A road trip to Peachland.

      Lakefront view

Peachland town clock

Boat dock flag

Orange wall with green lamp   Wall lamp

Church window

Roof stars

My friend Dave called and said, “Want to go on a road trip to Peachland tomorrow?”

Peachland is an easy two and a half hour drive south from my home in Pritchard along highway 97 and although the elevation of both Pritchard and Peachland is the same at 1,180 feet, it is still quite cold at my house with lots of snow, while Peachland was a balmy +13c with slowly greening grass along the road and the lakefront.

So without hesitation I agreed, and when Dave parked his truck in my snow packed driveway at 9am the next morning, I was ready with a 18-200mm lens mounted on my camera and we drove south through the wide Okanagan valleys toward Peachland.

I like the small community that is mostly located on a hillside beside the 135 km long Okanagan Lake and always enjoy wandering its lake front street with my camera. In the summer the restaurants, shops and park are filled with people, but this time of year it is easy to get photographs without anyone getting in the way and I walked back and forth across the street while photographing interesting features on the buildings without worrying about cars.

Dave had his 150-500mm Sigma and began photographing some ducks and fifty or so American Coots (I think some them Mud ducks) swimming in the small boat harbor.

As we stood talking in the warm sun I looked across the lake trying to see the infamous Rattlesnake Island, where the legendary Ogopogo is said to have it’s home.

Ogopogo is the name given to a 40 to 50 foot long sea monster allegedly seen in Okanagan Lake since the 19th century. However, because the evidence is limited to blurry photographs, unbelievers suggest that the sightings are misidentifications of common animals like big otters or floating logs.

I like mysteries and I thought how nice it would be to get a nice sharp picture of that elusive beast with my 18-200mm.  Heck, I’d even share he moment with my friend Dave. After all, he had a 150-500mm lens and surely get a closer picture than me. But the Ogopogo monster wasn’t interested in getting it’s picture taken and was most likely hiding out of site in the lake depths. So, with a disappointed sigh, I left my friend to photograph the cute little Coots and walked down the street to get a picture of the town clock.

I have mentioned before that I like photographing buildings, and strolling along sidewalks with my camera, in cities, large or small is exhilarating. Whether the architecture is low and flat, skyscraping, old bricked, wooden or shiny metal and glass, I always find something different to photograph.

This time I was a bit hurried, we wanted get home before dark and Dave had almost another hour to go after dropping me off. So I ran back and forth trying to limit my photos to shadows, roof ledges and windows. Ok, I strayed from that goal a bit, oh well. Anyway I expect to be back soon.

Summer is on its way and wife and I expect to do some driving around British Columbia. My short trips will always include architectural photography opportunities in the towns and cities I visit and I think its fun to change the visual story by picking out intimate features or only a small part of a scene instead of making a photograph of the whole structure.

I always enjoy comments. Thanks, John

My website is at www.enmanscamera.com

Wandering City Streets with my Camera

        

I enjoy wandering city streets with my camera because I think the possibilities for photographs of cityscapes are endless.  Let me begin by saying that my wife and I were in Kelowna, British Columbia,Canada, doing cleanup and some renovations to a house we own and rent out.

The day had been long and with lots of work done and we had reached the time when we wanted to just stop, rest, and find something to eat. Linda had said she had a craving for souvlaki. I don’t’ get cravings the way she does. Hers are always for some specific taste or particular food, while mine is just for food. She, of course, gets irritated with me when she asks for my help, “What would you like?” and I respond, “Hmmm….food”. So we stopped, washed up, and found a Greek restaurant called Yamas where I ordered souvlaki and she ordered lamb. Well, so much for her craving.

The day had been clear and bright, and at 7:30pm the sun was dropping and making the cityscape a mosaic of glittering glass, cold metal, coloured concrete, and deep, shadowy silhouettes. The sun on the downtown architectural features created angles, shapes, shadows, and textures.

I began this by writing “The possibilities for photographs are endless.”  Summer in the vacation city of Kelowna mean streets filled with tourists walking or bicycle riding, exotic cars, prowling Harley Davidson motorcycles, and just about any kind of architecture one wants. A photographer only has to select a subject.

So after one of those meals that makes one so satisfied that you must bump up the tip a bit to the waitress, we wandered out into that exciting scene and Linda suggested I take her back to the house so I could do what a photographic opportunist like me is most fond of, wandering.

I spent my time looking up, over, and around, jaywalking, precariously standing in the street, and oblivious to those that have just as much right to a sidewalk as I do.  I pointed my camera and made exposure after exposure, so totally preoccupied with what I was seeing and the act of photographing that, I admit, I do get caught up in what I am photographing.

On this occasion I had decided to only capture parts or specific details of the architecture, and not the whole building, as part of the city’s landscape; just small parts of buildings that engaged me. I wanted shadows on the concrete, glaring and reflecting glass, the contrast of bricks, concrete, metal, and glass, against the sky or other buildings, and patterns of everything.

Our dinner had lasted long and the return trip taking my wife home took away time so I had to move fast, because evening shadows were growing and starting to take over the valleys between the tall buildings in a dim, flat scene, without the defining contrast that separates features.

When I finally put the lens cap on my camera and headed for the car I did notice bright neon signs turning on and bright light pouring from a couple of nearby bars, but both had some intense looking characters glaring menacingly at me and my camera, so I continued walking without composing a picture. I’ll leave those shots for another day when I can shoot and rush off without being weighed down with too much Greek food, or better yet, to younger photojournalists. I’ll stick to photographing buildings.

My website at www.enmanscamera.com