It’s no secret that I love visiting Victoria on B.C.’s Vancouver Island. While there, I always try to take advantage of as many photographic opportunities as possible.
Before leaving for the coast I learned about a 3-day photography workshop led by Sydney, B.C. professional, Dave Hutchinson. I had previously attended two workshops led by Dave in Tofino and Ukueltet. They were instrumental in starting me off with digital photography. This workshop would be based in Port Renfrew, B.C., about 2 hours west of Victoria on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved with Dave again. The photographic opportunities along this beautiful stretch of coastline are fantastic.
So, a spur of the moment decision had us take a drive to Port Renfrew then on to Cowichan Lake, Duncan and back to Victoria, the ‘Circle Route’. I hadn’t been to Port Renfrew since I was in high school. It was a four hour trip with many stops to observe and photograph the wonderful west coast scenery.
I was thrilled to learn that our trip to Victoria coincided with the 75th Annual Swiftsure Yacht Race, an event I had not witnessed for many years. Most of the racing yachts were tied up at the wharves in the Inner Harbour. Stragglers were still arriving late in the afternoon when I stepped onto the wharf. The late afternoon sun spread a warm glow over the scene. What a spectacle!
Photographing the pre race activities the evening prior to the official start of the race was very interesting. Flags and banners adorned a forest of masts. Last minute preparations were on going on many of the yachts. Predictably, pre race partying added a noisy backdrop to the entire colourful scene.
With some free time available I headed out for a long camera walk a few days before returning home. I treated this walk as a practice session. My camera with a 35mm lens attached was my only equipment.
Victoria’s ‘Y’ on Quadra Street was my departure point. I wound my way through streets and lanes, crossed the harbour to Fisherman’s Wharf on a jaunty water taxi then continued on to Ogden Point. From there I wandered through James Bay and Beacon Hill Park ultimately ending at a coffee shop on Cook Street. It was a great walk. I hoped that I would have many interesting images to evaluate.
Having a fixed focal length lens on my camera forced me to physically move to make my exposures, good practice in itself as is the use of aperture and shutter speed adjustments as creative tools.