Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Gaps - March 25, 2020

It was snowy and overcast yesterday with little or no light so I didn't venture out and continued to social distance by staying in the house. Today though there were big puffy clouds in the sky that I got a excited about but that was at noon. By early evening it was clear. 

I left the house at around 7:05pm with no clear ideas about where I'd go.
I did pack my bike in the back of the car so that I could go somewhere, park, then use the bike to cover different locations.. at least that was the idea. I thought about going up to McHugh Bluff above Prince's Island but while driving I realized it was actually later than I exected so I parked in Inglewood at the same place as last week.

I quickly unpacked and re-assembled the bike ( the front tire and seat have to be taken off so I can stuff it into the back of the car) and started riding towards the river and crossed the Zoo bridge.

The birds

Two things right away, one was the number of seagulls on the ice/snow covered river and the other was that the sun was almost directly behind the tower from where I was positioned.

I took some photos of the tower first but because I had to keep an eye on my bike I was somewhat limited in movement.  There was no way to avoid the massive number of birds in the sky and I was behind some trees.  It's interesting how quickly the sun was moving. Within 10's of seconds it's position would shift and I'd have to take 5-10 paces to my left to keep it centered behind the tower.

My goal was to have the sun positioned symmetrically behind the tower but the birds and the trees and trying to keep an eye on my bike made it more complicated that it should have been. I was able to fire off a few shots that I was happy with. It's pretty close to what I got last week but I guess that's just how it is.

It might seem odd that I'm so concerned about my bike but I've had a couple situations in the past where I was by the river and walked a short distance away from my bike to take photos.. in an area where I thought I was alone, when someone just appeared and tried to take it.

I rode a short distance and tried to get closer to the flock of seagulls. I ended up walking on some river ice - stomping on it as I went to make sure it wasn't going to crack on me. There were so many birds, it must have been in the thousands. I could hear the squawking when I first got out of the car. Secretly I was hoping that my presence would cause the flock to take flight and I could try for some photos but alas the flock didn't care about me and I wasn't going to go further onto the ice to harass the birds.

I took a couple photos but nothing exciting and decided to leave as the sun was going down.


I rode to the end of St Patrick's Island and onto the Skipping-stone bridge just as the sun was passing through a gap in the downtown buildings along 6th Ave.  I quickly took some photos but the positioning wasn't great for capturing the skyline and I stopped thinking. There wasn't a lot of room for variation as the sun was only visible within about a 10 meter span on the bridge; meaning that if I went outside of that space I wouldn't be able to line up the sun with the gap.

I was rushing and not really putting in much thought into compositions so I ended up with a set of photos that were really quite similar.

Mind the gap.
Later as I scrounged through the photos I found that I had two that could be joined to make a panorama and thus include more of the skyline. Normally this is done with some intent and usually when it's haphazard like this it doesn't work out. I guess I got lucky.

accidental pano
This is the concept that I was hoping for when I was out last week. Sun in the gap.. It's ok, but the experience taking the photo wasn't that satisfying. I really did feel rushed and kind of think that I could do better.

When I packed the bike into the car I imagined that if I started on the shady side of downtown pointing west that I could quickly ride over the the sunny side and shoot back towards the east and capture the sky reflecting off of the buildings. So I hopped on my bike and rode down 6th ave hoping to get to the 10th street bridge.

I got there, but the sun was low and the sky was darkening. I rode around a bit aimlessly and spotted this view at the end of an alley. I liked the trees against the darkening sky and the melting ice in the foreground with the reflections. I didn't bother with my tripod and ended up lying on the ground trying to get the composition.

nearing the end

I stopped two more times in the fading light to try for photos but right now I'm not really happy with the results. The bike ride back to the car was fun in the cool air but by the end of it, my fingers were quite chilly.

These and other uploaded photos from today can be found here.

Thanks for looking.

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