Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Posts Tagged ‘photo challenge

Photo Challenge: Ooh, Shiny!

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CN 2627 and 2591 at Ballantine Pier

via Photo Challenge: Ooh, Shiny!

Pingbacks have been causing issues recently – and one reason might be that the way the URL appears in the “post about shiny” button is different to the one in the address bar. As is the one in the instructions at the bottom of challenge Ooh, Shiny!

(I did tell WordPress about this on Twitter and they have fixed it. )

So the challenge this week – “what is guaranteed to distract you? What is your “Ooh, shiny!”?”

Trains.

Yesterday I was out in East Vancouver for the third day running trying to make sure I captured all of the new murals that have appeared due to the annual Vancouver Mural Festival. There are now three posts on this blog about the murals – just scroll down to see them. We were in Strathcona – down by the docks – where there are now two clusters of murals and I was checking the address on my phone when I saw the distinctive red and black of a CN C44-9W. I immediately knew that the two locomotives would not be there for very long. Trains – especially freight trains in North America – can be very unpredictable. Real train enthusiasts carry “scanners”: portable radios that monitor the frequencies used by train crews and dispatchers. That way they can figure out where a train might be photographable. I don’t do that as I can’t usually understand what they are saying and often it’s just chatter.

But while the murals will be around for a very long time, this train was going to being heading east with its load of containers sooner rather than later. While it was sitting about a block away from where we were, I could see at least a couple of possible angles. There is a new, real obstacle on Alexander Street: a high chainlink fence with the metal chain encased in heavy duty plastic. It is possible to get a lens into the mesh, but there is not much wiggle room for a clear shot. But at least the sun was behind me and the cruise ship terminal building was a decent backdrop. I tried several but the picture I chose to use was one that showed both locos and lots of nice blue sky – a novelty in Vancouver this summer – as well as the mountains.

Once upon a time I used to spend quite a lot of time trying to be a railway photographer. It is quite a challenge to get decent shots – and in this region it has got harder as more tracks have been fenced or more strenuously policed by officious security people who have nothing better to do than harass harmless photographers. And anyway there are now other distractions.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 16, 2017 at 9:50 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental

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Posted in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental
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Earth, water and fire – but neither of those in the third category are actually what I wanted. I was quite surprised that there is nothing of mine that is a photo of a fire. Of course, right now we are still socked in by the smoke from the BC wildfires – but that looks like nothing at all. Just a white haze.

Maybe I will get lucky later if I actually follow the original instruction “as you pick up your camera this week.” All of these come from the archives!

POSTSCRIPT

So posting a picture of “air” is pretty much impossible – but I have a picture of a willow tree in strong wind at Kits Beach and I did find these pictures of the impact of strong winds

Snapped off

Another wreck

Hadden Park stranding

The wind in its leaves

And one of actual flames (from a gas fire)

Dockside

and a beach bonfire

Bonfire on Okanagan Beach

So there we have all four elements – earth, water, wind and fire!

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August 9, 2017 at 9:53 am

WPC: Textures part 2

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When I posted the first part the pingback wasn’t working. So I tweeted at WordPress and they seem to have fixed it. So this is mainly just a way to make sure I am doing right

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Written by Stephen Rees

August 2, 2017 at 9:53 pm

Posted in photography

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures

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The challenge this week was inspired by a beach at low tide in Vancouver. I walk the same intertidal zone between Kits and Jericho quite often myself. This picture was also taken at Kits beach but above the high tide line where a tree stump is quietly rotting away and has been colonised by this very charming fungus. How many textures can you see? I also like the very limited colour palette in this one.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 2, 2017 at 9:21 am

Posted in photography

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction – part two

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Espresso

Another response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction and not just a terrific jolt of caffeine but superb crema with (after a quick swirl with a teeny tiny coffee spoon) a nice accidental café art too. Also inspired by Jina Jay’s effort and my comment on it, yesterday.

Unlike my other responses to the Challenge, this picture was taken just for this post.

Written by Stephen Rees

July 27, 2017 at 11:43 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction

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Written by Stephen Rees

July 26, 2017 at 10:10 am

Posted in photography

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

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The photo challenge this week is to post “a photo that is unusual in some way for you“. I started by scrolling through my photostream on flickr – and they all seemed pretty usual for me. So then I tried a search of the stream using the term “unusual” – which picked out pictures where I had used that word in the photo’s title or description. Many of them seemed pretty mundane to me – but when I showed this one to my partner she confirmed my feeling by saying, “That’s a pretty neat picture!”

Underneath this one I had written

The snow melts a little during the day but freezes hard overnight – instant informal hockey rinks are now dotting the fields of Richmond. This one is at Steveston Highway and No 4 Road.

This was unusual weather for Richmond – if it had not been I doubt I would have posted it.

The photo was taken in January 2007. This kind of weather is common in Canada – as is the making of outdoor rinks. But it is not common in the south west corner of the mainland in BC where the climate is much milder than the centre of the continent. I have not seen anything like this since, even though we had a lot of snow this winter, there was not the same freeze thaw cycle which produces enough ice to skate on safely. Although the Parks Board did post signs and life guards to deter skaters from some of Vancouver’s ponds.

 

Written by Stephen Rees

July 19, 2017 at 10:12 am