When traveling with my brother and sister-in-law, we’ve made it a bit of a tradition to eat out one night at a very nice restaurant. Usually 4- and 5-star types. Why? Because the food is excellent, the ambience is wonderful, and it’s a fun excuse to get dolled up and play grown-up.
When we were in Vancouver for the Olympics, it was no different. We stumbled upon the loveliest restaurant, Teahouse in Stanley Park. The food was divine, the service professional yet amiable, and the view to die for (sunset over the Pacific Ocean)!
After dinner, we strolled back to the car and I decided I wanted a photograph of the restaurant all lit up. Problem… Beth doesn’t own a tripod or monopod. Another problem… this type of photograph requires the shutter to remain open for an extended period of time to properly grab the many details. Third problem… if the shutter is open that long, moving is very, very bad. Solution? Find something to brace the camera on, breathe slowly, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. I rolled down the window on the car door and then tucked the camera into the corner so I had an anchor and side to brace it. It took quite a few shots because people (who shall remain nameless) in the car kept moving, but patience is a virtue of mine when it comes to snapping photos and eventually I prevailed. Of course, it’s still a bit of a gamble because the screen on the back of a camera only shows so much. The truth comes out once I load a photo onto my computer.
In the bay was a barge carrying the Olympic rings. Of a night, they were red in color. However, if a Canadian Olympian secured a gold medal sometime during that day’s competition, the rings shown in gold. Clearly that was the case here. We could see them from the location of the torch and I wanted a photograph. I was doing my best to brace my arms against my own body and shooting through a chainlink fence because there was a “DO NOT CROSS” yellow tape that I was not crossing. I would’ve happily placed my lens against the chain links, breathed slowly, crossed my fingers, so on and so forth, but I was following instructions. This lady totally ignores the tape, climbs under it, and waltzes up to the fence. Next thing you know, the security guard is on her like white on rice. He gave her a tongue lashing about ignoring the tape and instructions and going where she wasn’t allowed. She said she just wanted a picture of the rings. He said he didn’t care. She finally left–sans picture of the rings.
He turns to me and in a lower voice says, “If you go right over there, you’ll find a great place to take your photo. There’s a wrought iron fence that won’t budge and there’s no chain link to get in your way. I took pictures there last night.” ‘Over there’ was about fifty feet around a corner. Sweet success! Did I mention dumb luck can lead to good night shots, too?
I probably should invest in a monopod and/or tripod, but since I can’t realistically lug them around due to physical limitations, why spend the money? I’ll just continue to find trees, poles, buildings, caterpillars (the ginormous construction equipment–true story!), and the like to brace my trusty camera, breathe slowly, cross my fingers, and hope for the best.