Blocks Break Water

Ogden Point Breakwater is a 760m (2500 feet) long structure that shields Victoria’s outer harbour from the winter storms. It was completed in 1916. Just inside the breakwater is where the pilot boats dock waiting to deliver and receive pilots from ships in transit through the complex waters to the east of Victoria, mostly passing to and from Vancouver, but also Nanaimo and points north. Pilots are highly qualified mariners with local knowledge that guide ships safely through difficult inland waterways. It is also just inside the breakwater that larger ships, including cruise ships, can dock. When I was there on Friday, a large log transport vessel was having its load removed after being seriously damaged by a “rogue wave” off the west coast of Vancouver Island last week, on its way to Japan.


The breakwater is for many people a favourite place to walk in nice weather; though it is closed, for good reason, after dark and in stormy weather. At the landward end of the breakwater is a cafe which is part of the destination for many, and at the opposite end a small light that looks like a miniature light house. This is also a favourite place to scuba dive. Around its base the breakwater is ringed by more than 10,000 very large granite blocks that step down and out at lower elevations and I presume below low tide levels. These too can be walked on. They show very clearly in my photo below, and are the subject of the photo above.

I took quite a few photos, including some long exposures, and I expect to show more over the next few days. You can find the breakwater on this map. The navigation light in the distance of the top photo marks Brotchie Ledge, a submerged reef that is a considerable hazard to marine traffic and that has been marked since Victoria was established in 1843. In the distance of the top image are the Olympic Mountains in Washington State.

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EDIT: I swapped out the top image – I realised I had uploaded an earlier edit that was not so well balanced tonally.

Canon EOS 5Dmkii, Canon 50/1.4 lense, ISO100; Top f18, 2.5 seconds; bottom f11, 1/125th

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29 thoughts on “Blocks Break Water

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  5. As you might have guessed, ehpem, I have a long love affair with the Ogden Point Breakwater – many, many memories of walking its length when I lived in Victoria, in all sorts of weather (the wilder, the better, when I was a teenager). So I would probably like just about any photos of the breakwater! But that said, I like these ones not just because they’re Ogden Pt., but also because they are GOOD, especially the first one.

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    • Hi Laurie – so many people have good memories of this place so in some ways it does make it easier to present photos of it to those that know it, they have warm feelings all ready to go. I am glad you like them for other reasons to 🙂

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    • Thank you Toad. The b&w worked well in these lighting conditions. I will probably be posting some colour in the next while and they mostly show that it was nearly a monochrome scene anyway.

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    • Hi David – B&W seems to suit my mood of late -looking back over the past week or two there is very little colour. And where there was some, like that bright orange/yellow kayak, I have done away with it. Not sure why that would be, but I am enjoying the results.

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    • Thank you Ryan – I am glad that you like them. I spent a lot of the time down there more concerned about texture than composition, but I hope the composition fell into place on its own – you can tell me as I get more images into view 🙂

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  6. Beautiful photos! I really like the snowcapped mountains in the background. The mountains in the back and the heavy veil of dark clouds adds so much to the mood of the photographs. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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    • Hi Anne – that is a very common scene around here, though the mountains are often obscured entirely they are also frequently sitting on a base of cloud or fog that rests against the American coast a lot, with some kind of weather moving in from the Pacific Ocean over the top of the mountains.

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  7. Gorgeous! I’ve been trying to figure out how in the second picture you got the blocks to be so light colored in comparison to the concrete. I’m really enjoying these. Keep the photos coming!

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    • Hi holly. This was as I was leaving and the sun almost broke through the clouds and thus was much brighter. The granite is quite white, and the concrete is painted a brownish colour. The light accentuates the difference, and just to give it a bit more punch I adjusted the contrast as well, possibly a bit too much as some of the highlights seem a bit blown out, at least by the time they have been downsized and then uploaded.

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