Archive For The “sun” Category
As the tide goes out, the ice covering a briny tidal creek collapses, leaving patterned cracks. Minette Bay, Kitimat January 1. 2016. (Robin Rowland)
I spent New Year’s Day on the mudflats of Minette Bay, near Kitimat, with other local photographers. At low tide, of course. Ruth and Howard Mills who run the luxury B&B the Minette Bay Lodge invited us for the photo walk on the ice and mud followed by hot soup and great New Year’s snacks.
Most of my images look best in black and white. There are few in colour at the end of the blog.
Looking across Minette Bay with Kitimat’s iconic Mt. Elizabeth in the background. Just after noon the water was just a couple of centimetres deep, covered in thin layers of ice. The cold made the mud solid enough so that it wouldn’t be boot grabbing ooze you experience in the summer. January 1, 2016 (Robin Rowland)
The beach, covered in seaweed, snow and old logs looking west from the trail, January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)
Looking west toward Douglas Channel, and the Rio Tinto aluminum plant with the winter sun low over the hills to the south. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)
The twisted roots of a dead tree lying on the beach in some ways reminded me of the Iron Throne. Game of Stumps, anyone? (Robin Rowland)
Walking back to the lodge along the creek trail. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)
Another angle on the creek from a bridge a little further along the trail. (Robin Rowland)
Ice on a chunk of rotten log on the mudflats. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)
An ice crystal floats on the thin layer of water on top of the frozen mud. (Robin Rowland)
The winter sun shines through the rain forest. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)
Happy New Year! Kitimat’s photographers celebrate in the middle of a day on the ice. (Robin Rowland)
My cat Euri comes into my bedroom, settles down on the duvet, seeks out the sunbeams, as light streams through the Venetian blinds, on a near-spring afternoon, Feb. 24, 2015. (Robin Rowland) And for those too young to remember the reference is to the 1980 movie American Gigolo and its iconic movie poster.
Late on an early November afternoon, the sun, low in the sky, shines through moss hanging from trees in a wooded area near my home in Kitimat, BC, November 9, 2014. (Robin Rowland)
After almost two months of steady rain (from late September to early November) the jet stream has moved east, for now, bringing the “polar vortex” to central and eastern North America, and clear skies and the sun (finally) to the British Columbia coast. Taken about about 20 minutes after the shot above. (Robin Rowland)
Updates with cause, Friday morning situation
A wildfire broke out in the Strawberry Meadows neighborhood, about two kilometres south of Kitimat, around 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 17, 2014. Kitimat Fire and Rescue quickly responded to the call, setting up a command post at the back of the Oviatt Contracting construction yard which was close to the fire. The District of Kitimat says the fire was caused by an unattended canpfire on the Kitimat River bank. The fire began about 100 metres square and driven by strong winds, quickly spread to two hectares and then about three. (The District release says the fire was about one hectare, the one to three hectare estimate came from those on scene at the time). Oviatt officials say the fire was technically in Haisla territory, within the boundaries of the estuary and river reserve area #1, a traditional Haisla fishing area.
Kitimat Fire and Rescue found that the overgrown brush near the river was too thick and called in the BC Wildfire forestry service firefighters. As they waited, Kitimat Fire organized a firebreak with the help of Oviatt employees on site which luckily had all the heavy equipment needed to cut a gap through the bush to the river. By 5 p.m. winds had spread the smoke and haze throughout the town.
At one point fish camps on the Lower Dyke Road were evacuated as a precaution. First one, then two Forest Service helicopters arrived to fight the fire, and later were joined by a aerial tanker from Smithers which made about six or seven drops on the fire. A second firebreak was pushed through the bush.
The tanker was then redirected to a fire near Terrace while the helicopters continued to drop water on the fire. At the height of operations, according to a release from the District of Kitimat, seven BC Forestry Service Firefighters on the scene and 12 Kitimat Firefighters were there monitoring the fire guards for any hot spots.
The firefighters were worried that strengthening winds would drive the fire either toward the upscale homes in Strawberry Meadows or toward the fishing camps along the river on the Lower Dyke Road. While the wind did become much stronger in the early evening, the weather was quickly turning cool and there were light raindrops by the time the District said the fire was contained at 8:18 p.m. Kitimat Fire and Rescue left a crew at the Oviatt site overnight to monitor for hotspots.
As of Friday morning forestry crews were surveying the area for “a dangerous tree assessment” and to check for hotspots. The District of Kitimat reminded everyone in the news release that a campfire ban is in effect.
So one of the “rules of photography,” especially nature photography, is you don’t shoot on a clear, bright, blue sky, summer afternoon with the sun high overhead.
So today I broke all those rules and got a shot I’ve been trying to get for some time–the “white raven.”
So what is a “white raven?” One of my long-term projects is to photograph ravens in a “mythological setting.” In Europe (and perhaps elsewhere) there are legends of a white raven. (I am not sure about here on the northwest coast, where the raven is sacred to the First Nations, so far I have not come across any First Nations stories of white ravens. If anyone reading this knows of a First Nation legend of a white raven please comment). For example, in Greek mythology Apollo is said to have turned the raven, which was originally white, to black,
UPDATE: March 2019. Among the art work displayed at the annual Freda Diesing School of Northwest Art exhibit at the Kitimat Museum & Archives this month, was a magnificent painting by a young artist of a raven transforming from white to black. The artist told me she was inspired by a story told to her by Elders.
Although there are rare albino ravens–this site has a photograph of a stuffed albino raven in Port Clements on Haida Gwaii–many scholars who study ravens and crows in nature and mythology believe that the legends of white ravens as messengers of the gods come not from the rare albino raven (which may not survive to adulthood) but when the black feathers of the raven reflect the sun and appear to be white.
I admit that looking for the “white raven” shot wouldn’t be a priority unless you are doing a project on the mythology of ravens. It is also likely that photographers seeing the image would hit the delete button. I hope that this post would discourage deleting “white raven” shots that anyone reading this may capture in the future.
It was that “white raven” effect I was able to capture this afternoon, on a hot, clear, sunny Kitimat afternoon, actually in my front yard in the space of just over one minute, from 3:30:34 pm to 3:31:39 pm, using my carry with me always Sony Alpha 55, Sony 18-200, set at 200, ISO 1600, shutter priority 1/2000.
The pair of ravens are flying into the sun, and the bright reflection can be seen appearing on their wingtips.
As the ravens circle and come more under direct sunlight, their backs reflect the light, appearing white.
Messengers of the Gods. In Norse mythology, Odin had two messenger ravens Huginn and Muninn. Again the Eddas I have read don’t mention the colour of Huginn and Muninn, but clearly you can see how the reflected sun makes the raven look white.
As the pair continue to circle, only a small white reflection is seen on the wing of the lower bird.
Here the pair appear in silhouette, dark against the sky.
The compression of distance with the 200mm lens gives the impression the ravens are flying over a mountain peak.
Then the pair are lower, appearing to fly in front of the mountainside.