If you happen to be visiting Victoria, British Columbia, consider a stop in Sidney. At sunset or sunrise the long pier at the end of Beacon Avenue is exceptional to photograph, and at low tide it’s possible to include some really dramatic rocks in the foreground.
The pier is east facing, and while you might think that it is ideal for sunrises, the light in the morning can be a bit challenging, especially after the sun rises above the horizon. Add in the fact that the sun gets up pretty early during the summer and sunset starts to look a little better. The plus side is that if you’re out photographing the pier around 5:00 am in the morning, there’s less likelihood that anyone will be on it! A 6-stop or greater ND filter is a good idea to lengthen your exposure time to create a smooth, surreal look to the water without having to go to your smallest aperture.
At sunset, the light is very different and the pier takes on a moody look as the sky darkens and the lights come on. The setting sun illuminates any clouds to the east which will make a beautiful background for any photographs. The pier is often busy in the evening, but if you use longer exposures the moving people become “ghosts” and disappear. As the evening progresses, there’s less need for a ND filter and still plenty of colour in the sky.
Access to the pier is very easy. Follow Beacon Avenue (the main road through downtown Sidney) to the water’s edge. Park and you’re there!
If you’d like to view these images and more (in a larger format), please visit http://www.daveingram.ca/Photography/Ocean/Sidney-Pier/