View 405: Victoria, British Columbia

Hanging Flowers

Two of over 1300 hanging flowers in the City of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 250, EV +0.3, 24mm Focal Length.

My wife and I took the Black Ball Ferry from Port Angeles, Washington to Victoria, British Columbia in Canada and enjoyed a day in the beautiful city. One of the first things we noticed were all the hanging flowers on the lamp posts. Found out later there are over 1,300 of them throughout the city.

Horse Drawn Carriage

Tourists taking a tour of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in a horse drawn carriage. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 220, EV +0.3, 24mm Focal Length.

A popular way to see Victoria is to hire one of the horse drawn carriages found near the harbour and Parliament buildings.

Sunken Garden

People walk through the Sunken Garden in Butchart Gardens near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 1000, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

After photographing the Disney version of the Butchart Gardens in Epcot’s Canada pavilion since 1983, I visited the real thing which has 55 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. While not a big fan of photographing gardens, I was astounded by the real Butchart Gardens colors and workmanship of each of the five gardens and all the species of flowers. The Rose Garden has 280 varieties and 2,500 roses to give you an idea of the abundance of flowers.

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Give yourself about 3 to 5 hours for Butchart Gardens. If you stay for a night or more in Victoria, plan on taking in the nightly fireworks show at Butchart.

Parliament building in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Parliament building in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Nikon D750/24-120VR, f/16, ISO 100, 24mm Focal Length, Skylum Aurora HDR 2018.

The British Columbia Parliament Buildings are located in Victoria and are home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The buildings were built back in the late 1890’s in what is called a Baroque Revival architectural style.

Knowledge Totem Pole

Knowledge Totem Pole carved by Coast Salish artist Cicero August outside the Parliament building in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/13, ISO 220, EV +0.6, 24mm Focal Length, Skylum Intensify CK.

The Knowledge Totem Pole is a totem pole carved by Coast Salish artist Cicero August and was installed outside the British Columbia Parliament Buildings in Victoria. The pole was originally created for the 1994 Commonwealth Games.

Fairmount Empress Hotel

Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 220, EV -0.3, 66mm Focal Length.

The Fairmont Empress Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Victoria. Located on 721 Government Street, it faces the city’s Inner Harbour. The hotel was designed by Francis Rattenbury and built by Canadian Pacific Hotels, a division of the Canadian Pacific Railway company. The hotel first opened in 1908 and is presently managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. The Empress was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1981.

I had tried all day to get a photo to show The Empress’ beautiful Châteauesque architecture and I found it as we were leaving on the Black Ball Ferry to return to Port Angeles.

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View 404: Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

West Genesee Wildcats played the Baldwinsville Bees in a Section III Class AA Football game under the lights at Mike Messere Field in Camillus, New York on Friday, September 14, 2018. West Genesee won 35-0. Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 5000, EV +0.7, 35mm Focal Length.

After a few weeks off, I returned to photographing a local sporting event as I attended the New York State Section III, Class AA Football game between the visiting Baldwinsville Bees and West Genesee Wildcats at Mike Messere Field in Camillus, New York. The evening was hot, humid but dry. After sunset, the clouds created a nice backdrop to the drama playing out between the two teams on the lighted field below.

PHOTO GALLERY: Baldwinsville Bees at West Genesee Wildcats Football Game

Wildcats Marching Band

West Genesee Wildcats Marching Band performing under the lights at Halftime of a Section III Class AA Football game at Mike Messere Field in Camillus, New York on Friday, September 14, 2018. Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 1400, EV +0.3, 16mm Focal Length.

At halftime, the West Genesee Wildcats Marching Band which, has competed and won state and national competitions, performed for the parents, students and fans of both teams.

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View 403: Hoh Rain Forest

The Hoh Rain Forest is found along a 30 mile (48km) river valley in Olympic National Park in the State of Washington. With the Olympic Mountains so close to the east of the valley coupled with cool, damp air from the Pacific Ocean just to the west, rain forms as the moist air rises into the mountains. In the Hoh River Valley, an average of 156 inches (396cm) of rain falls each year.

Hoh River Valley

Hoh River Valley on the Hoh River Trail in Olympic National Park near Forks, Washington on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Nikon D750/16-35VR, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Skylum Aurora HDR Image.

Such copious amounts of water and a year around temperate climate allows trees like the Sitka Spruce to grow over 300 feet tall and 23 feet in diameter.  I had my wife stand next to a typical Sitka Spruce (only about 175 feet tall) to give you a better idea of the size of most of the trees in the Hoh Rain Forest.

Sitka Spruce

Large Sitka Spruce on the Hoh River Trail in Olympic National Park near Forks, Washington on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 1100, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Like at Hurricane Ridge, there is a visitor center filled with exhibits about the rain forest ecology and the creatures who live there. The Hoh Visitor Center has modern bathrooms, water fountains, water bottle filling station, gift shop and a Ranger counter for people to ask questions and plan their time there.

Hoh Visitor Center

Hoh Visitor Center in the Olympic National Park near Forks, Washington on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 48mm Focal Length.

The Hall of Mosses Trail is a mile long well groomed trail to walk with green (and I do mean green) trees covered in moss with lush vegetation carpeting the forest floor.  Every thing is covered. If a tree falls, within a year, fungi break it down and trees, moss and ferns will start growing on top of the fallen trunks. These are called nurse logs as they provide nutrients for the new trees and plants.

Trail of Mosses

Trees covered in moss on the Hall of Mosses Trail in the Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park near Forks, Washington on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.

About half way on the trail, you enter the Hall of Mosses.

Hall of Mosses

Hall of Mosses Trail in the Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park near Forks, Washington on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/3s, f/16, ISO 100, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod.

These are big maple trees which continue to thrive despite the large moss growths on their branches.  Ground vegetation like the ferns you see in the photo scramble for every bit of sunlight which filters through to them. Banana slugs on the ground chew up and digest into usable nutrients any dead material which flutters down. Up in the canopy, squirrels and birds live high above most predators like bobcats and raccoons.

As I have stated in previous posts, with the Olympic National Park containing mountains, ocean coasts and rain forests, it is one of the most unique and biologically diverse parks in the world. In fact, the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) made it a World Heritage Site in 1981. Hmm, 1981 was the year I interned there. How fitting!

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View 402: Fair Morning

At least once a year I go in very early to the New York State Fair. While the Fair officially opens at 10:00 AM, people can start entering the fairgrounds by 7 AM. It is quiet as trucks unload to refill vendor stands, vendors slowly start to prepare for the day, people talk while eating breakfast at the few places who open early and, as a photographer, the enjoyment of seeing these things before most people do is a treat. I thought others might feel the same.

Cleaning to Open

Young food vendor cleaning around his stand before the opening of the New York State Fair on Saturday, September 1, 2018. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 500, EV +0.3, 210mm Focal Length.

I ran a vendor stand in one of the Craft Tents for years during the Fair. Getting in early, setting up, having time to talk with other vendors and enjoy a hot breakfast before a busy day was part of its charm.

Ride Inspection

Midway worker walks under the entrance to the Amazing Midway Wonderland for young children before the opening of the New York State Fair on Saturday, September 1, 2018. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 36mm Focal Length.

The NYS Fairgrounds has gone through a lot of change over the last three years. The mile long race track and grandstands have been replaced. Opening up much more space for a larger Midway and other additions like the new Exposition Center.

Opening Up

A food vendor opening the Sirloin Tips stand before the opening of the New York State Fair on Saturday, September 1, 2018. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 125mm Focal Length.

Events do happen before 10:00 AM, the Tractor Supply Co. Exhibit Center (aka the Cow Barn) has hundreds of competitions and always start early.  I followed a Judge who had the task of picking out the best Guernsey heifer from a large group. Not knowing what to look for I was fascinated in how he went about it.

Cow Judge

Judge walks in front of a group of Guernsey heifers and their handlers during a show in the Tractor Supply Co. Exhibit Center at the New York State Fair on Saturday, September 1, 2018. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.3, ISO 4000, EV 0, 105mm Focal Length.

In the Goat, Llama and Swine barn, I watched pigs being bathed before their competitions. All I can say about this pig was he looked full of confidence after his bath. I had a feeling the other pigs were going to have their work cut out for them.

Pig Walker

A pig being walked back to his pen after a bath from his owner in the Goat, Llama and Swine Barn at the New York State Fair on Saturday, September 1, 2018. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 5600, EV 0, 78mm Focal Length.

The International Horse Show is a big draw every year. The last weekend at the Fair features the popular draft horse breeds of Belgians, Percherons and Clydesdales.  I caught eye of a couple of Belgians being readied for their classes.

Bathing Time

A pair of Belgian Draft horses being bathed before competition at the New York State Fair on Saturday, September 1, 2018. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 180, EV 0, 125mm Focal Length.

Everyday the Fair officially opens with the singing of the U.S. National Anthem. The soldiers from the U.S. Army exhibit all stood and saluted the nearest raised flag until the singer was finished.

Salute

U.S. Army soldiers stand and salute during the singing of the National Anthem at the official opening of the New York State Fair on Saturday, September 1, 2018. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 140, EV 0, 250mm Focal Length.

If you have a local, county or state fair you visit every year. Find out how early you can get in. It is a fun and interesting way to spend a morning.

Click this link to see previous posts about the Great New York State Fair.

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View 401: Olympic Sea Stacks

Ruby Beach Sea Stacks

Sea stacks loom out of the fog on Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park near Forks, Washington on Monday, August 20, 2018. NIkon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 280, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length.

Olympic National Park in the State of Washington is one of the most unique U.S. National Parks with its mountains, rain forests and sea coast ecosystems all found inside its borders. Last week, I showed you the Olympic Mountains. This week I will share the coast.

My base of operations for the coastal part of the trip was Kalaloch Lodge located right on the coast with easy access to a beach full of bleached driftwood and lush vegetation.

Kalaloch Lodge

Kalaloch Lodge as viewed from the Kalaloch Creek in Olympic National Park near Lake Crescent, Washington on Sunday, August 19, 2018. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 2800, EV 0, 44mm Focal Length. Processed in Skylum Intensify CK.

Between forest fire smoke and coastal fog, I faced the challenge of photographing a rather flat looking seascape on each of the beaches I visited. Ruby Beach is famous for its awesome sea stack rock structures. You can see some of those sea stacks in the first photo at the start of the article.

The photo was a good exposure and I did my best processing it in Lightroom Classic. I liked the result but I could see more details and color in person. Because of the weather conditions, I took a series of photos from -2EV to +2EV in 1 stop intervals. I imported those photos into Skylum’s Aurora HDR 2018. I found a good preset and finished off the image in Lightroom.

Ruby Beach Sea Stacks in HDR

Sea stacks in the fog on Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park near Forks, Washington on Monday, August 20, 2018. NIkon D750/16-35VR, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length. Processed in Skylum Aurora HDR 2018.

I like how the high dynamic range (HDR) processing brought out more details, color and drama to the scene.

 

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