Celebration of Light 2013, Day 2: Canada

Buy Print

Last night was the second of the three fireworks displays in Vancouver taking place this week, during the Celebration of Light fireworks competition. This display was by the Canadian team, with Thailand’s display on Saturday.

I wanted another angle with the fireworks appearing in front of the backdrop of downtown Vancouver, so for this night I went to Lighthouse Park, out in West Vancouver. This is on the opposite side of the Burrard Inlet from Spanish Banks, where I took my previous fireworks shot.

Lighthouse Park is quite heavily wooded, so to avoid having to walk out alone through the dark and bear-infested (in my mind, at least) woods after the display, I roped in a couple of photographers to join me on the trip! (That way, you don’t have to outrun the bear, just one of the other photographers!)

Unsurprisingly, as this is a much less-visited location anyway, there were very few people here. We saw two other small groups of people, but they were both quite a long way away from where we were. This meant we had a very wide range of shooting locations, so we chose to set up on the rocks of East Beach, which also has a good view of the Point Atkinson Lighthouse, which we enjoyed photographing during the sunset.

The weather was slightly odd — some thin clouds in the sky which created some very interesting sunset colours, a lot of haze, and towards the end of the show, what appeared to be lightning to the North — extremely bright but not at all audible, so it must have been a long way away!

The haze was a little problematic, as this viewpoint is well over 10 kilometres from downtown, so you are looking through a lot of air to take these shots! This means that there is a lot of atmospheric distortion, but the resultant photo is still pretty sharp. It also meant that the 'blue hour’ was actually not that blue, although the brown colour in the sky, caused by the haze reflecting the city lights, is an interesting change.

Again, this is a panorama stitched from 4 shots, each at 420mm (300mm + 1.4x teleconverter). I’ve cropped a little off the edges, so it’s closer to a 3-shot panorama now.

Canada’s firework display was awesome, far exceeding the UK display, and I think better than any of the displays last year! Thailand will have a difficult job to beat them on Saturday!

blue hour fireworks panorama skyline vancouver
Lens Camera