Island View Beach

For the past few days I have shown insects amid thistles on Island View beach, down towards the south end of the beach. Island View Beach is in the municipality of Central Saanich a few miles north of Victoria on the Saanich Peninsula. It is one of the few sand and gravel beaches in the Victoria area, and in recognition of it’s special nature the north end is a park. The south end is quite another matter.

It has been quite a few years since I last walked south from the parking area past the recreational vehicle park. I was appalled to see the mess they have made of the beach down that way in their efforts to shore up the eroding bank. These efforts include driving creosote impregnated pilings every few feet, dumping chunks of concrete and asphalt waste from road renovations, and lining the works with old tree stumps. It’s like a garbage dump. I can’t believe that it was allowed in the first place, and that the owner has not been made to clean it up. The whole thing is spreading across the beach, and in British Columbia everything below higher high water is public land.  So this mess, unacceptable even on private land is now all over the public space too. The worst part is that it is not even functional, and never was going to be.

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I guess the cheapo attitude evident in the whole campground setup goes with a reluctance to spend on engineering advice and proper materials so that it is done properly, and some extra money to disguise the hard edges with native planting. The only consolation for me is that soon enough it will have eroded away since the land level is falling around here (soon to be exacerbated by a rise in global sea levels) and thus breakwaters and sea walls are short-term measures. I hope the concrete garbage is pulverized into sand by the winter storms fairly soon, though I doubt that will be in my lifetime. I see that the pilings are being eroded off at the knees, so they will be gone pretty soon, one by one, leaving small oil slicks in their wakes.

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Anyway, that is my rant. The last few days have shown the very small patches of beauty struggling within this mess. Today’s photos show some of the junk, as aesthetically as I could bring myself to do. These also continue my experiments with learning how to tone-map single images, and produce HDR photos from multiple brackets. Some of my shots are shown in both colour and black and white, or in two different kinds of b&w HDR treatment when I can’t decide which I like best, or where the two versions convey different information. Mostly I favour the HDR images produced in Photomatix over the edits to 32bit HDR images that have been merged to Lightroom. The latter are just too kind and gentle for the mood I ended up with after walking along this part of the beach.

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In the gallery captions:

  • Tone-mapped” means single images processed in Photomatix, with some editing before and/or afterwards in Lightroom,
  • merged-HDR” are made from several brackets (mostly 3) via a Photomatix plugin to produce a 32bit image that is edited in Lightroom
  • HDR” are multiple brackets merged and processed within Photomatix and the resulting jpegs edited in Lightroom.

 

To open the gallery view below click on any  thumbnail, use the arrows to navigate and escape to return to this page.

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Canon 5Dii, Canon 100mm/f2.8 macro and 50mm/f1.4 lenses,  ISO100 and ISO400.

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16 thoughts on “Island View Beach

  1. Pingback: So Many Cool Photography Links That Your Eyes May Bleed

  2. Talk about finding an unique subject that is just perfect for HDR! What a sad state of affairs; I am totally surprised that the folks responsible for this haven’t been held accountable somehow. Not a great testament about our modern times, that’s for sure. But, your photography, Ehpem, is just astounding! Absolutely top drawer on all counts my friend!

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    • Thank you so much Melinda. I can see how that first one is your kind of shot. And indeed, many of your photographs are of subjects lots of people would consider ugly, but you do make them beautiful. It is satisfying to be able to find something aesthetically pleasing in among the waste.

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  3. Pingback: Island View « burnt embers

  4. For as wretched as you feel about the junk strewn across the beach, your photographs have found an equal amount of beauty. The captured contrast between garbage and art is wonderful. Beautiful images. Strong feeling.

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  5. Wow, I had no idea that this mess had occurred on this beautiful stretch of beach. Well captured and documented, but very sad indeed.

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    • Hi Mrs. Toad – thanks for you comment – it is sad. I think it could be undone, but would be pretty costly and permissions to build a new sea wall might not be all that easy to come by.

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  6. Man, this is ugly. I’m referring to the condition of the land and the abuse it is currently under. Left to the environment, this could take generations to be swept way and cleaned up. Of course, some intervention is the only way this will ever get cleared up and that would take a public outcry.
    The photos have a lot of the high contrast punch to bring home the point. Well done but I’m confused by the difference between “tone mapping” and “HDR” in this context.

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    • It does take an outcry and I don’t know why it’s not there. Part of the problem is the land portion is local government and the beach is provincial government jurisdiction, so they would have to work together.
      So your confusion has exposed some of my newbie ignorance with terminology. The only difference I was referring to was a technique – HDR is multiple brackets merged together and manipulated in Photomatix. Tone-mapping is a single image processed in Photomatix. I understand a bit better now that all (including the HDR that are merged into a 32 bit image and edited in LR) are properly referred to as tone-mapped. I will edit the “key” above the gallery to make this more clear. Thanks for point it out!

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    • Hi Andy – thanks so much. It was not what I set out to photograph, so I was glad to have recently learned a bit more about post processing so I had more idea what I might be able to do.

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