Originally the rock was known as Nine Pin Rock, as mariners saw a resemblance to a blowing pin. It’s also known as Skalsh ( Slah-kay-ulsh ). Legend says indigenous tribes people believed “Q’uas the Transformer” had been sent on a mission worldwide to hear and possibly grant wishes. Hearing of Q’uas’s approach, a local tribesman Skalsh went for a “purification” swim in the waters of modern day English Bay. While swimming Skalsh notice a canoe, he swam to greet its occupants; who asked why he was swimming. After explaining his purification swim to be worthy of Q’uas, one of the passengers assumed Skalsh had a personal request to make of Q’uas. Skalsh replied he had nothing to ask for himself, but seeked Q’as’ aid for his people. The passenger surprised asked again, only to receive the same answer. The passenger then revealed that he was Q’uas, and that of all the people he had met Skalsh was the only unselfish one. So impressed, Q’uas transformed Skalsh into a 15 meter pinnacle as an example of how all people should be. And so to this day Skalsh stands as an immortal memorial to unselfishness in the distant past of the First Nations People.
The last time I shot this rock I was using my old Canon 20D and older Pocket Wizard transceivers not capable of 2nd curtain sync; the resulting photo was filled with noise – not exactly what I was after. So after rocking the 5DmkII for a while I recently re-shot Siwash Rock with the help of my lovely assistant. On this most recent visit the sky was very overcast and way too dark, but I figured I’d share the results anyway. Using the new Pocket Wizard FlexTT5’s I was able to fire flashes with 2nd curtain sync, allowing for a nice long exposure and blurring of the water. For the photography nerds the below shot has the following EXIF: Canon 5DmkII, Canon 35mm 1.4 L, f-stop/4, 5 sec exposure, ISO 800, and two Canon 580ex flashes.