Grounded above a city of cloud


Last week I received an email attachment from a friend in Vancouver of this stunning photo. (Click the image to get the full WOW! effect.) This is a view of downtown Vancouver skyscrapers shrouded in fog at sunrise, taken from Cypress mountain, one of the mountains (with ski slopes) which loom over the city.

There has been much debate about who took this photo because there were many photographers up on the Cypress Bowl road that morning (this one is good because it has labels identifying what can be seen above the fog) but I think people are missing the point of why this particular shot is so striking: seeing a city from above the fog or cloud is pretty cool, but something not completely unattainable in these days of jetting around the globe.

What makes this photo so remarkable is the tree in the bottom right hand corner, which indicates that the photo is taken on solid ground, not from a airplane. Realising this gives me a touch of vertigo, which isn’t so far from the feeling I get being in Vancouver and looking up at those enormous mountains (when they aren’t hidden by cloud, which is often.)

The photo I took (below) when I was visiting in December might help you get an idea of the geography – its taken from Queen Elizabeth Park which is south of downtown, so we are looking back in the towards the mountains on which the fog photographers stood. I think Cypress mountain is on the left of the dip in the mountains, where the two peaks are obscured by cloud.

Downtown Vancouver from Queen Elizabeth Park

If you are curious about who took the Vancouver under fog photo you can follow the trail I took starting here. Someone who’d been emailed the photo posted it on their own Flickr stream, which leads you here, where it gets credited to Scott Miller and the Vancouver Sun (a local paper that printed the image). A couple days later the same blogger corrected the credit to Blair Kent after someone recognised the photo and revealed the real author. (The Vancouver Sun have also since corrected their credit).

What really surprised me, is that a keen photographer with a brand new Canon EOS 5D Mark II didn’t already have an online photo-sharing account set up on which to post his photos. Perhaps if he had all this confusion wouldn’t have happened. Well, Blair Kent has finally caught up and has since set up his own Flickr stream. It goes to show you can never be sure when you are emailing a few friends some photos, that they won’t find their way into other people’s plagiarising hands.

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