Vancouver can be a bit of an alien place at times. Gazing across the water, I don’t know that any image better represents the combination of dense urbanity, maritime connection, and epic nature than this one does. With the last warm hues of sunlight reflecting from the water and the windows, the blues of the forest (and night) beyond begin to dominate.
In the quiet of Nitobe Memorial Garden, I was struck by the craftsmanship of this teahouse. Even the roof had such gorgeous structure, with the wood lit by ambient light reflected from the water and the foliage.
In the sylvan core of UBC’s (aptly named) Green College, a few random buildings hide with the trees. Some have pedestrian uses (literally—the building on the right is a stairwell), but others are more surreal: this little cottage is a shared-use kitchen. As the first rays of moonlight catch the scene, I can’t help but be reminded of some Tolkienesque elven fortress.
Outside Vancouver (the city) are the hillsides, dotted with homes and apartment buildings and, farther north, massive rocks. (That’s a pretty rare combination.) The difference between the soft, welcoming pink hues of the sunset and those massive hillsides (with some lovely evergreens in the foreground) is stranger, the more I think about it.
This picture also illustrates the biggest difference I’ve encountered since moving from the west coast to the east: the environments are less staggering and overwhelming, but the skies (and the buildings) are much more so. I’ve had to reorient the way I shoot to account for it.
While I’m on the trend of remembering summers past (and mourning the end of our own summer), I’m also going to reminisce about our trip to the University of British Columbia’s Nitobe Memorial Garden last summer. Look at that lushness. Foliage everywhere. And, as I like to joking call it, the “enormous bonsai tree” framing the soft scene.
There’s something magnificent about the views around Vancouver of the hills and the water. There’s something even more amazing about those same views around sunset when the sky just absolutely fills with color. For these reasons, among others, Vancouver’s got to be one of my favorite places on this planet.
That and if you walk around long enough you start to recognize locales featured in MacGyver.