Saturday, January 01, 2011

Blazing farewell to 2010

The last day of 2010, the sun put on a show for us. At dawn, it set the clouds on fire:

7:56 AM. Sunrise is at 8:07.
In the early afternoon, we drove in to New Westminster to check out the plantings along the Quay. It was chilly, barely above freezing (it had gone down to -6 overnight) and the air was clear. It seemed like nothing was between us and the sun. And it was outdoing itself, making up for all those dull days last week; I had to dig out my darkest sunglasses. On the quay, what with the sun glaring at the glassy river, the big-windowed offices and hotels, and all the white railings, my camera rebelled. "Too much light!" it said, blinking madly at me. I closed down the aperture, sped it up to its maximum, forgot to reduce the ISO. The camera kept blinking. Any photos I took turned out mostly white.

Laurie's camera was a bit more co-operative, but not much.

There's always a way around difficulties. We could take advantage of those shining windows, and take photos of the view in the reflections:

In a dusty window, a "vintage" photo of the river and the Alex Fraser bridge.

Coming around a building, I happened to look right up at the sun. Even through my sunglasses, it blinded me for a while. But for that instant, I saw a rainbow-like halo around it. Ice crystals.
This photo, taken through a corner office window, shows the halo, as I had seen it.

Logs and barges on the far shore, and the glare off the water.

I found a shadowy window, and got a photo of the mountains, the Port Mann, and the Skytrain bridges.


Another solution was to zoom 'way in, take macros, which reduces the light entering the lens.

Miniature cotoneaster.


White ornamental cabbage. Looks better close-up than at normal distances.

Or find bits of shade and then zoom in:

Lichen on a black tree trunk. 

Pansy under a hedge.

I even tried taking a photo through my sunglasses:

Ornamental cabbages and kale.

Laurie took photos of the reflections underneath the promenade:

White railings and the blackness under the pilings.

On the way back, now close to sunset, the light was dimming, finally. And with our backs to the sun, we didn't even have to squint!

Viburnum. I love how it flowers at New Year's every year! No leaves, just the flowers and buds.

Unidentified tree that keeps its leaves, long and skinny and curly, all winter.

We went up to 6th and 6th for tea. It was a relief to drive into the dark basement parking lot. When we left, just before 5, night was falling. Beautiful blue night!

A Skywatch post.


  1. Thank you! The same to you, too.

    I love your blog, and have added it to my reader. Great idea feeding garbage fish to the birds! We should do that here.

  2. Oh to have such a problem at the coast! I guess all the gray days have dulled the vision for even the cameras. You sure managed to effectively get around the problem.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Happy new year Susannah.
    Love the paddlewheeler and skytrain pics as well as Lauries reflections in the water. That beautiful sunrise too and it made similar colours going down tonight. And the blossoming going on that dosn't seem possible on Jan 1!
    Thanks for the eye candy.


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