Thursday, May 1, 2014

Look Up, Look Down #2

Since discovering the Thursday blog meme, Look Up Look Down, I have been more aware of what is happening overhead and at ground level.  Thank you to "Travel with Intent" for this most enjoyable photography theme.

On Tuesday, there were several free or almost free events to see for International Dance Day in Vancouver.  I had to limit myself to just two of them.  What a vibrant dance community we have in this city.  I am grateful to every dancer, every coach, and every supporter.  

Members of Aerioso performed in Woodward's Atrium, using bungee lines to access lows.. 
 and highs..
 that were clearly as much fun for the dancers..
 as for the audience.
There is a lady in pink sitting on the floor.  Watch for her in some of the other photos.  
Students and photographers and dancers looking up, down (and all around).
There's the lady in pink.  Keep watching for her.  I wonder if the dancers realize how much fun they brought to people who might otherwise have had a dull day.  As for looking down..
or is that looking up?  Well, you decide.
See her?  The lady in pink?  I wonder what was in her mind?  The fellow in blue as well.  Perhaps they were both remembering a time when they would dare to try this.  I'm thinking they and I possibly shared some thoughts, though in my case, adventure calls now more than it did during my really awkward youth.  Before I get much older, I hope I may have the chance to try something like this.  A step just beyond the swings, perhaps.
 One prop can change the perspective completely.
Beautiful form.  This dancer (on the right) spent some time being interviewed by students who I'm guessing were required to complete a school assignment.  I watched her with student after student, most likely answering the same questions over and over again, and all right before her performance.  The smile and the kindness in her eyes did not waver.  Her respect for each person and her love for her art were both so clearly evident.
 A third dancer joined the act,
 and I thought a bit about how she kept smiling, even as her..
 head came closer and closer to the floor.
And now we have four dancers.  I chose the wrong lens (70-300 mm) so this was the only shot I managed with all four performers.
 See how she keeps smiling.  And, there's that lady in pink.  I'm betting she dances in secret.
 Looking way up..
 and way down.
No pictures of Bill or Black Jack, but they were both with me.  There's another thing I loved about this festival.  It seemed that dogs were welcomed and one could stay for as short or as long a period as was convenient.  Bill was feeling just a bit "off" on Tuesday, so the 15 minute performance was perfect for us. We headed back to Yaletown but I looked up to the Woodward's "W" before leaving.
 Bill noticed this poster on a billboard and we looked up to absorb its multicultural message 
Looking beyond a level plane, as once advised by a gentleman Bill and I met hiking, yields interesting information.  We hadn't noticed this Victorian Hotel before but this link filled us in:
"The Victorian Hotel is a uniquely Vancouver property that highlights the best of its locale. The first and central building, Victoria, was built in 1898 at the time of the great Gold Rush. Built to house prospectors, explorers, and new comers searching for gold in our wild and rugged British Columbia. The second building, Victoria Block, was built in 1908 in only five months to house the numerous real estate offices for the turn of the century real estate boom. The two buildings comprise the Victorian Hotel, and it stands proudly at the corner of Homer and Pender Streets
One of the more colourful guests to stay at the hotel was Klondike-Kate Rockwell, the queen of the Klondike gold rush in Dawson City."  Love it! Another dancer (and a rebel) discovered today.
We stopped for lunch at our beloved Harrison Galleries and then continued on to Marinaside where Bill pointed out this high-rise.  We guessed it to be at least 30 stories high, but what you can't see here is a rope that extends all the way up the right side of the building from the ground to the roof (used, perhaps, to transport window washing or roof repair equipment?)  Whatever the case, looking way up made us dizzy but gave us a new perspective too. 
I'm sneaking this photo in just because.  I prefer more natural gardens, but this one in front of the high-rise is really striking and makes a nice walkway back to our apartment.
I'm sneaking this one in too, even though "Street Light" appeared just two posts back.  This time, one can see a bit of Vancouver's history in the panels.  Bill and I, after that initial look up, have become quite fascinated with the brilliance of this design.  Stand in the right place at the right time, and some of Vancouver's past will be revealed in the shadows.
Bill's dance quota for the day had been filled, but I was greedy for more, so continued on to the West End to watch Mascall Dance.  Black Jack sat on my knee and we both enjoyed the unobstructed view provided by the circular arrangement of chairs.  There were lots of up and down perspectives to enjoy..
 from these talented dancers.
The energy built to a feverish..
intensity that I loved.
This dancer was sitting next to me, and I thought she was part of the audience, but.. 
suddenly found myself looking way up as she joined others for a downward perspective. 
I struggled to get the light right, and failed many times.  The dancing was in a church basement, with streams of sunlight coming in the windows.  But even my mistakes revealed awareness for what happens..  
at the lowest plane available to a dancer.
I'm going to leave you to see your own up/down perspectives in the rest of these dance photos.  If anyone has photography suggestions to help me improve my captures, that would be wonderful.  I used manual focus and tried to accommodate changes in light as quickly as possible, but this really was a challenging project.  I can't repeat enough how grateful I was for the opportunity not only to see these dancers but to take photos as well.  As for the dances, every single one held great interest for me.  The dancers' creativity and hard work left me in awe.  I hope I can see them again very soon.

The dancing was all on Tuesday, but Wednesday also brought a few occasions to look up and to think about the view as seen from above.  This tiny bird (maybe a kinglet?) was at the top of a very, very tall tree.  The 500 mm lens just managed to catch it winking at me. 
And then, it was back to business.
Bill noticed this beautiful pigeon looking down from a wall at a sandwich encased in a plastic bag that someone had thrown to the ground.  He picked up the bag and placed it in a receptacle.  I'm sure the pigeon was annoyed, but perhaps, is alive today because of Bill. 
In the early evening I rode my bike to Stanley Park and learned that there are now chicks in some of the heron nests.  I couldn't see them, but could definitely hear them.  This heron was peering downward with a most concerned expression.
Just for a moment, I was distracted by what I think may be a Yellow-rumped Warbler.  S/he stared upward, completely uninterested in my camera.
You have to look really, really carefully to spot the two heron bills at the bottom of this photo.  I'm pretty sure one of them is inserting a food item in a chick's mouth.
And one last shot of a heron pair looking into the nest, determined to keep their offspring fed and safe.  Thank you again to Travel with Intent for a great meme idea.  If you would like to join the challenge and/or see other entries, that last link will take you to the right place.  Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  Keep looking above and below wherever your gaze normally falls and I can pretty much guarantee a couple of new discoveries :)


  1. you have a lot of great ups and downs here. :) the dancers have so much energy, they wear me out! :)

  2. What a great post! You have captured the dancing so well - not an easy task! And liked the addition of the birds at the end. Thank you so much for joining in again - glad you like the challenge.

  3. Seems you have so many cultural events to choose from. What a wonderful place to live. Enjoyed all the poses.

  4. Wow! You certainly put a lot into this rich post!
    I would love to see a heron chick.

  5. Amazing dance photos. And it is just as amazing to me how much you find in your city to write about and photograph. You certainly have a photographer's eye. We have a heron living on the creek but I've only ever seen one of them, whereas the egrets seem to come in pairs.

  6. The performers were spectacular and so interesting from these unique angles. Isn’t it wonderful how this “up and down” meme provides a whole new opportunity to photograph from different perspectives? From people to birds and bugs ... we must all see the world so very differently. :)

  7. I like the juxtaposition of the dancers and the herons; both groups are fascinating and doing what is important and beautiful!