Thursday, April 16, 2020

Downtown again.. April 16, 2020

Earlier this morning Conor and I drove out to the mountains west of Longview. Some friends had figured out how to get around some of the covid-19 restrictions that are in place to keep people from parking at public land use zones or recreation areas as everything is currently closed. The workaround involved parking at a spot more than 1 km from the trail head. They used bikes to get from the parking spot to the trailhead which seemed like a good idea. I'd hiked the trail in the past and thought it would be a fun objective for Conor and I to try.

Driving out there was nice and we both were excited to be out after spending so much time at home. Turning onto a secondary highway we discovered that it was covered in about 6 inches of fresh snow. We'd packed the van with bikes and our hiking gear and as we drove further into the back country I was getting more and more nervous about the potential of getting stuck. There wasn't any cell service and the van wasn't really meant to be driving these conditions. I was worried that later in the day it would be slushy, wet and really bad.. We ended up turning around and driving home but I was able to grab a few photos.

Winter? O Sure.. 
In the photo above, some skiers head up highway 40 at the winter closure.. note the fresh depth of snow.

As evening came around I thought to head to the river for some sunset photos. I still hadn't unpacked the van from our morning adventure so I didn't have my bike with me. I parked at the Inglewood spot and started walking across the zoo bridge and across St Patrick's island towards the skipping stone bridge. It was a beautiful spring evening and the sun was low in the western sky.

My plans were to just walk along the river and maybe circle around the center street bridge. I spotted this couple ascending the footpath onto the bridge and tried to capture them and the long shadows. Bright sunlight was streaming into the viewfinder and I pretty much shot blind because I couldn't see the subjects.


As I left the bridge I was walking through the East Village and the light between the buildings caught my eye. I tried to compose a frame amidst the different textures and tones.

Light leaks

I continued down 6th ave for a ways but everything was in shadow the sun wasn't making it's way into the labyrinth of downtown buildings. I turned to head over towards the river and continued towards Center street bridge. Right now, the lower deck of the bridge is closed to vehicle traffic and pedestrians are allowed to walk across which is kind of fun and offers a unique view that we wouldn't normally get to see.  I walked to the north end and found a large puddle on the road and took a few photos of this reflection..


I was holding the camera just above the puddle and couldn't use the view finder to compose the image because it would have been too awkward to lie on the ground in order to frame it up.  I shot five frames per photo so I could combine the photos and try to recover the high dynamic range. I kind of wish I'd aimed the camera a little bit more towards the left to add some space around the streetlight pole and also to cut off the orange barricade on the right, but the main focus (to me anyway) is the arches, the sunset light and the reflection. It seems to work even though the edge elements are a little bit messy.

As I was on foot it was easier to move around and find other compositions.  I circled around under the bridge and found this view. With the setting sun I was hoping to get some colour, some skyline, the bridge and some of the ice texture.. (I was slightly nervous about walking on the ice but a week from now I'll be near this spot and notice that this ice isn't sitting over flowing water, but part of a solid river bank..)

Ice floe

Still looking for compositions I was able to capture these folks on the lower deck of the center street bridge but the sun was getting low and I still had a long ways to go to walk back to my car.

criss cross apple sauce

I walked back along the north side of the river, crossing back to the south side at Reconciliation bridge. Soon I found this frame. I seem to be taking a lot of photos from under bridges.. I think I like finding the overhead curves that intersect the top of the photo.  Normally this spot is quite busy with pedestrian traffic but I found myself alone here and decided to try and make a photo.

under bridge

As I continued on I was back at the east village and the light was fading fast.  I looked back towards the western sky and what really caught my eye here was the gap and the leading lines created by the street lights lower right of center.. I could have zoomed in to just that area but rule seven made me zoom back out and include the Calgary tower in the composition.


I do find that when I'm walking I spot way more photo opportunities then when I'm bike riding or shooting from the car window, hence the large number of photos to share from today..

There may be more! Please click here to see all the photos posted above plus any others that I took today. I take lots of photos and love to share them with you.

Thanks for looking.

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