Category Archives: It’s like that

Tumbler Ridge Trip – June 23rd – 25th, 2017

The photo club went to Tumbler Ridge a couple of weeks ago. I’ve spent some time putting more effort into editing my images and making a proper workflow for myself. I’m happier with my images and the results. I’ll post a few images below but I’m still processing, so there will be more posted in my flickr share in the days to come.

First though, I want to tell you a story of listening to “experts”. I have struggled with getting my images “sharp” for along time. Sometimes I nailed it, sometimes – not. I’ve asked over the years and I’ve been told many things. I’ve tried the katzeye but that didn’t seem to help me get consistent results. I tried the zoom in till you’ve zoomed all the way while chimping. But nearly everytime I got an image onto my computer when I zoomed in to 100% there was a problem with the focus. My images were, well – soft at best to much of the time. I’ve started obsessing with what was going on and finaly a month ago I had a breakthrough.

You see, I’ve been listening to “experts”. I had heard and was told over and over that lenses were created to operate best (sharpest) at F9 to F11 and I simply accepted that. My breakthrough came when I took a picture on a really bright sunny day (so a really fast shutter speed) and while sitting (so little body movement) of a sign (so absolutely stationary). It was soft – again. It finally occurred to me to try different apertures and I did.

The lens I was using was the lens I use most often, a Tamron 70-300 and boy was I suprised to find out that F8 was not sharp. The sweet spot for my lens turned out to be F19 – F22. I finally feel like I can take pictures again! Well, in Tumbler Ridge I did just that.

The club arrived at the hotel Friday night and we did our usual pot luck dinner.

Saturday morning we headed over to the Dinasour Discovery Gallery. From there we went to see the dinasour tracks along the Flatbed Creek. Afterwards we went for lunch near the city hall and then off to Bullmoose Marshes. We went to Western Steak House for dinner (I won’t do that again, see my review in the link) and then to Quality Creek Falls.

Sunday morning we headed out to the Shipyard-Tatanic Hiking Trails. Let me just say “OMG!” What a gem we have there.

I stayed at my son’s place Sunday night and headed home Monday and I’m glad I did. Stopping along the way I had the pleasure of taking pictures of wildlife I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to.

Better than that though is now that I know what is wrong with my hit/miss sharp pictures – I took hundreds of really nice images. Here are a few for you with more in my flickr share (with more to come there) here https://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel.


Experiments in New Worlds, Perseids Meteors & Flowers

I started experimenting with making small worlds from my photographs. I’m not skilled in using Photoshop – despite that, I’m fairly happy with the end result. I’ll keep doing more of them and trying to perfect the technique so I can minimise my Photoshop-ing.

Shows a playground turned into a world of trees and the playground

Little World

Next up are some flowers my wife has grown from seed. I wanted to practice a little with my flash and capture the flowers using a macro lens. Using the flash allowed me to hand hold the camera. I’m happy with the results and look forward to doing more macro photography. Here’s a couple with the rest in my flickr share here https://flic.kr/s/aHskGjnDy6

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Persied Meteor Showers

I’ve been looking forward to this event all week. I planned to go to a lonely place in the dark and setup for a long night on my own to take pictures and hopefully capture a few meteors. Here are the images from the skies https://flic.kr/s/aHskGjE882 and couple to preview.

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While processing my images I discovered I captured a galaxy (Triangulum I think). To the galaxy you’ll have to go the Flickr share and look at the high resolution image there. Look on the right side of the image about middle of the way up. You’ll also see some meteor streaks near it. After a while I put my fish eye lens on and captured the Milkyway over West Lake.  


Pride Parade/Hubble Picnic/Gardening & Water Falls

What do all four have in common?

Nothing really, but I photographed the Prince George, BC Pride Parade, the Hubble Homestead picnic for our Photo Club’s annual picnic, some garden results we’re getting & Hixon Falls when I went there for the first time! I just haven’t blogged much about any of them so here they are with some select picture for you to view and as always the rest are on my Flickr share at http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel.

Prince George Pride Parade

We went to the Pride parade on July 19th, 2016. I expected a bit more racy and drag stuff but it was very family friendly and nothing anyone could consider “offensive” (well, nothing anyone in this day and age should consider offensive.) Here are a couple of images from Pride.

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I enjoyed working with the images, making some with Black & White backgrounds. It takes more work but I like the results. More images are in my album here https://flic.kr/s/aHskCuhmqW.

Picnic at Hubble Homestead

Each year the Photo Club (Prince George Photographic Society) has it’s member picnic. This year we held it at Hubble Homestead. I had brought my remote shutter release and long exposure filters with me in the hopes of trying them out along the river. Unfortunately the shutter release didn’t work and I made a simple mistake of using the wrong ND filters. So, I bombed out on that try! Still, I got a few images on the O’l Homestead that I liked. Here’s a couple for you.

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More images are in my album here https://flic.kr/s/aHskAx4L69.

Garden Shots

I bought a new off camera flash for my gear. I hadn’t really worked with one before so when my wife told me she was going to harvest our currents I decided I better get out there and try it out. Putting on my Macro lens and using my flash off camera (remotely) I experimented with the currents. Then a few others! Here are a couple of images for you.

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There is more in my album here https://flic.kr/s/aHskAx6Bwb.

Hixon Falls

Hixon Falls is fairly close to where I live (Hixon being about an hour away). So, after living here for twenty one years there really wasn’t a good reason to have not been there yet! I thought this would be another opportunity to try out my ND filters with long exposure – cause who doesn’t like a great water fall shot! Right? Once again I ran into issues – but I over came them. This time I used the correct ND filters (yea me…) and managed a few long exposure images I’m happy with (if not terribly interesting at least technically correct!) So, here are a few for you.

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I took several pictures from above the falls to show how dangerous that area is. There are no warning signs posted – just memorial signs, so if you above the falls be careful. The slopes above falls are very step and extremely difficult to get up. We went back to the parking area and walked up a side road till we could hear the falls. Then started following paths in and quickly found the top of the falls. I think this image best displays just how dangerous it is up there.

Shows dangerously steep cliff side to water fall

More images of the top side are in my album here https://flic.kr/s/aHskETciaj


Farm

We were out on the farm (private property, so geo tags are not included on this set of images) to plant potatoes (well, my wife was…) and thought I’d go in search of pictures. As I walked to the hay-field I noticed a path through it, so I followed that. I came across a few flowers and I took images of them. I was surprised at how “alive” the rose was, it was crawling with very tiny insects – cool!

I carried on into the forest beyond the fence and found a few opportunities there as well. I walked towards a creek on the property and surprised a bear in hiding – not a good thing to do. It jumped up a tree to get a better look at me (and presumably size me up for dinner?) I immediately started backing away from it as I was only about 20 feet away. I took the chance to snap a quick shot (or two) but not much more. The second was blurry and the bear was starting to grunt and climb down. Fortunately the brown, black bear and I went our separate ways. My wife reminded me that it could have ended much differently…

From the hay-field I tried to set up a number of images to use for a panoramic view of the Rockies off in the distance – but I’ve spent several hours trying to correct Windows 10 upgrade issues with permissions on my computer (way to go Microsoft…) It seems that Hugin can’t handle something about the images as well and the latest version won’t install (actually any Microsoft installer seems to be having issues.) So, when I get that straightened out I’ll post something about it then. Till then here are a few images I’m happy with and the rest as usual are on my Flickr share at http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel. I’ll always try to upload smaller resolution images here to help you with viewing and you’ll always be able to view higher resolution images on my Flickr share.

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Ginter’s at Night 20160505

I read about Haley’s Comet meteors peaking on May 5th and thought because it was supposed to be a clear night I’d head to Ginter’s off leash dog park and do some night-time photography. I hadn’t really done much like this so it was really a first time thing for me.

I used my fish eye lens which is a manual lens and set the aperture to the largest opening. I attached my tablet for better viewing and easier access to my camera’s controls. I waited for darkness and stars to shine.

I didn’t see any meteors and it got to cold too stay out. But I did get a few pictures I live with.

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With such good conditions (despite the cold) I don’t think I did that bad considering I had never tried this with a manual lens.

While I didn’t see any meteors I did see one satellite pass by. Unfortunately my settings weren’t good enough to capture it in transit.


Wells Gray Provincial Park – Sept 25th – 27th, 2015

Prince George Photographic Society’s annual field trip was to Wells Gray Provincial Park this year. At least 23 club members went on this trip (including me!) and it was a busy trip. Great people in a fantastic slice of God’s beautiful creation! There is simply way to much to see in just one full day – but sore feet I got anyway. I arrived Friday evening and right away some us went to Helmkin Falls. I have never seen such a high water fall – just stunning. Saturday morning a few us got up for a sunrise shoot at Dutch Lake, Clearwater, BC. Despite the disappointing overcast we got a number of great shots anyway and we got to go to Moul Falls afterwards. Once I looked down into the depth I just had to go down to the bottom and wow! What a sight that is – and you can go behind the falls and into the giant cavern beside the falls. Later after some lunch we headed out to Spahats Falls – again with the stunning sight! A little night time photography – something I have not done much of – and I got some shots I am very pleased with – some I’m disappointed with as well. As usual you can view my images in my flickr share here http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel.

Sunday morning a few of us headed over to the bridge over Murtle River and spent some time taking pictures there before heading home. I was really disappointed because my camera fogged up. I took a few pictures and thought I’d try out the “Clearview” filter in DxO’s Optic Pro 10 suite when I got home. Well, I learnt two lessons – I should have taken more pictures even with the fogged up camera and DxO’s software really rocks! See for yourself.

Shows a foggy river rapid

Foggy 1

Shows a foggy upstream

Foggy 2

It should be pretty clear from these two images that something was seriously wrong with my camera. But I just hoped that it would clear up on the way home and the camera/lens would be OK. I didn’t hold any hope for these images at all.

Now look what DxO did to recover them for me.

Shows rapids with almost no fogginess - just some mist.

Fixed Foggy 1

Shows the upstream view without the fogginess.

Fixed Foggy 2

I am impressed with DxO’s software…


L.C. Gunn Park & Rustic Trail – Sunday July 6th, 2014

L.C. Gunn Park and Rustic Trail

My wife and I went on a hike through the L.C. Gunn “rustic trail” last week. We tried once before but couldn’t get up the hill – it was to slippery and we were afraid of falling down the slop. This time the ground was dry and manageable.

While I brought my camera along I decided I’d use this trek as a time to see where I might want to photograph. So, I lightened my load and didn’t bring my tripod or anything spare along. Just my camera (aside from my lovely wife of course!) I also wanted to take this opportunity to try and visually document the trail somewhat.

None of the images are stellar but they do accomplish the task I set for myself. It was far easier to take pictures while relaxed, knowing I’d return another day to work on getting a more thoughtful composition.

Here at the trail head (inside of L.C. Gunn Park) it starts off very nicely, the terrain is manageable by just about anyone.

Shows a woman walking a dog on a trail

Trail Head

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trail head is smooth and sits at just 150m above sea level. It starts with a slight decline to the first view point where you can take in a grand view of Prince George. Once you go through the park and continue to the rustic trail you begin going up hill to 730m – that’s a hefty hike if your not up to it.

As we got to what we thought was the top I tried to take a picture that could should you how steep the trail is. As my wife crested the top of this portion the GPS level recorded it at 629m, this was the portion of the trail we could not ascend last time because everything was so muddy we just kept slipping back and we thought we might fall over the edge.

Shows the steep terrain as a woman stands in the trail and trees surround her

Steep Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We found many places along the trail to view various portions of Prince George, here is one of them.

Shows a view of prince george with the cutbanks in the background small

PG View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With scenery like this who can resist the hike? It truly is remarkable that we have such a natural wonder within minutes of our City. Since this year (2014) is still seeing the tent caterpillar infestation I thought I’d point out the funny looking lighter green trees on the right just above the Fraser River. Those trees are on the south end portion of Fort George Park and at the mouth of the channel leading to the Hudson’s Bay Slough and the buggers stripped the leaves off the trees. By the way, did you know that the Prince George Naturalists Club is restoring this vital wetland? Get more information on the http://hbwetland.wordpress.com/ their also hoping to get the slough renamed to wetland – so lend your support to this noble cause.

There are many places along the trail that people with mobility issues should be aware of like this one.

Shows tree roots above ground level throughout the path

Roots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course there are also several trees that have fallen down and some have been cleared from the path. Not this one though.

Shows a  tree fallen over the trail

Fallen Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately someone must of thought it was fun to remove a protective fence and through it over the cliff. If you look carefully down the cliff side you’ll see the fence. The post holes can still be found about ten feet behind where I was standing when I took the picture. I placed my foot there so you could get some perspective on how close I was to the edge, how high up and how steep it was.

Shows a foot at the edge of a cliff and looking down at trees below

Cliff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the same place comes this stunning view and reminder of the height.

Shows a view of the Simon Fraser bridge with a side view of the cliff overlooking the Fraser River

Cliff View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that should be enough for you want to make the effort to see this beauty on our doorstep. There are a few more images on my flickr share here https://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel.


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