Author Archives: Shaji Zaidi

The Butchart Gardens

The Butchart Gardens

The Butchart Gardens, located in in Brentwood Bay, just outside of Victoria, BC were started by (Jennie) the Butcharts in 1909, when they converted an exhausted limestone quarry into the Sunken Garden; and then replaced their residence tennis courts with an Italian garden; and then their kitchen vegetable garden with a large rose garden. The gardens slowly grew over the century to their current magical blossoms and variety of foliage. The Butchart Gardens have been designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

Being there on a sunny spring day provided for a perfect opportunity for me to snap away randomly with my iPhone and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the shots turned out. I say this by no means to support claims of armature iPhone wannabe photographers who profess to the awesomeness of their iPhone camera. I am however professing to how picture-perfect the gardens looked on this sunny spring day. Shots with a pinhole camera would have turned out just as spectacular.

An album by Shaji Zaidi

A Day Trip to The Lahore Fort

The Lahore Fort and Badshahi (Royal) Mosque are the pinnacle of Mughal architecture in the city of Lahore in Pakistan. The fort is located at the central northern end of the city, and spreads over an area greater than 20 hectares. The core of the fort, built with mud bricks, dates as far back as the 11th century; and was restored to the Mughal splendor and opulence in the 17th century, along with the addition of the Royal Mosque. The mosque is a testimonial to the characteristic Mughal architecture comprising of precision in symmetry of domes and towers. After the fall of the Mughal Empire, the fort was taken over by Ranjit Singh, founder of the Sikh Empire who made additions in the 18th century; and then passed on to the British in 1849.

In 1981, the fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its “outstanding repertoire” of Mughal monuments dating from the era when the empire was at its artistic and aesthetic zenith.

Back in 2012 I had the opportunity to visit the fort and was able to capture reminisce of the Mughal empire grandeur and a variety of other architectural marvels dating back centuries. I had almost forgotten about the shots until just recently when I looked at them again and thought they were worth sharing with others.

A Day Trip to The Lahore Fort

An album by Shaji Zaidi

Spring in Port Royal

Took my Nikon FM out of its case to soot some film after almost two years. Took some shots walking around my neighborhood of Port Royal in New West, BC. It is really a world of difference to shooting with a digital SLR. I had forgotten that in the two years!

Of course one cannot compete with the 50-plus megapixels resolution and sharpness of a digital image; but what is captured on film is truly amazing in its own right. The images are almost alive and speak to one in a manner digital images could never do!

Spring in Port Royal

An album by Shaji Zaidi

Shots from Telliskivi Creative City

Two summers ago I was in Telliskivi Creative City (Loomelinnak) in Tallinn, Estonia. This used to be old Brutalist tenements from the Soviet era that the city has converted into a cultural destination in the center of Tallinn. This is a perfect example of how a progressive mindset can take something old and depressed and repurpose it to provide a positive influence while preserving its heritage.
Here are some shots I took while I was walking around in Telliskivi Loomelinnak:

Shots from Telliskivi Creative City
An album by Shaji Zaidi

Cascades Train Ride

I have been riding the Amtrak Cascades for a some years now visiting family in Portland, OR. The last time I took the train back to Vancouver, BC the lighting seemed perfect and I was inspired to snap some shots of the farmland and small town Washington state.
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An album by Shaji Zaidi

Chihuly Garden Visit July 2015

I recently took a visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. It is a museum in the Seattle Center next to the Space Needle showcasing the studio glass work of Dale Chihuly. I went to see the exhibit inadvertently as something to do with my family and was not sure what to expect. Much to my surprize, this was an unforgettable visual adventure. The intricate details, contrasting colours and the physical representation of forms in every piece was breathtaking and provides never-ending options for some great abstract photography. I did not have my Nikon with me; but tried to take some interesting pictures with my Z30.
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An album by Shaji Zaidi

A Ferry Ride to Galiano Island

We took a trip to Galiano Island back in February. I had recently acquired a Samsun Galaxy S4 and decided to take some experimental shots with the phone camera. I was really surprised by the quality of pictures that the phone took – even from behind the dusty windows of the ferry. On the way back to Tsawwassen terminal, I was able to capture some spectacular shots of Mount Baker.
An album by Shaji Zaidi
Sun Sparkles on Gulf Waters Small Light House on a Projected Rock Seagulls Flying over the Gulf
Yachts Sailing at Sunset View from a Ferry Window
Vehicles on Ferry Deck Tan Suede Shoes
Post and Ceiling of Ferry Terminal Mont Baker and Gulf Waters

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