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Friday, June 22, 2012

2nd trip this year to Green Timbers - June 20, 2012

The second trip out to Green Timbers in two days wasn't as productive as the first. However, I felt that I had to take advantage of the "blue sky" which has been very rare in the Fraser Valley this year. The opportunities to get blue sky in the photograph have been few and far between and one has to jump on it when it happens. So that's how I found myself in Green Timbers.

Problems happened from the moment I got there. I could see that there were a lot of people taking advantage of the sunny day to get some fishing in. And that in itself caused a lot of the waterfowl to take to the water, completely putting the more skittish ones like a pied billed grebe out of camera lens range considering that I was shooting with my 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII for the IQ.

Contrary to labeled photo; this was a baby pied-billed grebe.

The plus was that the trails were well lit and I didn't have much of a problem shooting the trails hand-held. It was worth the effort to walk over to Green Timbers just for the opportunity to shoot those images.

After I spotted the pied-billed grebe and had several attempts to try to unsuccessfully capture an image, I shot a still unsuccessful and heavily cropped image of two basking turtles on a rock. I kept swearing to myself that if I had the 600mm lens, I'd have been able to shoot a much clearer image of the rarely seen turtles at the pond. They tend to come out to bask on a sunny day. I was eyeing the rock hoping to see the great blue heron there, but alas, no luck happened to be with me. I guess I must have used it up yesterday.

There is a small bridge and trail in Green Timbers which is a popular little photo opportunity for me. Usually when I've shot, I've underexposed this, so being able to get this was a small treat. I take what photographic victories I can get; especially on a day like this.

Having seen so many people out at Green Timbers with not much opportunity to shoot ducks, I decided that I would return to Whalley-Surrey Central and go to Holland Park to shoot floral. With that made up, I made my way along 100th Avenue and over to the Best Buy. Luck was with me there, as there was brilliant blue sky and I was able to capture this image of one of my favorite bushes, the pink dogwood tree.

This is the reason why I tell people that they need to have a circular polarizer. The CIRC-POL, as I call it for short, intensifies the blue in the sky where ever there is blue to be seen. Mine is a Hoya 62 CIRC-POL and I've had it almost from the time I bought my 70-300mm f/4-5.6 G (non-VR) lens. It pretty much is a permanent fixture on there and I rarely take it off other than when I want to shoot on cloudy days. Of course, if I don't mind the 1 stop loss of exposure, I tend to shoot with it also on cloudy days to intensify the tonal quality of the clouds or on most cloudy days, bare, you'd end up getting a static grey sky with no texture whatsoever. With a circular polarizer you intensify the texture of the cloudy sky and you're able to post-process that to bring it out since you don't lose any tones in the texture.

I'm looking forward to shooting more photography over at Green Timbers. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to see some osprey as well as observe fishing by the resident bald eagles. Green Timbers is a treasure trove in the centre of an urban community and I'm glad that I live so close to it.

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