Homeless in Vancouver: The view is simply magnificent

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      The scene above is looking north down Cambie Street just on the south side of 14th Avenue last Friday afternoon. Nice huh? Like living in a ski resort, or a postcard. Go ahead, book your flight today!

      Nature’s charm is simplicity; a city’s is complexity

      This is a little piece of rather large panorama that was very nearly awesome, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, it had too many gaps to use in its entirety.

      That tallest thing in the middle—besides the mountain—is the Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver; just a hop, skip, and jump from the Downtown Eastside. It was built in 1977. It is very tall and has a revolving restaurant on top, a bit of university in the middle, and a shopping mall underneath. It’s funny-looking, but after 37 years Vancouverites have gotten used to it and call it a landmark, for lack of a better term. Its Wikipedia entry, which contains all sorts of interesting bits, implies it may have been inspired by the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

      The spiky construction is the B.C. Place stadium with its retro-fitted retractable roof. When it was originally build in 1983, it had a solid Teflon-coated fabric roof that required a constant degree of internal air pressure to stay inflated. Back in the day, it was bandied about that if all the entrances—which functioned like airlocks—were opened at the same time the fabric roof would fall like a soufflé.

      In 2007, the roof tore and maintenance staff performed an intentional “controlled deflation”.

      B.C. Place was given a new retractable roof in late 2011, following an 18-month renovation costing taxpayers at least $514 million.

      Speaking of complexity

      Panoramas—assemblages of many photos—can contain all sorts of interesting artifacts relating to the stitching process. The photo below is an example of the way transitional elements (cars) can be dealt with as the stationary elements (buildings) are joined photo-to-photo. The results can be interesting in and of themselves and are slightly reminiscent of the ghosting achieved in long exposures.

      Panorama programs, which employ a whole bunch of compositing techniques at once, can probably be used to do interesting things beside just panoramas. I’ll have to see about that. 

      Click the images to enlarge them.

      Ghost cars of South Cambie. Spooky!
      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer.