Saturday, December 5, 2009

By the water

It was a great day today. Heavy frost in the morning but by noon it had burned off and it was time to roll the Wee out for a ride. A cold front had moved into our area from the Arctic. I think Alberta got the brunt of the storm with heavy snow falls. I headed down to False Creek to survey the views of the water.

(The Wee at Science World)

Science World is at the Eastern End of False creek. This "Dome" was constructed for Expo '86 and originally was a 6 story high Imax Theatre. The Imax is still there but the downstairs area has been converted into a Science Centre.

For the last few posts I have travelled down here to do some night photography. Today I came in the bright sunshine so that you would be able to see what it looks like during the daytime

I don't know if you have noticed but I have been rotating my image makers (cameras). On one blog entry all of my photos were taken with my Samsung Omnia i910 smart phone. On the Cambie Village segment I used my Canon G10 exclusively for the accompanying photos. Today I used my Canon SD780is (sacrificial lamb) P&S camera. There are NO manual modes which makes it an unlikely candidate for night shots, but it is very small and works automatically when there is enough light. It also has 720p HD video mode, but you cannot zoom while "filming" (or is that "videoing ? ")

(click on image for full panorama)

This is a stitched panorama using only 2 images from my SD780is, using Autostitch as the camera does not have panorama assist mode = PAM. On my G10 and other higher models there is a PAM which lets you overlap images to form the image. It also keeps all the settings THE SAME to help with colour balancing. With the SD780is, the camera would choose a different setting for each photo as the light changes with every segment. With Autostitch you don't have to worry as it "blends" each image and balances all the light levels for you so any camera you have can "shoot" Panoramic images. If you wish to make very large photos you have to navigate the "edit" tab and understand what all the boxes mean. This program is very good to have if you have a SMALL megapixel camera as it can accumulate more pixels as you merge more images.

The inspiration for the following set of photos comes from Mr Conchscooter (Key West Diary). . They are undertaking a 200 million sewer upgrade down in the Keys (Florida) and he has posted pictures of pilons and other road signs. I noticed that we have some of those signs here too


Dismount and walk on the sidewalk is easier said than done. I find it very difficult to push a 550 lb top heavy Wee very far on the sidewalk. The Wee was designed for gravel roads, I wonder if I should just roll on the gravel ?


If you were to ride around Vancouver you would find a lot of road improvement projects in process. If only we had the funds to pay for them. The city is cash strapped being $65M overbudget for the next fiscal year.


We are at 10th & Cambie a mere 6 blocks north of Cambie Village and one more block north will find you at a major intersection of Broadway & Cambie. Broadway is actually 9th Avenue. You can see the Downtown Area in the distance which is down the hill and over the Cambie Street Bridge. The new Skytrain Station at Broadway is on the right, still doing the finishing touches to the sidewalk.


Here's a closer view looking towards downtown using the 3x zoom of my Canon SD780is.

(Intersection: Broadway & Cambie Streets, Vancouver, BC)

I leave you today with one more image taken with the SD780is

(False Creek, Vancouver, BC) click on image for full panorama

All images today were taken with a Canon SD780is P&S camera. The last image was created from 2 images using Autostich software, which is FREE. (just Google for it)


  1. Nice pictures again. We have a similar science center with an IMAX theatre about 45 miles away. It has a superb collection of space memoriblia.

  2. Bob,
    You've got to get that cap off your left exhaust pipe. Your bike will probably run better. :)

    But seriously, I like your photo tips in your posts these days. Thank you.

  3. Thanks for the autostitch tip. I will have to try it out.

  4. It all looks so pleasantly familiar to me. One day I will move to Vancouver for good. Thanks again for those wonderful pics, and keep 'em coming.

  5. Dead trees, cotton wool on the hills and damp streets. Brrr.
    I think the Wee wee deservesa southernmost vacation.

  6. Hi Bobskoot,

    Nice photos! I haven't done any research of my own on the SD, but I'm wondering how the shutter lag is? While I love my G10, I'm finding it's not that great for street photography--and it's lag is not extreme but still not the best.

    BTW, I've started a photo blog, which I will debut on Jan 1, 2011. I hope that you'll come by for the exchange.

  7. BTW, I had noticed your changing header! I've loved it! And, totally enjoy the surprise when it's new! Thanks!

  8. Dear Bobskoot:

    Isn't it amazing how dome structures -- which initially looked so futuristic -- now appear to be so dated?

    I read with interest about the "Autostitch" feature on your camera. Ten years ago, a feature of this nature would hsve been wishful thinking on the part of the consumer. In five more years, there will be a feature on the camera tha cleans up the neighborhood.

    By the way, Leslie and I were out driving through a neighborhood that I particularly admire. I mentined a house that we were passing and wondered how much it cost. Leslie did something on her cellphone, that suddenly told us the current value of each address on the block, and what the occupants paid for it.

    It is the end of the private era.

    You should hve jumped the barricade with the Wee-Strom.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  9. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities in the world, and it's so nice to at least see pictures... dunno when I'll be able to go in person. It would be on the GTS, for sure...

    Scootin' Old Skool

  10. cpa3485:

    We have two IMAX theatres here in Vancouver. We haven't seen a film there for a couple of years but they are stunning. The screen is about 6 stories high. It was originally built for Expo '86


    Thanks for the tip, I was experiencing a slight power loss. must remember to uncover that left exhaust cap next time.

    Autostitch only works in landscape mode. You are able to take pictures in any order, unlike a camera where you go from left to right or right to left. Pixels cummulate, but try to overlap at least 1/3rd. Instead of taking one image at 10MP at 28mm perspective, try to take 2 or more photos at 45 mm perspective with 33% overlap. You will get a wider view than 28mm and your resultant image file may exceed 20 mp. The trick is to turn the camera on the nodal point of the lens, NOT where the tripod mount is.


    Autostitch is a great program. There are some parameters to change on the second page to make larger photos, but at 10% scaling it will be good for internet viewing


    You will love it here in Vancouver. Weather is not as extreme as in Calgary. Also we don't have those jacked-up 4x4's with the 35" mudder wheels.

    Mr Conchscooter:

    You're right about the southern most vacation, but right now it looks like we will be going to the BIG ISLAND in January and take some pictures of the volcano


    The SD isn't that great. All auto, no controls. It's just a small camera to have in your pocket. Works great in the daylight and handy on your bike as it starts quickly. If you set focus to infinity you can decrease the shutter lag as it will not have to focus. I also turn off the flash which helps to conserve battery power and start up time. (not having to charge up the capacitor before going to ready mode)
    One thing I found out about the G10 when doing night shots it is so easy. You are able to see the result before you hit the shutter button. I think it has a neutral density filter built in, I've got some ideas for longer exposures with tail light patterns.
    You're quite the photographer, I was browsing through your images today.

    As for the header, thank you. It was always my intention to focus on photography and I never made use of the header until now. It took a while to figure out how wide the banner photo should be. I wanted them to show full screen without the slider bar, but some of the early ones are 5 pixels too wide.

    Jack "r":

    Autostitch is a free software program that stitches images from any camera, taken in any order. Most higher Canon models have a panorama stitch mode which helps to line up the next photo, or also to take a picture of something very large, in "sections"
    I also have a smart phone and my emails come into it automatically and I can access the internet anytime as I always have it with me. There is not much privacy anymore, information technology is so accessible.
    Great that you are alive and well. I was worried about you. If you are relapsing, I'll get Leslie to drag you back outside and light a fire under you.


    It's winter, time for you to re-generate, get better and plan for the next season. The GTS is a capable machine. It also appears that your intermittent problem has been cured. I think I am going to spend another weekend with Chuck on another weekend adventure to somewhere, perhaps you will be able to join up with us then.

  11. Hi Bob,

    Your night photos are just great,really clear and clean, it would just be a black square if I tried night photos with any of my camera's lol.

    Good luck with the video project!!



  12. Me again..

    Just took a look at the videos you mentioned yesterday...the last two you made are top quality for YouTube mate, no need to torture yourself any further!!

    The 30 Dollars you spent more than me on cameras has certainly paid off Bob, now you just have to mount one on your bike.



  13. I find myself entranced by the Broadway and Cambie St. intersection photo, for some reason. Nice!

    I'm an Aerostich guy, so using Autostitch shouldn't be to hard, me thinks!

  14. Nice tour. I remember going to the '86 Expo and had a great time. I don't think I've been back to Vancouver since then. We always avoided it due to the crowded roads. I've been playing with Autostitch on my iPhone but find that I get better results using DoubleTake on the laptop. More feedback on the overlap areas. Uniform exposure continues to be a problem on the iPhone but the exposure lock on the DSLR seems to work.