Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring has sprung & Whytecliff Park, West Vancouver

Yes, this is the first weekend of Spring. We had torrential rains all week but for some reason the clouds parted and we had a sunny, but cool, weekend. Everywhere we went there were lots of Riders out and about. It was a great day to be out on two wheels, but I was exercising my cameras so today it was the car for me. As mentioned on previous entries, this was family Sunday (a day relegated for 4 wheeled transport). Most Sundays will find us having brunch somewhere and go for a ride in the country to take photos. I am trying to re-acquaint myself with the finer points of shooting film instead of digital, like the way it was done over half a century ago.

(Toyo 45A 4x5 field camera with Nikor 180-W)

Many years ago I decided to get serious with photography and purchased some professional grade equipment. Then there was the steep learning curve to learn how to use it. I read a lot of books, purchased magazines and bought lots of film and learned how to develop so I am a self taught advanced amateur. It is only a hobby for me and I do not make any money for my efforts. There is nothing so satisfying as to "make" a photo for a friend to hang on their walls. The Toyo 45A is a metal field camera and is solid, very stable in the wind. This is the one that I usually take with me when I am in the car.

If I am walking about town I prefer to take something lighter. Of course lighter means less stable.

(similar to Nagaoka 45, folding wood view camera)

This particular camera folds into a small package. There is not much room for a lens to be attached, while folded but I discovered that if I mount the lens backwards, I could actually fold the camera with the lens inside.

(camera is small when folded, showing Tamrac photgraphic backpack)

This wood field camera is the one that I was going to pack on my motorcycle (somehow). I purchased this at a camera swap meet years ago and there was a name on it that I can't remember.

You will notice from the background of these photos that I was at the Cypress Bowl Viewpoint overlooking the City of Vancouver & Lion's Gate Bridge/Stanley park. There were a few other photographers there taking scenic photos and many made comments to the affect that this was an "old" camera, but little do they know that some of the best modern field cameras currently for sale are made of wood. I also have a Wista 45 folding wood field camera that is too beautiful to use. It is made of Rosewood with brass fittings. I think it looks better on a shelf.

Lately there has been a lot of interest in photography from our fellow bloggers. Even Conch of Key West Diary recently mentioned how he takes his photos to post on his blog. I re-read his post a few times and still can't understand how he does it.

My photos are hosted on two sites; photobucket and webshots. I enter my blog ramblings and whenever I want to post a picture I insert the Html code where I want it to show. Then I allow at least one space below the photo and continue to input more words. I still don't understand how Conch uploads a set of photos and then expect it to magically appear where he wants it to.

My workflow consists of taking "whatever" photos at the full resolution of the camera that I am using. I carry at least two cameras; Canon digital Elph SD700 and Canon G-10. The G-10 was purchased to replace the SD700 which I have had for over 2 years, but as it is so very small I continue to carry it in my jacket pocket. The G-10 is a larger camera which I carry in a waist pouch. If I am working on a video I also carry my Panasonic SDR-20SW. This uses flash memory and is shock proof and can be submerged under water. I use it a lot in the rain, or mounted on my motorcycle SV650 using Ram-Mounts. I also have a Nikon D-80 which I purchased a couple of years ago which I use when I need to shoot faster images as with both the G-10 or SD700 there is a delay between pictures as it is re-generating. I was going to upgrade the D-80 but instead decided to go for a smaller camera due to the limited storage options on the SV650 or scooter.

My full resolution pictures are downloaded onto an external drive (of which I have a few). All my editing is done on a small 14.2" laptop and I don't wish to clutter the small hard drive with photos, other than the ones I am currently working on. My desktop unit failed over a year ago and since I don't like Vista I decided that I could do without it. I use an image reducer program to "batch" downsize the resolution of my photos to 800x600, but I have all the full resolution files available if you should ever want it. For my videos I often downsize batches of 300 photos with just ONE click.

I am not a flowing writer like Jack Riepe of "Twisted Roads" where words just flow out like a beautiful waterfall, rather my words are sprayed out like "stuttering mist" and it takes me a while to gather my thoughts, delete, re-write and re-organize my thoughts into something cohesive. All of this takes time, usually 2-3 hours before I am finished. It was my plan to have at least one post per week or perhaps 3 every 2 weeks but until riding season actually starts I am struggling for current material. I try to post mainly riding material but when I started this blog I also wanted to showcase some of the scenery of our area which includes an adjacent state or province or two. I have never been the one to write too many personal things about my life but as I have noticed others that DO, I am getting more comfortable in doing so.

ET: Earl Thomas of Two Wheels and an Engine recently posted something that I was curious about for a while and why he was known as "The Vampire Duck". And if a shy person such as ET can make such posts. Don't get me wrong, I love to meet people and can be an extrovert if need be, but most often prefer to remain in the background and analyze the proceedings and form opinions . . .

As my goal today was to take some scenic photos, soon we left Cypress Bowl and found ourselves at Whytecliff Park


This is a favour spot for Scuba divers and Kayakers. There is a small island accessed by a small rocky causeway at low tide

(Whyte Island, West Vancouver, BC)

(rising tide)

When we first arrived the rocks were a lot higher than they are now. The water is rising fast. Soon the island will be cut off from the mainland. There are a few people on the top who are oblivious to the situation and they may get stranded if they are not paying attention to the tides. Note the scuba divers in the foreground.

(Rocky's Cafe)

There is a small coffee shop overlooking the cliff, but will not be open until the warmer weather sometime in late April, unlike in Key West where they are enjoying warm sunny weather. We are still within the fringes of winter's grip waiting our turn to bask in the sunshine. There was a chill in the air but no hot chocolate today.

Nearly forgot to post the view of Vancouver from Cypress lookout:

(Vancouver, BC Sunday, March 22, 2009)


  1. Yeah I can just see you walking around Vancouver like Grizzly Adams with a mule in tow loaded with your walkabout camera gear.Those contraptions would be extra cool if they were digital- they would be the equivalent of a "classic" Bonneville built in 2007.Then I could use one.PS Key West Monday was cool and windy 73/19. So sorry.

  2. Excellent work...great shots of the park...wish you had a few more scuba divers on there. Amazing equipment you need a trailer to haul all

  3. Dear Bobskoot:

    I am deeply flattered by a mention in your blog one more time but I regret to inform you that my closest friends and most dedicated readers describe my flow f words as something more commonly associated with a toilet.

    I called Leslie into my office to show her the picture of the wooden field camera. She was very interested and I think I am going to see if I can find something like this for her birthday.

    My camera is a tiny little Nikon that takes an adequate representation of the subject matter. I expect to start getting better pictures for Twisted Roads as soon as it gets a little greener around here.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  4. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  5. I've discovered that trying to post on weekly basis can be somewhat challenging this time of the year for me as well. It's hard to find inspiration when the snow won't stop falling, it's snowing as I type this........sigh.

    It's funny how a simple ride on one of my bikes can sort out the mess in my cluttered mind in such a way that I can journal about my thoughts and experiences.

    I read on someones blogsite recently the quote, "You never see a motorcycle parked outside of a pshychiatrist's office." I can relate.

    I just need to ride more.

    Here's to Spring.


  6. Conch:
    Actually I carry a couple of cameras when I walk around town, my digital and perhaps a panoramic film camera. As photography is my hobby I use the large camera for more serious stuff & framed scenic portraits.

    I'm trying to get you out with your old "folding" camera. You'll have to bring your bike out for a brunch sometime.

    I know Leslie is an accomplished photographer & artist. A wooden field camera is capable of museum quality prints. Those cameras can be purchased "new" even though most people think they are old. I get a lot of people staring and asking weird questions when I set it up to take photos.
    I'm on the edge of my chair waiting in anticipation of your new photos

    Welcome aboard, glad you found us

    Earl, I think winter's nearly "done". Today was sunny and bright and looked warm, but wasn't . (Don't tell Conch he loves to rub it in). I finally had a chance to ride my scoot to work today and took the long way home. Last Thursday, on the first day of spring, I started up my SV650. It's been sitting on a battery maintainer since last October and it started up as if it were yesterday. I can't wait to get it insured and on the road. The fuel injected engine purrs like a K75. It feels like a sports car as compared to my scooter

  7. The weather here is finally breaking as well. I just wanted to commend you on the photography. I am a avid fan of hpotography although I really have no artisitc bone in my body I am absoulutely enamored by artistic shots. I currently use a Canon Digital Elph SD500. I can store it anywhere and it takes great pics for what I do. Earl has the much better camera for really good shots.
    Take care and I look forward to more photos.

  8. Bob, I really liked the pics of your photography equipment. You are much more than a hobbyist - your pictures are very good, and I want to visit many of the places you have documented because of your posts.

  9. Charlie:
    Most of my pictures are just snapshots, sort of journalistic approach to show you some of the things I come across during my travels. I like to document where I have been, where we eat, where we stay and I save all photos to my archives. All photos are taken at the highest resolution dependant on camera model and all are resized for internet viewing. I have sort of lost track of the finer points of photography and want to get back to basics and produce large scenic portraits. Of course using these LF cameras is expensive so snapshots are done using digital.

    If you go back to my older posts, I have some summary articles showing some of my travels. I went to Hell's Canyon based upon pictures I saw on "Oasis of my Soul" . I plan to go back to the Palouse and explore more of Oregon. Did I mention that Oregon has the "best roads" ? I am positive I will be passing through North Bend again very soon.

  10. Greetings Fellow Photographer!
    I was wondering if you could check on something for me in Whytecliff park?
    I photographed a tree that was leaning against a rock and I was wondering if it has been removed or it remains at I photographed in April?
    Joseph Hyde

  11. Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you.

    Cold Storage Vancouver