The End of Summer

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With the long weekend marking the end of summer in Vancouver, Tuesday saw a day of solid, continuous rain, and much cooler temperatures. However, as I watched the rain streaking down the window a little before sunset, I saw that a gap in the clouds was opening up in the distance, just where the sun would set. Conditions like this can often disappoint, but I always try and go out in them because on occasion, they can produce the most stunning sunsets.

Unfortunately nobody had told the clouds overhead that a good sunset might be in prospect, and the rain continued to fall as I headed to English Bay, which I knew would have an unobstructed view of the sunset. For foreground interest I chose Bernar Venet’s sculpture, '217.5 Arc X 13', made out of raw steel and with rusty orange tones that I hoped would complement the sunset.

The problem with wide-angle lenses and graduated neutral-density filters, both of which I love to use, is that they are both very susceptible to collecting rain, with even a single drop becoming a nasty splodge on the final photo. I therefore had a rather frustrating time setting up tripod, camera, lens and filters, all while being unable to put anything down on the wet, clingy sand, and with one hand holding an umbrella! I’m sure the few brave walkers and cyclists on the seawall were wondering what the crazy photographer was doing!

Fortunately the gap in the clouds stayed until sunset, and as the sun got closer and closer to the horizon, the sky lit up with colours as the rain clouds became lit from underneath by the last rays of the setting sun, in what has to be one of the best sunsets so far this year in Vancouver.

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