Places

Westminster Abbey, Mission BC by Craig Roberts

Every now and then I'm still surprised that after 25 years of living in the lower mainland I continue to find hidden gems to explore. A few years ago, during an outing to explore some of the local waterfalls, we drove past the drive leading to Westminster Abbey, and this past weekend I finally managed to get back out to explore it with a local meetup group.

Originally established in 1939 in Ladner by five Benedictine monks sent from the Abbey of Mount Angel, Oregon, it relocated first to Burnaby then to this location overlooking the Mission valley in 1954. The pastoral grounds offer expansive views up the Fraser River below, and a variety of architectural subjects both inside and outside the abbey itself.

Inside the abbey church are a number of wonderful reliefs and a fantastic collection stained glass windows - while I'm not an architectural shooter per se I have the upmost appreciation for the interior's characteristic curves and lines, providing a great foundation for me to explore that creative aspect.

2016-01-23 043-Edit.jpg
2016-01-23 061-Edit.jpg
2016-01-23 063.jpg
2016-01-23 009.jpg
2016-01-23 058-Edit.jpg

Although we were visiting between prayers, I did notice one monk sitting in the pews, perhaps preparing for the next session or just in tranquil thought - I did not wish to intrude upon him in this sacred space but I did want to give my images some human context, so I chose this shot which maintains his anonymity.

2016-01-23 051.jpg

I know I will now need to plan a return visit later in the spring to further experience the foliage and gardens located throughout the area.   

Steveston Before Dawn by Craig Roberts

In what has become somewhat of an annual January tradition I found myself heading out, far earlier than anyone should during the first Sunday in January, to make some images of the sunrise off the pier in Steveston BC.  Driving into this small village in the early hours, you can hear every nuance of sound hanging in the early morning mist and fog that won't dissipate for a few more hours; the streets in and around are silent and deserted, broken only by the hum and the yellow hue from the overhead streetlights. As I passed one of the local shop's window display caught my attention - in the darkness it had the appearance of a theatre stage, illuminating just the important characters while the rest hid back in the shadows. In the light of day this dramatic scene would be non-existent, lost to the open exposure in the manner of house lights coming up at the conclusion of a performance.

Store Display Window, 'Bon Retour', Steveston BC Canada

Store Display Window, 'Bon Retour', Steveston BC Canada

Fishing Boats, pre-dawn, Steveston BC Canada

Fishing Boats, pre-dawn, Steveston BC Canada

The docks around here have an ecosystem all to their own, a dance repeated daily, annually - and has been for decades, back when the boats were returning to the docks to offload their cargo to the Georgia Cannery, rather than to the entertainment of tourists. There in an uneasy silence and calm from the water, before the bilge pumps on the boats kick in, the vendors emerge to set up their own theatrical stage and the gulls congregate and circle in search of whatever offerings the sea and boats will provide.

Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage ...", sometimes it takes an effort to appreciate the performance and see if for what it truly is.

Fishing Boats at dawn, Steveston BC Canada

Fishing Boats at dawn, Steveston BC Canada

Interlude - Presenting the Orpheum Theatre by Craig Roberts

2012-04-07 054

2012-04-07 054

While I have been embarrassingly slow to process and post any new images, both online here and at Google+, I thought I would upload this particular image from my last round of street photography in downtown Vancouver.  I wanted to capture an angle of a building and theatre sign that has been photographed and documented thousands of times, from a perspective that was unique (for me).  The pigeonon the lower left was not added in post production, it was honestly in flight and I believe it only adds a living component to this image. Processed in Lightroom and Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro 2 to really pop the textures in the brick and stone, and on the sign.

Early Morning Visit to Steveston by Craig Roberts

Mermaid Out of Water at Finn Slough, Richmond BC

Mermaid Out of Water at Finn Slough, Richmond BC

Up early this morning and headed down to Steveston village, in the rain no-less ... then a side trip to an area called Finn Slough, near southeast Richmond.  Finn Slough is a unique area, first inhabited by Finnish fishermen towards the end of the 19th century; because of its proximity to the South Arm of the Fraser River and the (at that time) hand-built dyke, many times the area would be under water at flood tides.  Houses were constructed on top of pilings to escape the flood waters, and still stand that way today.  Punctuated within the overgrowth and buildings is an eclectic collection of salvage, boats and trinkets.  The area is a throwback to the early 20th century, ramshackle buildings seemingly waiting to slid into the water - the last such fishing village of the many that existed along the banks of the Fraser River.

House on Finn Slough, Richmond BC #4

House on Finn Slough, Richmond BC #4

House on Finn Slough, Richmond BC

House on Finn Slough, Richmond BC

House on Finn Slough, Richmond BC #3

House on Finn Slough, Richmond BC #3

House on Finn Slough, Richmond BC #2

House on Finn Slough, Richmond BC #2