Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Along the river - April 8, 2020

It's Wednesday and mildly warm out I was driving towards downtown to find some sunset photos. My thought was to drive to the Inglewood spot, park then ride my bike and search for photos. While driving I must have been lost in thought because I'd missed my turnoff. I quickly recomputed the route and turned into Bridgeland with the hope of circling around to my original destination.

That didn't seem to work out - I quickly became distracted with an influx of new ideas, perhaps I could park here and walk or bike over there, oh what's that look like I wonder if I should stop now, oop, there's a car behind me gotta keep going. My simple idea had hit turbulence and now I was unsuccessfully in computing a new path. Sunlight on the corner of a building with a large tree seemed important so I stopped and walked over to take a few photos, the scene didn't quite click.

Back in the car now, more confused driving with unclear goals. I give up on the Inglewood spot. I find a Bridgeland spot. I'll just park and go from here. Bike unpacked and on my way I take the non-obvious way and ride through the neighborhood rather than proceeding directly to the river pathway another reflection on my confused state of mind.

The streets are gridded and easy to follow until they aren't. I turn left then right, left again and end up at a dead end overlooking a set of wooden stairs to the streets below. I contemplate riding down the hill but renege after looking closer at the cluster of bushes, rocks and tree limbs scattered on the ground, surely a trap. The woman exercising on the stairs dissuaded me from taking that option, with thoughts of awkwardly carrying my bike around her on the narrow stairs. I backtrack and soon find a way to the familiar river trails.

I spot some light and stop to capture an image waiting for a scene to unfold. People across the river and a tunnel of light. I take some shots, zoomed in, zoomed out, how many arches to include. I like my images to be clean and the bushes are a distraction but there's no way around them. I'm not sure I like it when people are walking into the arch with their backs towards me. I see a shadow appear on the wall and soon runner and doggo emerge from the cave. I snap a few photos hoping to capture form and position in at least one of the frames.

Under the bridge
I head across the river to investigate the tunnel of light from a different perspective. I don't find anything I like and move on.

A new spot, another tunnel, light streaming in and potential for long shadows. I drop my bike and wish for a scene to develop.  A game of leapfrog as the guy I passed on my bike a few minutes ago now passes me and enters the scene. I shuffle around in my bag trying not to reveal my intent. I watch as he climbs up the incline his shadow trailing, just what I was hoping for.

Always wanting another option, I wait for another subject, a cyclist coming towards zips by quickly I feel self conscious standing there taking photos, in the way. Another attempt with some joggers before moving on. The light is changing there will be more scenes to find.

I ride up to the Crowchild trail bridge and cross the river again. Taking a few more photos that don't work out.. retreating back towards downtown now, the low sun is flooding the skyline. I'm on the sunny side of downtown for a change I look for a vantage point and spot a perch on the foot bridge that crosses over Memorial drive.

I get an idea for someone on the path in the foreground with the road empty of cars. The idea becomes a timing issue for the two conditions to line up. I seem to create these paradoxes quite often when exploring ideas. After a while it does line up and I take the photos, but again I want more options so I wait for some more opportunities, another pops up and I take more shots.

face the light

What else, what else.. I stop a few more times to try again. Soon I'm close to where I started. I spy a final scene and try to frame up some photos.

My brother-in-law had commented on a photo I'd taken a few weeks ago where this building was in the frame. He had lived here many years ago so all of a sudden I have this personal connection with the building. I notice the fading light on the south wing and the movement of the bridge in the foreground. The light is fading pretty fast but I shoot it anyway.

boing boing
I make my way back to the Bridgeland spot where I'd parked and pack up the bike and head home. This was fun, I'm sure I'll be back.

Link to the photos on my smugmug site if you're interested.

Thanks for looking.

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