Saturday, March 28, 2020

Grey - March 28th, 2020

If you're reading this in the distant future we're in the early stages of the Covid-19 epidemic. Jen's been working at home for the last week and a half and we're staying away from other people as best we can when going to the grocery store. Lots of things are closed off. I've not really checked what the malls are doing or other stores are like but overall it's been pretty quiet. We've been taking walks 'around the circle' at noon-ish as a break from work and for a bit of exercise. I've been out in the evenings at sunset looking for light and see few, if any, other folks on those excursions.

Today being a Saturday, the walk ended up being a bit later in the afternoon. It was chilly and overcast at -3 degC with a light wind. Normally I don't bring my camera on the walk but we decided to head down towards a wetlands area with a bit of trees and I thought there might be some photo opportunities, and who knows, maybe there'd be owls (spoiler: there wasn't..)

Grey skies

I didn't end up taking any photos at the wetlands area. The water was still frozen over and the grey skies were uninspiring. I suppose I could have tried harder to find a composition but sometimes when I'm not alone I trade off my photography motives.

As we walked back towards the house I checked the ClearSky website to see if there was a chance for a sunset. Strangely enough it suggested that the sky should have been clear right now.. and it wasn't. Hmm, how can you believe anything.

Later in the evening I poked my head outside a few times to see what the clouds were doing it was still overcast but there was a gap in clouds out west so I decided to try for a sunset photo session again. When I left the house around 7, the sun was still above the gap and everything was in shade. I drove west on McKnight watching for changes in the sun, it was nice to not be blinded this time.

I wasn't too sure where I wanted to go so just kept driving. I've been shooting the city skyline a lot the last few days and was hoping for something different. I thought about Nose hill park but perhaps I'll use that as a future destination and leave a bit earlier. I ended up turning south on Center street as it looked like the sun was about to reach the gap.

At 32nd ave on Center street there's a high point when driving south and it offers a neat view towards downtown when using a telephoto zoom. With the sun about to break below the clouds I was hoping for some nice light.

After parking there was still time to find a composition as the sun wasn't out yet. I framed up some ideas from both sides of the street. Traffic seemed to be light but once the sun came out and I started taking my photos it seemed like there were way more cars and they were kind of in the way.. lol. This first photo is looking east down 32nd ave.

looking east

Looking south towards downtown I wanted to shoot from the middle of the intersection but had to wait for a few iterations of the traffic light before all the cars were cleared out. I swear there were not cars driving around when it was shady. I'm pretty lucky though.. if there wasn't a pandemic right now I'm sure that there'd be way more cars on the road the the photos would have been even more difficult to capture.

Center street

Heading back to the car I noticed this couple walking up the street.. given the lighting conditions of course I'd try to capture the scene. I snapped a few frames moving around slightly to try and position them so that they were separate from and dark shadows like that big tree branch sticking out above her head.

it must be spring..

From there I drove towards Rotary park which overlooks Center street bridge and downtown. I know I said I wasn't looking for more photos of the skyline but maybe the light would angle up and hit the underside of the overhead clouds and make a spectacular scene.

On the short drive, my hope was that the sun would stay out and that I'd get there in time. It felt like the street lights were conspiring against me but soon enough I got there and the sun was still out!

I framed up a few photos that caught my eye that weren't downtown. like this very large tree behind the tennis courts.


Soon the sun dipped behind the lower edge of the gap and it became shady again.  I waited to see if the light would make it's way through and light the underside of the clouds but after waiting about 20 minutes it didn't look like the light was going to materialize.


I hiked back up the hill to the car and drove home.

Larger views and extra photos from today can be seen here.

Thanks for looking.

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