Aug 17, 2014 · 9:00 AM
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An oldie but goodie. There’s an architecture evaluation coming up and Chinatown has some good opportunities to snap your gold level shot. We’ll leave Richmond at 8:30 to be at Sun Yat Sen Park for 9am. 40 East Pender Street. The grounds are actually split in two. Sun Yat Sen Park is the eastern half of the property and is free while Sun Yat Sen Gardens is the western half of the property and has an admission fee of $14. The grounds have nice Asian architecture, ponds with lilly pads, big fat Koi, frogs and turtles. Also a nice bamboo grove. You could spend your whole time getting shots in this small park.
When you’re done shooting in the park, if you go a block west on Pender you’ll come to the Chinatown Gate which has some interesting angles set against the Vancouver skyline. If you go east from the park past Main Street and up to Gore Avenue (nice name) the markets will be displaying their wares on the sidewalk. An unfortunate recent change is that a lot of the exotic items are now wrapped in plastic or under plexiglass shields. Makes the health department happier I guess but not as much fun to shoot.
On the safety side of things… This part of town has it’s rough edges and you’re going to be wandering around with what is basically a bag of cash hanging from your neck. Maybe pare down your camera package and shoot lean. Try to stay in pairs. Be aware of your surroundings and do not put anything down on the ground or it could go missing fast. Get one of us to hold gear or a bag if you need help when changing lenses or digging out an extra battery. While a tripod’s nice to have, maybe skip it for this trip. You could use a tripod in Sun Yat Sen but out on the street it will probably be too busy anyway to set one up. Increase your iso and go handheld. Even though it’s a tough part of town, it’s still home for a lot of people. Please be respectful. I know it might ruin the “street shot”, but please ask permission before thrusting your camera in someone’s face. Also there are people down here that you really don’t want to piss off. There are many other photo ops available besides the residents.
Parking - Metered street parking. $2 per hour.
Bathrooms? Not really. “Waves” at Main and Pender has one you can use if you buy something. I tested the waters there (so to speak) and they have a strict “purchase first - pee later”, policy. Prepare to plunk down a few dollars on a cookie. Maybe skip that 60 ounce coffee in the morning. There are also bathrooms in Sun Yat Sen Gardens (the side with the entrance fee).
Post Coffee Spot - Across the street and a few doors east from Sun Yat Sen is Musette Café. 75 East Pender Street. Meet for coffee, snack at 11:30? Yes, they do have bathrooms.
Weather – Let’s go rain or shine (unless it’s torrential rain). Sun would be nice but there are shots of Chinatown that will work in any weather.
Email me with any questions.
“Kung Hei Fat Choy” everyone! …What’s that? It means “Happy Chinese New Year”? Guess that explains why I was getting those confused looks the other day...