Posts tagged ‘Vancouver’

Fotoeins Friday: Vancouver’s “Solter(r)a” in Chinatown

What about now? How about now?

8 hours on New Year’s Day in Vancouver

I’ve photographed the greater Vancouver area in separate 16-hour “marathons” on Canada Day (1 July) in the last couple of years. Similarly, one way to crack open a brand new year is a shorter photowalk on New Year’s Day, with the length of a winter day halved to 8 hours of daylight. Very good conditions were forecast for New Year’s Day 2015 in Vancouver with mostly clear skies and a high of +6C (42F). I made the following 10 photographs from sunrise to sunset.


1.   817am, 1st light on the North Shore

1st sunrise of 2015, Vancouver, BC, fotoeins.com

1st light of 2015 on North Shore

Previous experience informed my knowledge of a winter sunrise occurring to the southeast, which meant first light on the North Shore mountains. As the first sun of the year poked its head and climbed higher into the sky, windows from houses and apartment towers in West Vancouver sparkled with yellow light.


2.   801-900am, Marine Building

Morning light on Marine Building, Vancouver, BC, Canada, fotoeins.com

Winter morning light on Marine Building

At 9am, the morning sun shines down the length of West Hastings Street in the downtown Vancouver peninsula. Where West Hastings meets Burrard Street is the Marine Building, fully illuminated in a warm golden glow by morning light. When construction on the Art Deco style skyscraper was completed in 1930, the Marine Building was then the tallest building in the British Empire.


3.   901-1000am, North Boundary, Vancouver

At North Boundary Road, between Vancouver and Burnaby, fotoeins.com

At North Boundary Road, between Vancouver and Burnaby

When we were much younger and dad drove us all around Vancouver, I’ve always wanted to return to this section of Boundary Road, separating the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby. With the road ending on a cliff onto Burrard Inlet, the view here is over the Ironworkers’ Memorial Bridge (Second Narrows Bridge) and beyond to the North Shore mountains.


4.   1001-1100am, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby

Frozen reflecting pond, Academic Quadrangle, Simon Fraser University, fotoeins.com

Frozen reflecting pond, Academic Quadrangle, Simon Fraser University

This is my alma mater, the campus of Simon Fraser University on Burnaby Mountain, a 300-metre high mountain over the city of Burnaby. The “square” or Academic Quadrangle as well as the accompanying (frozen) reflecting pond remind me of a humble start as an engineering student and graduation with a physics degree.


5.   1101-1200pm, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Mountain, fotoeins.com

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Mountain

I lingered around the empty campus for another hour, walking past old haunting grounds, lecture halls, and concourses I’d covered and walked across many times. Coming around to the “front” southwest side of campus, this view highlights the “terraced” structure of the Student Services Centre.


6.   1201-100pm, Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver

Quiet reflection, Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver, BC, fotoeins.com

Quiet reflection, Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver, BC

Shortly after arriving at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver, I came across a scattering of people including residents, visitors, couples, families, and pets. A woman sat quietly on one of the benches, next to her bicycle. Her eyes closed, she faced the bright afternoon sun. This photo represents what many of us desire: restful contemplation and a fresh start to the new year.


7.   101-200pm: Central Lonsdale, North Vancouver

Central Lonsdale, up to Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, fotoeins.com

Lonsdale and 14th, north towards Grouse Mountain

A short trip on the bus up the hill towards Central Lonsdale revealed many people out and about in the holiday afternoon sun, outside for a brief walk in the neighbourhood, out for a coffee and a chat. More telling is how close the hills on the North Shore are: so close one can reach out and touch.


8.   201-300pm: Burrard Dry Dock Pier, North Vancouver

Lonsdale Quay and the Lions, from Burrard Dry Dock Pier, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, fotoeins.com

Lonsdale Quay and the Lions, from Burrard Dry Dock Pier

Back at Lonsdale Quay, afternoon light provides front and direct illumination on the Public Market and the large Q sign for the hotel. Just visible in the background are the snow-capped peaks of The Lions (Twin Sisters).


9.   301-400pm: Dundarave Park, West Vancouver

Late-afternoon conversation, Georgia Strait, Salish Sea, Dundarave, West Vancouver, BC, fotoeins.com

Late-afternoon conversation, Dundarave Park

The skies remained mostly clear for the final hours of the first afternoon of the year. At Dundarave Park, the couple seated on a log are in animated conversation, bisected by the column of sunlight on the waters of the Salish Sea.


10.   415pm, sunset over the Salish Sea

1st sunset of 2015, Georgia Strait, Salish Sea, West Vancouver, BC, fotoeins.com

1st sunset of 2015 over the Salish Sea

The first sunset of 2015 is highlighted by brilliant yellows and oranges, as the sun slips behind the mountains of the Gulf Islands and on Vancouver Island. A container ship in silhouette is parked on the waters of the Salish Sea, and over to the left is another container ship and the outline of Vancouver’s Point Grey.


Every photo above is marked with its corresponding location pin in the map below.


Previous photo marathons

•   Canada Day 2014: Vancouver, Canada
•   Canada Day 2013: Vancouver, Canada

Sunday TravelerI made all of the photos on New Year’s Day 2015 with a Canon 6D camera fitted with the EF 24-105 f/4L zoom-lens. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-6lw, and is part of the Sunday Traveler series.

Fotoeins’ Fotograms: the 14 of 2014

Fotoeins Fotograms 14 of 2014 cover

At the end of 2013, I listed my 13 instants for the year. I continue to be fascinated by how we look at the world in square format in contrast with 4-by-3 or 3-by-2 formats. It’s not exactly the throwback to a distant past with square photographic plates, but the same physical and photographic principles regarding central symmetry apply. Here are 14 ‘fotograms’ from 2014, including a new 6D, watching my father die, and a return ‘home’ to Deutschland.


(1) ➙ “I ♥ VanCity”, 25 January 2014

Yes, I was born and raised in Vancouver. No, I do not always love the city. But when the sun shows up, it’s easy to overlook temporarily the severe shortcomings about the people and the city. That might come across as heresy, but that’s the least of my worries. Coming back or living here isn’t only about tolerance; what some forget while lost among the trees of glass, spruce, and fir are human decency, obligation, and responsibility, wrapped with a generous portion of ambivalence and beauty.

"I <3 VanCity": Vancouver, Canada – 25 Jan 2014.

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on


(2) ➙ “Y-V-R”, 21 February 2014

It’s no accident I gravitate towards transport hubs and centres, like train stations and airports. It’s another manifestation of seeing a lot of green grass over on the other side, but the simultaneous promise and curse of travel is knowing what the world presents with a short trip on the plane to the other side of the planet. At Vancouver’s international airport, a man and his child walked directly into the light, which I’m very lucky to have seen with my new 6D.

A. “Dad, what’s on the other side of that sunbeam?”
B. “Guess we’ll have to catch our plane to find out, son …”


(3) ➙ “Central halo”, 23 March 2014

About 20 people are on a ‘photowalk’ on Burnaby Mountain to visit the main campus of Simon Fraser University. The early-spring grey skies cast a soft light on harsh cement shapes and lines. There’s evidence of ice in the upper atmosphere, and I’ve an interesting view to the setting sun through the rotunda’s cupola.

"Central halo" : Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada – 23 Mar 2014.

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on


(4) ➙ “Oil’s well that ends well”, 18 April 2014

My friend and I are on a guided historical tour of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. It feels like we have the entire cannery to ourselves in our group of three. I’ve come to enjoy “industrial photography” (e.g., Bernd & Hilla Becher), and this area as part of the fish oil extraction process plays to industriousness. Along with deep greens, rust-browns, yellows, and greys, I like how the lines of the pipes flow to the right, helped along by the big “oily” arrow.

"Oil pipes" : Steveston, BC, Canada – 18 Apr 2014.

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on


(5) ➙ “Names to memories”, 23 May 2014

The gentleman puts his hand up to ‘feel’ and connect with his ancestors. One hundred years ago on 23 May 1914, a ship called the Komagata Maru carrying 376 South Asian passengers and citizens of the British Empire entered Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. They were hopeful with the anticipation to beginning new lives in Canada. But the Canadian government along with local officials endorsed and enforced an anti-Asian and “whites only” immigration policy, denying entry to almost all of the passengers, because of the colour of their skin. More photos from the 100th anniversary commemoration here.


(6) ➙ “Looking and seeing”, 28 June 2014

500px’s Evgeny Tchebotarev arrived in Vancouver and some 20 to 30 local photographers joined him on a photowalk through Gastown. Heavy rainshowers didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance, including Kim pictured here and who was very game throughout the session. More from the photowalk here.


(7) ➙ “Hello, Canada Day …”, 1 July 2014

For the second consecutive year, I set about on a 16-hour marathon on Canada Day: 16 hours of photography and over 100 kilometres traversed, with 18 selected photographs appearing here. Sunrise at 530 on a warm quiet early-summer morning is a picture-perfect way to start the holiday, and an ideal centre point to the present series of 14.

"Hello, Canada Day" (542am) : Vancouver, Canada – 1 Jul 2014.

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on


(8) ➙ “Architectural dialogue”, 5 August 2014

I’d spent chunks of late-July and early-August with Dad in the hospital, as his time with us drew to a close. I also began taking more notice of the area surrounding the hospital in downtown Vancouver. The summer light spoke to me through the lattice of steel and glass, here in the entrance atrium of the Law Courts building complex, designed by world-renowned architect Arthur Erickson.


(9) ➙ “A final sunset”, 8 August 2014

I visited Dad in the hospital every day for 21 consecutive days. How was I to know the photograph below would mark his final sunset. Goodbye to another day, goodbye to one more life. “And there he goes …”

"His final sunset over the Salish Sea": Vancouver, Canada – 8 Aug 2014. Story at http://wp.me/p1BIdT-5vy

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on


(10) ➙ “The gulf of Georgia”, 27 September 2014

It’s either love or hate for Yue Minjun’s “A-maze-ing Laughter” (2009) near Vancouver’s Stanley Park, an installation of bronze sculptures open-mouthed in hysterical laughter. I’m interested in the juxtaposition between the two figures here, an apparently narrow gap in space magnifying the emotional rift between joy and boredom (or sadness). I believe this speaks to a real part of living here; those unable to recognize the incongruity are in a blissfully ignorant state of denial.


(11) ➙ “Breezy autumn pluck”, 24 October 2014

Windsocks are the bright orange fingers against the cable-stays of the Translink SkyBridge over the Fraser River, as a scheduled automated train crosses over from New Westminster (left) to Surrey (right). The foreground SkyBridge and the background Pattullo Bridge provide good parallel horizontal “stretch” to counter the almost-vertical windsocks and the angled cables.


(12) ➙ “Back home again”, 26 November 2014

Back home in my adopted town of Heidelberg, I’m also back on Königstuhl hill for the first time in years, back to the Schloss castle ruins for the first time in over a decade. I wanted, no, I needed to see this view of the town from above. Despite overcast skies, the city’s Altstadt (Old Town) still emanates that warm red-brown glow between the Heiligeistkirche (Church of the Holy Spirit, left) and the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge, centre-right).


(13) ➙ “Lichtsterne”, 2 December 2014

“The ghosts of Christmas continue to h(a)unt with due deliberate diligence …” I love these stars at any Christmas market, but seeing them again here at the Markt in Leipzig, I’m also reminded why the holiday season has always been supremely bittersweet.


(14) ➙ “I ♥ Berlin”, 5 December 2014

I experimented with motion blur throughout my three weeks in Germany. I found an ideal environment here at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, typically one of the busiest squares or plazas, with shoppers, workers, and tourists scurrying back and forth, regional and suburban trains on the elevated guideway above, buses and trams at street-level, and underground U-Bahn trains below. The square is a careful frame to the “♥ Berlin” sign at the left, and the blur of the tram from the right.


What are your favourite photos, moments, and impressions from 2014? This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.

Vancouver Gastown Photowalk with 500px’s Evgeny Tchebotarev

500px‘s Evgeny Tchebotarev flew over from Toronto to Vancouver recently, and met local photographers on a photowalk through the city’s historical Gastown district. 70 people signed up for the photowalk, and the crowd assembled at the Gastown Steam Clock.

That’s when the skies unleashed its waterworks, ranging from a light sprinkle to a hard soak. A number of people stuck through to the wet bitter end.

I was not one of them, as I tucked into a nearby coffee shop to dry out, stocked up on caffeine, set upon a butter tart, and reviewed my “photon haul” for the day.

The following photos are evidence the afternoon was not a complete washout.

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Rallying the troops”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“A swarm of togs around the Steam Clock”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Speaking, clicking, sharing”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Water Street wave”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“IN FORM”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Dueling cigarettes”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Step” (Kim Yee)

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Up and over” (Kim Yee)

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Hello, I see you …”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Vertical flip”

I made all photos above on 28 June 2014. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.

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