Sunday, January 31, 2010

False Creek Spot Light Test Jan 30 2010 01_DSC9664

Very cool.

Tonight the Olympic Lighting Elves tested out their False Creek spot light setup. There was much well deserved oooh'ing and awh'ing. I think we should make them permanent.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Gulf Island Sunset Jan 27 2010_DSC9616

Winter sunsets in Vancouver, while short lived, have this rich orange color missing from summer sunsets and, thanks to ever-present rain clouds, a good chance of including 'God-Light' - those spiritually motivating beams of light cascading from the heavens.

Here's a shot looking due west from downtown Vancouver taken later afternoon January 28 2010. In the foreground is the University of BC and a large jet on its final approach into Vancouver's international airport. In the background is Galliano Island. One of the many long-but-thin rocky islands sprinkled along the Strait of Georgia that separates the BC mainland from Vancouver Island.

CF-18 Fighter Jets on Patrol - English Bay Vancouver

Here's a pair of Canadian Forces CF-18 fighter jets zipping over English Bay Vancouver 2 weeks prior to the 2010 Winter games.

To paraphrase Al Pacino's character on the movie "Scarface" - "Say hallo to my two leetle friends!"

Sunset Beach Olympic Spot Light Jan 28 2010_DSC9622

Here's a shot of one of the 20 massive projectors sprinkled along either side of the entrance to False Creek in Vancouver. Without seeing them in action it's hard to tell if they are spot lights or projectpr lights. I'm guessing projectors.

They are pretty massive with the spot/projector shown in this photo being about 2 meters tall. Bring on the games!! I can't wait to see these puppies in action.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Olympic .. err .. Blue Boxes Are Here!

Over the past few days the Olympic Construction Elves ('ookees' as we call 'em) have been carefully placing large blue box structures on both sides of the entrance into False Creek here in Vancouver. The boxes themselves are interconnected via underground cabling which you can see in the photo as a nice slash in the otherwise clean green of the lawn at Sunset Beach.

My guess? Spot light stands with the long trough connecting the boxes being the high voltage AC the lights will need. Oh ... Joy.

On the flip side though, once they fire those puppies up night will become day around here and us Vancouverites can start to party like it's 1999. :)

Law Courts Skating Rink Jan 27 2010_DSC9560

Here's a shot of the skating rink at the corner of Thurlow and Robson in the Law Courts plaza. It's been domed to protect the skaters from the 2 meters of snow we all know VanOc has on order for arrival a day before the Olympics start. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Count Down Clock 01 Jan 27 2010_DSC9578

16 days, 4 hours, 12 minutes and 6 seconds till the party begins. Now all we gotta do is truck in about 10 million kilos of snow from Alberta and we're ready to rock.

And, as any Vancouverite knows, last week was the start of our spring. The trees are budding, the days are getting longer, the eagles are flying south to eat American salmon rather than BC's best and throngs of tourists have begun to croud out the locals.

As my grandmother used to say "Guests are like fish (salmon in this case). After two days they start to smell. How are we going to manage for 2 weeks? :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Richmond Olympic Oval Mar 13 2009 03_DSC4788

Here's the final image from the Essent ISU World Championships held back in March of 2009. A fantastic warm up for the 2010 Olympics.

I like this shot in that it really captured the smooth aerodynamic form that is the speed skater. If I let my eyes blur for a bit the skater becomes almost robotic in her determined pose and sculpted form.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Richmond Olympic Oval Mar 13 2009 02_DSC4788

The Richmond Olympic Speed Skating oval itself is a thing of architectural and wooden beauty both inside and out. It's shape is nothing but smooth flowing contours that perfectly match the smooth flowing grace that is skating in general and Olympic speed skating in particular.

From Architectural "In total, the roof system uses about one million board feet of Douglas-fir lam-stock lumber in the glulam beams, another one million board feet of 2x4 spruce-pine-fir commodity dimension lumber – primarily lumber affected by the mountain pine beetle infestation in B.C.’s Interior – and about 19,000 sheets of four-foot-by-eight-foot Douglas-fir plywood in the roof panels. The roof is believed to be the largest surface ever-covered in beetle-affected wood – showing that the wood remains structurally sound and attractive."

Understatement of the year. The building is drop-dead gorgeous.

Here's a closer look at the ceiling and the participant flags.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 Winter Olympic Countdown

With just under three weeks to go till the start of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games here in Vancouver the excitement is certainly building. As various side streets close and become covered with temporary buildings and rows of spectactor seats the feeling of living within a fortress becomes nearly everpresent.

Over the next few days I'll be posting photos that were taken inside the Richmond Olympic Speed Skating oval during the March 2009 Essent ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships. After an afternoon of fast shooting hoping for the perfect shot I now have great respect for not only sports photographers and the big $15,000 lenses that they use but also how sexy women look skating away at high speed dressed in tight latex. Speed skaters have to be one of the hardest photo subjects in existence. :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Burrard St Bridge 90mm Jan 11 2010_DSC9403And8more_tonemapped

Sometimes with High Dynamic Range photography "less is more". Here's a composite of 9 images of the Burrard Street Bridge that crosses False Creek into downtown Vancouver. This photo was taken on a very rainy west coast winter Monday afternoon around 2:30PM. The forecast called for 100 to 200 mm of rain for Howe Sound which is north of Vancouver on the way to Whistler. Ground zero for the 2010 Winter Olympics in 32 days and the spot where my brother and I will watch the Olympic Ski Jumping in just over a month from now.

In this shot I wanted to capture the nice pocket of warm color from the lights on the north bridge span nestled in the grey brooding nature of winter on the west coast represented by the bridge itself. Thanks to the magic of High Dynamic Range photography I think I captured it.

During winter on the 'wet coast' less is more.

Sunset Beach Eagle Jan 11 2010_DSC9376And8more_tonemapped

(With apologies to Albert Camus) - In the depth of a west coast winter, I finally learned that within me and my digital SLR there lay an invincible High Dynamic Range summer - or at least a soggy spring.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Queen Elizabeth Park IR 06 May 21 2009 raw

Queen Elizabeth Park Vancouver Canada in Infra Red.

The park is so thick with carefully tended foliage that it pretty much explodes visually when photographed in Infra Red light.

My favorite part of this shot are the two wheel barrows in the bottom right corner. Sort of a his and hers thing. :)

New Name - Same Cool Photographs

Work is now complete on linking my personal web site name ( to this blog. The old link ( ) will still work so nothing needs to change at your end.

Happy New Years everyone!