Some shots from the Fraser River

Nic and I hobbled down to the Fraser yesterday and got some shots in before the weather turned (currently a rainfall warning is in effect for the next day). I should also point out that only I hobbled, as Nic’s feet are both working normally and mine are not (more on that in another post).


Patullo Bridge, SkyBridge and rail bridge at sunset
Tugboat doing what tugboats do
Ghost by the river bank
Freaky foliage
Golden light and still water

Ho ho ho, 2020 Edition

It’s Christmas already somewhere in the world. Here’s a close-up of our tree, just to be different, yet still festive all up in the hizzy.

Sunset at Coquitlam River

I haven’t posted any photos from the trip to the Crystal Falls Trailhead a few weeks back, so here’s one of some trees in the glow of the setting sun, with the Coquitlam River in the background.

Close to the borderline

The Canada-U.S. border, that is, not the Billy Joel song.

Here’s a mini-album of pics I took while Nic and I toodled around Boundary Bay and area on Saturday, November 28. The weather was cool but clear, with little wind. Perfect for picture-taking.

Me taking a photo of Nic taking a photo of the sunset at Crescent Beach
Sunset at Crescent Beach without Nic taking a picture of it
Sign in the public washroom at Centennial Beach warning you not to put happy little crabs in the urinals
Berries enjoying the sun at Centennial Beach
Two moons rising at Crescent Beach
Seagull log at Centennial Beach

Photo of the Day, November 24, 2020

A creepy, burned out house, a fiery bright sunset punching through an otherwise dark, dreary afternoon.

Nerdy fun fact: The iPhone 8 camera software could not handle the sky being bright and orange and seriously dialed down the intensity. I had to boost the vibrancy in Affinity Photo to get it back to what it actually looked like.

Photos of the Day, November 23, 2020

A few photos from around the neighborhood taken between showers.

Flower refusing to accept summer is over
Closed for the season. Or at least today.
Purple purple purple

Getting a camera

Something funny happened last Saturday. Well, it technically started before that, so let me back up even further.

We journey way back to the days of 2014, when U.S. presidents weren’t sociopaths and pandemics hadn’t been around for almost a hundred years. It was a simpler time.

In December, I upgraded my 16 GB iPhone 5C to a 64 GB iPhone 6. The new phone was bigger (but not too big), faster and all that good stuff.

We move forward three years to 2017. The U.S. president is now a sociopath, but there’s still no pandemic, so not totally awful. My iPhone 6 is starting to sputter a bit, performance-wise, though the battery is still fine for my modest needs. I deiced to upgrade to an iPhone 8. Other than a faster processor and support for wireless charging, it is functionally the same phone.

We move forward again to May 2018 when I get a kidney infection. This is not nearly as fun as getting a new phone. I lose over five pounds. I am forced to walk much slower than normal, because my innards hurt if I walk faster (my usual pace). This leads to a little bit of serendipity.

As I stroll the neighborhood, I begin to notice more and more details–flower beds, fruit-bearing trees and so on. I take out my phone and start taking pictures.

I take a lot of pictures.

In 2017, I took 510 photos. In 2018 that jumps to 1,149 and it stays that high (or higher) after.

We now catch up to the fall of 2020. My iPhone 8 is about the same age as my iPhone 6 was when it got replaced. Unlike the 6, the 8 still performs well, thanks to Apple’s CPU improvements. The battery, though, has suffered terribly. Is it due to taking so many more pictures? Hijinks related to wireless charging? Just generally a lot more use? I don’t know.

What I do know is that now, in November 2020, the battery on the phone is so bad I can’t go out for more than an hour without needing a power bank to revive it. So I made the sensible decision to replace it and conveniently, Apple has an entire line of new phones for me to choose from (I loves me Apple Watch too much to consider Android at this time).

At this point, you may be wondering, what does any of this have to do with getting a camera? I will explain.

Last Saturday Nic and I went to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary. Knowing my phone was likely to poop out, I did two things:

  • I brought along an Anker power bank that could fully charge the phone up to six times
  • I dug out my 12-year-old Canon Powershot point-and-shoot camera and charged it up to bring along, just in case

My initial plan was to use the camera as a backup in case the phone died. The phone did, in fact, die. I found I could tether it to the power bank and still take pictures, though (sort of like having a portable generator for it), so what I ended up doing was taking a lot of pictures with the phone, then the same shots with the camera to see how they’d compared. What I found was:

  • The camera still takes pretty good photos!
  • The 3x optical zoom allowed me to get shots that were impossible with the iPhone
  • Some of the photos from the camera were actually superior to those from the phone (some were not)

All of these–but especially the optical zoom–instilled in me a sudden yearning I did not have before. I wanted a standalone camera again. Surely this is madness, I thought. Do I really need a dedicated camera for most of the pictures I take? No. Would it allow me to take pictures I currently can’t? Yes! Would the pictures in general be better than what I’d get with a phone, even a fancy new iPhone 12? Yes again.

So now I want a camera, and I am starting to research models. My main criteria:

  • Must offer specs that put it above a smartphone, otherwise what’s the point?
  • Spec 1: High pixel count (iPhone cameras are 12 megapixel)
  • Spec 2: Good optical zoom. I’m thinking at least 8x but more is better
  • Spec 3: Must be capable of good night/low light shots
  • Spec 3: Must cost no more than around $1,000 because I’m not going full prosumer crazy here

I am starting by looking at point-and-shoot cameras that generally come with a single lens but still offer good quality, then seeing what else may be out there.

Oh, and I’m still getting a new phone, but now I may not need the best camera since a good camera will likely suffice. Look for a rambling long post about the new iPhones soon™.

A trip to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Nic and I went to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary on Saturday and I took a bunch of pictures with my iPhone 8…and my 12-year-old Canon Powershot SD1100. Why did I have my Canon digital camera with me? Because the battery on my iPhone has gone bonkers and barely lasts an hour. I also took a power bank with me and pretty much kept it tethered to the phone.

As a result, I have a lot of duplicate photos from both devices and the Canon held up quite well, given its age.

I also didn’t dress for the weather. I would have been fine, as it was clear and sunny and not too cold–around 8C–but once the wind picked up, I became jealous of the ducks and their down.

We didn’t see any snow geese, which was a bit of a bummer, but more reason to go back, especially since I now know to wear 15 layers.

Photo of the Day, August 16, 2020

And speaking of hot, I took a long walk on this toasty day and appreciated that the sky was actually blue and not a dull yellow from forest fires. Here is Burnaby Lake, which I was tempted to jump into.