Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Day and night. Feb 18, 2020

I had an appointment downtown in the early afternoon and rather than take the train downtown I grabbed a ride with Jen. It was a pretty lengthy time to hang out so I started by going to the gym to get some stairclimber time in. Instead of watching netflix like I usually do, I had some reading to do to prepare for the meeting. After the gym, I grabbed a coffee, made my way up to the building's cafeteria and did a bit of work before finally walking over to the appointment at around 1:30.

On the way I was distracted by this frosty tree  It was somewhat cold out so frost was forming on the branches dressing it in white.

After the appointment I walked back towards downtown. The sky was clear with the sun lower in the sky making some nice colour. I had packed the 70-200F4 for zoom and a 24mm tilt shift for wide angle shots in my bag. I like the 24mm for building shots because I can 'shift' it instead of pointing the camera upwards and the buildings stay straight.


I had about an hour before Jen would be getting off work so I wandered around and took my time to capture some photos. I liked how the reflected light was hitting the snow in the foreground here and tried to incorporate the stairwell as part of the composition. I did try to capture a figure at the bottom of the stairs but its a pretty narrow opening and my timing was off, they didn't quite turn out.

One thing I love about shooting downtown is that the light reflects and bounces all over the place. with the sun at your back you can still have light reflecting towards you. It can be really beautiful.

Moving up the street a ways I was enjoying all the super bright light reflecting all over everything. I noticed the shadow along the bottom left side of the frame here and positioned it to create an interesting v-shape in the foreground. I had to step quite close to the road so there was some watching for traffic as I framed this photo up. Using the tilt shift lens, I was able to tilt it so that the focal plane would render the top and bottom of the frame out of focus while leaving sharp focus in the middle of the picture. This is purely an attempt at artistic creativity on my part, and to be honest, I like the effect.

A short distance away from the last photo I came across this puddle in the alley. I think it's ingrained in me now.. puddle? automatically look for a reflection photo. With the light, I just had to take a reflection shot.. it couldn't be helped.

I held the camera just above the ground here and shot blind. The lense I was using was manual focus only, so I pre-set the focus before lowering the camera into position to take the shot.. It took a few tries to try and get the angle right and not cut off the top of the buildings. Looking at it now, I probably should have tried to wait until the people were better positioned in the frame. I take a lot of photos, but many of them are learning opportunities and practice at seeing things.

Confluence of Light
Rounding the corner into the shady side of the street a light beam was grazing some tree branches. I tried a couple compositions before settling on this view. My hands were starting to get pretty cold by this point and my fingers were starting to go numb. Also, I was out of time so I went inside to wait for Jen.

Dirty Window View

While she was busy packing up and leaving work, I found myself waiting in this plus15 overlooking 9th ave with the first bits of rush hour traffic starting. Sitting there warming up my hands, I looked out the window and thought hey, this might work. A frame within a frame. I wasn't sure about it, but the more I look around this photo the more it seems to be offer. I like the balance of the approaching cars, nothing's quite cut off and the could walking on the street seem to balance that area of the frame out nicely.

Nothing is free
A short time later, Jen showed up and we started making our way over to the van. There was a view at the edge of a shadow that caught my attention. I think that's my favorite kind of light. I couldn't help but stop and take a few photos.

Later that evening, while Conor was at horn lessons,  I had an idea to try and capture some photos underneath Bow Trail on 10th Ave S.W.  A few weeks ago I'd shot the downtown skyline from near 12th ave and Bow Trail and I'd noticed this spot and made a mental note to return and see if I could find any compositions. So here I am.

The lighter bridge is the CTrain bridge, the lower is the bottom end of Bow Trail before it becomes 9th Ave and enters downtown. With it being dark I'd mounted the camera on a tripod so that I could gather a bunch of light. This was a six second exposure. I've been a little frustrated at taking night photos because the sky seems so dark and there isn't a lot of ambient light being reflected. Here, the bridges fill in the top half of the frame and the snow on the ground helps bounce some of the light around.  I was glad I came to this location.

Just hold me up
This last photo was taken looking south west. Again, the CTrain bridge but as it heads out of downtown and up Bow Trail. The camera is tilted upwards to include the shape of pillar in front. The exposure was 20 seconds and I was trying to time it so that the cars on the road would drive all the way through the frame and not have to stop at the light, otherwise they'd show up as ghost cars.  In this photo I got lucky and a bus also drove through the frame leaving the higher light streaks.

An hour passes quickly when you're mucking around with a camera and I had to get back to pickup Conor so I quickly packed up and left.  I felt like there was still some potential at this location and made plans to come back here again.

Thanks for looking.

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