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.

Photowalk: Iona Beach

Google Maps is chalk full of places for you to discover locations that are begging to be explored, especially with a camera. One of these is Iona Beach, an area Rebecca and I have wanted to check out for a while.

Iona Beach: April 2010

Once you get past the airport and head out to this narrow stretch of land, you can walk along a good mile of shoreline and vast sandbars during low tide. Aside from the number of tires and lumber products in my shots, this is really a beautiful place. You could easily spend a day at the beach out here, but the pet friendly folks were all over on this day.

The weather was cool and cloudy when we started out, but the sun and warmth eventually showed up as we hit the turn around point to venture back.
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Vancouver 2010: Rewind

Vancouver 2010: Paralympic Cauldron Photowalk

My coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics came and went like a dream. It’s hard to imagine that it actually happened yet alone that the closing ceremonies were just a few weeks ago.

I wandered down to the cauldron after work the other day to snap some pictures of the flame while it burns for the remainder of the 2010 Paralympics. I’m ashamed at my lack of coverage of this portion of the games, but there is simply not enough time to get out to everything that I’d like to with the day job taking up much of my weekdays.

True North Media House, on the other hand, has been going strong this entire time. There has been a great representation of social media generated content during the Paralympics, probably giving more timely and accesible coverage to these events than what the official broadcast rights holders are producing.

At least what I know is that if I want to know how the sledge hockey games are going, all I have to do is tune into Twitter for score updates. Shortly after that, you can expect to see photos on Flickr with the tnmh tag.

That being said, seeing the flame burning in the light of the setting sun, I thought I’d go back through all of my own pictures and highlight some of my favorite shots.
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Vancouver 2010: Day 17 – Gold medal hockey at Robson Square and the closing ceremonies

Vancouver 2010: Day 16 It already seems like the last day of the Olympics were months ago, and it barely seems like the greatest hockey game that I have ever seen yet alone been in such close proximity to. This was probably one of the single, biggest days in this country’s history, and I was in the midst of it all.

And truth be told, I took the photo of this sign the day before this day. It really should have been a sign of what was about to come.

Many people probably know about how the USA had a hockey game with Canada for the gold medal. If not, read this.

Vancouver 2010: Day 17 - Robson Square, Men's Gold Medal Hockey Game

What many people in the U.S. probably don’t understand is that this game isn’t a matter of bragging rights. While that can and most likely will happen, it goes beyond that. This game was the cherry on top of the Canadian pride that has come out of hiding and been embraced like I’ve never seen before.

And when Crosby scored the game winner…

Vancouver 2010: Day 17 - Robson Square, Men's Gold Medal Hockey Game

Vancouver 2010: Day 17 - Robson Square, Men's Gold Medal Hockey Game
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Vancouver 2010: Day 16 – BCIMC, Mint, Canada’s Northern House, and Sochi House

Vancouver 2010: Day 16

If you’ve noticed a media badge hanging around my neck in various photos during the games, the BC International Media Centre is what one of those things allows me access to. This is where the non-accredited media hang out because we can’t get the officially recognized Olympics accreditation that is controlled by VANOC.

Vancouver 2010: Day 16

As lacking as that might sound in terms of media access, the BCIMC was a remarkable place to work out of. Aside from the responsibilities I’ve had with the radio stations, I’m also able to plug in my laptop, process photos, and upload a lot of content on their wickedly fast internet pipe.

Just ask John Biehler about how many photos he took of the various athletes they brought through for press conferences. Within minutes, he could have photos processed, uploaded, and published. He and Rebecca made a pretty solid team with the amount of coverage they’ve produced while using the BCIMC as a hub for operations.
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Vancouver 2010: Day 14 – Pin traders and our wedding anniversary

Vancouver 2010: Day 14 - Downtown crowds

It is really hard to imagine what Vancouver is going to be like when everything is said and done. Canadians are so proud to be who they are, and I really hope everyone in this country maintains that sense of pride in some sort of way. In my lifetime, it’s only been times of crisis or war that I’ve seen a country come together the same way these Olympics has. It’s simply amazing.
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Vancouver 2010: Day 13 – The Manitoba Homecoming Social

Vancouver 2010: Day 13 - Robson Square at night

One thing that makes it tough to enjoy the games on an everyday basis is that pesky day job. Though when done for the day, everyone seems to bolt out the door at quitting time like it’s time for recess.

Vancouver 2010: Day 13 - Robson Square at night

Vancouver 2010: Day 13 - Granville Street at night

In the evening, Rebecca and I ventured back down to Granville Street and into the Commodore Ballroom once again. However, this night saw the same place that hosted Club Bud be transformed into the Manitoba Homecoming Social.

Vancouver 2010: Day 13 - Manitoba Homecoming Social at Commodore Ballroom

Even VANOC CEO John Furlong dropped in to say a few words and give a gift of appreciation to the Premiere of Manitoba, Greg Selinger.

Vancouver 2010: Day 13 - Manitoba Homecoming Social at Commodore Ballroom And even though I’ve been able to get my hand on a lot of freebies during the games, nothing will compare to the fishing lure keychain they handed out at the front door. I had a lot of neighbors growing up who took many fishing trips directly north of Iowa and over the Canadian border, so this was all too fitting.

Now, from what I understand, these “socials” are something of a trademark to Manitoba. Kind of what seems like a hoedown to me, apparently it’s common to have cheese cubes, kielbasa, other sliced meats, rye bread, and mustard served on a table for all to enjoy. And this is what appeared around the venue for the duration of the night.

It might seem like I’m joking, but while hanging out and wondering if this is what they actually do in Manitoba and also wondering if anyone at the event was from that province, it turns out that we were surrounded by people from there. On top of that, a lot of them kept saying that “this is just like home,” somewhat confirming that, yes, this is what a Manitoba social is like.
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Vancouver 2010: Day 12 – Olympics on YouTube

Vancouver 2010: Day 12 - No stopping anywhere

Truth be told, this was the only photo I took during the entire 12th day of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. It’s not that I wasn’t taking anything in or running around the city. As the rain returned to the lower mainland, there was a noticeable reduction in the amount of people celebrating downtown. Rebecca and I are still battling through colds, so it’s more comfortable to relax on the couch and let the TV bring the games to us.

What I did discover is the amount of content finding its way onto YouTube. Some of it’s official, others… maybe not so much. Regardless, I wanted to share some stuff that I’m seeing on both sides of the borders that deserves to be shared with the world because if you weren’t watching it live, you probably missed your chance to see it.
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Vancouver 2010: Day 11 – Flickr meetup in Yaletown and Rebecca on CBC Radio 3

At this point in the games, I think Vancouver is a little worn down from all of the excitement of what’s been going on up to this point. That’s not to say that the excitement is any less, but it just seems a little quieter.

Vancouver 2010: Day 11 - Flickr meetup in Yaletown

After a pretty normal workday, it was really cool to head down into Yaletown to check out the official Flickr meetup, put on by the folks at Yahoo! themselves.

Vancouver 2010: Day 11 - Flickr meetup in Yaletown

Vancouver 2010: Day 11 - Flickr meetup in Yaletown Aside from the familiar and not so familiar faces that I see at an event like this, members of the IOC were in attendance to talk about some of their efforts into the realm of social media.

More importantly, these guys were there to talk specifically about the sharing of images taken at Olympic events, which is a highly debated topic among many photographers involved with the True North Media House project.

Vancouver 2010: Day 11 - Flickr meetup in Yaletown Essentially, the IOC is endorsing the sharing of your photographs on their Vancouver 2010 Olympic Photo Group on Flickr. This maintains their stance on what you can and can’t do with the photographs taken within Olympic venues. They want you to share what you see and shoot with the world but not use them for personal profit.

Talking to the guys from the IOC, it was even more interesting to hear them talk about Sochi 2014. Essentially, what you will see in Whistler right now is being built from scratch for the Olympics in Russia. They’re tunneling from the city of Sochi to the other side of a nearby mountain where many of the outdoor events like alpine, sliding, and ski jump will magically appear by the time 2014 is on the horizon. You had to agree with them that a project like that is daunting, amazing, and scary all at the same time.

Vancouver 2010: Day 11 - Miss604 on CBC Radio 3

Our evening took a brief detour up to Georgia Street for a quick appearance of Rebecca on CBC Radio 3 with Lisa Christiansen. They had a great setup outside on their recently renovated concourse, and kudos to them for doing their research on their guests. As some one who works in the industry, we cannot have enough of this by on air personalities, if it not being an absolute must. All you aspiring broadcast stars should write that one down.

We wrapped up the night at the Flickr party, having a lot of fun with close friends and recounting everything that we’ve seen and has happened. I even got a free, one year pro membership extension!

Flickr Meetup @ Yahoo Funcouver
Flickr Meetup @ Yahoo Funcouver, Photo by John Biehler on Flickr

It’s been a lot of fun to see how True North Media House has come together over the course of the months before the games and during. A lot of great stuff has been coming through all sorts of channels by self-accredited media contributors, documentarians, writers, bloggers, photographers, Twitter, and everything else yet to come.