Thursday, February 27, 2020

Nifty Fifty - Feb 27, 2020

I had an appointment downtown so I was gathering up all the stuff I'd need for all the things I wanted to do. Some gym clothes, runners, a book, laptop, notebook, pencil case, phone, water bottle.. When it came time to grab the camera (always take a camera) I started poking though a few lens choices. I was going to be downtown at sunrise and maybe nice light would hit the buildings so I thought of a wide angle but also maybe a zoom then I realized I wouldn't be able to carry everything with my two bags.

The other night when shooting the bridge I'd had the 50mm prime with me and it was already on the camera and is rather small so I settled on just bringing the one lens. I'm not a huge fan of the 50mm because it's too narrow for wide angle views and too wide for telephoto shots. For me it's kind of a no-mans-land.. I remember thinking maybe it'll be a fun challenge to shoot with something unfamiliar.

As we drove into downtown the light from the east was reflecting off of the buildings. Nearing the end of February the light is starting to get brighter earlier and earlier. I'm not out every morning these last few months so it felt like a sudden occurrence to have all this light. I made a few photos out the window of the van. I have a large collection of photos that include a very similar view but I find it doesn't get old for me and I'll just keep on adding to my collection. I especially like the way the light was in a gradient on the buildings.

From the bridge
Also from the bridge

I have this thing where, when I photograph the Calgary skyline, that I need to include the Calgary tower if it's visible.. so that second shot makes me feel uncomfortable in ways that I can't explain.

After parking and struggling to get out of the van with all my stuff, I saw the sun was starting to light up some buildings. My appointment was at 11 so I decided to walk up 9th ave and see if I could find any photos.

Like a siren, the sunlight drew me down the street. It always looked better, just over there.. a bit further down so I kept walking. I did look back once or twice to see what was behind me.

Lined up

A short while later the sun started to fade as it moved behind some high clouds and all the light from earlier disappeared as the view became shady and flat. I decided to make my way back to the gym and spend time on the stair climber before the appointment. I've been watching a series on netflix about WWII, it's been pretty interesting. Today's episode was about the Battle of Midway.

Went to my meeting, met Jen for lunch and decided to head home. I'd be taking the train but figured I could walk through downtown to the Bridgeland station and use the time to look for photos.

I like the portal effect of this view, and when I first spotted it the 'people placement' was a bit more to my liking, which drew me to make the photo but by the time I framed up the shot they all moved ( go figure..) I waited to see if the people would align again but more people started to enter the hallway and they were all overlapping and I felt like I'd been waiting too long so I made a couple shots that were ok. I might try to get it again the the future but here it is..


Outside now, I was trying to get a passing pedestrian framed up in front but foot traffic was light then the guy with the coffee sauntered over and sat down so I changed my idea. I waited for the second fellow to step into view. A moment caught in time. I felt like this would end up being a b/w photo when I shot it.


Crossing the street with my camera stuck to my face looking through the viewfinder this fellow entered the frame. I didn't quite see what he was up to when I snapped the photo. It was a bit of a surprise when I looked later and noticed he was looking directly at me.


This low shot was taken just a few centimeters above the ground in order to get the reflections in the huge puddle. I sometimes wish my camera had a little flippy out screen on the back for shots like this but because I don't I have a couple options. First is to lie on the ground and try and look through the viewfinder to frame it up (which my old man body isn't fond of)  the other is to just point the camera out where I think it should be and hope for the best, which is exactly what I did, sometimes it takes a few shots to get the framing and focus correct.


I framed this up to try and capture the approaching train through the window. There were a bunch of vertical lines, soft blue metal edges and some shadows which I found kind of pleasing.

Blue Room

Later that night, Conor had horn lessons at Mount Royal University. I dropped him off and had some time to kill so I drove towards downtown and parked near the river. Not really having a plan I walked over towards the Peace bridge.

The river is still frozen over but there was a puddle of water for reflections and cool ribbons of light reflecting off of the snow. I'd abandoned the Nifty Fifty for a wide angle lense and made some shots under the bridge with this classic belly view. .

Under belly

Wandering over to the train bridge I tried a few compositions before coming up with this view. The footpath lights are quite harsh and the shadows are deep. When taking the photo, I didn't notice the figure in the shadows. A nice surprise to help set the mood of the photo.


That's it for today.

Oh hey, if you happen across this post and got this far, please feel free to leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for looking.

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