Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Landscape Final Project – Iona Island


The first time that I visited Iona Island was last June. The Fella thought that I might enjoy a romantic evening stroll by the ocean - I did not realise, until I got to the island, that this stroll was a 9km hike along a sewage pipe, next to a treatment plant, underneath the jumbo aeroplanes landing at Vancouver's International Airport. At that point, I wrote the island off as any kind of serious destination!

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However, on the 21st January this year, we had mixed sunshine and clouds. I was driving home and I could see this big, beautiful sky but no way to photograph it without the interference of the surrounding urban landscape. At that point, I remembered Iona Island. I raced over there to get shots of the clouds in the sky. Also, while I was there, I spent some time watching people come and go, walking their dogs and exercising along the sewage pipe. Human sewage aside, it was really refreshing to be outside with lots of unfettered sky to enjoy. In fact, although it is very close to Vancouver and the airport, Iona Island still feels like quite a wild place - I even saw a short eared owl out hunting for prey.

I started to see why people enjoy visiting the park, even though I confess that I am still struggling with the sewage aspect of it. My final landscape project was the result of a number of different trips that I took to Iona Island in order to photograph the sky, the log booms, the beach and the people who visit the park.

Project Objectives

These are the objectives that I set myself:

  • Capture a series of images of a single place, at the same time of day but in different weather conditions;
  • Capture images of people interacting with the landscape/park;
  • Capture images of human interference with nature/the landscape;
  • Shoot lots of sky (my view of it is a bit restricted at home by the urban landscape);
  • Practice simplicity in my landscape compositions; and
  • Utilise some of the creative techniques discussed in class:
    • Creative filters (neutral density; graduated; polariser);
    • Long and short exposures;
    • HDR.

Project Results

My images were taken on different days. However, I timed my trips to the park so that they took place at approximately the same time, each visit. I did this to keep light consistent (so my images would work as a set) and also to see how weather affects the colour and mood of the landscape on different days.

Log Booms, Iona Island

Intro Sheet

The log booms are an impressive sight, even though they are simply evidence of the local logging industry.

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I like the fact that at Iona Island, it is possible to look North and it appears that there is nothing much in that direction, except trees, until the mountains. It is as though the city of Vancouver does not exist.

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I was also happy to capture images that illustrates the magic trick that the weather plays on us regularly here in Vancouver. Sometimes, the mountains dominate the horizon. Then, when it rains, they vanish completely behind clouds!

Iona Beach – Logging Industry

These two images further indicate the presence of the logging industry in and around the park:

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Sawn driftwood and escaped logs along the tide line of the beach

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A discarded pile of wood shards

When we got married in Tofino last year, I was astonished at the quantity of escapee logs (whole tree trunks) that were washed up on the shores of the beaches. It seemed like such a waste of natural resources that otherwise might still be standing in a forest somewhere. The problem is not as pronounced at Iona Beach but it still bothers me a bit. I was pleased to bump into a small group of people who were beachcombing for sound wood to use in an arts project.

Iona Beach – Sewage Pipe Strolling

The last set of sky and silhouette images are of people exercising along the sewage pipe. These are my favourite images - I love the way that the sky changes the mood of the place and I love the outlines of the people, all doing different things. You will need to click and enlarge the images to see but...

...there are people striding, cycling, carrying skateboards, chatting and pointing, peering at the view and even someone taking a photograph!

I also love the fact - do not ask me why - that all of these people are doing all of these things on top of a very large sewage pipe! Which, of course, is another example of our impact on the local landscape and environment.

On that note, I think that I will leave you to enjoy them!

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Bit of a delay blogging about these even though the pictures have been on Flickr for ages...something about being up to my armpits in some photography projects, my UK tax return (it might appear to be late but it is not!) and trying to organise my BC Driver's Licence before my 90 days are up!

1 comment:

Patricia said...

I love this type of picture, showing how vast our universe is and how minor we are in comparison. I have something similar.

You are a great photographer - keep publishing.