North! To Prince George

Posted on 11th March 2016 in adventure, nature, wandering

I grew up in Prince George, BC. I’ve always described it as the place smack dab in the middle of BC, though it’s the capital of Northern BC. On a map, it’s pretty perfectly in the center. Driving, it’s about 10 hours north of Vancouver.

Driving from Vancouver one first finds the Fraser Valley, then abruptly turn norther into the winding Fraser Canyon that turns into the North Thompson canyon and then connects back up to the Fraser River to follow it more or less all the way up through the Cariboo to the Central Interior and Prince George. On the way back South, we hooked West at Cache Creek to wind our way through to Pemberton and Whistler before getting back to Vancouver.

In the winter the scenery is brown and muddy and very snowy and icy the further north one goes. In the fall you can expect to find every color of the rainbow in the trees that occupy the landscape that spins by. In the spring and summer everything is green and growing and each of the little lakes and creeks along the way call out, inviting you to jump on in.

Being so long of a drive, and one that I’ve done countless times in my life, I’m usually trying to avoid stopping, rather then stopping to take photographs of anything that catches my eye.

Having a foreign friend – Nene – with me, I took all the back roads and detours I knew! She was all smiles, and “ooh” and “ahhh”. Great travel companion!

20151113 - North BC Fraser Canyon Pemberton - Ned Tobin - 6

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Night Signs | Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Posted on 6th December 2015 in adventure, architecture, explored, wandering

Lately I’ve been taking to wandering the streets of Vancouver at night. Part because I’m working pretty hard during the day, and partly because that’s when I find the walk most calming to my mind.

Old signs, new signs, not signs at all. I enjoy capturing landmarks of the Vancouver lower East Side as much as I enjoy capturing the people that walk the streets. Perhaps it’s also a little bit less invasive, and I’m just out to flow.

This particular series of photographs were all taken in one night’s walk: Strathcona, East Side, Gastown, Downtown, Yaletown, and back through Chinatown.

One thing I particularly enjoy about signs is the way that they glow, casting their light upon the surrounding darkness.

I am really quite undecided how I feel about the art of the Sign. When one is in an older city, there are usually a lot less neon signs that were so popularized by the mid 20th century. Then to a¬†Westernized city like, let’s say Vancouver, a city block without a sign feels weird and lonely. On one hand, I really appreciate a great sign that makes sense and was clearly a colossal undertaking. But on the other hand, does this form of advertising need to exist? If you don’t know where you’re going, do you need to be bombarded with this madness?

How do you like the Sign?

Please Dismount Bicycle, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Please Dismount Bicycle, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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A Plethora of Vancouver Urban Architecture

Posted on 3rd December 2015 in architecture, explored, wandering

Over the years I’ve gathered quite a large collection of photographs of Vancouver architecture. I’ve actually been having the recurring feeling that I take a lot of photographs as I look through my archives.

Vancouver is a fairly new city, compared to some of the other ancients found in most of the rest of the world. As a result, the buildings of Vancouver are an eclectic mix of various architectural building material and styles. Some built in the old European way, others built in modern glass and iron. At first glance, it could be a bit confusing. Once you start to know the neighborhoods though, you start to understand which ones are older. For example, Gastown is a very old district of Vancouver, but the neighboring Yaletown is a much newer part of town that mostly skyrocketed (literally) as a result of Expo ’86.

As one walks and looks closer, you can start to pick out heritage societies bright blue plaques that designate heritage buildings with a little bit more history about each building. Maybe stop next time and read what it says?

False Creek Vancouver

False Creek Vancouver

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Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Posted on 6th October 2015 in adventure, explored, nature, photojournalism, wandering

My brother is a nomad. He has a camper van and he likes to spend most of his time on dirt roads harvesting anything from mushrooms to blueberries. When he’s not tree planting that is.

I’m lucky enough to have him to call up when he’s off work and suggest journeys. He’s usually game without much of a fight, though sometimes I need to lure him with some kind of harvest or natural wonder.

This time we went to Ucluelet and Tofino, nestled deep within the great Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. We only actually went into Tofino once though, most of the time we’d spend in Ucluelet if we were anywhere near a city.

The day we arrived on the West side of Vancouver Island it was pouring rain, and also the final day of tourist season. That night the shorelines erupted with fireworks from the tourist hosts celebrating another season in the sun finished. We didn’t quite realize this was the case, which made finding accommodations rather interesting for us, as the campgrounds were closed. Queue camper van.

We’d spend our mornings trying to decide which beach we would go to, and spent most of our days huddling inside of driftwood barriers and huts some of the locals no doubt built as they waited for the surf to break. For my brother, this was pure bliss. Not a care in the world besides the suspense the author of his book decided to build. I, on the other hand, would find myself wandering as if conducting a science experiment.

Naturally, as I wandered I had my camera.

Ned Tobin - West Coast Tofino Ucluelet - PNW Click here to read more.. »

Vancouver Street Photography

Posted on 3rd October 2015 in Street Photography, wandering

It’s been a while since I wandered a city for street photographs; people of the street that look interesting enough for me to press that shutter. I always see people that are interesting, but a lot of the time I leave my fast camera at home and stick to my smartphone camera. I guess part of the reason is I spend some much time editing photoshoots that I just feel like walking sometimes.

Anyways, I’ve been trying to re-kindle some young love in me and have taken to the streets of Vancouver to try and learn some new gear that I’ve got – specifically a Sony a7.

I always shoot a mix when I’m out wandering. I look up, I look down, I look around and through. This is the people on the street I photographed, you can see everything else in this post on architecture and graffiti. My path? I walked from Chinatown, to Gastown, to Granville St and Robson Street, back East through Yaletown, across the viaduct between Rogers Arena and BC Place Stadium, and back through Chinatown.

Ned Tobin Street Photography Vancouver Click here to read more.. »