Celebration of Light 2014, Day 1: USA

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Incredibly, another year has gone by already, and on Saturday it was once again the first of the three Celebration of Light fireworks displays here in Vancouver. This display was by the USA team.

I like to show the fireworks in the context of the city, so rather than heading to the official viewing points right by the water, I instead headed north-east to Mount Seymour, approximately 17km from the actual fireworks barge, and hiked the trail to the Dog Mountain lookout.

Approximately 250,000 people turned out to view the display, but as the sun set and the city lights came on, I was the only person at this lookout, watching and waiting for the display to start. When it did, it took over 45 seconds for the sound of the fireworks to reach me!

As usual, this is another panoramic shot taken with my 70–300mm lens at 300mm. The final photo was made up of five vertical shots stitched together, although I’ve cropped a bit off the sides. This photo shows the Burrard Inlet, Vancouver Harbour, downtown buildings, Stanley Park, English Bay (where the fireworks barge is) and the UBC peninsula. In the far distance, the lights of Nanaimo and Ladysmith on Vancouver Island can be seen.

The return journey in the dark was rather more tricky than I’d anticipated. I last did this trail in the snow, and found it relatively easy going, but the trail now consisted of a jumble of mud, rocks and thousands of exposed tree roots, all extremely slippery due to the recent rain, and with very few markers. It took me two hours to complete the return journey, slipping and falling three times, and getting lost for about 10 minutes at one point! Needless to say, I was very glad to reach the trailhead sometime after midnight, and am feeling rather bruised and battered today!

blue hour fireworks panorama skyline vancouver
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