I shot this seconds after local boy Peter Devries won the Coldwater Classic Surf Competition. It was an amazing experience!
The clouds had parted and gave good light,plus the sun was coming up and the surfers were facing towards the light. Best case scenario for good shots. The day before it was overcast and made the contrast in the shots poor.
This was shot on Peter’s winning run.
Peter showing some of the style that won him the Surf Comp.
I got this fellow out in front of Thornton Creek. The light was great,but I had to walk around him in order to get on the lighted side. It was worth it,he was about to strike!
They often times will stretch their necks out when they see some prey and than quickly strike!
Mini’s third cub was alot chubbier than the two previous years. I almost didn’t recognize her. She’s always with a small cub.
She was showing sign’s of having been into a fight recently.
This is a sequence of shots I took of a rescue that went badly!
The kite surfer (Gray Robinson) got in trouble! Someone phoned 911 about the situation & a Coast Guard boat was dispatched. When they arrived on the scene,the kite surfer was in rough seas surrounded by his kite & it’s strings. They told him to come over to their location,but he refused to leave his kite!
This is were the rescue went wrong!
The Zodiac tried to get close enough to pick him up. When they got close enough to pick him up the kite strings got wrapped around both props & stalled out both engines!! The strings would not unbind from the props & they were now at the mercy of the Sea!
Two waves hit them right away! The kite surfer figured it was safer in the surf & jumped from the helpless Zodiac! The third wave was the one that did them in!
You can see near the end of the sequence,a zodiac with nobody aboard! They had been washed overboard with that last wave!
At this point I phoned 911 & told the dispatcher what has just transpired! I than had to run out to the highway & around to get into Cox Bay! The boat was on the beach by the time I got around & couldn’t see anybody in the surf! Turns out they had climbed onto the rocks out of my sight & were ok!
Nobody was hurt,but everyone got a good scare! The Zodiac hit the rocks! Thats why the engines are pointing in different directions!
Everyone was very lucky!!
This was a Kite surfer(Gray Robinson from Saltspring Island) on Chesterman’s beach 1/2 hour before all the trouble began.
It was very windy out and he got into trouble out in the middle of the Bay. He couldn’t get the Kite back into the air and was heading for the rocks. At this point I didn’t know that & wasn’t sure if he needed help or not. I decided to go down to the end of Chesterman’s & up onto the rocks to get a better vantage point so that I could see if this guy really did need help or not.
The Coast Guard was about to come onto the scene and thats when it got seriously dangerous.
This bicyclist was taking a break from peddling and letting the wind do all the work.
I caught Juliette getting a fish from behind. Sometimes when you do not have good strong warm light to shoot with,you can turn 180 degrees and shoot directly into the sun. Only when it’s covered!
You can see Vargas Island in the background.
I caught her coming in with really nice light.
The heads of eagles tend to get blown out in the whites. If you take a reading at 90 degree’s from the sun and copy the shutter speed/f stop on manual,you can control alittle more of that tendency to blow out.
I included this shot because you can clearly see how much bigger the Delilah was than the Daredevil! The male is the one in front.
This happens more times than you’d guess! They often turn as quickly as possible to recover the wounded/stunned fish!
I used my big focal lens to compress this scene. The surfer in the foreground with the rocks of Sunset Point in the mid-ground and Long Beach hotel in the background.
I waited for the surfer to come into my scene a dozen times or so. Finally he did it when a large wave hit the rocks giving the icing to the cake for this shot.
I waited for this guy to come into my scene. I wanted him in front of the Lighthouse. It took awhile ,but he finally did cross this point.
The day was certainly windy.
When I saw this sailing boat coming up the channel,I knew that the white reflection of the sails would bring up the contrast between the Heron and the dark water.
I only got two shots at first and than ran quickly to the right and set up again to get more. I was able to do this several times until I finally spooked the Heron and he took off.
This is where I like to be with regards to the light. I always try to keep my back to the sun and looking squarely at my subject.
The light was nice and warm and only adds to making this beautiful creature look even more so.
This is the best sequence I have of a bar grabbing a salmon! Bruno managed to grab this female Chinook! It was a bit of a struggle,but he won the battle & enjoyed his fish in private! They just love the roe of the female!
Bears will often stand in a stream and wait for a fish to hit them. They will than collapse upon the salmon! They than reach under the water with their mouth to secure the salmon. Trying to hang onto a large flailing salmon is not only a tricky,but a difficult maneuver!
This guy missed a male Coho trying to go up stream.
This bear couldn’t of been too hungry. He just stood here for several minutes!
They often times will instinctively just keep catching fish even when they are full.
The salmon are taken into the rivers forest and eaten. The rest of the fish will decay and the nitrogen will be absorbed by the tree’s. All the tree’s surrounding these salmon bearing streams grow at a faster rate because of this added nutrition from the fish.
This location was so dark that I maxed out on the ISO,the shutter speed only got up to around 1/160th !
You can see the poor fish in it’s last moments with the tail flapping in a blur!
Mini and Doodlebug are trying to snag a fish.
You can see that Mini has a wound over her left eye. She had been in a fight with another bear. Mothers are very protective of their cubs. But than………..aren’t all mothers?
The people walking and the God rays from the clouds make this simple shot work.
The back lighting of these two bikes works very well when the sun has thin cloud in front of it. If it was a clear sky,the sun would be too powerful and have blow outs in the white’s. Try to avoid or minimize that.
I liked the dead cedar’s colour in the background. The sun was almost horizontal and that made the light very rich!
You can see that the eagle picked up some ell grass as well. It’ll probably be added to the nest.
Eagles are constantly adding to their nests over the years.
Nests are used again and again. I have heard of nests being 25 feet wide and 9 feet deep. They can weight several tons. They will one day during a big winter wind storm come down!
I used a fast shutter speed on this guy.(1/2000)
This shows that compression effect that occurs with longer focal lengths. Where it brings the foreground closer to the background.
The effect is greater the further away your subject it! I estimate this boat to be about 8-10 klicks away.
I have a term I use to describe what people do when they take a picture with a digital camera.
I call it the diga-pose! People always hold the camera up to look at the screen on the back. I can see this pose 1/2 mile away and tell you exactly what those folks are doing.
With these folks ,you can physically see the light off of the screen and I waited for the Lighthouse to come around.
The afterglow was beautiful !
I waited for these folks to come into my already composed scene.
It’s a nice shot because of the light and subject.(bikes)
These two were riding along and I couldn’t resist. I always use the Lighthouse as wallpaper . If you can get something in the background (of interest) ,it’ll make the shot that much better.
I think this shot needs no explanation.
Whenever the full moon comes up I am always checking the charts to find out which day is the best for “Sunset ,Moon rise” and “Sunrise,Moon rise”.
This is Sunrise,Moonset out at Lennard Island. I waited for the boat to go by . I needed something in the foreground.
The boat is in the foreground ,with the Lighthouse being in the mid-ground and the background being the moon. Photo sandwich!
Having these two gulls come by just added to the shot.( Photo sandwich)
This shows just alittle different angle.
You can see that the plane is about 20 meters or so into the tree line from a boggy area.
I zoomed back to get the lay of the land in perspective. I am facing west and you can see the coast line.
The wreck is bottom centre. There are two small white dots there. The plane is the one higher up. The other is the reflection off of a small pond.
That pond was made by the Depth Charges being set off! Guess they didn’t want to carry them out. They had 4 of them and each one weighted 250 lbs!
I shot this one alittle closer to pick up detail. You can see that it’s resting up slope just on the north side of the bog. I’m looking roughly NW.
I had waited approximately 17 months to be able to go up in a plane and shoot these aerials.
I needed no clouds on the eastern and western horizon’s and it had to happen when the full moon was rising! Those three parameters all lined up on October 3rd.
I always shoot from a plane with the door off. I do not want to shoot through the door window. You reduce your expensive lens to a cheap one by going through another medium.(which I might add is almost always scruffed up)
If you do it and have friends with you. Remember that whoever sits in the back seat is going to get the wind blast and it’s always cold!
This is the true colour.
You can clearly see the soft painting this vast area! It was just starting.
I used my big lens to shoot this. I wanted to zoom in to compress the foreground/background. It makes the moon look bigger than what it really is. There’s no trickery involved here. It’s just the normal principal’s of Optics at work.
I guess in hindsight ,that I should of been several miles further out in the ocean to the west! That way when I zoomed in on the lighthouse,the moon’s size would of been even bigger!! and I guess lower in altitude too.
This is Cox Bay with the full moon rising behind it! The landscape is covered in that gorgeous hue of Violet at sunset.
This shot showcases why so many people come to Tofino! The beauty is on a scale that few places can match!
This is one of the reasons why I waited so long to go on this aerial shoot. I wanted to shoot Tofino with the full moon rising over it. I wanted to use my big lens to compress the scene and as a result get the moon huge over top of Tofino!
Unfortunately, the best laid plans often times go a skew !
The moon was rising too far north! Because Tofino looks to the North,the only angle you can shoot it with the moon behind it ,is from the NW looking to the SE. The moon was way too far north and after realizing this, I was very disappointed.
I will have to go up again in the summer. The moon will be at it’s most southerly point on or around the summer solstice of June 21 st. As it stands right now the only two dates I can get the shot of the full moon over Tofino is May25th/10 and June 24th/10! (the best times to do something like this ,seems to be acouple of days before the Full Moon date)
I can’t have any clouds on either the eastern or western horizon’s on those two dates.
I also will have to be about 10-15 miles away from Tofino to the NW looking back to the SE. I don’t even know if I can line the two up? A horizontal shot with the full moon on the far left and Tofino to the right would be what I would settle for.
This shot was taken 1/2 hr before the second one above and you can clearly see how the light structure has changed!
This shows the tranquil setting of the Wickaninnish Inn on Chesterman’s beach. The moon was rising in behind and the light was perfect!
I think my focal length was around 150mm.
I always shoot my aerial’s near sunset. It not only gives texture to the other wise flat terrain,but a warm colour! Win,win!!
I took advantage of shooting everything I could get my hands on.
Plane trips are expensive and you need to have a route already thought out and brief the pilot before you go up.
Lennard Lighthouse looks great bathed in this sunset light.
This shows the size and shape of Chesterman’s favorite walking spot to watch the sunset,Frank Island.
I zoomed in on several shots of Chesterman’s and could see the people walking on the beach with long shadows .
This shot is looking roughly NW with the village of Opitsat in the foreground and the Cats Face mountains in the background.
The bottom slope of Lone Cone Mountain(Meares Island) can be seen at the right hand side of the shot.
This shot is looking NE and shows Tofino’s local beach,Tonquin. It can be walked to easily and is a great spot to watch the sun go down. Wickaninnish Island lies to the west and unfortunately cuts off the sun right before it sets,from this location.
This shows the Wick in the foreground and in the background you can see Browning pass channel at the foot of Meares island.
Frank Island is in the foreground here and Meares Island is in the background.
It shows how thin the Esowista Peninsula is!
The Lighthouse can be seen in the foreground and to the NW ,you can see Cats Face in the back right.
A mining company (Selkirk)wants to do a open pit on this beautiful mountain top! They would effectively cut 1/3 of the top off. It would never be restored back to it’s glory again.