1st 2017 Adventure: Mt Seymour Snowshoeing

It is my third winter of living in Vancouver, and up until now the winter months from about November to March have kept me mostly inside and certainly stuck inside the city (which is not all bad!). Finally, this past weekend my girlfriend and I went out to try snowshoeing. In summary, we loved it and now we can continue hiking and exploring all year round!

We started on what is one of the easiest snowshoe trails in the area: Dog Mountain, which is a trail on Mount Seymour starting from the Mount Seymour ski resort. Unlike our usual hiking adventure days, we started in the afternoon. This meant that the trails and nearby snow was well-trotted upon, but made for a fantastic skyline at the finish. The two photos below show the snow-covered forest scene that was the majority of the trail – including a photo of the First Lake bridge that shows just how much snow is piled everywhere (tough to scale based on just the picture, but that is about 2m of snow that has now become the new bridge).

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The visibility on Saturday was maybe the best that I have ever had for any hike. When we reached the viewpoint, not really a steep enough hike to Dog Mountain to be worthy of being called a summit, there were fantastic views of Grouse and Crown Mountain to the west, …

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Mount Bake and associated mountain range to the east, …

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and to the south was an amazing view of Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

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We will be planning some bigger and better snowshoeing trips in the coming months : )

Cheers,

Brennan

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

The weekly photo challenge prompt from the WordPress daily post this week was Graceful. As can be seen from the contributions of other bloggers, I am not alone in attributing grace to the wildlife of the world. For this week I chose pictures of a humpback whale from a whale-watching trip south of Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Despite not being able to see most of the whale, and despite my shotty quickly-done photo editing, I am still able to recall how smooth and soft the whale movement seemed on that day. It is a shame that the pictures do not relay the time scale of the whale dive or the size of the animals, because it is the combination of size and grace that makes the whales so impressive.

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Cheers,

Brennan

WPC: Ambience – Stump Lake

This week’s photo challenge from the WordPress Daily Post is Ambience. Looking through my hiking photos I knew that somewhere I must have something that had captured the “character and atmosphere” of that place.

I landed on some photos from Alice Lake park near Squamish in British Columbia. The trails in this park encircle a number of small lakes, the photos below are from Stump Lake. The day that I went hiking there was a quiet, overcast, cool, and calm afternoon in October. When we reached Stump Lake, its surface looked just the same; quiet and calm. That’s why I feel these photos of the tree reflections in the water capture the ambience of the moment.

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What I find interesting for these photos is actually applying some unrealistic filters. For some of the angles it does a better job of defining the contours and individuals trees in the reflection, where in the original photo the reflection was too dark.

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Similarly, applying some black and white filters makes my eyes look at the photos a little differently.

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Cheers,

Brennan

Frosty Welcome Back

A chilly welcome back to Vancouver after the holidays has inspired me to show off some of my favourite wintery photos from last month. December 2016 brought the most snow to Vancouver since I have lived here, and the city was still frozen when I returned from the holidays – apparently enough for ice skating in the streets!

Thankfully, with the cold comes an emphasis of nature’s beauty that we don’t get in the summer. For instance, something about the snow this year did an outstanding job of lining the contours of tree branches and providing a photogenic contrast of the dark tree bark with bright white snow.

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A little earlier in the morning on a snowy day last month, the streetlight adds another layer of colour into one of my favourite photos from the wintery December.

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Of course, with the snow and chill often comes beautifully clear days to stare at the Vancouver skyline lined with layers of snow-capped mountains.

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Happy New Year,

Brennan

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient

Cherry-picking my favourite of the weekly photo challenges that have been posted since my month off from blogging, I settled on resilient. Picking a photo to represent resilience lead me to nowhere else but the rocky beaches on the west side of Vancouver Island. While being beautiful to sit and stare at during the sunset, the rocky shapes and forms peaking out of the water express a degree of fortitude.

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The west side of Vancouver island is popular for surfing (there are much friendlier sandy beaches nearby), meaning the scene is not always so calm here! Regardless, the shape of the earth changes slowly. The land is resilient.

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Holidays away from Vancouver (and the mountains)

After a hiatus from blogging due to focusing on my PhD comprehensive exam and then travelling home for the holidays (always somehow a very busy, yet relaxing time of year), I hope to truly get started into a full year of sharing some of my favourite photos.

And to start the New Year I have to show a couple photos from the holidays with no mountains in sight. Winter hit hard this December across much of Canada, which was actually surprising since it usually waits until January or February. The snow and wintery setting made for some of the more unique views of my rural, quiet, and still hometown. First, a view of the still river running through a local park. I usually enjoy tree reflections in water, but this shot was unique in that the reflections were slightly different colour (tree on the right in particular) than the trees themselves.

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Second is a photo from nearby the park on the very edge of town looking out at the farmland. It is a nice reminder of the contrast with the Vancouver mountains.

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Cheers,

Brennan

TBT to Thanksgiving hikes

Happy thanksgiving to everyone celebrating this weekend in the US!

Two years ago I spent thanksgiving (although during Canadian thanksgiving in October) in Kelowna, BC. The trip showed me how different the climate is in the interior of BC compared to the coast. We of course still managed to go out and find some picturesque spots on a small trail just near the city, not a hike up the mountain just a trail through some lower-growth trees and bush along a stream.

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I especially enjoy this last one. It was an interesting spot on the trail where the water became especially calm. The scene with the bright white tree and fallen tree was intriguing to me for some reason.

Cheers,

Brennan

B&W Everyday Vancouver

More black and white photography from Vancouver (old photos from when it was sunny outside).

There are a few things that I like about black and white photography for scenery-type photos. In these photos below I especially like the intensity of the tree trunk shadows. In the colour version of these pictures the colours – particularly the greens of the leaves and grass – are bright and colourful, but doesn’t have a real focal point for the pictures. The black and white filter changes the outlook completely. Rather than quickly look at the pictures and view them as just another summer day shot, I find myself looking further into what each picture holds. It starts with the dark areas of the trees, then moves to the people, then to the buildings in the background. Regardless, I hope you enjoy these shots from Kits Beach park in Vancouver.

Vancouver Visit

 

Vancouver Visit

 

Fun in the Fog

The dark never-ending overcast with periodic rain season has begun in Vancouver #Raincouver.

To put a positive spin on the dreary weather and to finally start sharing my hiking photos on this blog, I wanted to share an unorthodox piece of hiking photography. Usually hiking photos display fantastic views and wonderful colourful colours, but there are still some inspiring photography opportunities on the days when you accidentally go hiking on a cloudy day and walk by a mountain-top lake  in the fog.

The photo above is filtered for black and white only, not that the original image had very much colour to begin with, to emphasize the fog a little more.

This was from the eagle bluffs hike on Cypress mountain earlier this year. On a sunny day this hike will have one of the best views of Vancouver.

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