West End of Vancouver in Spring Time

Looking down Robson Street: From Broughton Street, looking down towards Denman Street. (Photo by John Bollwitt)

I took this photo last April while on a bit of an assignment by Rebecca to “just get some shots of Robson Street”. She sends me out of photowalks from time to time to gather shots for various material that she publishes. Going back through some old photos, I rediscovered this one.

This really captures why we like the West End of Vancouver as much as we do. We you get down to this end of Robson, things slow down a little, and the city isn’t as loud. This was in April when it was just starting to get warm and the sun bathed the city for much longer than anyone expected.

I especially like the nice convertible in this shot, patiently waiting for the guy crossing the street. If this were a Sunday morning, that would probably be a Lamborghini and in multiples of three to five. They seem to have a bit of a driving club around these parts when the weather is nice enough to bring them out.

Of Monsters and Men @ The Orpheum

Of Monsters and Men at The Orpheum Theatre on May 12, 2013.  (Vancouver, B.C.)

Of Monsters and Men at The Orpheum Theatre on May 12, 2013. (Vancouver, B.C.)

Concert photography and perfect lighting is something like the sweet spot on the bat. If you can connect that moment with perfect timing and location, it’s out of the park.

Not only is it about your location in terms of proximity to stage, but you will never be in control of the lighting that is presented to you. Some times, you just have no option other than to turn a shot into black and white, and that’s very rock and roll in its own regard.

High atop downtown Vancouver

Vancouver, B.C.

Not too long ago, I found myself on top of a high rise in Yaletown for a work related project. The only camera I had on hand was my iPhone, but I knew I had to snap some photos of the city, no matter how much my vertigo played with my knees.

Vancouver, B.C.

Vancouver, B.C.

After reading many of Rebecca’s “Vancouver History” posts, it makes me look at these photos a little differently. Vancouver’s changed a lot in just the six years that I’ve lived here, yet alone the last one hundred.

We live on a planet

Vancouver 125: Summer Live

I shot this on the final day of Summer Live in Stanley Park this past weekend. We were out of town for most of the event that celebrates Vancouver’s 125th anniversary of being the city that it has become, and this was quite the party that the city threw.

Truth be told, sixty4media developed the website for the year long celebration(celebratevancouver125.ca) that is going on, and it was a little rewarding to know that Rebecca and I played a bit part to help spread the word about Summer Live. With everyone hanging out on their blankets, people throwing the frisbee around, all the folks hula-hooping, and so on, I really wish we could have been around to check out more on Friday and Saturday.

“We live on a planet” is what Beck said when I showed her this photo because of the way the moon slipped into the shot. All of this within a 15 minute walk from the west end makes me hope this becomes a regular event every year.

Always remember what it’s like to be a kid

Photowalking with The Reverend Don Deeley

I shot this while crossing the Burrard Inlet in a Seabus to the north shore. This kid was a giddy as I often am while looking out the same windows at the city. It always makes me think about how lucky I am to be living in this city, and how thankful I am to all of my friends and family that made it possible for me to achieve everything I have.

I think that in a lot of ways, I’m still a kid at heart. That’s why I took this photo.

Lighthouse Park at the end of spring

Lighthouse Park

Last May, Rebecca and I finally made it over to Lighthouse Park on a cool, muggy day. It’s another one of those things that’s been on the list of places to visit after a few boat cruises by it and staring at it from the shore across the way from it.

Lighthouse Park

The park is really pretty, but bring your hiking shoes for sure. As steep and narrow as some of the trails get, I still can’t figure out how, or yet alone why, some people got baby strollers over this terrain.

Lighthouse Park

I’d barely recommend taking a stroller through Stanley Park, but it’s just the idea that some folks leave their front door not thinking about the fact that they are about to go to a park which sits at the base of a mountain.

Lighthouse Park

Might this not seem like an unlikely place you’d want to bring a stroller?

Lighthouse Park

This is Vancouver in the summertime

Photowalking from Granville Island to the West End

I often enjoy riding shotgun while Rebecca drives. It gives me the opportunity to experiment with taking photos from the car, which usually doesn’t always turn out the best. Sometimes it’s blurry, the windows might be dirty, another passing vehicle can ruin the shot, and so on.

Rolling down Pacific Street with the sun setting off in the distance, this is a testament of not knowing how something will turn out until you try.

And I feel like this really is what summer in Vancouver is all about.

While many people will say that it rains a lot in this part of the world and they couldn’t live here because of that reason, you have to smile and nod. On those days that it’s not, this city is a vastly different experience. I don’t mind saving my energy to convince them otherwise.

Being a part of history at Empire Field while helping spread it through social media

Empire Field: Still getting ready

The radio day job always gets me into places around Vancouver that I would probably not wander through if it weren’t for the opportunities that keep coming up, and Empire Field is no exception.

TEAM Radio is the official broadcaster of the BC Lions, so during our initial test setup for the first home game back in June, I brought my camera along to hopefully snap some photos of the field before the public got to wander in for a peek. What I didn’t anticipate was that while the first event to be held at this temporary stadium was just days away, workers were all over the place, still getting ready.

Empire Field: Still getting ready Empire Field: Still getting ready

While BC Place[wiki] gets a new roof downtown, Empire Field[wiki] has been built on the former site of Empire Stadium[wiki], which used to be the home of the BC Lions Canadian Football League team prior to moving into the dome in the early 80’s.

The crazy aspect to this stadium is that it’s completely temporary, but I find that hard to tell at times.

Aside from the field turf and the four sets of lights at each corner of the stadium, all of this will be gone by the summer of 2011. The BC Lions get one full season to call this place temporarily home, and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC will start their inaugural MLS season on the same field.

Empire Field: Still getting ready Empire Field: Still getting ready

Empire Field: Still getting ready

In all actuality, I’m not an overly huge football fan. I like to watch it, but I don’t actively seek it out. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the sport by any means. I’ve certainly let the CFL grow on me, even though punting the ball on 3rd down continues to throw me off from time to time.

What can I say? I grew up in small town America where Friday nights belong to high school football, Saturday’s are for college ball(Go Hawks!), and Sunday was NFL. Four downs(CFL has three), the flags are yellow(CFL flags are orange), and the only time you can score a single point is kicking the ball through the uprights after a touchdown(I’m still confused by all the various ways you can score a single point in the CFL, but oh well).

I encourage football fans with the NFL Network in the states to try and catch some of the CFL broadcasts they will be running this summer. Let the rules and twelve men on the field be the second thing you pay attention to. The action is what you should focus on.

Empire Field: Still getting ready

It’s really tough to comprehend that this stadium will only exist for barely over a year. With the mountains as a gorgeous backdrop and the close proximity of the fans to the field, this isn’t just a great place to watch football or soccer. I could see this being a great outdoor concert venue as well.

Empire Field: Still getting ready

Whatever happens to this place in the future, it’s a little rewarding to be involved in a tiny piece of Vancouver’s history. Just like people talk about Expo ’86 or when the Olympics were here, I can say I was there, running around the field, ducking into the double-wide trailers that make up the locker rooms, and hauled plenty of equipment up and down stairs to make the radio side of things happen.

Interestingly enough, my photos have made the rounds on a handful of sites promoting the environmental sustainability aspect of the stadium, most noticeably the recycled tires that makes up the field turf.

inhabitat.com uses my photos of Empire Stadium inhabitat.com:
Vancouver Soccer Stadium Made With 22,000 Recycled Tires
by Bridgette Meinhold, 06/29/10

Inhabitat used my photos to highlight the use of “22,000 recycled tires, amounting to 346,000 pounds of crumb rubber,” in the field turf that makes up the playing surface of Empire Field. While that’s pretty cool in itself, the playing field can actually be altered in terms of response by either vacuuming up those tiny bits of rubber or adding more to change the amount of bounce you get from the field.

They found my photos on Flickr and published them in a post with proper attribution. That’s social networking done right.



Italian site ecopnues.it uses my photos of Empire Stadium ecopnues.it:
Lo stadio da calcio di Vancouver costruito con 22.000 pneumatici fuori uso

I was contacted directly about using my photos in this post, and that request was in English. As you can tell by the title of this post, all of this site is in Italian. Ecopnues is an Italian website that focuses on the use of recycled tires, taking a cue from the previous post I’ve already highlighted.

What fascinates me is the theme of sustainability being immensely popular around the world. Empire Field certainly has its critics, but in the bigger picture, the long term benefits to the communities around this area is viewed positively by many.

Rebecca also has a post with many of my photos as well as her trip to see the field on the day it was unveiled to the media.

Empire Field is a limited time experience and well worth it. If you go and are the adventurous type, get some seats in the end zones. Space was so limited in the construction of this stadium that they couldn’t put nets up to prevent balls from going into the stands.

How’s that for a souvenir? Well, that is if you’re willing to work for it.

Yaletown from the Olympic Village without trying

Photowalking with The Reverend Don Deeley

Honestly, sometimes this city makes it easy to take beautiful photos of it. But in this case, this shot is more of an accident because I was only demonstrating the extra trigger I have on the battery grip for my Nikon D90. I held it to the side and just pushed the button.

Some photos, at least for me and are to my personal liking, are pure luck. Other times, it might be random. When you hit the sweet spot between the two, it’s immensely rewarding.

Hip shot down a Vancouver alley

Hip shot down alley off Smithe StreetI literally had my camera in my right hand but at hip level when I looked down this alley as I walked past and decided to hit the trigger for kicks and giggles. For the first time in a long time, I actually hit a decent perspective of a downtown alleyway in Vancouver, give or take what some locals might consider “typical”.