Monday, April 20, 2020

Pirates and more! - April 20, 2020

I parked at the Bridgeland spot with the intent of heading up onto Tom Campbell hill to see if there were any prairie crocuses blooming. There's been a couple days of warm weather and we're well into spring now so I was hopeful that I'd find some.

After unloading my bike I rode over to the base of the hill and petaled my way up by following a boot worn path to the top. I was secretly pleased that I was able to ride up the hill and had a view dreams about heading out to the mountains to do some actual mountain biking. The old Powderface mountain bike loop in Bragg Creek is calling out to me.

Once on top I scouted for the flowers but didn't find any. I wasn't too surprised, it's only been a couple days of warm weather. Now that my photo idea was squashed I was free to go anywhere and decided to head down the other side of the hill towards the zoo parking lot where the light in the egg/art thing caught my eye. I stopped to take a couple of photos. It took a few minutes before I realized that the animal pattern was repeating and that there was some symmetry to the display.

animals in a cage
From the zoo parking lot I made my way over towards the river and hit the bike path. I decided to ride east towards the weir.. although I don't think it's called a weir anymore since they rebuilt it a number of years ago to make it less dangerous.

This part of the path was less busy and had a lot more trees which was nice, I kept my eye open for birds or owls that might be hidden on the high branches but I didn't have much luck spotting anything. I did find another cyclist enjoying the solitude and was able to snap the photo below from the Cushing bridge.

I followed the path southwards along the river that continues off towards the bird sanctuary and further on.. I got as far as this garage below that was catching some sun. I think the light on the sun room initially caught my eye and I tried to find a composition to try and accentuate the corner angle. I felt like it had a bit of a maritime feel to it, perhaps because I'd spotted some people fishing on the river on my way to this location.

boat house?
From here I decided to head back towards downtown taking the path on the south side of the river past Pearce Estate park and through Inglewood.  The other day I'd driven downtown to pick up Jen from work, I got there early and had a bit of time and rode on that section of the path but there wasn't any time for photos so I was happy to explore the area again.

As I approached the train bridge that spans the river I spotted a bit of light and quickly stopped to try and compose a shot. The space I was shooting in was tricky because there really wasn't much room to get in there and make the composition. I was shooting without being able to look through the viewfinder and because of the high contrast between light and shadow I also bracketing shots which meant that I had to hold the camera pretty steady. A tripod would have helped me out here.  To keep with the maritime theme today, I feel this scene reminds me of pirates!

arrr matey!

I'd circled around to shoot the other side of the bridge with the river and noticed how the path was curving around with all this beautiful light. I initially waited until there weren't any people in the frame but then decided to shoot a few with some bikes riding through. I didn't notice until after that they were blurred due to a slower shutter speed but I like the effect.

Again there wasn't too much room to compose the photo and you can see my shadow on the lower left side of the frame. Sometimes when my shadow appears in the frame I'll try to line up with an existing shadow from a tree or something or I'll use my arms to make the shadow more blocky and less brad shaped so as not to be a distraction to the composition.

I continued my journey towards the center street bridge and caught some fading light. I've been here a few times now and was trying not to take the same photos every time. I find that sometimes it's easy to get caught up in a composition and to see the same thing every time you're back at that spot. It's sometimes hard to find a new view at a place you've been to many times.

With this photo I was in place before the cyclist appeared and it was a happy surprise that I could make this shot. After I took the photo I thought the guy had spotted me so I waved at him.. I don't think he did notice me until I waved because he kind of awkwardly waved back which was weird.

taking a moment

The day was ending and the light was leaving so I started back to the car.  I stopped at the skipping stone bridge and stopped to make the photo below, again bracketing shots because of the contrast. I'm pretty sure I've tried this photo before but the light was nice. I tried a bunch of angles in order to get the buildings and the wires and the bridge beam all lined up.


One last stop before I quit. It was pretty dark now but the colour in the west was deepening into red. I could see the light reflecting off of some apartment buildings and I was able to include the Calgary tower in the frame.

burning light

All in all it was a fun adventure. I got to explore some new areas and see some beautiful light. What more could I ask for?

Here's a link to my photo site with the shots from today if you want to see them bigger.

Thanks for looking.

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