My Top 10 Photos for 2014

We’ve had a great year as a family and spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying being disconnected from the hustle and bustle of a busy life. It’s funny how when you get away from your regular routine and into nature, you can really reconnect as a family and remember what really matters!

I came across Jim Goldstein’s annual Your Best Photos project, and so I thought would participate. So here are my ten favourite photos for 2014.

Sandcut Beach near Victoria, BCSandcut Beach

Fairy Lake near Port Renfrew, BC on Vancouver Island.Fairy Lake Fir

Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park, Canadian RockiesFollow the Leader

Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, Canadian Rockies14688569254_5d5f3a3ec9_o

Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park, Canadian RockiesTakakkaw Falls

Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canadian Rockies14784835179_e68a708037_o

Lake O’Hara, Yoho National Park, Canadian RockiesCabins on the Lake

Lake O’Hara, Yoho National Park, Canadian Rockies15078174208_e71a9abe55_o

On the Lake Oesa Trail, Yoho National Park, Canadian RockiesAlong the Trail

Japanese Garden in Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BCJapanese Garden Oasis

Trail near Botanical Beach, Port Renfrew, BC on Vancouver Island.In the Woods

I think that might be eleven, but that’s how I roll. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to visit these places along with my favourite people.  I also wish to thank  each and every one of you that took the time to take a look at my photo adventures.  I look forward to more adventures in 2015!

2015 Canadian Rockies Calendar

Hey folks,

I’m so neglectful in keeping this blog updated regularly.  My only excuse is raising a family and the craziness that comes with that.

Some of you may know that we spent about 3 weeks travelling in the Canadian Rockies this summer.  If you haven’t made that trip yet, I highly recommend it.  It blew my socks off! Totally amazing scenery, and I hope to return before too long.

I am making available some of my favourite images from the trip in a calendar which is available on my Redbubble site at this address:

A few of the images are included in this post. But you can see each photo I’ve included by clicking on the link.

If you are a local from Victoria, BC area, I will be placing an order early next week for local pickup so you can save on the shipping. The cost will be $30 Canadian. Please message me to let me know and I will add to the order accordingly.

Thank you to each and every one of you for following our adventures. I wish you a fantastic day and thank you for your support!

Emerald Lake The Hanging Valley Inviting DSC07905

Have a great day!

Spring Flowers

The Spring always brings a huge variety of spring flowers adding joy to our walks around the neighbourhood.  With my recent purchase of an old film camera, I was anxious to shoot some flowers around the neighbourhood to see how they would come out. Here’s a photo, shot on Pentax Spotmatic SPII with 55mm 1.4:

Poppy Madness

I love the look of film and how it forces you to slow down and be deliberate about your shooting, so I will definitely shoot more of it. I found this quote and it sums up how shooting film makes you feel:

“It means you appreciate the details, the nuances, and subtleties of your craft. It says that in a manic world that designs everything to be faster, you’re not afraid to slow down, to focus, to plan, and to trust yourself when you press the shutter.”

An added bonus is with an adapter like this, I can use the old M42 screw mount lenses on my modern digital camera. Of course, the old lenses lack modern advances such as autofocus. But, my Sony NEX-7 has focus peaking so it is really easy to use the manual focus lenses. With this set up, I’ve been enjoying the old Cosina 55mm 1.4 lens on my digital camera. I paid very little for the old film camera including a couple lenses. But, if you’re familiar with the price of a f1.4 lens, then you will see why this is a good deal! Here’s some of the fun I had with this set up:


Little Green Bug


My Ride


Red Hot Poker Plant


Until the next time, thank you for taking a look! Enjoy!

Fallen Behind

Life has been very busy, and my good intentions of updating this blog once a week have fallen by the wayside.  But, here’s a little update on what’s going on in my world of photography.

Firstly, I’m taking a photography course at the local college. It is an intermediate course covering off such things as flash, and the Zone system. We’re also assigned a theme each week, so it gets me out shooting in that theme. Our images get critiqued by our instructor, which is a little scary (terrifying actually) but the only way you get better is by hearing the good, the bad and the ugly! I’m also connecting with other local photographers. It gets the creative juices flowing! So, in one of our sessions I mentioned to one of the other photogs my interest in one day getting a film camera. She said she had an extra and so a deal was struck! Next class she brings this baby . . .

Pentax Spotmatic

It’s a Pentax Spotmatic with a couple lenses, extension tubes, and a bunch of other goodies! So I’m geeking out over my first film SLR!! It’s older than I am, but seems to work alright. I had to take it down to a local camera shop to get the battery compartment open as it was corroded up, and the light meter wouldn’t work. Ten minutes later, they had it cleaned up and it works! I have yet to have my first roll processed as I’m still working on it, but I like the way shooting film forces you to slow down and think about your shots. I also taught my daughter how to use it so here’s a photo of her shooting with it.

Film Camera Lessons

I’ve also been saving for a new Ultra Wide-Angle lens and finally had enough (and it was on SALE!) so I got the Sony SEL 10-18 F4. I’ve been testing it out of late. Here’s a few shots with the lens:

Taken at Cattle Point in Victoria, BC. I’ve been working at these long exposure shots to improve in this area of photography.



Taken at Cattle Point in Victoria, BC.
Taken at Cattle Point in Victoria, BC.

Cadboro Bay
Taken at Cadboro Bay

Dancing Magenta
Taken at Cattle Point in Victoria, BC

Pop of Colour
Mount Douglas, Victoria, BC

Mount Douglas Sunset

So far the lens is sharp and I like it. The wide angle is something to get used to but I think it’s a keeper!

I’m on Instagram now and have a separate account for my photography. You can find me at: Carrie Cole Photography

So that’s a wrap for now! Thanks for taking the time folks!

Tall Tree Adventure


Yes, we are THAT family! What do I mean? Well, the other day I was spending time with a close friend and she was explaining how her husband will spend a full day trying to search down a big tree in a forest, even after the fun factor has waned for the rest of the family. A big tree, she lamented! I laughed and said “I totally get it!” I was, of course, taking the side of her husband for we are THAT family.

I’m blessed with a husband who is crazy kind enough to agree to my crazy ideas. You see, when I see something cool on the internet, I want to go see it for myself. So, that starts the planning process if it is feasible, not dangerous, and is something we can do as a family, including our four year old. Those are the parameters. So, when I suggested we go find the tallest Douglas Fir Tree in the world, and we happened to be in the area, my husband again said, “why not!”

So we set off, but I’m not sure what I was thinking. It was my husband that read the disclaimer about the road which reads:

“**Please take note regarding driving to the Red Creek Fir: The
gravel logging roads from Len’s Main are rarely maintained or
not maintained at all. Use at your own risk. It is recommended that
you have enough gas, a spare tire which is in good condition (and that
you know how to change a flat tire). It is always wise when travelling
in the backcountry to let someone know where you intend to go and
when you will be back. In the event you have car trouble, stay with
your vehicle. It is best to visit the Red Creek Fir in the morning as the
road is rarely travelled after dark. Those driving rental cars should be
aware of rental contracts regarding travel on logging roads. This route
is not recommended for vehicles with low clearance (compacts, sub
compacts, sports cars etc.) SUVs, Pickups and 4x4s are best!!”

For anyone who just has to see it for themselves, here’s some directions.

So, it’s REALLY not suitable for cars! Take my word for it, you really are better off in a truck or SUV. It is bumpy, rocky and clearly not passed very often, as there were branches down along the way that needed to be cleared. My husband didn’t complain even though he had to clear the roadway from fallen branches. So, if you are going to go, bring some gloves or a chainsaw or something to clear the road. My husband had his gardening gloves but it was getting ridiculous after a while, and I even questioned whether it was a good idea! But, we pressed on, and my husband got a good workout.



So was it worth it? Well, you can judge it for yourself, but this tree is huge! We remarked how it is a marvel that it was even spared from being logged! In addition to this awesome old growth Douglas Fir, there are giant cedars that are awe inspiring! Along the road way there’s a really cool creek which cascades straight down. Truly impressive! A fun adventure for the whole family and another wonder of creation!

Red Creek Fir

Red Creek Fir

Big Tree

Photo credit: Malia Cole
Photo credit: Malia Cole
Photo Credit: Malia Cole
Photo Credit: Malia Cole

Giant Cedar



West Coast Vancouver Island

I still haven’t had much time to dig into my shots from Port Renfrew and area on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Life is like that some time. It’s the balance of responsibilities of life.

In the meantime, here’s a couple shots. The first one is Fairy Lake Bonsai presented in landscape orientation:

Fairy Lake Bonsai

The second shot is from Sandcut Beach which is just past Sooke, BC between French Beach and Jordan River. It’s a place that I’ve wanted to go to for a while having heard how awesome it is from friends and also fellow photographers. So, on a lovely spring morning we set off to explore. It’s about a 15 minute from the trailhead to the beach through forest. Once you hit the beach, the falls I’m showing here are to the left about 10 minutes down the beach. I could stay at this spot all day and I’ll definitely return to Sandcut Beach!

Sandcut Beach

Fine art prints available at my WEBSITE.

Waiting For a Friend

We live about 2 hours away from Port Renfrew, but we haven’t really spent much time out that way, so we planned a quick little get away with the family to explore and do some day hikes in the area. I can’t wait to dig into the photos, but in the meantime here’s one of my favourite spots. I’m a sucker for a lonely tree.

Waiting For a Friend

“Waiting For a Friend”

My friend Shelagh saw this shot and shared that she wrote a song about a lonely tree that goes “All the lonely trees, just waiting for a friend, to take their picture. I love the way they stand”.

Prints available at: