This time of year the sun rises at the same time as I get into work in the morning. And with the cold clear weather we have been getting it is a perfect opportunity to test out my new circular polarizer filter. It just so happened to be that my wife was working Downtown Vancouver, so after dropping her off I took the seabus over to North Vancouver. For people not familiar with Vancouver's geography, North Vancouver is situated across the Burrard Inlet. Taking the seabus over exposes you to some amazing views of Vancouver's skyline, North Van and the North Shore mountains.
Taking photos on the seabus is a bit tricky. If you're even able to move around (something with can and sardines) the only way to enjoy the beautiful views is through windows. Reflections and water droplets are making it very hard to get a clean shot.
After annoying people and tripping over their legs I was able to get one good shot out. By shooting straight into the rising sun and pushing my lens right up to the glass I was able to get rid of the reflections and water droplets. The sun was rising right behind the Vancouver harbour, the cranes and ships created a cool silhouette against the orange sun and sky.
After arriving on the North Shore it is a 5 to 10 minute walk along the water to my office. One of the nice spots is the pier at Waterfront Park. I took three different shots of this pier. The first was wide open at 17mm using the pier as a leading line to lead your eyes to the Vancouver skyline. The second shot was from the same location, but zoomed in to 50mm making the "house" on the pier the subject and the Vancouver skyline grew in size setting for a nice back drop. In both these images I have placed the pier to the right hand of the frame using the rule of thirds. The last image I shot straight down the pier, centring it. By opening up my aperture to 2.8 I was able to blur the background separating it from the subject. The man on the pier and the seagull on the lamppost are nice details.
In all three images the rising sun is creating a beautiful golden orange hue on the pier, the city skyline and the sky. With the polarizer filter I was able to bring back the deep blue colour in the sky and it seems like the images have more contrast and punch as well. One of the downsides is that the filter creates a pretty strong vignette when shooting wide open at 17mm, but nothing you can't fix with Lightroom. I will make a more detailed post with comparisons, with and without polarizer filter, later on.