Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last Day of Summer 2010

I don't think we wanted summer to end. There is a chill in the air. It was 8c this morning on my ride to work and I had to zip in my liner. But it's refreshing to be able to ride without the excessive heat we have had during the past two months. Also I notice that there is more traffic on the roads and they are all going at a snails' pace, ie: slow, I mean very slow but eventually I get to work and park in my usual spot outside my window


another thing I notice is the very low sun angle, shining directly from the front which means you are riding blind and cannot see the oncoming traffic so this is when I like to tuck in behind another vehicle, for protection.

The official time of the autumnal equinox in Vancouver is 8:09pm (September 22) so I thought that I would venture downtown to grab another night shot and sort of aim for 8pm. Well, I got there a little early and it was getting dark and the light was fading fast so I had to shoot now. I rushed, set up my tripod and here is what I ended up with

(Inukshuk at English Bay, Vancouver, BC)
Canon T2i, Tamron SP 17-50 DiII Aspherical, F20 30s ISO 100

I just purchased this "new to me" lens from Craigslist last week. I wanted a higher quality lens to take on my big adventure in 2 weeks, thus the reason for getting used to my new camera and practicing my night shooting technique. This is also a new camera which I purchased a couple of weeks ago. I am really a Nikon person but my D80 is getting old and the newly announced D7000 won't be in the stores before I leave so I had to make a quick decision. I like the idea of being able to shoot full 1080HD with this camera so I can travel lighter by not having to take my Camcorder and another charger. I wanted something with a larger sensor and less crammed pixel density. I will also be bringing my Canon G10 as backup for times where I wish to be in stealth mode.

A few days earlier I was down in False Creek looking for night scenes and this was taken with the 18-55 IS kit lens. If you stop it down it is quite acceptable but it is mainly constructed with plastic and has less internal light shielding, plus being variable aperature, it is slow

(Cambie Bridge, south side False Creek, Vancouver, BC)
Canon T2i 18-55is kit lens: F16 30s ISO 100 approx 21mm

Here is another image taken with the same lens from underneath the Cambie Bridge

Canon T2i 18-55 is kit lens: F16 30s ISO 100

I also wanted to test my telephoto lens to get an idea of what it could do. It was not really dark yet so I attached my ND4, neutral density filter so I could slow down the shutter speed. I wanted to get the compression effect with the signal lights. I positioned my tripod at 10th avenue, near Broadway and shot north towards downtown. The bridge starts at about 5th Avenue so you can see that I was far away from the action

Canon T2i 55-250 is Kit lens: F32 25s ISO 100 @ 250mm

and finally, here is the full image from which the header was cropped. It was still very bright so a ND4 neutral density filter was attached. (ND4 = + 4 F stops of light)

Canon T2i 55-250 is kit lens: F22 5s ISO 100 @ 180mm ND4 filter

Lately I've been anxious for the sun to go down so I can go out with my camera and "make some pictures"


  1. You are doing great 'making some pictures' in the dark. Have you seen the weather forecast? Not funny...

  2. Bobskoot those are tremendous photos.

  3. Great shots! I love the under bridge image with the starbursts in the lights.

    Two questions:
    Where is the bike? :)

    Where are you going that you are "practicing" your night shots?? ;)

    Remembering what SonjaM is saying about rain, do you have a rain sleeve for cameras? I've been using this one for a couple years. This one isn't expensive like most. Easily replaceable and packable.

  4. Great photos. Make me want to grab my gear and head into the city at night again. Haven't done that in many, many years.

  5. Kudos for the fantastic pictures! If I had to state a favorite, it would be the first one, but maybe it is just because we don't have water like that around here. But all the photos are very very nice.
    My hat is off to you!

  6. Nice. Very nice pictures. Getting out in the dark is obviously a natural thing for you to do. Does that make you the Vancouver Vampire?

  7. SonjaM: most often it isn't as bad as they forecast. I was thinking of getting a RainSleeve for my camera for rain protection

    El Diente: I'm waiting for you to purchase your new camera instead of acting like a 20 year old in that red rented "E" type convertible. Thanks for stopping by and I added you to my Blog list

    BeemerGirl/Lori: My bike was behind me in the parking lot. You are not supposed to put it on the Seawall. Lucky I have a tool tube to carry my tripod.

    thanks for the info on the RainSleeve, I'm going to get a package, or make my own using garbage bags.

    I am leaving in less than a week-and a half, going off the GRID for a couple of weeks. I intend to do a short post. hope you miss me

    Canajun: Actually it is hard to come up with a location. I've been riding around the downtown area numerous times during the past couple of weeks scouting out sites. I am looking for light reflections or red tail light trails and on weekdays there is less traffic and sometimes the best spot is not safe.

  8. cpa3485/Jimbo:

    I actually missed the Twilight, it was darker than I would have wished. Depending upon the cloud layer, the best time is actually around 15-20 minutes AFTER sunset when the sun goes under the horizon and where the light shines upwards and lights the clouds. Photographers call this the Afterglow. I was over half hour too late as the sun is setting earlier now

    Gary: Once I get home from work I usually don't go out again, esp on a weekday, but I was getting practice with my new camera and lenses and getting an idea of how much noise I would get by bumping up the ISO to 6400 or higher, but these shots were at ISO 100 .

    Stacy: I have offered to teach photography to people interested to learn but so far no takers. Night photography takes a mundane, ordinary scene and turns it into a magical scene, under the right lighting. It's all about light, shadows and light trails. It's not a static scene which you can see, it's like painting with light. With digital you can see your results right away. During the film days it would often take a week to see the results after you finish your roll of film and take it to the lab and pick it up a week later.

  9. I like the night shots!

    How do you like the low light performance of the T2i? I think that it is still an APC-C sensor so it may have higher resolution than your D80 but since the sensor is about the same size, I would have expected more noise. HD recording is a nice feature.

    The real question is, what is the "big adventure?"


  10. Summer can end if Fall will be warm and sunny. Somehow I don't think that will be the case this year. Your night shots are stunning. I really like the one directly under the bridge - nice!

    Being all mysterious are we
    Well, Safe journeys! :)

  11. Richard: Pixel density is only around 5Mp on an APS-C sensor but it must be their new processor Digic 4. The T2i is one of the best for low noise, almost equal to the 7D or newly released 60D. I have tried ISO 6,400 and it seems very good. The T2i is number 1 in its class and I love the small form, plastic body as it is lightweight for travelling.

    Yes, this is going to be a big adventure for me, sort of "off the Grid". Different voltages 240v @ 50 cycles, need plug adapters and all my chargers are dual voltage luckily. Had to take shots for Hepatitis A & B, plus diarrhea & cholera vaccine, can't speak the language and all the money is different

    BlueKat/Kari: I noticed that the rain is going to stop next Wednesday and we will be back to Indian Summer with sun and warmer temperatures. I think you should purchase BLUE crocs for RON to match his kayaking Jacket

  12. You said... "Had to take shots for Hepatitis A & B, plus diarrhea & cholera vaccine, can't speak the language and all the money is different". So you are going to New York City?

  13. Dear Bobskoot:

    What can I say? The captured light in your pictures gives up its secrets like a hostage to a rubber hose. I have never understood anything more than the most basic principles of photography, and rely on the camera to grab the moment.

    I am making more of an effort to take pictures when I am out on a ride, but they tend to by very standard, point and shoot-type stuff (grabbed in broad daylight).

    The second shot is my favorite in these "under the bridge photos." If you have never encountered a troll when crawling around under bridges, then guess who it is?

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  14. Beautiful photos, you really capture beautiful images with your cameras. You are a privileged to go to his workplace with his Wee, in my city urban traffic is very heavy, so it's hard to work with my Wee. If the summer ended there, we enter spring here in Brazil but I still prefer the winter to travel by motorcycle.

    Greetings from the Southern Hemisphere


  15. Bob!!! Have great fun on your travels. I think your destination has been given away. ;) Pointless for me to say to take TONS of pictures!!

    Yes...will miss you very much, shaming me for not picking my camera up more, threatening to dismantle my bike, and on and on.

    Maybe fall will hit here while you are away and I can make you sick with my autumn color photos. (Hey, a girl can dream.) :-)

    Safe journeys to you and Mrs. Bobskoot!


  16. I think we all have the same feelings about the onset of fall as riders. It's such a beautiful time of year, but means an end to all those great summertime things.