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British Columbia Driftwood Photography

British Columbia Driftwood Photography is a story about ‘Driftwood’ which is often found on ocean beaches and along rivers and lakes. Driftwood is is a very interesting to photograph. It often appears in bizarre shapes and with detailed textures especially after it has been in water for a long time and has been bleached by the sun. Sometimes, the leftovers of trees take on shapes that look like sculptures, shapes of animals or creatures. 

In some waterfront areas, driftwood is a major nuisance. However, the driftwood provides shelter and food for birds, fish and other aquatic species as it floats in the ocean. Gribbles, ship worms and bacteria decompose the wood and gradually turn it into nutrients that are reintroduced to the food web. Sometimes, the partially decomposed wood washes ashore, where it also shelters birds, plants, and other species. Driftwood can become the foundation for sand dunes.

British Columbia Driftwood Photography

The above photo was taken at Florencia Beach on Vancouver Island, BC with the Canon SX60 HS with f-stop f/4, an exposure bias of -0.7 step; ISO speed ISO-100 and an exposure time of 1/800 of a second.

A subset of driftwood known as drift lumber,  includes the remains of man-made wooden objects, such as buildings and their contents washed into the sea during storms, wooden objects discarded into the water from shore, or lost cargo from ships. Erosion and wave action may make it difficult or impossible to determine the origin of a particular piece of driftwood.

Read Also: Water Photography – Capture the Power

Driftwood has an interesting history tied to itself. Carried by Arctic rivers, driftwood was the main, or sometimes only, source of wood for some Inuit and other Arctic populations living north of the tree line until they came into regular contact with European traders. Traditional Inuit boats such as the kayak were fashioned from driftwood frames covered in skins. Driftwood could be used to make bows and arrows if it was straight grained and in reasonably good condition.

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Water Photography – Capture the Power

Water Photography – Capture the Power – Water in general, is a very interesting medium. Whether it is the complete still of a lake or a chopped chaos on the ocean, captured images of the motion are fascinating. How to photograph or ‘capture’ the power of water depends largely on what effects are intended to achieve. In light technical terms, images of moving water are often ‘softened up’ to make them look somewhat magical.

Read Also: Shuswap Falls, BC with Panasonic DMC FZ300 & FujiFilm XT-4

This is done by the use of neutral density (ND) filters mounted to a camera’s lens. This (darkened) lens provides the photographer with broader range of exposure settings. However, softened water photography fails to bring out details, such as individual water drops or spray. So, the keys to create images  that capture the power  in water photography with the most details are: high speed shutter speeds with small apertures. Details are the main attributes necessary to depict the raw power of water as it moves.

In water photography, to capture the power of the water, creeks and rivers make for ideal subjects. In addition, waterfalls offer amazing opportunities to capture detailed motion. The following video was produced at Shuswap Falls and Wilsey Dam in British Columbia, an easily accessible site featuring raging waters in rocky channels and in waterfalls.

Read Also: Brenda Falls at Sugar Lake Dam, BC with Lumix FZ300 & FujiFilm XT-4

The first sequence in the video are stills shot in high frame-rate bursts to literally freeze the movement and show details that softened water photography never reveals. Following are motion pictures (actual video clips) shot at 60 fps initially but hen slowed  50, 25 and 12% in post editing. Cameras used for this video: FujiFilm XT-4 and Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ300.

Water Photography - Shuswap Falls, BC Water Photography - Wilsey Dam, BC @ Shuswap Falls Water Photography - Shuswap Falls @ Wilsey Dam, BC

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Ansel Adams and Alfred Stieglitz – The Greatest Pioneers of Photography

Ansel Adams and Alfred Stieglitz – The Greatest Pioneers of Photography – Adams, Ansel (Feb. 20 1902 — Apr. 22, 1984), photographer and environmentalist, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Charles Hitchcock Adams, a businessman, and Olive Bray. The grandson of a wealthy timber baron, Adams grew up in a house set amid the sand dunes of the Golden Gate. When Adams was only four, an aftershock of the great earthquake and fire of 1906 threw him to the ground and badly broke his nose, distinctly marking him for life. A year later the family fortune collapsed in the financial panic of 1907, and Adams’s father spent the rest of his life doggedly but fruitlessly attempting to recoup.

Seen in a more traditional art history context, Adams was the last and defining figure in the romantic tradition of nineteenth-century American landscape painting and photography. Adams’s vast archive of papers, memorabilia, correspondence, negatives, and many “fine” photographic prints, as well as numerous “work” or proof prints, are in the John P. Schaefer Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Ansel Adams and Alfred Stieglitz – The Greatest Pioneers of Photography – Adams’s star rose rapidly in the early 1930s, propelled in part by his ability and in part by his effusive energy and activity. He made his first visit to New York in 1933, on a pilgrimage to meet photographer Alfred Stieglitz, the artist whose work and philosophy Adams most admired and whose life of commitment to the medium he consciously emulated.

Alphred Stieglitz was an American photographer and modern art promoter who was instrumental over his 50-year career in making photography an accepted art form. In addition to his photography, Stieglitz was known for the New York art galleries that he ran in the early part of the 20th century, where he introduced many avant-garde European artists to the U.S.

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BC Hydro’s Wilsey Dam @ Shuswap Falls – REVISITED

BC Hydro’s Wilsey Dam @ Shuswap Falls – is a paradise for photographers and videographers. For anyone who loves waterfalls and raging waters through rugged canyons, this is the place to visit. At a recent visit, we focused on capturing the motion of the water in greater detail.

This time, we applied a bit of a different method to reproduce the slowed motion of the water. Instead of choosing the ‘High Speed Video’ choice from the camera’s menu, we shot the scenes in regular video speed. In post editing, we slowed down the video footage by about 40% and this is what can be seen in this video. Some segments were slowed down to about 10% to show utmost details of the moving water. When shooting in ‘High Speed Video’ setting, no sound is produced thus rendering the footage somewhat useless for public showing. The post editing choice is the best for those who want the real sounds of the roaring water. 

The following video shows a never seen before image overlay showing the original Shuswap River channel before the dam was built. All images and video scenes were shot with Fujifilm’s X-T4 and Panasonic’s DMC300 cameras.

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Wilsey Dam at Shuswap Falls, BC – To Be Decommissioned – BC Hydro plans to decommission the Wilsey Dam and 5.2-MW Shuswap Falls Powerhouse on the Shuswap River, which allows salmon access to historical spawning habitat in the river. 

The facility was built in 1929 by West Canadian Hydro Electric Corporation. The BC Power Commission succeeded the corporation, which, in turn, became BC Hydro. The concrete dam was built at the site of the original 21-m-high Shuswap Falls, while the spillway channel was blasted through solid rock immediately to the north. Initially, the facility used only water available in the Shuswap River, without a storage reservoir (run-of-the-river). The Shuswap River flows powered this 4,000-hp generating unit. In 1942, a second dam was constructed at the outlet of Sugar Lake to create storage and increased generating potential. This new dam allowed for another 4000-hp generating unit at Shuswap Falls.

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2021 White Rock Lake BC Wildfire Storm

The 2021 White Rock Lake BC Wildfire Storm footage was captured on the 6th of August 2021, from a hilltop at Predator Ridge Golf Resort, near Vernon, BC. Strong southerly winds of about 40 KM/h whipped across the region and created apocalyptic fire conditions on the west side of Okanagan Lake. 

Extreme wildfire conditions are seen from Predator Ridge across Okanagan Lake. Camera: FujiFilm X T-4 > Aperture: f/8 > Shutter: 1/60 > ISO-160
2021 White Rock Lake Wildfire
View from Eastside Road across Okanagan Lake. Camera: Camera: FujiFilm X T-4 > Aperture: f/4 > Shutter: 1/30 > ISO-160
2021 White Rock Lake Wildfire View from Lakeshore Road Vernon BC © JackAndMatt.com


Related Article:   2021 Becker Lake Wildfire, Vernon BC


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Okanagan Garden Evolution

Okanagan Garden Evolution is an ongoing flower garden project. After the removal of fir trees, a rock garden was created. The ground was cleared, rocks brought in and placed on the ground for flower bed edging. Composted soil was filled into the new beds, flowers and shrubs planted. Click the image to the right to open it enlarged in a new tab.
Okanagan Garden Evolution
Okanagan Garden Evolution Okanagan Garden Evolution is to inspire others to build flower gardens as well. If digging is too hard, raised beds can be created, regardless of what lies underneath. Fact is, all gardens produce weeds eventually. Some more, some less – weeds are a fact of life in a healthy garden. Gardening is a fun hobby that is positive and good for the soul. Click the image to the left to open it enlarged in a new tab.

Evolution – As encyclopedias suggest, evolution, theory in biology postulating that the various types of plants, animals, and other living things on Earth have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations. The theory of evolution is one of the fundamental keystones of modern biological theory.

Did you know this ? The diversity of the living world is staggering. More than 2 million existing species of organisms have been named and described; many more remain to be discovered—from 10 million to 30 million, according to some estimates. What is impressive is not just the numbers but also the incredible heterogeneity in size, shape, and way of life—from lowly bacteria, measuring less than a thousandth of a millimetre in diameter, to stately sequoias, rising 100 metres (300 feet) above the ground and weighing several thousand tons; from bacteria living in hot springs at temperatures near the boiling point of water to fungi and algae thriving on the ice masses of Antarctica and in saline pools at −23 °C (−9 °F); and from giant tube worms discovered living near hydrothermal vents on the dark ocean floor to spiders and larkspur plants existing on the slopes of Mount Everest more than 6,000 metres (19,700 feet) above sea level.

The Okanagan Garden Evolution and Flower Power videos show the projects from the beginning to the present. 😉

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2021 Becker Lake Wildfire, Vernon BC

As extreme drought conditions continue throughout the province of British Columbia, residents in the Okanagan grow more concerned about new wildfires every day. After a grass fire at a slope above Kalamalka Lake on the previous day and the following night, smoke was spotted a few miles west of Becker Lake. High winds ignited a spot fire to to a blaze of several hectares. Air tankers and helicopters from Kamloops and Vernon fought the wildfire for most of the day. All photos and the short video were taken free-handed with Panasonic’s Lumix DMC FZ300 at maximum focal length of 600 mm.

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▲ Wildfire smoke seen billowing above Vernon
Camera: Lumix DMC FZ300
Aperture: f/8 > Shutter: 1/320
▲ Strong winds whip the fire north
Camera: Lumix DMC FZ300
Aperture: f/8 > Shutter: 1/320
▲ Conair aerial tanker 566 circling above
Camera: Lumix DMC FZ300
Aperture: f/8 > Shutter: 1/320
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▲ A Kaman K-MAX helicopter in bucketing
Camera: Lumix DMC FZ300
Aperture: f/3.2 > Shutter: 1/1300
Conair air tanker 566 dropping retardant
Camera: Lumix DMC FZ300
Aperture: f/8 > Shutter: 1/320
▲ A Kaman K-MAX helicopter in action
Camera: Lumix DMC FZ300
Aperture: f/3.2 > Shutter: 1/1300

On Saturday afternoon (2021-07-10), the BC Wildfire Service had 26 personnel on scene fighting the Becker Lake wildfire, alongside with 4 helicopters and air tanker support. At the time of this report, the fire was still classified as out of control and it encompassed a size of approximately 10 hectares.