Wednesday, March 11, 2020

More skyline - March 11, 2020

I had a chance to get out around 6:45pm which was perfect given that that sun sets at 7:35 tonight. I had high hopes about the light because I was out so early. Trying to think of a place to shoot from I picked Scotsman's Hill. There's a nice lookout over Stampede park with the Saddledome and downtown buildings clustered around behind. After figuring out how to actually get there I found parking on the street in a 1 hour zone. A city parking authority car happened to be skulking around so to be safe I set a timer on my phone for when I'd have come back and move my car.

I made my way over to the lookout and mounted the camera on the tripod, picked my view and waited for the light to do something. It was kind of flat, with clouds hovering in the sky casting a shadow over the downtown core. My hopes for spectacular light were diminishing.

Throwing shade

I watched the western horizon the sun moved towards a break in the clouds. I was hopeful for two things. First that the sun would poke out enough to cast a warm glow across the scene and second, that maybe the light would poke through and illuminate the clouds from underneath and create an amazing sunset of such epic proportions that I'd spontaneously burst into song and start dancing.

Is it enough?

As I waited.. the sun hit the gap but not enough to light up the cityscape. The sun got lower but didn't light up the clouds. The sun just passed quietly into the horizon as I stood there watching.

As the light faded I noticed that the window lights in the buildings were starting to show up, street lights started to turn on and I thought about the inflection point where the sky light and the ground light were balanced. The hour after sunset is called the blue hour as the light fades completely, I felt like it wouldn't quite get to that stage with the clouds.

Speaking of blue hours, my parking was up and I was turning blue from from standing around in the cold. I wasn't really dressed for the weather.. it was around 1 degC and all I had on was a light hoody.

I'm not sure my favorite kind of photography is the kind of photography where you go somewhere and setup the camera on a tripod and stand around shivering in one spot hoping that something might happen. It's definitely not my favorite kind of photography when that thing you were hoping for doesn't do the thing you wanted.

I've been on the other side too, though.. where the light and the sky and the colour is exploding! and you're trapped somewhere without a view or are unable to make a photo because of .. whatever reason.. both kinds of photography are kind of frustrating. And yet, I keep going back to it.

As I was driving up deerfoot trail I caught a glimpse of downtown again.. ugh, a low sky gap in the clouds with buildings sparkling like gold.. I made a quick decision to stop for a photo and soon found myself in the Max Bell arena parking lot setting up for a shot.

City gold

Shooting the skyline like this is pretty straight forward, no real compositions or angles to think about so it didn't take long before I was back in the car and heading home.

Thanks for looking.

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