Archive for the ‘Whistler’ Tag

Day 242 – Back to the Rockies   5 comments

This is the view at sunset from the base of Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, BC. I captured this image just 20 minutes after the image I posted yesterday. We were heading back to the condo we rented at the base of Blackcomb. In the winter, this would be a ski-in, ski-out kind of place. That is, you walk out of your hotel, strap on your skis and ski down to the lift. At the end of the day, you ski right back to your hotel. These places are just as convenient in the summer months when you can walk right out the back door and be on the mountain or down into the village in just a few minutes.

The heavy clouds hung over the village all day, but this was the day we were hiking the Whistler summit and, at the summit, we were way above the clouds. No complaints about the clouds at the end of the day though. What’s a sunset without clouds to catch the colours?


Day 239 – Are You Sure You’re Ready For This?   11 comments

Whistler Mountain Gondola

Hiking is a popular summer activity in Whistler. A lot of the most popular hikes are up at the top of the mountain which means either a very long walk up or a gondola ride. A daily ticket on the gondola gets you a ride all the way to the top and another back down. If you miss the last ride down you have a rather lengthy 16km hike downhill to get you home.

I rocked up to the ticket window to get my day pass. The ticket agent asked me where I was from. I told her I was visiting from Edmonton. She started giving me the spiel about the various hikes and the varying difficulties. Then she started crossing off some of the hikes telling me they were more difficult or too long. She then started telling me about how it was colder at the top (by as much as 10C) and that I should make sure I was dressed appropriately. And, did I know that flip-flops weren’t appropriate for these hikes. Finally she circled the easy hikes and told me I should try those.

I’m not sure if she targeted me in particular for all the warnings or if that’s her regular pitch. Maybe it was because I said I was from Edmonton. Not too many mountains here in Edmonton.

The view in the image above is of the sunshine breaking through the trees as we rode the gondola up Whistler. For the record, I was dressed warmer than I should have been (though not by much), I did not wear flip-flops and we did the 10km High Note Trail which is rated as Difficult.

Day 238 – Whistler’s Back Side   10 comments


Sorry I’ve been away for a couple of days. It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend up here and we have family visiting. I have a paid shoot tonight which required prep.

Finally, I’m busy prepping for a craft show that I’m participating in at the end of November. I only have 7 weeks left and it feels like the time is just flying past. I’ll be bringing a few different products so I’m finishing wrapping up my suppliers and materials. Some things I’m able to make myself, others I’m ordering as finished products and the bulk involves me ordering an interim product and then finishing it myself.

The shot above is from the High Note trail that starts and ends at the summit of Whistler in British Columbia. I believe the water is one of many snow-making reservoirs that are sprinkled around the mountain.

Day 233 – How About Some Whiskey, Jack?   2 comments

Whiskey Jacks at Whistler Summit in BC

This title came into my head about three weeks ago and even with age, it’s still not very clever.  This bird is a Gray Jay, also known as a Canada Jay or as a Whiskey Jack. These birds are known for their boldness in approaching humans for food. We encountered these birds around the summit of Whistler. As soon as we entered their territory (about 7km into our hike), they started checking us out.

As we stopped by a pond for a rest and some photos, a few gray jays came in to check us for food. At one point, I was taking pictures and one of my friends says “Mike, there’s a whiskey jack right beside you”. I turn to see and can’t see anything. I’m looking around and she says, “No, it’s right beside you”. I’m turning back and forth with my camera at the ready and still can’t find it. Finally I lower the camera and there it was below my camera less than 1 metre away looking up at me expectantly. It was so close, I couldn’t even take a picture. I had a long lens on the camera that doesn’t focus closer than 1.8m.

This is when my friend explains how bold these birds are and they’ll even come land on your hand if you hold it out as she proceeded to demonstrate. Because these birds are so bold, they are very easy to capture (with the camera). So, it you want some pictures of Gray Jays, just head on up to the summit of Whistler. It’s a beautiful view and the birds are very friendly.

Day 232 – Cleaning Day   3 comments

Rainbow Falls, Whistler, BC

I finally cleaned my sensor (actually the low pass filter in front of the sensor) today. I should have done it ages ago, but I’ve felt that first-time-cleaning anxiety. There are so many warnings out there about how you can scratch the glass if it has any hard particles on it. Warnings aside, I’ve also learned that it’s just a bit too hard (and expensive) to get gear serviced professionally (and locally) so if I can do it myself, I’m going to because really, how hard can it be? As it turns out, not too hard at all.

I put the camera in sensor cleaning mode, gave it a few puffs with a filtered blower, put the cleaning fluid on the swab and gave the low-pass filter a single wipe from side to side. All done. Checked it with a few test shots and it’s all good. Cleaner than it’s been in months and months. Hopefully it’ll last and I’ll have a lot less post-production dust removal.

This image is, once again, from Rainbow Falls in Whistler, BC.  This image unfortunately needed a bit of cleanup. I discovered, on returning from my travels, that there were some small fibers right in the middle of the sensor that I’ve had to remove from every single image. Next time, I should apparently do a test shot before I pack.

Day 231 – Falls in Cyanotype   8 comments

Rainbow Falls, Whistler, BC

As suggested over the last couple of days by commenters Brandon (of When This Becomes There) and Adrian (of Adrian Harvey Photography) here is one of my recent waterfalls with a cyanotype treatment. I added the toning using Silver Efex Pro which offers some quick and easy preset tones that you can then fine-tune yourself.

Day 230 – I Prefer Water Falls to Children Falls   11 comments

Rainbow Falls, Whistler BC

So I’m on my own again this week. My wife is out-of-town (business trip). This isn’t a new occurrence. Over the years, she’s spent more than a little bit of time travelling. Usually it’s only a week at a time. The longest was about six weeks. More often than it seems reasonable, one of the kids comes down sick with something while she’s away. In fact, they often catch something the day she leaves.

This week did not disappoint. No one got sick, but our youngest did a face plant at the playground at school. She hit her forehead pretty hard on the one of the wooden platforms. Thankfully there was no blood. Unfortunately I was not by my phone when they called me to come fetch her, so she had to wait 45 minutes before I turned up to rescue her. Bad Dad.

As a parent of active kids, I know, as I’m sure many parents do, the basic checklist for checking your kid for a concussion. Sadly, this list has been useful to me in the past. This time she came through the list clean. No concussion, just a big, colourful goose-egg.

The photo today is Rainbow Falls again in Whistler, BC. It offers an endless range of photo opportunities.