Posts Tagged “Weather”
There is a tradition in Kitimat, British Columbia, that children lay wreathes at the cenotaph, representing those individuals and groups that are unable to attend.
Here are some images of Remembrance Day 2012, in Kitimat.
The Royal Canadian Legion and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police lead the Canada Day parade in Kitimat, BC, July 1, 2012. (Robin Rowland)
The Kitimat Marine Rescue Society’s Snowflake Responder in the Canada Day Parade. (Robin Rowland)
Bechtel, which is building the Rio Tinto Alcan Kitimat Modernization Project had a small fleet of golf carts in the parade. (Robin Rowland)
A young drummer in the Rio Tinto Alcan dragon boat. (Robin Rowland)
Members of the environmental group Douglas Channel Watch march with blow-up Orcas, as Kitimat mayor Joanne Monaghan follows in a convertible. (Robin Rowland)
Kitimat mayor Joanne Monaghan (Robin Rowland)
Nathan Cullen, NDP for Skeena Bulkley Valley, and NDP House Leader waves to spectators while marching in the Kitimat Canada Day parade. (Robin Rowland)
The International Peace Day contingent in the Canada Day parade. (Robin Rowland)
A guad from the Kitimat Rod and Gun Association (Robin Rowland)
Stop, Drop and Read (Robin Rowland)
The Canadian Auto Workers float in the Canada Day parade. The CAW is currently in tough negotiations for a new contract with Rio Tinto Alcan. (Robin Rowland)
Girls and dogs march with the Kitimat Humane Society (Robin Rowland)
Children on horses conclude the Canada Day parade (Robin Rowland)
On Friday, February 3, 2012, I was driving to Prince Rupert, BC, to cover the No to Tankers rally the next day for GlobalBC News and Canadian Press The drive (or train trip) along the lower Skeena is always magnificent, the mighty water has come through the mountains and now when the river widens.
The Skeena is known is as the “Misty River.” In the language of the Tshimshian First Nation, the river is the “K-shian,” the river of mists.
On that Friday,a high pressure system was driving off the gloomy winter overcast that had lingered since December, while along banks, the mists still clung to the river banks and hills, As the sun set, the light was magnificent, The problem especially with all the snow piled up along the edge of the highway there were few safe places to stop and shoot except the designated rest areas.
The reverse angle, away from the sun set, shows the mist hugging the mountains along the Skeena at Basalt Creek.
On Saturday night it was relatively late and as I glimpsed out my front window, I saw that the setting sun was illuminating just one last peak in Douglas Channel down from Kitimat harbour. Grabbed a camera and quickly walked down to a park about half a block away, where there is a great view of the channel.The first image of the peak was shot at 9:41:21 pm.
The image above was taken about four minutes later, at 9:45 as the sun was going down behind the mountains, leaving just the peak and one pinkish wisp of cloud above the peak, perhaps looking a little like smoke from a volcano.
This panorama was taken about 9:44 pm about minute before the image abov.
One of my projects is to shoot panoramas of Douglas Channel from that park as often as I can. With the weather systems coming up the channel from the ocean, creating a micro-environment of sun, sea, wind and clouds, the scene and the light often changes every five minutes, so, if the day was good, you could shoot panoramas all day and each one would be different (a part of the project which is on my to do list).
The series of shots in this panorama were taken with my Sony Alpha 700, ISO 1600, 200mm lens, 1/250, f8. Stitched with Kolor Autopano Pro and if printed at full size would be: 300 dpi, 39 inches by 15 inches.
And oh yes, on many of these pano pictures, I break the rules. The camera is hand held. It started last summer, soon after I arrived in Kitmat, when I was walking down by the park, camera in hand and got the idea to try panoramas. Not that I don’t use a tripod with a pan head for some of the images, but most often like Saturday, the ever changing light calls for a quick reaction, grab the camera and get down to the park. The stitching can be jagged along the edges, but the water is always centered and so the jaggies are cropped.
Photography is often affected by the weather. A change in the weather can mean as Robbie Burns wrote in 1785, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men gang aft agley,” or to quote a more contemporary author, some guy called Murphy, “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
So it was on Saturday night. The main employer in Kitimat, Rio Tinto Alcan, was celebrating a company safety record for the year 2010 and, to include the community, sponsored a fireworks display at the local Riverlodge Community Centre.
It was unlikely that any of my regular clients would want the photos of a corporate event, late on the Pacific coast, with the NHL playoffs and the election taking up most of the feeds and play in the Canadian media. (I did check, they said no.).
So that gave me a chance to try an experiment. Rather than going down to Riverlodge and try to find a good location, I decided to shoot from a park just down from my house, a park with a great view of the mountains. Saturday was clear all day and with a near-full moon coming up in the east at about the time of the fireworks and some fresh spring snow on the peaks, I figured there would be just enough moonlight to illuminate the white snow on the mountain peaks that would be behind the fireworks.
The fireworks were scheduled for 10 PM PT. Wouldn’t you know, about eight o’clock, the clouds began to move in. By the time of the last twilight at ninish, you could see that the peaks were socked in.
I went to the park and got set up. As it got closer to 10, the moon was a barely visible white blob behind heavy clouds, the peaks to the west were invisible in the black night. Overall ground level visibility was good, you could see the lights of the Rio Tinto Alcan smelter kilometres away, but occasional whisps of mist drifted over the tops of the trees of the park.
Had one camera on a tripod, with a 170-500, aimed at the hidden snow-covered peaks (just in case the weather cleared. It didn’t.). Second was hand held, with a 70-300. Not the best situation.
You have to make the best of it.
Got home, checked the computer, threw out most of the images but then I noticed that on some photos, there were some tree tops in front of the fireworks. For some reason, I remembered the closing scene of Return of the Jedi, where the CGI fireworks over the tree tops on the forest moon of Endor celebrate the end of the evil empire. (By the way Canadians, vote on May 2 and vote for democracy).
What I love about photography is that you can always have fun while you are working, especially when things aren’t working out. Make the best shots you can under the conditions of the moment. So for this fun blog I chose images that let me imagine that it was that forest moon and that the evil empire was gone.
The end of the Death Star.
The end of the Death Star.
After three weeks of constant rain, triggered by one Pineapple Express weather system after another, the sun finally began come out late last week and I was able to shoot some of the spectacular fall colours around my new (and old) hometown of K|itimat.
While northwestern British Columbia is mainly forested by conifers, poplars and other deciduous trees hug the river banks and often appear in small groves on the mountain slopes.
So after three weeks of this (which a lot of long term residents say is unusual even for Kitimat)
One of the many reasons that I chose to move back to my old home town, to build my new career as independent photographer, was that Kitimat is really a place of ever changing light. The Pacific winds bring weather up the channel, creating microclimates on each peak and each beach. Thus one moment you can have heavy overcast, a few minutes later scattered cloud, followed by sun, followed by black clouds and a torrential downpour.
A couple of days ago, during that major rainstorm that pounded the west coast for days, there was one of those breaks, where the sun suddenly shone through. So I decided to walk, rather than drive, to the local gym (a photographer hiker has to be in shape) and grabbed a couple of shots from a park a few steps from my house.
Of course, as I was walking back from the gym, the ocean squall returned full force and I was soaked by the time I got home.
But that shot gave me an idea. As I have said in previous blog posts, I always carry my Lumix FZ28 in a fanny pack, so for the past few days,as I walk to or from the gym, I stopped at the viewpoint and grabbed a few shots, hand held (against recommendations) and then using Photshop CS5 merged them into large (20 to 40 inch ) panaromas. Here are the web versions.
This dark, menacing sky is somewhat misleading. As I came home from the gym, on what had been a beautiful day, the skies darkened with dark clouds. But it was the opposite of the other day, the clouds blew over and the afternoon sun was soon shining again.
The panorama in afternoon light.
The panorama in mid-morning light.
Douglas Channel about the same time as the previous photo, on the following day.
(All photos pop as larger versions)