fest Mom and Me 1961ish Hi Res 16x20

Here's a shot, compliments of Dad and taken around 1961, of Mom tickling me to hysterics. She was good at that. :)

This would have been while we lived in New Brunswick, the province of my birth, and right before we headed off to West Germany. Deep in our civilizations period of thermonuclear stalemate that our generation 'affectionately' referred to as MAD - Mutual Assured Destruction. A year or so before the Cuban missile crisis.

I love this shot and can't help but smile each time I look at it. Pure love. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Radish Study Ink Circa 1980

The humble radish long since consumed yet living on as a denizen of the digital ozone.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Roseroot Kings Crown Sunset Beach Vancouver Sept 21 2010

Sunset Beach, in the heart of downtown Vancouver Canada has a collection of perennial flowers that are a macro photographer's dream. Here's a shot of what's know as Roseroot or Kings Crown (I think) right on the beach on a sunny September afternoon.

August 1984 Flowers

August 1984 Flowers, originally uploaded by VancouverDoug.

Flower Study - Pen and Ink - August 1984

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dad Circa 1939 Perth Andover NB Post Restoration

After Restoration with Capture NX/2

Here's a photo of Dad while he lived in Perth Andover New Brunswick. During several summers he worked as part of the local volunteer fire department. Best guess is that the photo was taken near the end of the 1930s.

I'm perpetually amazed at the power of the digital tools us 21st century photographers have at our disposal. In particular when it comes to the restoration of old photographs. I expect that within 10 years you will be able to upload a scratchy old black and white photograph from 100 years ago to an Internet service and, within seconds, receive a full color high dynamic range 3D rendering. More real than real?

Dad Circa 1939 Perth Andover NB Pre Restoration

Before Restoration with Capture NX/2

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Farmer Family Aug 1963.jpg

Farmer Family Aug 1963.jpg, originally uploaded by VancouverDoug.

Another flash from the past. In this case August 1963 in the town of Werl in what was then (cold war and all) West Germany. Right after a Sunday service with my sister happy it was over and me confused over Dad's sermon. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dougie Farmer July 1963 01

Dougie Farmer July 1963 01, originally uploaded by VancouverDoug.

Here I am at four and a half looking ever so dapper in my first suit. Going for the casual, 'James Bond' look I figured having my right hand elegantly tucked into a pocket would enhance the effect. I was so right.

My sister calls this photo my "Little Man" shot. Nearly 50 years later, and ever the fan of upgrading, I think it should be renamed my " Mini Me " photo.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

WTC Towers 1 and 2 August 1985.jpg

The twin World Trade Center towers on August 1985. Taken during my second trip to NYC - the best city on the planet in my opinion. By 2013, if everything goes according to plan the construction of World Trade Center Tower 1 will be complete. At 1,776 feet high this signature building will be the tallest in the US. I'm looking forward to taking it's picture and having lunch near or at its summit.

Lost Lagoon and Georgia St Infra Red High Dynamic Range Aug 30 2010

The corner of Georgia St. and Stanley Park's Lost Lagoon in downtown Vancouver Canada. Looking nicely magical in the light of infra red high dynamic range photography.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Straight of Georgia Rain and Sunset Fusion HDR Sept 07 2010.jpg

If you look due west from downtown Vancouver you'll see the gulf islands that be-speckle West Coast Canada's Straight of Georgia. For the past few days we've been getting some much needed rain (us Vancouverites are mostly an aquatic breed) and when it rains right at sunset close to the autumnal equinox the result is quite pretty.

Monday, September 06, 2010

English Bay Sunet Sept 09 2010 HDR 01

English Bay in Vancouver, in my opinion, gets its best sunsets one month either side of two equinoxes - spring and fall. The angle of the sun is just perfect enough to reflect the sun off the waters off the west coast of Vancouver island up to the clouds hovering over English Bay. Sort of a triple bank shot in pool only with light. Sort of.

Stanley Park Nov 1997 006

Stanley Park Nov 1997 006, originally uploaded by VancouverDoug.

While fall is still several months away here in Vancouver it's never too early to relish the colours of nature. Not to mention pictures of ducks. :)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

ISS Transit Sept 01 2010 21_36 PDT

A 30 second exposure of English Bay Vancouver showing the International Space Station tracking overhead. At 200 miles up and orbiting at 17,500 MPH the ISS seems to move at roughly the speed of a jetliner at 35,000 feet.

Thanks to the power of the Internet you can sign up for alerts via Twitter to ideal sighting opportunities of the space station as it tracks across your location. The conditions have to be perfect and include a clear night, an hour before sunrise or after sunset and the station passing overhead. In three months this is my second sighting.

More info can be found at this link ->

Stanley Park Urban Oasis

In the heart of downtown Vancouver is Stanley Park. Created September 27 1887 the park covers 1,000 acres and is a cool oasis of infinite photo opportunities. Here's a view from the eastern edge of the park just off of Lost Lagoon looking towards the western edge of the West End residential area.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stanley Park Wooden Bridge Aug 30 2010.jpg

A recently reconstructed wooden bridge in Stanley Park Vancouver. Thank goodness for all that 'shovel ready' 'economic stimulus' funding that helped pay for the repair of the bridge. :) Looking very fantasy-like in the soft glow of Infra Red - High Dynamic Range photography.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunset Beach Aug 27 2010 HDR

Sunset Beach Vancouver looking towards the Burrard Street Bridge and the hi-rise condos and rental apartments near the corner of Beach Avenue and Thurlow Street. Complimentary fluffy beach grass included to show off the depth of field of the wide angle lens. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vancouver Biennale 217.5 Arc x 13 Aug 27 2010 HDR

The "217.5 Arc x 13" sculpture located on Sunset Beach Vancouver. Part of the 2009 - 2011 Biennale exhibition. Created by Bernar Venet of France this sculpture is 13 rings of raw steel each encompassing 217.5 degrees of the circle. It's one of my favorites.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vancouver Biennale We Aug 27 2010 HDR.jpg

The "We" sculpture of the Vancouver Biennale 2009-2011 exhibition set. A very popular sculpture with both residents and tourists 24/7.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vancouver Lightning 01 Aug 26 2010 DSC_5459

Vancouver Lightning - Late sunset - August 26 2010. Lightning is a very rare thing in Vancouver so when it happens getting a photo of it is like finding a toasted cheese sandwich with the face of Jesus on it. Hopefully another chance will appear.

Here's the best shot (of the two) looking towards the south end of the Burrard Street Bridge and Kitsilano in the background.

Granville Island 51 Jag HDR_DSC_5317_8_9_tonemapped.jpg

A fairly pristine 1951 Jaguar park at Granville Island Vancouver Canada. I love the HDR treatment but wish the white color of the car had dominated more than the reflections of the buildings around the car. Ahh the ying and yang of HDR. :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mini Elvis PNE Parade Aug 20 2010 DSC_5242.jpg

One of the two major moments of Rock and Roll for the Pacific National Exhibition was the appearance of The King of Rock and Roll himself on August 31, 1957. Nearly 26,000 fans showed up paying between $1.50 and $3.50 a ticket. The second event, which drew a mere 21,000 fans, was the appearance of the lads from Liverpool - The Beatles. As part of the 2010 100 year anniversary parade the downtown residents of Vancouver were treated to 100+ dancing mini-Elvises. We thank ya ... we thank ya vera much.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ancient Tree Sunset Beach 02 Aug 15 2010 DSC_5063_4_5_tonemapped

Ahhhh ... the dog days of summer. It doesn't get much better. Especially on the west coast of paradise. :)

PNE Parade 01 Aug 20 2010.jpg

2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the Pacific National Exhibition here in Vancouver. In celebration of this milestone the city held a great parade the evening of August 20th 2010 complete with 100+ Elvis impersonators and gigantic balloon sculptures. The parade rolled from Stanley Park to Sunset Beach along Beach Avenue.

Biennale We HDR 01 Aug 15 2010 DSC_5057_8_9_tonemapped.jpg

On of the many Biennale sculptures scattered around Vancouver. This is "We" created in 2008 by th artist Jaume Plensa of Spain and is located at the corner of Thurlow and Beach looking out over Sunset Beach.