Vancouver boasts as one of the most vibrant cities in the world, filled with people from all walks of life. There are dozens of reasons for photographers to fall in love with this location. From its bustling streets to the stunning beaches and soaring mountains, there are lots of places that are guaranteed to give you stunning pictures.
To explore every facet of Vancouver and its rich culture would take many weeks, or years. Sadly, for most people, you won’t have enough time to explore this area thoroughly. So, let’s stick to the highlights. The following are some of the best places to take a jaw-dropping picture in Vancouver.
If you’re looking for a location that’s guaranteed to put you in a good mood, check out Alley Oop in Downtown Vancouver. Pinks, purples, and oranges are all used in the murals that line the walls and cover the floor.
When deciding how to photograph this area, you will have dozens of options from which to choose. You could get there early, taking pictures of the murals when there aren’t any people around. Or, you could wait for a while until the street begins to fill up, so you can capture the energy that visitors can bring.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Vancouver is known for its natural beauty. The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of the best ways to show this aspect of the city. This park features live bird shows. Depending on the type of angle you get, you can show the power of the birds as they take off, or the peaceful majesty that they bring as they glide through the air. You can also explore some of the histories of the Native Peoples of Canada, showing off the totem poles that are stationed around the park.
However, the main attractions are the suspension bridges that are around the park. This feature is a rare chance to go above the tree line and look down on the forest floor. If possible, attend the park in the morning or afternoon, so you can show the sun rising over the forest. You may also want to take multiple lenses, especially if you’re going on the cliff walk, which circles the rock face.
Vancouver Public Library
Vancouver is a prevalent film location, with dozens of productions being shot in this country. When you visit the Vancouver public library, you will see why Hollywood production scouts love the area so much. There are dozens of ways to photograph the curving archways of this building. For example, you can stand in the park to capture the way the sun rises over the gentle slopes. Or you can photograph as people walk through the winding corridors. If you want to do this, the best place is the courtyard. In other cases, you may want to get above the library, looking down on its curving walkways. This angle can give you a better appreciation of the beautiful way the building was constructed.
Gastown Steam Clock
Vancouver is well-known for having a quirky side, hosting the Just For Laughs comedy festival each year. One of the best ways to show this aspect of the city is by visiting the Gastown Steam Clock, which is an old clock releasing a steam whistle.
There are dozens of ways to photograph this interesting clock, set in the middle of the city square. During the day, you can try to photograph it with people walking around it. This option can be one of the best ways for you to showcase the contrast between old and new. Or you can wait until the night, where the city lights play in the glass and steel of the clock. It will also let you capture the way the clock display lights up and you can capture some motion blur from people walking around the clock. Regardless of what time you visit, be sure to stick around so you can catch the plume of steam that erupts from the clock to mark the hour.
Vancouver is renowned for its beaches. A very spectacular place to photograph is Kitsilano Beach. This area features gorgeous white sand and clear, blue water. It can also provide a view of the city and its mountainous backdrop.
If you plan to visit this location, it’s best to prepare. As this is a popular tourist attraction, you want to be there early, and it will let you capture the sun rising over the oceans or the moment that the sun begins to peek from behind the mountains and illuminate the city buildings. You may want to take multiple lenses so that you can capture both the wide-angle shots of the cityscape and more tight crops of the cityscape.
This science centre is a gorgeous structure that looks great during the day but even more beautiful at night when the lights come on. Due to its location in the harbour, there are multiple angles that you can capture it from. All will feature the water as foreground which can provide a nice reflection of the centre, especially at night. If you photograph it from around the Dragon Zone Paddling Club you will also be able to capture the city skyline in the shot as well.
This observation deck is in the northeast of Vancouver and offers wonderful views of the city. The only challenge is the tilted windows that can mean reflections in your shots. The best way to eliminate them is by placing your camera as close to the glass as possible. Using a polarizing filter will also help. But regardless of the photos, this is a great spot for a view of the city anyway and should be visited.
Queen Elizabeth Park
As the highest point in Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Park offers wonderful views of the city and the North Shore mountains. The view from the Seasons In The Park restaurant is exceptional so you may want to book a table and hang around at sunset on their patio. But besides the views, the park also offers great photo opportunities in and around the Bloedel Conservatory and the scenic gardens.
One of the best spots for cityscape photographs of Vancouver is from Stanley Park. There are so many different spots for photos from the Stanly Park Seawall Path that you could spend a few days just in this park. Towards the east end of the park near the Nine O’Clock Gun, you can capture great early morning or late afternoon shots of the skyline.
Be prepared to allocate a decent amount of time to this park as for example, the view from near the Royal Vancouver Club is also pretty great with the boats in the foreground. Or head to Prospect Point lookout for a spectacular view of the Lions Gate Bridge and the mountains in the background.
A little further out in West Vancouver is Lighthouse Park. It is a National Historic Site of Canada and offers some wonderful photo opportunities. The photography highlight has to be Shore Pine Point which offers a stunning coastal shot of Point Atkinson Lighthouse and the Burrard Inlet.
Though you could spend years photographing Vancouver, these are some of the best places for you to explore. Soon find why Vancouver is one of the most photogenic cities in the world, with a stunning shot lurking around every turn.
Photo credits: Dreamstime – All rights reserved. No usage without permission.