Sea to Sky Gondola Lift Incident

Since picking up skiing last year, I’ve taken some interest in how chairlifts and gondolas work. (For anyone else interested, sites like LiftBlog and Skilifts.org detail lift installation history, specifications and other technical details on lift operations).

According to various news reports, early yesterday morning around 4-5am, staff at the Sea to Sky Gondola heard a loud bang and later discovered the deropement of the system with the haul rope snapped and many cabins fallen to the ground.

Although the Sea to Sky Gondola isn’t a ski hill and I haven’t personally ridden on this gondola, this particular incident hits home because the same type of Doppelmayr gondola system is also used at Whistler Blackcomb where I have skied (and plenty of other ski resorts around the world). So I went out in the afternoon to check out the aftermath, as a catastrophic failure of a gondola haul rope is very rare.

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On Creative Commons licensing and SeaBus photos

One of the nice things about releasing photos on Flickr with a Creative Commons license is that once in a while there’s a nice surprise when you see your photo used on another website.

Last week, Vancity Buzz posted an article summarizing a bit of Seabus history with photographs which included some of my SeaBus photos.  Many of the photos that were used from my collection were taken during the APTA conference here in Vancouver in 2010.  I was able to take a tour of the SeaBus operations and maintenance centre and get a unique glimpse to the areas of the Burrard Pacific Breeze that regular passengers don’t get to see.

Many transit enthusiasts are very protective of their photography and add watermarks and strict rules on how the photo can(not) be used by others.  On the other hand, I’m all right with others using my photos so long as they give appropriate credit (for those with eagle eyes, yes there are a couple other stipulations in the specific license I use).  The Creative Commons licenses allow me to retain ownership of my photos and at the same time allow others to use my photos.  Others are free to use the photos as they wish (mostly) as long as attribution is given, usually in the form of a link.

If you are interested in learning more about Creative Commons licensing, PCWorld has an informative article on protecting artistic works with Creative Commons licensing.  The article goes over common questions and concerns when using the license.

If you have any experiences with Creative Commons licensing, feel free to leave a comment.

Schmap Vancouver: Photo Short-Listed

I just got this email today:

:: Schmap: Vancouver Photo Short-list

Hi Dennis,

I am writing to let you know that one of your photos has been short-listed for inclusion in the fourth edition of our Schmap Vancouver Guide, to be published mid-November 2007.

http://www.schmap.com/ (URL snipped)

Clicking this link will take you to a page where you can:
i) See which of your photos has been short-listed.
ii) Submit or withdraw your photo from our final selection phase.
iii) Learn how we credit photos in our Schmap Guides.
iv) Browse online or download the second edition of our Schmap Vancouver Guide.

While we offer no payment for publication, many photographers are pleased to submit their photos, as Schmap Guides give their work recognition and wide exposure, and are free of charge to readers. Photos are published at a maximum width of 150 pixels, are clearly attributed, and link to high-resolution originals at Flickr.

Our submission deadline is Sunday, November 11. If you happen to be reading this message after this date, please still click on the link above (our Schmap Guides are updated frequently – photos submitted after this deadline will be considered for later releases).

Best regards,

Emma Williams,
Managing Editor, Schmap Guides

The photo that was short-listed was one of the SeaBus:

I don’t think it’s one of my best photos, but I guess it does look decent.

Maybe I will start to post more of my photos on Flickr 😛

Finally fully working camera again, and some buses in the snow

In August of this year, some pressure from an unknown source cracked my LCD screen, and since then I have been using it without an LCD screen (quite difficult, but still usable).  A week ago, I ordered a replacement LCD from Foto Geeks and I received it today (coincidentally the day I was home).  Following Andy’s LCD replacement tutorial I successfully replaced the cracked LCD screen I have had almost for half a year.  Wondering what the cracked LCD looks like?

Cracked LCD Screen

The replacement was without problem except I made two scratches on the backlight, and nearly damaged the backlight ribbon cable, but hey at least I can see the camera settings without trying to guess whether the flash is on or off.

So while I was running a couple of errands, I quickly went out to UBC to see how the snow is over there.  Along the way I took some photos.  Presenting…snowy Vancouver (and its buses):

Guess I should go back to studying now =)