The Port Renfrew Affair

As life moves us and changes day by day, as it always does, and I get a renewal notice from WordPress that the annual 25 bucks is due again for showing my nice address, this blog may be put to a (perhaps for the time being) stop. It is just that there is not much alone time these days and that is when I do my photographing. Under those circumstances it is fine to maintain a Flickr site but as far as my blog goes there hasn’t been enough time to maintain it right for quite a while. So unless things change once again there may be a few more posts before it all winds down on this website.
At any rate my wife, Frankie, and I needed to get some coolness, sea air, and sea breezes, and for that we went to the west coast of this island. The east coast’s sea, which I live on, is kind of like an inland sea and has a totally different feel, temperature, and smell to it. We drive straight across the Island on what used to be logging roads. I remember these main logging roads being closed to the public during the week. One time as I was exploring there during the off limits time on my trusty 400cc Honda two fully loaded logging trucks sandwiched me in. Eating dust and with a few inches to spare front and back between my bike and the trucks it took me 10 to 15 km to extricate myself from that embrace. I have been more careful with those truckers ever since. Yes there was adventure when driving these roads less than 20 years ago but now the road is nicely paved.
One tree I like to show is a gigantic spruce. When the treeists brought in their legions to cut down every tree they could find, one tree was left. This was during the “forests forever” days and that phrase was turning sour when I arrived here in the sixties. There must have been some worries about that big old spruce wanting to escape because there is a fence around it now and it isn’t going anywhere.
Spruce
Spruce
The beach most easily accessible in Port Renfrew is Botanical Beach. Even though there are tidal pools here it is not really the best beach for tidal pools. Sombrio Beach, among the easy to access beaches around Port Renfrew, is nicer for that. Botanical Beach is at the end of the Juan de Fuca trail and right above it starts the West Coast Trail. Here is one photo to show where I approached that beach this time. What I like about this photograph is its westcoastness. Botanical Beach
At the water’s edge stands the Port Renfrew Hotel. The hotel burned down some years ago. I stayed there a few times every year from the early seventies till the mid nineties of the past century. Mostly the finishing inside out was cedar but the walls between the bedrooms were paper thin and every sound from the next room could be heard like it was happening in your own bed which, by the way, creaked at the tiniest body movement. One night I listened to my neighbours fighting and swearing, physically fighting, during the first half of the night. During the second half they made up and out. The bar below the bedrooms could be heard as well. Close your eyes and you’d think your bed was in the bar. The separate bathroom had a humongous bath in it and all that, everything in the rooms and bathroom was always spotlessly clean, for $25 per night. Of all the hotels I have stayed in this one is among my favourites. After the fire the place was rebuilt. The second floor with the rooms is now history and the main floor has become a canteenlike pub and a dining room, just those two areas. Ceilings go up now to the roof. Overall the rebuilding has been done nicely especially the preservation of the outside looks.
Port Renfrew Hotel
Port Renfrew Hotel
Port Renfrew and area is known as Victoria’s playground (not as in Victoria the lady but as in Victoria the capital of British Columbia). The area is as beautiful here as anywhere along the Vancouver Island west coast. It gets of course very busy with people on beautiful days but when the sun disappears even for a short time the people tend to disappear as well and that is when I start thinking about visiting Port Renfrew and its beaches.

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Jelly Fish Embracing

Hello, I would like to share this in case it is new to you as well. I have seen jellyfish on different seas from frighteningly nasty to pacific, but up till now I have not seen them embrace, but they do it. Here they are.
jelly fish embracing 2_2014-07-06 [BL]

jelly fish embracing 1_2014-07-06 [BL]
As an illiterate in the jellyfish department I wonder about the color difference between the two: different races, sexes, or excitements?

Light

Final photographs pertaining to winter I took the other morning. It was the light that lured me out before even having coffee. Mostly these photos are right from the phone. Except for one or two needing straightening they didn’t need editing since they pretty well show what I saw.

2014-02-25 08.04.33 [BL] 2014-02-25 08.02.09 [BL] 2014-02-25 07.55.44 [BL] 2014-02-25 07.55.21 [BL] 2014-02-25 07.54.04 [BL] 2014-02-25 07.49.52 [BL] 2014-02-25 07.48.38 [BL]

Thanks for being here with me to see the end of winter. It is almost time now to venture farther from home with camera in hand, so who knows where we meet next time. Take care.

Ice in the Bay

We have had a bit of a cold snap. So much so that the Bay froze up. The last time I remember this happening was in the mid nineties of the past century. At one time I would have explored a phenomenon such as this. This time I spent the time indoors. Hibernation should’ve been just fine. However between house and car there was opportunity for a few photos and a few of these I like to show.

ice 005[BL] ice 010[BL] ice 012[BL] ice 019[BL] OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of the final days of this little cold snap (it was getting a little warmer already) I did have a walk to check out our ice fields. No camera but thanks to the phone there is  a record anyway. I am happy that we had no snow with the cold and as I write this we are back to the normal weather pattern of mild temperatures and rain. Following are a few photographs of our ice fields.

cowichan bay ice 2014-02-08 13.11.31[BL] cowichan bay ice 2014-02-08 13.15.52[BL] cowichan bay ice 2014-02-08 13.20.29[BL] cowichan bay ice 2014-02-08 13.22.26[BL] cowichan bay ice 2014-02-08 13.26.23[BL] cowichan bay ice queens 2014-02-08 13.26.55[BL]

Thank you for traveling with me and we’ll meet again as soon as I find my umbrella. Adios for now!

 

 

Cowichan Bay Sunrise

I hear that Chinese smog is making its way to the BC coast. That is nice of course in the way that I always thought smog comes kind of from the local mills and their smoke stacks. Either way smog ads color to our skies.

Yesterday morning stepping out of my frontdoor I saw this:

cb sunrise 001-[BL]

cb sunrise [BL]

The colors heralded a change of weather which is happening today. The change is from mild weather and sunshine to a little much needed rain. There are too many sunrise and sunset photographs in the world but we all like to show them sometimes, so I hope you enjoyed these.

 

 

Cowichan Bay 2013 finals

I have a weird addiction of photographing beyond the capabilities of the camera. Even when upgrading I still have to go that extra impossible step. ayayay!

The phone is used here where the camera wouldn’t do. Straight from the hip.

2013-12-30_18-52-07_HDR

2013-12-30_18-55-46_HDR

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The photo above makes us look at the village from the Government Wharf

2013-12-31 07.31.20-1

2013-12-31_07-32-46_HDR 2013-12-31_07-33-43_HDR 2013-12-31_07-35-07_HDR

Actually quite happy to be rid of this year and looking forward to 2014. I’m on my way to a small celebration and will see you all in 2014. All the best and take care.

In the pitch black I used the “HDR Camera+” app. They keep on asking me to upgrade to something with more functions (a bit of a nuissance), but the app is good as is. Using different cameras for different functions this is the most used camera app on my phone.

 

Good morning from Cowichan Bay

a sea lions 001cr2-lze-1 a sea lions 003cr-lze-gr

At times my camera espies the perfect view no tweaking required to update to what I think my eye saw. Well, these photos took little processing as gone through my normal CS curves and, perhaps, crop (the first CS edition) and Lightzone (not the end all to my desires  and hardly ever used here for RAW, sorry, but essential as it handles situations that frustrated the living daylights out of my editing in photoshop’s ancient release). In CS I took out some of the flickering highlights and in Lightzone some minimal dark detail tweaking + seagul enlightenment.

Anyway, the coolness of portrait photography certainly can be extended to these sea hunters. Available light only for laughing out loud:

a sea lions 010cr-lze

a sea lions 009cr

It was the first morning that could liberate your feet off the dock and move them in ways the rest of the body might not agree with (FROST, the tripod became my cane and hands got cold). The top two photos show what my mind’s eye remembers seeing the next photo gives the camera’s interpretation of what it looked like.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once again, good morning, wishing you a fine day for noticing and enjoying its colors.

Editing on the telephone with filters

Reading about Topaz filters made me think about filters I use, namely the ones supplied by Android apps. Many of these, retro filters, break the images down rather than enhancing them. Mind you that is not necessarily as bad as it sounds. Exciting mood pictures can be created and working with them often is fun fun fun.
When going out with photographic plans I have a camera with me but at all other times I end up using the telephone a lot. These phone photos end up in a photo drawer called Dropbox. If they are edited the process commonly goes through Android apps rather than Photoshop. The fact that on the small phone screen imperfections sometimes are missed lends a sense of adventure to the process. It ties in with the idea expressed by a man I used to know, that God hates a coward.
My phone has a variety of editing apps installed to mix and fine tune certain effects. Nevertheless often when seeing results of others as well as of my own I recognize the app used. I reckon that it’s easy to overuse certain effects. From the other side the same filters can turn boring pics into something way more exciting.
As an afterthought I take issue with serious photographers who poo poo telephone photography. Remarks to that point show up in comments fairly regular. Phone photography is more spontaneous than big camera photography and often deals with relevant issues and definitely can be a form of art.
The subject-matter of this blog originally was supposed to be more than just photography, but that idea appears to have gone largely by the wayside. So it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and show a few photographs and their edited counter parts.
First of all the Arctic Fox ll
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And here is its alter ego.
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Same ship
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Filtered and framed it becomes this.
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Another beauty is the Hardy Maid.
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I like the reflection of the float house.
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Then there is the totem pole in Hecate Park
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I used Snapseed as the editor. It was a great program until it froze up which caused its immediate uninstall.
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The way I could open up the statue’s dark side was wonderful and that’s all folks!

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