Vancouver skyline; After-Before

Vancouver skyline reflected in Coal Harbour in the fog; copyright jmeyersforeman
Vancouver skyline reflected in Coal Harbour in the fog; copyright jmeyersforeman 

Vancouver is on the list of favourite places to visit, it isn’t  just the great skyline and photo opportunities, but when we are in the city there is family and friends to spend time with. Even the dullest most boring places are made better with friends and family. Here is an image taken just a couple of weeks ago. Fog and mist hanging in the air, made for still water and great reflections.

I have been following Visual Venturing written by Stacey Fisher for quite sometime, she features an “After-Before Friday” blog. The posts provide an opportunity for photographers (amateur and seasoned, alike) to share their photos, and if they wish, their post-processing decisions. The photos provide the post-processing descriptions, the “how.” The goal is to enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at others’ work while picking up helpful ideas along the way that each of us can use as we work with our own photos.

This photo and blog post has been submitted to the forum, the first time I have submitted to the “after-before friday”  There are many ways to process an image, each photographer has their own ideas, the tools I use and list below work for me. I am hoping to continue to learn from the other photographer and I am excited to be on of the contributors this week!

here is the raw/unprocessed image that I started with

Vancouver Coal Harbour; copyright jmeyersforeman
Vancouver Coal Harbour; copyright jmeyersforeman  

taking the image into Nik Colour Effects 4 and some of the steps that were required to make the final image.

Screenshot 2014-09-30 09.23.06

I added a Levels & Curve layer to the lower 1/2 of the image; using control points we are able to add or subtract adjustments to specific areas of the image. I then added a Cross Processing C-41-E6-C04 layer again to the lower 2/3’s of the image. I did not want the colour process to change the colour of the sky, but to the buildings and water. I then added a Classical Soft Focus layer to the image to enhance the softness to the foggy day. If you look closely to the last image I added a control point to the tall building to bring back some of the detail.  Bringing the image back into Lightroom I increased the exposure slightly to brighten the sky.

There are times when I know very specifically the image I want to create when I click the shutter, other times I appreciate the post processing tools that I have at my disposal, and use them to “find” the image that works. In this case I knew the image I wanted to create, knowing and working with the post processing tools allowed me to create the final image in a relatively short period of time.

I hope you will hop over to Visual Venturing and check out the other photographers work.



Fraser Valley, Vancouver British Columbia

Fraser River, Vancouver BC, Canada,
Fraser River, Vancouver BC, Canada, 

Before going east I had the opportunity to fly to Vancouver, and I wanted to share this lovely view of the Fraser River at sunset.

My idea of inflight entertainment watching out the window, and of course taking photos.  I never really tire of the view, watching the clouds, seeing the landscape from the miles above.  More than likely I will be posting a few more images of what I have seen out the window of the airplane. I hope you enjoy the view as much as I have.


Meconopsis; Blue Himalayan Poppy in the UBC Bontanical Garden

Blue himalayan poppy in the sunshine
Blue Himalayan poppy in the sunshine

Last summer we visited the University Botanical Gardens , their canopy walk was so much fun, and their gardens a mix of BC rainforest, alpine garden, and asian garden, they have a food garden, and so much more.

This beautiful Blue Himalayan Poppy had a tiny bit of sunshine shining through the forest on it, the head was so heavy it was hanging down.  There I was laying on the ground trying to get this image. Luck was with me, first it wasn’t windy, and the poppy was sitting quietly in the sun. Secondly, only a couple of people came by and looked at me as I was laying there in the flower bed, lucky one of the gardener was not one of them. I am always very respectful about the gardens, not stepping or crushing anything else as I maneuver through to get the image I want.

I am not the greatest gardener, so it is no surprise that I have had no luck growing this beautiful flower, and I take time to photograph them when I get a chance. What is your favourite flower?

More beautiful flower images are available for licensing or printing at my gallery.

Lily at the Bloedel Conservatory, Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver BC

lily at the Bloedel Conservatory, Vancouver BC
lily at the Bloedel Conservatory, Vancouver BC

Now for something completely different. I have been publishing a lot of different portraits lately. People I have met and worked with, so I thought it was time to mix it up a little.  Flowers are always so beautiful that I can’t help but take pictures of them.  Especially when visiting a conservatory as lovely as the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver BC.

It is april in Calgary, and I have heard that spring bulbs are starting to appear in people’s gardens, not in mine, and we are going to have snow today, with colder than normal temperatures predicted for the rest of the week.  I do miss the flowers.

For this image I used Nik Silver Effects Pro to creat a black and white layer then reduced the opacity to allow a small amount of the color to come through. Since the flower in the original image was a bright red, it came through with a little color while the rest remain dark.

One Happy Little Girl!

One happy little girl
One happy little girl

One happy little girl! Just looking at Sophie’s bright smile brings a smile to my face.  hopefully it brightens your day just a little

Rocky Reflection, Stanley Park Vancouver BC

Rocky Reflection_Stanley Park_Vancouver BC_in Black and White

Vancouver BC is a beautiful city to visit, and Stanley Park a favourite attraction of those visiting the city. This photo taken during one of our early morning walks while visiting the city last May. It was a little cool, and a little rainy, the pond was still and the light perfect for reflections.

False Creek, Vancouver BC, reflections of high rise towers at sunset.

water reflections, false creek vancouver bc, at sunset
Water Reflections False Creek Vancouver BC, motion and zooming.

I have been concentrating on portraits for a while, and trying to get caught up processing all the portraits sessions I have been doing, so today I thought I would spend a couple of minutes and bring you something a little different.  A couple of months ago we were visiting Vancouver BC, staying in an apartment booked through VROB (vacation rentals by owner) a great site I highly recommend. One evening we went down for a short walk and to watch the sunset. I wanted to take some long exposures of the water and rocks. After using several different exposure lengths to  see the effects the different times had on the water, I decided to do a few shots zooming my telephoto lens while the shutter was open.

Here you can see the high-rise buildings of downtown Vancouver, with the sunset behind, their reflection on the water. It has a smoky fire effect, rather than water and reflection.  In the bottom of the frame you can see how the rocks have change position, both from right to left and in a vertical line pointing into the frame.  you can see my original image Water and Rocks

leaves in the light

We were at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver last Thursday with friends Jan and Dave.  Dave is also an avid photographer, and very good at this craft. It is always interesting to go out others especially when someone in the  our group is a photographer as it  inspires me  to see thing “in a new light”  no pun intended!  Through our discussion about what we are seeing and experiencing gives me pause for thought and can open my eyes in a new way.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge has a rich history, and with the suspension bridge, cliff walk, and treetop walk, there is so much to see. I would recommend that if you are in the Vancouver area that you make time for a visit it.

The photo also makes me more conscious of the light; the dynamic range of most cameras is 5 to 7 stops, while the dynamic range of our eyes is 10 -14  stops.  While this might not mean a lot to most people, this photo is a good example;  here the camera records the light on the tree leaves, almost as I viewed them – iridescent green glowing among the trees. That is where the similarities end. When I looked at the leaves as they were Thursday afternoon I could see the beautiful light on the leaves, but I could also see the warm browns of the forest floor, the grey of the tree trunks, all was visible to my eye only the leaves were recorded by the camera.  Understanding what my camera might record in a given situation and how to manage the dynamic range to show people what I find interesting has been one of my greatest challenge, one I hope I have started to master.


Vancouver BC skyline at Sunset

we were rewarded this week with many great evenings and sunsets during our stay in Vancouver.  Simply beautiful.