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.

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.

A little love for Leo the Lion

First BC Lions football game at Empire Field Working the first BC Lions game felt like being a part of Vancouver history. I know I’m not from here, but this little boy (and his sister is in the other mascot’s arm) made me appreciate this day a little bit more. He was absolutely beaming to hug Leo.

And let’s be honest, this guy in a mascot outfit is simply a marketing tool of the football club. He gets the crowd pumped up, trots around on the field to reinforce the imagery of the team everyone in the stands are cheering for, and keeps the kids coming back for more and more.

Even when you understand all too well that there is a hefty business reason for Leo’s existence, it’s this one moment that you have to forget this.

In ten or twenty years, this little boy will recount the one year they whipped up a stadium in 111 days for there to be professional, Canadian football to be played here for just one season in Vancouver.

When all the stands are tore down and all that remains is the legacy of an artificial turf field and the four sets of lights, he might recount how his parents took him to a game one day, and even though the Lions lost in the final seconds of the first game to be played in the history of this temporary stadium, he even got to meet Leo and give him a big hug.

That’s why I took this picture.

Marlboro Scales

WSSF 2010 - Blogger House

I shot this during a weekend in Whistler with our fabulous hosts, Tourism Whistler.

They put us up in a first rate, private residence that you can rent out for periods of time, depending on how deep your pockets are and how long you want to stay. This was on the deck at the back of the house during the 2010 Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival in April.

Scales has become a good friend of mine here in Vancouver and a complete inspiration for my coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. He’s a constant reminder to keep challenging myself to be better at what I do while taking the time to enjoy life off the grid here and there.

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”.

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protests

What was kind of expected, the protesters took hold in Vancouver in the Coal Harbour and west end area this morning. Rebecca said there was coverage on TV of the action, and when Duane and I saw that the group was heading up Robson Street, we grabbed our cameras and ran out to get some shots.

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

I also shot video while walking behind the crowd. It was impromptu and shaky, but I think it captures some of the atmosphere.

You can see all of the photos I shot in this Flickr set.

People were following this crowd, picking up knocked over newspaper boxes this group of protesters were knocking over as they walked through the streets. The police asked the same man in the video above to cease this act for his own safety. Duane and I stopped following the group shortly after this point for our own safety as well.

Rebecca has a post up. Duane Storey, John Biehler, and Kris Krug all have coverage of this as well.

Squamish: The city between Vancouver 2010 and Whistler, B.C.

On the way back from picking up our media badges from the Whistler Media House, we made a stop over in Squamish, B.C. to tool around the town and see more than the two main pit stops that most people think of when they drive through.

Sunday in Squamish

It goes without saying that there is always more than meets the eye, but it was pretty quick to see why people who live here call this place paradise. Cinci from EAT Communications took us out on a personal tour of the area she calls home.

Sunday in Squamish

Sunday in Squamish

This is where the snow melts from the mountains, runs down their sides, and flows between these banks on the way to the ocean. The water here was crystal clear. You could see why this spot, not far from downtown Squamish, was one of Cinci’s favorite places.

Sunday in Squamish

China and Goose also came along for our explorations, running and playing the whole time in what would probably be like an amusement park for a little kid. This was as close as I could get to get one of these girls to sit still long enough for a shot.

Sunday in Squamish

The playfulness of the dogs was contagious, and DaveO couldn’t help but claim this rusted out jeep. I can’t fathom how it got there, but you just have to recall that this is the outdoor capitol of Canada. Wind surfing, kite surfing, rock climbing, mountain trails, biking, running, camping, etc. So the fact that this bucket of rust is here can’t be all that surprising.

Whistler Olympic Volunteers Boat

This cruise ship was brought to the dock in Squamish as housing quarters for Olympics volunteers in Whistler. Aside from the major road work that upgraded the Sea to Sky Highway that passes through the town, this is the main extent of involvement for this community even though its proximity is near geographically in the middle of Vancouver and Whistler.

The people staying here are apparently bused from this boat to the local Wal-Mart parking lot for staging. Volunteers stock up at the local superstore for everyday living as they go between the boat and Whistler Village, bypassing the core of the Squamish downtown community.

So what does downtown Squamish have to offer that these people might be missing?
Continue reading “Squamish: The city between Vancouver 2010 and Whistler, B.C.”

Getting a feeling for the 2010 Olympics in Whistler with six days before Opening Ceremonies

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

We made a mad dash this past Sunday to Whistler to snag our media accreditation at the Media Centre near the main village. It was a nice opportunity to get a low level feeling on how things are getting prepared for the beginning of the 2010 games at the end of this week.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

A lot like Vancouver, people are exploring what’s already in place and snapping pics, much like myself.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

Signage is everywhere. What to do, where to go to do it, etc.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

Lanyards are as in force in Whistler as they are in Vancouver. So far, I’m up to having three that I’ll be taking with me where ever I go.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

Ticket sales for events look to be steady. The line here wasn’t too hectic and no one seemed overly disgruntled while waiting in line. That sounds strange, but some prices for tickets are getting way too far out of my range for even consideration. I’ve heard a number of people who are happy to have the tickets but not so much when they talk about how much they paid for them.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

I think it’s safe to say that the fever has started to rise in Whistler. They have all the snow, but getting up there is the tricky part.

Sea to Sky Highway looks great and is ready to handle the people flowing to and from, but we did see an accident on the way up that was enough to raise plenty of concern for anyone I’ve talked to about it. Basically, the road splits into three lanes about five times between Horseshoe Bay and Whistler. Two lanes is for traffic going one way and one lane for the opposite direction.

Speaking to people who live in the area, there is a lot of concern that even locals are getting confused by these temporary barriers and lane changes that the risk of accidents is actually increased by them. Basically it’s the premise of knowing something like the back of your hand, and these alterations, albeit subtle and only for a short period of time, will make driving this road even more treacherous when you combine all the Olympics traffic and people who are even less familiar with how much care you need to take on this road.

Whistler Village: -5 Days to Vancouver 2010

All fears aside, Whistler looks ready for the games. The people will come, but it should also be said that if you get up there to see some events, you can still spend some time skiing and enjoy the slopes while you’re there. Doing the same around Vancouver might be tough because even if you can get up the mountains, you might have a hard time finding some snow. Not so much in Whistler, that’s for sure.