Monthly Archives: February 2010

February 26, 2010 – Cheakamus Lake

Cheakamus Lake

Cheakamus Lake

Friday, February 26, 2010

So I mentioned yesterday how I already had today’s picture picked out. That was true, but this isn’t it. I realize earlier that, while I absolutely LOVE that picture, the version I had online was a little bit over-sharpened. (This one is too, but it’s not quite as drastic.) So I need to revisit it, and maybe I’ll use that one in a week or two. Instead, you get this one, which was actually taken on the same day as that other one. Blah blah blah, I realize that it’s really all the same to you guys, as long as I post a picture at all. But this way I’m keeping it straight in my own head.

This is the view over Cheakamus Lake from the backside of Whistler Mountain. You can’t ski to where I was standing when I took it (well, you CAN, but it’s out of bounds, so it would require hiking all the way back up to where you started), but you can hike there. This was along the High Note trail on Whistler mountain. (Which makes a big loop, although you can shorten the loop to something easy to do in 2-3 hours by taking the Half Note trail which branched off about a quarter mile from where this was taken.) This spot is a little ways below the top of the Symphony Express, if that helps you place it at all. Obviously, it’s a pretty nice view from up there.

This trip took place very soon after I picked up my awesome super-wide-angle lens this summer, the Tokina 11-16. Since I wasn’t very happy with my other lens at the time (the super-zoom Tokina 28-300), I ended up putting the wide angle on the camera for the entire hike. Which was kind of an interesting experience. The pictures you can get with a super wide angle are way different from any other kind of lens, so it really makes you think differently about framing your shots. But it was definitely fun. Although now that I’ve gone to the Tokina 17-50 as my workhorse lens, I haven’t found myself reaching for the wide angle as often. (When your workhorse lens starts at 28, that leaves a LOT of ground on the wide-angle side. At 17? Not so much.) But that’s okay, it’s still there if I need it.

Hahahahaha, I just took a look at the EXIF data on the image, and it turns out that everything I wrote in the last paragraph is basically totally wrong. Whoops. Turns out this was NOT taken with the Tokina, in fact it was taken with my Tamron 28-75, which means I had ALREADY swapped out my 28-300. (And then I eventually traded the 28-75 for the 17-50, which is basically the exact same lens except that it’s more wide-angle). And, that’s the lens I used for this picture, which means that what I said about not changing my lens at all during the hike was also a complete lie. Ha!

This brings to a close Whistler/Vancouver week on the Picture of the Day, thanks for reading! Come back next week for the rest of the world.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-75 mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/10.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 28mm.

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February 25, 2010 – Shannon Creek

Shannon Creek

Shannon Creek

Thursday, February 25, 2010

As promised, here’s this week’s shot of Shannon Creek. See? I always follow through with my promises, even if it’s for something that’s not particularly interesting or even desirable. Well, most of the time. Some of the time, at least. Whatever. This is another result of one day a couple summers ago on the way up to Whistler for the weekend. We stopped at Shannon Falls park, and I spent a fair bit of time playing around in the rocks in the creek below. I got a huge number of decent shots (although very few if any great ones), so they make great Picture of the Day filler. Like this one!

To remind everyone: this week is Vancouver/Whistler week on Picture of the Day. Loosely using the Olympics as inspiration, I’m using only pictures from around Vancouver and Whistler. Although, since I have already picked out the picture for tomorrow, I can say with authority now that my set of Whistler and Vancouver pictures will include zero pictures from in or around Vancouver. It will be 3 from on Whistler mountain, 1 from Blackcomb, and this one, from just outside Squamish (which, to be fair, is probably closer to Vancouver than to Whistler.. but it still doesn’t count.)

To really get the anticipation going for next week, I’ll go ahead and say now that I’ve picked another theme: I’m going to post only pictures that are NOT from Whistler or Vancouver. Ohh man it’s gonna be CRAZY. I can’t wait!

Notes: Camera: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. 1/40s, f/9.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 154mm.

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February 24, 2010 – Changing Leaves

Changing leaves

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rather than suffocate all of you with a neverending set of mountain vistas from the twin peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb, I figured I should mix in some other stuff too. Like this one. This could have been taken anywhere, really. But it wasn’t, it was taken a little ways up the Singing Pass trail, which starts up the hill from right near the Whistler gondola. I really really wish I had gotten the bottom of the leaf in focus too, but I didn’t. It’s a textbook example of one of the really annoying things that can happen with digital. The shot looked great on the camera’s little screen, so I moved on, confident that I got the image I wanted. It wasn’t until much later (when I got home) that I realized my mistake. I was working with a pretty small depth of field as you can see, so what I *should* have done was gotten more square on that leaf in front, such that the whole surface would have been within range. Instead, I came in from a little bit above, so the bottom was just out of reach. (That, and the leaf was a bit curled in on itself.) Careless, careless, careless. Sigh.

Still a beautiful couple of leaves though, so it’s not a complete waste of time. Check back tomorrow, that’s going to be the day that I’m going to get the picture of Shannon Creek out of the way. (You didn’t think I’d go a whole week of PICTURES OF CANADA without tossing one of those in there, did you??)

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-75 mm lens. 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 400. Focal length: 59mm.

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February 23, 2010 – Hiking on Blackcomb

Hiking on Blackcomb Mountain

Hiking on Blackcomb Mountain

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

As I mentioned yesterday, this week I’m going to be posting only stuff from around Vancouver and Whistler. In honor of the 2010 Paralympic games. You heard me right, the Paralympics. Eff the regular Olympics, I’m doing this in honor of… the games that won’t start until March. But whatever, they will happen, and they are awesome, even though they don’t get the love and respect that the regular Olympics get. Or, maybe I’m doing it for ALL of the athletes who are only in it for the love, and not for the opportunity to put themselves in front of tv cameras so that they can build a public persona and score sponsorship deals. Or, perhaps the only reason is that I’m sitting on a lot of pictures from around the area and this way it makes it easier to choose which picture to use each day. Hmmm…. yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s the last one.

And, all that being said, I don’t actually have any pictures from around Vancouver. Mostly just Whistler. Actually, I think I have one or two, but they’re not online yet, and it’s even money on whether I’ll get around to digging them up before the end of the week. So, you get Whistler. And.. Blackcomb, like this one.

This is a picture that I took while hiking around the top of Blackcomb. They’ve always had the gondola on Whistler mountain open for hiking and mountain biking in the summer, but only last year did they actually start promoting hiking on Blackcomb. They did have one of the glaciers open for skiing though, but it was either not allowed or not encouraged or maybe just not publicized that you could go up there just to walk around. So this was the first time I ever actually got around to doing it. It’s a moderately less convenient experience than the Whistler option. On Whistler, one gondola ride and you’re up there. (Although you can also walk over to the base of the Peak chair and ride that up to the actual summit..) On Blackcomb, you have to start on the Wizard chair from the upper village, then you hop on the Solar Coaster. From there, you board A BUS that drives you over to the bottom of Seventh Heaven. You ride up that one too, and finally you’re at the top. Takes a good 45 minutes to get up there all in all. Then the skiing drops off the other side of the ridge from the Seventh Heaven chair. I heard they had recently designated a couple hiking trails up there too earlier in the summer, but I only had a little bit of time, so I just farted around the top of the lift for awhile. Definitely cool, but I think Whistler is better for hiking. If you’ve got enough time, definitely do both, but if you’ve got to choose, go with Whistler and hit up the Half Note trail.

That’s it for today! Have fun watching the games, just don’t buy anything that they’re selling.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. 1/160s, f/10.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 55mm.

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February 22, 2010 – Black Tusk from Whistler Mountain

Black Tusk from Whistler Mountain

Black Tusk from Whistler Mountain

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wow, Monday again. Not totally unexpected, but still. I decided that this week, I’m going to post only pictures from around Vancouver and Whistler in honor of the Olympics. This probably would have been more appropriate to do LAST week, but you know how it goes – with the time-delay broadcasting and everything, it took this long for the idea to reach the west coast.

Today, you’re looking at the million dollar view from the top of Whistler Mountain: the view out toward Black Tusk. (Yeah, that little cliff-thing poking up there on the left.) Given the predominant weather patterns we get here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s never a sure thing that you’ll be able to see it, but when you can it’s pretty cool. You can basically see it from anywhere along the top ridge (basically anywhere between the top of the Symphony Express and the Peak Chair), and I think this particular view was most of the way from the Peak Chair to the Saddle. (Blah blah blah, yeah, I realize you probably haven’t been there and thus these names are all meaningless. I’m totally just showing off how well I know the mountain at this point. Because I am awesome, obviously.)

Honestly, I’m fairly surprised that they placed the ski courses where they did. They put them all way down at the bottom of Whistler Mountain. But if you’ve been to Whistler more than once or twice, you know that the lower mountain sucks way more often than it’s good. I mean, you’re dealing with more than 5,000 feet of vertical here. The top of the mountain is nearly always fantastic, and the bottom of the mountain is nearly always crappy. So… why put the courses down where it’s crappy? Not only that, imagine how much more awesome the views would be as the cameras followed the racers down the hill if they had this kind of background instead of just grubby trees everywhere? I mean, sure, the visibility tends to be better down low (because when the fog rolls in, the upper mountain is worthless), but still. Hmm. Whatever, I’m sure they have their reasons. Grumble grumble grumble.

See you all tomorrow, right?

Notes: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS (Point and shoot). 1/400s, f/11.0.

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