Vancouver Island • Sooke to Port Renfrew: Part I

Sometimes life throws you little curve balls and after nearly 9 months of not  even picking up a camera,  I was finally able to plan a short trip out to Vancouver Island located on the west coast of British Columbia in Canada. After just a short a 1.5 hr flight from my home in Edmonton, I was well on my way to  spend some time hiking, exploring,  and photographing  a few select areas along Vancouver Islands west coast.     My travels would take me through the community of Sooke  with stops at Sandcut Beach near Jordan River,  China Beach and Mystic Beach along the Juan de Fuca Trail  with the trip concluding at Botany Bay and Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew.  With hopes of magical sunsets and nice morning light, I was looking forward to some much needed time to get away and do some shooting.

Sandcut Falls, Vancouver Island,Sandcut Beach,BC West Coast
Nikon D800, Nikon 16-35mm f/4, 1.6 sec @f/16, ISO 100, SinghRay LB Polarizer, Singh Ray 2-Stop Hard Edge Graduated ND, Manfrotto Tripod, Cable Release

My first stop would be at Sandcut Beach just south of the small community of Jordan River.  The small water fall provided many elements for photographic compositions.  The clouds had enough texture for an interesting sky  but the question remained  whether the sun could poke through and light up the sky at sunset.  I spent some time at the bottom of the falls shooting a variety of compositions. The light was challenging and despite the help of my Singh Ray graduated neutral density filters,  I found myself planning for the single image along with bracketing exposures such that I would have all the ingredients for HDR and manual blending of varying exposures should the need arise during post processing.

Sandcut Falls, Vancouver Island,Sandcut Beach,BC West Coast
Nikon D800, Nikon 24mm f/3.5 PC-E, f/14 ISO 50, 3 Exposure HDR, SinghRay LB Polarizer, Manfrotto Tripod, Cable Release

As sunset time approached,  I worked my way to the top of the falls. Unable to reach the top from the east side,  the challenge from the west side of the creek  would be to find a way to cross it  without getting my feet wet or even worse,  slipping into the creek with all my gear.   Even though this creek was not super fast flowing or even deep, there just weren’t enough exposed rocks to use as stepping stones to get to the other side.  I even contemplated on taking my hiking boots off,  rolling up my pants and crossing bare foot but the slippery green slime and jagged rocks quickly deterred me from using that option.  Final option?  Find the shallowest spot and a direct line to the other side and just jump in.  It really wasn’t all that bad –  until the water made it’s way down past my ankles completely filling my boots with water.  Slurp – slush –  slurp – slush would be the sound I would hear for the next while. I now had to work fast as the light was disappearing and the sun began to add some color to the distant horizon.

Sandcut Falls, Vancouver Island,Sandcut Beach,BC West Coast
Nikon D800, Nikon 16-35mm f/4, 3 sec @f/16, ISO 100, SinghRay LB Polarizer, Singh Ray 2-Stop Hard Edge Graduated ND, Manfrotto Tripod, Cable Release

I couldn’t help but laugh at myself  as I headed back to the car listening to the slurp/slush sound coming from my feet.  Despite the water-logged boots, all in all it was a fun first night out even though the sun did not burst out in a glorious dance of  color and light. The two things I learned from this trip was that it’s always a good idea to bring water shoes and never, ever – try to dry synthetic insoles from your boots on a hot baseboard heater in your room! I did however manage to save the left boot insole and an amputation of the melted/curled toes of the right side made that insole – in part – usable.  :grin:

Sandcut Falls, Vancouver Island,Sandcut Beach,BC West Coast
Nikon D800, Nikon 16-35mm f/4, 5 sec @f/16, ISO 100, SinghRay LB Polarizer, Singh Ray 2-Stop Hard Edge Graduated ND, Manfrotto Tripod, Cable Release

The journey continues in – Vancouver Island • Sooke to Port Renfrew:  Part II…

Cheers!!

Fab   :cool:

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