Friday, March 13, 2020

Winter returns - March 13, 2020

After performing my taxi duties for today I drove towards downtown thinking that I'd have a photo session in the mid-afternoon. While in the car I saw a bunch of scenes and I though for sure I'd be able to get some shots today. Winter has returned and there was snow and blank skies everywhere. Being a weekday and the middle of the afternoon there's no free parking downtown. I thought that the streets near rotary park might have street parking so I made my way up there.

I was correct in my memory, 3 hour street parking on top the hill. The only downside is that it was pretty cold out -15 degC with gusty winds and I'd have to walk down the hill and across the center street bridge before I could scope out any downtown locations.

Crossing center street bridge, I can't help but make the photo below.. it happens every time if I have my camera with me..

Obligatory Center Street Bridge shot..

It's O.K. though. I was watching a youtube video and the premise was that you should shoot the things you know across different conditions.. so based on that I don't feel guilty for posting this photo as the entry to the rest of the story..

Part of the way across the bridge I noticed the path below with a tiny bit of the river exposed and the white snow with white sky as a composition.. I waited and waited for someone to come up the path. After the first pedestrian appeared, I took some photos and thought this could be better.. Infact, it'd be awesome if someone on a bike were to ride by.. did I mention mid-afternoon and also it's -15?

River walk

There were very few people on the path. After waiting for a while a bike did appear but their WAY faster that someone walking.. I missed the shot and given the top down angle I was shooting at I'm not sure it would have worked out anyway.. Still though, I waited just a bit longer for something else to happen but eventually gave up and started walking again hoping that I had a photo "in the bag" with the few attempts I did make.

The wind was at my back, so I wasn't too cold (yet).. I'd walked up to the train station on 7th ave.. I'm intrigued by the overhead structure here.. maybe it's because they've walled off the backside due to construction on the building behind making it feel closed in, maybe it feels all futuristic with the metal and the glass but I really like the ambiance of this space.

Can't get enough..

I'd backed up to capture the people waiting for the train. The ground is gritty and textured and I think there's a nice balance between the people on the platform and the pillars.

Moving along, I ended up at this bus stop. When I first arrived a bus pulled away and this bus pulled in. I noticed all the slush/snow on the ground and wanted to capture that somehow.. maybe a shot from behind the bus as it pulled away with a low close angle of the back tyre to show how soupy the slush was.


But, the bus parked and sat there.. so I waited. Then it went "out of service" and continued to sit there.. I kept waiting thinking ok, it'll leave soon and when it does I'll just lean in and take my photo of the slush and stuff.  It didn't' pull out. more and more people started to arrive and get in line for the bus. This was getting ridiculous. I didn't want to lean in behind the bus if there was going to be a line of people watching me. As it continued to not pull out I backed up and took this photo, then I LEFT!! ..stupid non-moving bus.. perhaps I shouldn't be so self conscious.

Continuing on, I wandered south towards and along 10th ave where the wind had picked up. I was wearing a fleece under my poofy jacket and a toque so I was reasonably warm but I didn't have gloves or a scarf. My hands were cold when taking photos but I had pockets for the in-between times.. the cold was worse on my exposed face. I decided to head back towards 9th ave and maybe pop indoors somewhere to warm up.

Between 9th and 10th ave there are underpasses that traverse beneath train tracks that span the downtown core. Many of the underpasses are tunnels of concrete bunkers and steel supports. When I cross under them I'm always drawn to the textures and the way the light falls off at the edge of the underpass. I almost always try to make photos.

again, every time I come here..
As cold as I was, I was at least out of the wind.. I framed up this shot and a pedestrian started entering the underpass. There was a moment of awkwardness where she cowered like she didn't want to get in my way but I waved her on, in truth, I wanted her in the photo.. She eventually went on her way and I waited until she was at the far end of the open portal casting a shadow and took a few shots.

From there, I wandered on and came across this snowy bench, just looking for photos. I waited for a few minutes until the crowd of people came into the frame. It had started to snow.

Snowy bench

I decided to go inside and warm up. While inside, I swapped lenses, putting on the nifty fifty.  I'd been swapping between the 16-35 and the 70-200 so far on my walk and decided that I'd just have the one, smaller, lense on the camera for the rest of the trip. My car was still quite a ways away and I already knew how cold it was. I was expecting wind on the center street bridge and wondered how my face would make out.

I crossed a covered CTrain bridge over 7th ave. Curiously there was a crowd of people in it.. before entering it myself, I snapped a couple of photos.


As I found out later (via the CTrain PA system) one of the train lines wasn't running so I guess the folks on the covered bridge were waiting inside for service to resume. The tunnel isn't heated so it wasn't really that warm, just more protection from the wind I think.

At the top of the stairs on the north end of the tunnel I took a couple of photos from my heightened vantage point. It's always fun to find a different perspective.


I kind of like how the people are in little clusters scattered throughout the view.

From here, I walked up 7th ave towards center street and eventually back up to my car.

I find that sometimes after I'm done posting the blog that I'll still find and post images from this particular day to my photo site.  If I do, and you're reading this at some future time, you can see all the photos from today here..

Thanks for looking.

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