Almost the perfect timing…

Almost the perfect timing/lighting… I have one more image that might just do the trick… still editing… stay tuned for my final files coming soon!

Almost the perfect timing/lighting... I have one more image that might just do the trick... still editing... stay tuned for my final files coming soon!

Home Sweet Home

There is a specific view of my city that I have always been fascinated by.  I fell in love with that certain vantage point on the city at least a decade before I even knew that I wanted to take photographs myself.

It’s been a very long time (almost 2 years) since I decided to try and gain rooftop access to my favorite vantage point of Vancouver City.  I moved myself within a 2 block radius of the area that I wanted to shoot from in order to canvas the streets, coffee shops and buildings hoping to find someone to get me rooftop!  I had it all finally figured out in the winter of 2010 once I’d finally found out that you could simply rent a room at the top of the Holiday Inn near Broadway & Cambie – that’s where the other handful of pros had done it from! So I rushed up there only to realize that they were gutting and renovating the top 4 floors. The elevator buttons had signs on them indicating that there was construction in progress and not to go to those floors, but all I had to do was simply lift the sign and press the button!  BINGO!  I went up top and convinced the construction workers to pretend that they hadn’t seen me.  I made my way to the suite with the pristine view of the city, only to see two massive construction cranes blocking the view from a new highrise that was being built directly behind the Holiday Inn!!  Not only was the view ruined by the cranes, but now the view was about to be permanently blocked (probably why the hotel was renovating – they had to maintain some value to those rooms once the incredible view was literally stonewalled).

I had basically given up hope and after superintendent after superintendent had denied me from the roofs of the surrounding buildings, my only hope was to post my advertisements at the entrance to the buildings in hopes of being able to convince a penthouse owner of letting me up to their house (in exchange for a print of course). It was a hopeless task, but I became increasingly creative and resourceful with my pursuit. In the end, my persistence may have played a role, but none of my efforts made any real difference and it all boiled down to a random act of kindness!  I ended up gaining rooftop access to the new building that is now blocking the view from the Holiday Inn. Not only did I gain access the other day, but rumor has it I’ll be able to gain access again!! Very few people have had the opportunity to make this shot happen and I’m very very grateful to Chris Collacott (the undisputed champion of this image) for finally making this dream of mine come to fruition:    His images have unparalleled resolution and he’s clearly mastered the technique. Thank you Chris!

I managed to get 12-image panoramas that are still in the very early stages of editing, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. After having shot primarily models for the past year, I ended up on the roof a little out-of-practice and you only have about 5 minutes of that perfectly ‘sweet light’ before the perfect image eludes you. My final images aren’t complete, but I’ve posted a portion of the pre-sunset panorama and some other images I took last night down in the Olympic Village. Spring is here and I can’t wait to get back to my roots of city/landscape photography in this beautiful city!

I think I might have sorted out about 25% of the problems I’m having with this image (there’s hella light pollution to the right of the stadium and it’s creating plenty of noise and chromatic aberrations =( – I’ve just cropped it for the sake of this example…

Approximately 2/3 of the final field of view (my final image will be shown with the sun much lower in the sky and the city lights reflecting off the water)

The full view:
My final image will display this same scene with the sun much lower in the sky and the city lights reflecting off the water