Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Nose Hill - April 1, 2020

As I drove west on Mcknight I could see a heavy cloud hanging over the downtown core. The western end of the cloud was catching some sunlight but looked like it wasn't quite over top of the buildings. I didn't have a way of gauging how fast the cloud was moving and if the light was going to change a lot. By the time I reached Center street it looked like the big cloud hadn't moved at all. I didn't think that the angles would work out if I drove any closer to downtown so I decided to drive up to Nose hill off of 14th street.

I've lived in Calgary my whole life and I've probably been to Nose hill less than 5 times that I can remember and just once with photographic intent. I shot some crocus flowers a few springs ago for a 365 project that I was doing. I wondered if there might be some frozen crocus's covered with recent snow but honestly I don't think it's been warm enough this year for anything to have had popped out of the frozen ground yet.

I had seen an instagram post recently where someone had posted a photo of downtown from Nose hill so I had an idea of what the view would be like. Of course I was hoping for a brilliant sky and yada yada yada.. it's a common mantra that I'm sure you've heard already if you've been following along. lol.

After parking the car and hoofing it to the top of the hill I saw that there was a streak of light across the downtown core and the cloud that I was tracking was in a good position. I quickly setup the tripod and mounted the camera.

Light brushing the scene.

I took a few shots zoomed out to include downtown with the cloud and then zoomed in and proceeded to capture photos for a panorama. I like panorama photos because you get to create an image of the whole scene and on the original image there's usually a lot of detail if you're able to zoom into the photo.

The downside is that posting online can be challenging because it's too large to look at all at once and it doesn't make for a good post on instagram given how small those images are. I'm not setup to print and hang very large photos around my house so for now I'm just collecting them on my computer.

Panoramic view

Even though I could see that light was hitting the buildings downtown when I looked for the sun in the west I couldn't see exactly where the light was coming from because it was obscured by clouds. This meant that I didn't really know how long the light would last before it would be blocked out.

The terrain on top of Nose hill is rolling with many different high points and from where I stood I could see another high point that might have a slightly different view of downtown so I decided to head over to there. On my way the light faded and was gone. What remained was just a grey featureless light that didn't make me very excited. I kept walking anyway.

As I was walking I spotted a couple out for a run and I hoped they'd run along the ridge/skyline past an interesting background. They didn't and ran towards where I was then off towards the right following the trail.


I happened to notice the trail markers and decided to shoot through one that was close by to try and frame the runners. I took about three or four shots but only one of them really turned out. It was a bit of a spontaneous reaction to shoot through the feature and I like the result.

As I got to the high point I looked around and decided that the view wasn't that much different than the other spot the foreground was slightly nicer but the Calgary tower was more obscured. I noticed a cyclist riding up the trail and took some shots.


I decided I'd head back to the car as it looked like the light was done. There was a slight bit of colour towards the west but I couldn't find any inspiration on the open flat top of Nose hill to take any more photos and it was cold out at -11 degC which also dampened my spirits.  If the snow ever stops I'll have to come back and look for those crocus.

Click here to see the photos in higher resolution.

Thanks for looking

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