I’ve actually been a photographer since I was 10 years old. At that age, there was really no such thing as a digital camera… or at least nothing we could afford or anything attainable. My dad had an old Pentax Film SLR that he had used when he was a teenager and had collected a number of lenses and filters. My dad showed me how to focus it, and sent me off on my own. So I started playing around with my dad’s old camera. I wish I had scanned the photos, but I don’t have them anymore.

I eventually bought an Olympus C-3030Zoom. I can’t believe 3 MP seemed like a lot at the time! It was an old school digital camera but actually quite cutting edge for the time. I even bought a couple filters for it. I decided to start a photo journal site and post my digital photos and did this for the next 4 years. Here are some of my photos with the Olympus:

Bee on yellow flower

Ladybug in tulip

Water Drop


In 2005 I finally bit the bullet and bought a digital SLR. I bought a Nikon D50 with the kit lens, a 70-300 zoom lens, and a number of filters. I eventually bought an underwater housing for it in 2007 (to take surfing and scuba photos with it). Some of my favourite photos were taken with this camera:

La Push, Washington

Santorini, Greece


Allan Surfing

Hornby Island at Midnight

Deer at Hurricane Ridge

New York Cabs

Purple Orchid

Ontario Farm

Cadiz, Spain

Marcus' Rifle

Christie's Calendar Shot

Finally, last September my D50 died and I bought my Nikon D80, which I love. Here are some recent photos:

Snowboard Gap Jump

Costa Rica Bird

Mono Lake Hydrant

Tiled Faucet


San Francisco Spectator

School of Fish

Curled Leaf

Waiting in Motion

Scuba Diver

Now that I’ve started blogging again, it’s tempting to make it a photo journal — but I don’t think I will this time. I am, however, only be using my photos on this site, unless otherwise credited. I’ve been debating whether or not lug my DSLR around with me everywhere, for the purposes of taking photos for my blog. I love my compact Canon camera, but is it enough for the average reader? Do people expect high quality photos all the time?

So what do you think… to lug my DSLR around, or not to lug?

In other news, my dear friend Jessica Whidden has her birthday today. Jess and I first met last year when I went to City Sports Physiotherapy. Snowboarding had torn up my knees and generally messed up my body, and Jessica put me all back together. She’s a registered massage therapist, and her sports massage is serious business. She also happens to be a super mom… she’s an amazing skier and a hardcore snowboarder, pretty much a professional rugby player, extremely intelligent, and also gorgeous. Not to mention that she’s a mother, working pretty much full time, and also in school for acupuncture and even doing her yoga teacher certification. Holy crap, if only all of us could be like her. Love you Jess, and thanks for healing me on a regular basis.

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27 Responses to “TO LUG, OR NOT TO LUG”

  1. Jess Says:

    I am touched and moved by the CV that you have given me.
    Overall I am just glad to help and I am happy to get people back to the sports they love.
    Working is easy if you love what you do.
    She also neglected to mention my greatest flaw…. I am a Leafs fan ( a small glitch which she has forgiven me for … at least until they come to town.)

    XO J**

  2. Urban Dweller Says:

    Those are some amazing photos :) For that reason alone you should lug your DSLR around. However, I haven’t seen the results of photos taken via the compact canon. Maybe post some of those and then readers can make an informed decision.

  3. Vancity Allie Says:

    You can see them in previous posts, like the Shabusen one for example. It’s just a normal compact digital camera :) But I’m questioning whether more quality is needed for that in a blog…

    And Jess.. I can’t wait to see the Nucks beat the Leafs ;)

  4. Urban Dweller Says:

    Yeah the Shabusen photos are just fine. For a blog they will definitely do :)

  5. Mike Says:

    Agreed with Urban Dweller; for general blogging, the compact’s just fine. I say only lug the sweet camera when you *know* that you’re going to a scenic photogenic locale/event. That La Push, WA photo is still one of my all-time favorites, followed by the tiger from the Toronto Zoo.

    In other words; compact for every day life/outings, DSLR for vacations. :)

  6. Urban Dweller Says:

    Good point Mike, the DSLR should be for special events only.

  7. tordahl Says:

    wow, you are an awesome photographer.sold any of those?

  8. Vancity Allie Says:

    Thanks! I’ve sold a few, but I don’t have them up for sale online. Perhaps I should?

    I much prefer to print and frame, though. :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. EzE Says:

    I think that another photoshoot is in order- come to LA again and we’ll set it up ;) Your pictures are amazing – as always

  10. fish Says:

    There are some amazing colors in those photos. Props to you my friend, nice work. What Canon do you have? Lugging a D80 around is a bit of a pain, requires commitment i think… I would stick to the Canon. I like my G9 :)

  11. Vancity Allie Says:

    I just have a crappy Canon. Powershot SD700 IS Digital Elph.

  12. Ivan Goroun Says:

    Good job on almost all of these.

    If you want a good compact camera, I can recommend Fuji F30 or F31fd. The only thing it doesn’t have is wideangle lens. If you want wide angle but can handle something a little bit bulkier, I’d recommend getting Canon S80. These cameras are no longer produced (and there are no meaningful replacements today), but available on eBay.

  13. dsiglin Says:

    That Nikon does amazing things with color! Do you post-process for color or is that straight from the camera?

    ps – for a cheap but fun camera you should check out the Holga. Medium format and a little expensive to process but way cool. At $20 a pop there’s no worry if you break it. B&H Video has the best deal on 120 film, around $3 per roll.


  14. Osvaldo (Ozzy) Says:

    Hi Allie,

    You have an absolutely good taste for composition! Great pictures.


  15. Ptroy Says:

    You take such amazing pictures. Your life seems very fun. Makes me want to move to Canada!

  16. Nadia Hakki Says:


    I stumbled across your site while searching for a Waterhog Surfboard. Wow, your pictures are beautiful!!! I also ski, climb and do some photograpy and I think you have just inspired me to start a blog. I have some pictures from recent travel up on flickr.

    Any tips on finding a good deal on a waterhog; new or used?


  17. Kathi Says:


    your pictures are very beautiful. I love the one with the snowboarder because i also do snowboarding here in austria. Looking throug your site makes me want to visit vancouver.

    Regards, Kathi

  18. Stonehenge Australia Says:

    Great pictures I must admit that I’m stole some of them :) ,amazing photos thank you


  19. stephen Says:

    I say based upon the awesome shots with the D80 you should lug. However, for the sakes of posting on the site it’d be a shame for you not to have a camera with you to snap some west coast shenanigans, and i’m sure the Canon compact would do fine. Alternatively, try and nab a Panasonic LX3, they are fantastic!

    Loving all the photos and musings on the site, keep it up!


    Stephen, UK
    (a transplanted Left Coaster)

  20. Dan Says:

    You have an amazing talent, and I’ve enjoyed scouring your site. You make me miss Vancouver so much, can’t wait to get back. Keep up the good work.

  21. Lamya Says:

    I’ve just discovered your blog (I want to spend some holidays in Vancouver). Your blog is amazing and your pictures are marvellous. You have talent!

  22. Pavelu Bento Says:

    Solid blog. I got a lot of effective info. I’ve been keeping an eye on this technology for awhile. It’s intriguing how it keeps shifting, yet some of the core components remain the same. Have you seen much change since Google made their latest acquisition in the area?

  23. Russell V J Ward Says:

    Love the blog and the excellent photos, particularly the Tofino ones. Coming back to Van for a visit n 4 weeks and cannot wait! Miss the place dearly… so pleased to have found this blog. Cheers, Russ

  24. Tamea Burd Photography Says:

    Holy Moley, these are amazing! Especially love the fire-hydrant and the tumbleweed on the road!

  25. Jessie Says:

    beautiful images.

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This the blog of a 28 year-old Vancouver girl who loves and writes about everything “Vancouver” and West Coast. This is the blog of a girl who works in Vancouver's video game industry, it's also a surfing blog, snowboarding blog, food blog, Canucks blog, gadget blog, and photography blog. VancityAllie.com is an award-winning blog that receives over 2.7M unique visitors every year and over 4,500 followers on Twitter. VancityAllie.com has been featured in books, newspapers, magazines, and television.

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