Walking Victoria – Ogden Point

Named after a 19th Century, Hudson's Bay Company trader, the breakwater pier at Ogden Point provides great views whatever the weather.

Victoria proved to be a good city for walking. Whilst on a recent visit, the car was left idle and the legs provided all the motive power needed to cover the downtown and harbour area. One walk I took was out to Ogden Point and this city hike delivered a range views, changing weather and even a blast from the past.

The breakwater curves out in to the Juan de Fuca Strait is narrow and it only gained safety railings in 2013, which I find amazing given the winds that can batter the body whilst heading out to the lighthouse. I found an image on Flickr that shows the pier before railings, and it seems that Victoria was suffering from a dearth of safety anoraks until the early 21st century. I wouldn't have attempted the walk without the railing in the high winds that were gusting when I was in the area, but maybe that's me being too risk averse. What was really apparent during the hike was how changeable the weather can be in the area. Blue to grey, gusty to balmy, I managed it all within 60 minutes.

My blast from the past moment came when I realised that the large cable laying ship docked in the harbour was the Cable Innovator. In my distant work life I spent time with Mercury Communications / Cable & Wireless. I can remember the Cable Innovator docking in London next to HMS Belfast. It was the pride of the C&W Marine fleet. The cable laying business has been sold multiple times since the 1990's, yet Cable Innovator was still resplendent in C&W Blue. These unexpected incidents that happen over lifer have the tendency of prompting memories. Time goes in to reverse, the rose-tinted specs are donned and the world is very different, just for a few moments.

Most of my Victoria trip images were taken with the OM-1 however, Ogden Point was captured digitally as I'd used up my film roll and didn't have another roll with me (note to self - old-school means better planning). The images above really show off the changing weather to great effect.

Come what may, a walk out to Ogden Point provides great views, whatever the weather.




The film bug bites hard

It's a brand new, old world and I'm loving it.

I admit that form and function are important to me. After reacquainting myself with film through the Olympus Trip I turned my attention to finding an old SLR camera. What to look for? It was a no-brainer. The Olympus OM-1, a well storied, professional quality SLR was my first choice. I was fortunate to find what I was looking for on Etsy, in fact I got more than I'd bargained for as the OM-1 I bought came with 'nifty 50' lens, an original case, strap and flash. A complete package that had been lovingly reconditioned. The camera is as much a work of art as it is functional and it's not just me that thinks so. An upcoming YouTube channel, Analogue Insights, have a great review of this stunning camera.

Rather like my first roll of film with the Trip, I just wanted to test out the OM-1. Whilst out in Vancouver I took the opportunity to play hometown tourist and  get used to a fully manual and mechanical camera again. The aspect I love about the OM-1 is the shutter speed selector being at the base of the lens ring. It makes adjustments so easy and when starting from a known 1/125th, F8 I can swiftly fine tune my exposures. With a single ISO setting to make along with full stops of shutter and apeture adjustments, the OM-1 is a joy to use, it's about simplicity, it's uncluttered, it's about the possibility of the image.

I used a local camera shop to get the roll developed and scanned the negatives myself before lightly retouching in Luminar. The images below are a good representation of what a forty year old camera can capture.

Using film again is becoming a very relaxing and creative experience, plus there's the joy of waiting to get the film developed before finding out how well I've shot.

Exploring film

It’s been instructional and entertaining. I’ll continue to shoot film as part of my creative growth.

My photogrsaphic heritage includes shooting film. My first ever 35mm camera was an Olympus Trip and I loved that camera. Even though I was the guy that retained my turntable and vinyl albums rather than my old film cameras, the resurgence of ‘old school analogue' photography has meant that I have the chance to revisit my past. The Trip has a cult following and I can understand why; form and function come together in a package that’s simple to use and can produce great results.

Having found a 40 year old example in wonderful condition, I wanted to shoot a test roll to ensure the camera worked as good as it looked. To keep things simple I shot a black and white set of local shop fronts, had the roll developed, then scanned the negatives myself. These shots are representative of that first roll (which was also an expired film stock). I did a little tidying up in Luminar

Shooting film forces one to be very intentional about the subject and framing. Even though in this instance it wasn’t a case of one chance to nail the shot, being reminded that that may be the case really hightens the concentration. I’ve never been a proponent of shoot as many frames as possible, I prefer to be selective and this approach serves me well.

The Trip will be a fun camera as it's very much 'point and click'. My commitment to film has grown and I've recently bought another 40 year old Olympus - the fabled OM-1. More on that later

DSLR time

At last, a DSLR. I found the Canon refurb store on eBay around 2005 and waited for an EOS 300D to show up. It was what I could afford at the time and I used existing glass. I was back in the world of through the lens and enjoying the benefits of selecting my glass. With far better resolution and a zoom to use I could start to explore my creativity again. When viewed closer to full size there are certainly issues with focus, particularly on the moving subjects, yet given the equipment I was using I like to think that I captured the moment as well as I could.

I've always enjoyed diversity in my photography and the images below are a fair representation of what I was shooting.

Early digital life

Taking a peek at my photographic journey.

I've always retained an interest in photography, yet there have been times when I've ebbed and flowed. Sometimes we allow life to get in the way of our interests and I certainly fell in to a dormant period. I've decided to revisit elements of my photographic journey, picking things up from the early digital days, although my history goes way back to an Olympus Trip and Pentax K1000.

My first experience of digital photography was around 1996 with the Apple QuickTake 150. I evaluated the camera for business use and was also able to use it to bring to life a car club newsletter I co-produced. I was sold on the idea, yet it would be years before I shifted to using digital as my daily format.

First digital steps

The Canon Powershot A300 all 3.2 megapixels of it became first real foray in to digital. I've included a few images made using the A300 that showcase the limitations of the gear as well as my desire to explore my creativity.

Looking at these shots now, the limitations of 3.2 MP are clear; artefacts, noise and a lack of sharpness. Having said that, I could still produce thoughtful images and these few shots are representative.