Feb 2015 26

Photo Essay: Vancouver Beaches from Dusk Till Dawn

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1 Wreck BeachWreck Beach Before Storm

From Third Beach to Wreck Beach, you can enjoy the clean water and picturesque views everywhere you turn. Vancouver's coast has something to offer for everyone, but we are not the only ones who know what a jewel we have: National Geographic ranked Vancouver as the world's 10th best beach city! Here is what the NatGeo travel experts say:

Canada’s most adventurous metropolis is home to ten beaches, from the family-centric Jericho to the clothing-optional Wreck Beach, many of which offer commanding views of the Vancouver skyline and majestic North Shore Mountains. Sporty types prefer Kitsilano or “Kits,” a six-minute drive from downtown, for its free tennis and basketball courts, and its super-size heated saltwater pool.

There is no doubt that the best sunbathing and swimming months in Vancouver are June through August, but remember that you don’t have to wait for warm weather before visiting the beaches: walking along the Ambleside or Stanley Park walkways on a stormy day can be a perfect way to relax too.

2 Coal Harbour ViewCoal Harbour View at Night

Our photographer Kevin Eng documented the most beautiful views of his favourite locations - capturing both the sunset, dramatic clouds, high tides or star trails. He also shared his tips for overcoming the basic problems of night photography:

Capturing images of stars and night scenery requires a lot of patience. There are many conditions that affect the image such as the weather, artificial light from streetlights, camera settings. I tend to look for locations that are very dark, away from the artificial light of street lamps and car lights. Some of my favourite locations for night photography in the Vancouver area include Spanish Banks beach, Wreck Beach, and Stanley Park. 

A clear night is the best with no moonlight when shooting stars, but under moonlight, landscape features such as lakes and mountains can be captured effectively. Stars and other celestial objects are also much clearer in cold weather, so be sure to dress warmly!

3 Wreck beachWreck Beach Seashells

Technical challenges such as focusing problems and determining the correct exposure times are encountered when shooting at night.

Since, the autofocus system in most DSLR cameras will fail in extreme low light conditions, it is necessary to focus the lens manually. A good way to accomplish this is to automatically focus on a point of light, such as a distant street lamp, then switch the lens to manual focus. Also, the correct exposure time can be determined by setting the ISO (the camera's sensitivity to light) to a high value, then calculating the new exposure time for a lower ISO, what results in a higher image quality.
4 Star Trails in the Queen Elizabeth ParkStar Trails in the Queen Elizabeth Park
5 Jericho sailing club docks at duskThe Dreamy Atmosphere of Jericho Beach After Sunset
6 False Creek DockFalse Creek Dock
7 Wreck Beach  high wavesThe High Waves of Wreck Beach
9 Stanley Park  star trailsStanley Park Star Trails
10 Spanish Banks Beach ViewView of Vancouver from Jericho Beach
10a Foggy morning in Stanley ParkA Foggy Morning in Stanley Park
11 Wreck beachWreck Beach Evening Reflections
12 Startrails in Spanish Banks BeachStar Trails in Spanish Banks Beach

Meet The Photographer: Kevin Eng

Kevin EngKevin Eng

Kevin's passion for photography has encouraged others to see the splendor and beauty of nature right at their doorstep, as he captures the sights of the day, and colors and mystery of world while it sleeps. Many of the subjects of his work are based locally in his hometown in Vancouver, B.C., where he first discovered his fascination with night photography. Kevin is currently working as a music teacher, music director for his church, and landscape photographer.


3 Responses to “Photo Essay: Vancouver Beaches from Dusk Till Dawn”

  1. Monica Siu

    I really love the composition and effects of those shots!

  2. Kevin Eng

    Thanks for visiting this page Monica – glad you enjoyed the scenery!

  3. Timothy

    I always wanted to take pictures of star trails but I thought it’s too difficult and you need a really professional DSLR, otherwise the result would be too noisy. Thank you for these tips, I will probably give it a try! ‘The High Waves of Wreck Beach’ is my favourite shot from this essay. Keep up the good work! ;)

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