Here are a few more photos from our recent Greece trip….
The first is of the Parthenon, in all its ruined splendor.
The next is from a museum in Corinth, where I snapped a tour member trying to dodge out of the frame.
And the third is of an olive oil tasting we attended. The idea was to dip small pieces of bread to taste all of the different versions of olive oil. As you can see there were a lot. There was also wine-tasting, which went along well.
There’s a slightly hidden provincial park just outside of Hope, BC (yes we like to joke about “beyond Hope”) that has an interesting set of old railway tunnels, called the Othello Tunnels.
I say slightly hidden, because on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon, one can still find parking, and a relatively uncrowded access area at the tunnels in Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park. The location is not very well-marked or signed, but the knowledgeable manage to find a way there.
In the early 1900s a railroad was built linking the Kootenays in the eastern half of the province with the coast over and through three mountain ranges. The park highlights the Kettle Valley Railroad and the five tunnels cut through the high and rocky Coquihalla canyon at the western end, in a feat of bold engineering.
The tracks are long gone, and the railway grade is now a trail. Next time the photos will be about the tunnels, but these three here are interesting textures and shapes that struck my eye near the tunnels.
Last weekend we took a drive to the Pitt Polder and Pitt Lake area northeast of Vancouver, BC.
At the south end of the lake there is the Pitt Polder Ecological Reserve, which has a variety of trails and opportunities to rent canoes and launch boats.
Pitt Lake, although so far away from the coast, is surprisingly a tidal fresh water lake, the largest in North America, connected to the distant influential sea by the Pitt River and then the Fraser River. The Pitt Polder area on the south includes a series of marshlands preserved in reaction to rapid disappearance in other areas in the Fraser Valley. The first immigrants into the area were Dutch who built a series of dikes (hence “polder”) to reclaim land for agriculture.
On this day of sun and cloud, I took along my Fujifilm X100s for the outing. I wanted to try shooting infrared style using a Hoya R72 filter. I had one for my old Panasonic FZ50 camera, which I used to make infrared photos some years ago (see Experimenting with Infrared Photography).
The only thing is, that 55mm filter doesn’t fit on the X100s…. But with innovative use of painter’s tape to barely secure the edge of the filter in place on the short barrel of the X100s lens protector, I still managed to take shots through it.
The X100s doesn’t seem to be nearly as sensitive to the effect as the FZ50 was. Every camera is different, and on many digital cameras the internal filtering doesn’t allow a good effect to shine through.
But in this case it often gave a special feel to the shots, akin to a pin-hole camera sometimes. That effect was increased by some low shots from my little Gorrillapod tripod. I liked some of them, although pretty noisy — that just lends to the charm for me.
On an early March day, my wife and I took a drive to Shannon Falls, which is almost to Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway that leads to Whistler.
There’s a cluster of three attractions just before you get into Squamish (or Squeamish as my brother always calls it): Shannon Falls, a provincial park with an impressive water fall of easy access; the Chief, a massive iconic rock knob famous for rock-climbing and for hiking trails to the top and into the back country; and the new tourist attraction, the Gondola between Shannon Falls and the Chief, that leads up into the mountains even higher than the Chief. They’re all within hiking distance of each other. On this day, though, we kept to the Shannon Falls end of things.
I wanted to experiment with monochrome landscape photos, and that’s what is on view today, although they’re certainly not entirely successful….
Steveston is a fishing village in the larger community of Richmond, at the mouth of the South Arm of the Fraser River as it empties into the Pacific Ocean.
“Fishing village” is something of a misnomer. Yes, it is still a port and there are fishing boats. But it’s become more of a tourist hamlet than anything else, although much of its marine history is still evident as signs on store walls or a few shops which still cater to the working boats.
At docks set-up for the purpose, you can get fresh fish off the boats: salmon and shrimp, tuna and sea urchin, mined from offshore waters all the way up the west coast to the Queen Charlotte Islands.
In days of former glory, Steveston boasted of a considerable cannery industry that is no more. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery is now a museum where one can wander in the shell of bygone times. Where once was delivered the bounty of the seas teaming with salmon, as thick as passenger pigeons darkening the skies or buffalo thundering on the plains, now locals sell jams and flavored salts in amongst the exhibits.
On a bright day in February, in an unusually warm winter where crocuses already arise, it is pleasant to feel the sun on one’s face.
These are a few more photos taken in Shanghai in December before Christmas.
I seem to be getting looser about what I accept as photos to show – if a street photo clips a little here or there, or is not totally in focus everywhere I want it to be, I find I’m tolerating it as long as the over-all feel of the photo still appeals to me.
The top photo shows a common transaction of buying dumplings just made at a streetside kiosk.
The second is another from the outdoors afternoon community dance we came across.
The third is an old squat style toilet still the standard at an older Shanghai hotel, Hangzhou Xinkaiyuan, an establishment which is quite fancy is other respects. This is the type of toilet one would more likely see in rural China, and not in so immaculate a condition as here….
The next photo shows a corner bicycle shop at a very busy and large intersection.
The last is an example of Shanghai pajama couture, which is not seen as often as it used to be. But still occasionally one can see people out and about in their best pajamas. The authorities frowned on this especially during the Olympic period — not cultured enough for modern China.