So the sun is now rising after I drop Jen off at work. Today it crested at 8:04am I'm usually dropping her off around 8, so my big whiney "I'm missing all the best parts of the sunrise" post from a few days ago doesn't apply anymore and I have zero excuses.
Since I was at the Peace bridge a couple days ago it's just been murky grey in the mornings with no fun light to inspire me and I've just been heading back home after dropping her off.
Yesterday I left downtown and drove through Inglewood along 9th ave and kept on 17th ave SE until I got to Stoney trail.. There was a big fog bank on the east end of the city with some sun poking thorugh but I wasn't feeling it.
Driving along international ave (17th Ave SE) I was forced to stop at every damn light.. and long lights too because of that express bus line that runs out that way. Every intersection has all-way turn advance signals and it was so frustrating. (oh poor me..) By the time I got to Stoney trail to head towards home, I was kind of done with driving though.
This morning it looked like the light would break so my great challenge was where to go. I made my way to the east village to park (meters start at 9:00am so I had an hour or so) I hummed-and-hawed about getting out of the car. It was showing -11degC but little or no wind. I had gloves, a toque and stuff so in theory I was ready to walk around outside..
I almost decided against getting out when I looked up and saw a bunch of pink in the sky towards the west.. the colour didn't last all that long. After I had parked and walked back the pink had faded to more of an orange so I just started walking and looking around.. There wasn't much traffic on 9th ave so I was able to snag some nice shots without any distracting cars in the foreground.
In the photo above I'd normally shoot a wider shot so as to include my muse in the photo (the Calgary tower) - That's what I started with but some how I was able to break through my fixation and zoomed in to frame up this scene. The light that was just scraping the sign in the foreground for a moody compressed-view kind of photo. I like how it turned out but I've got anxiety at not posting a shot with the tower in it.. lol.
Looking towards the south I could see that some morning light was hitting the edge of the Saddledome so I wandered in that direction thinking I still had enough time to get over, take some shots then get back to the car before 9.
Looking at the 'dome there was stuff in the way like power lines and so on. I tried to work with the stuff and integrate it into the composition. Looking at the photo I'm not sure it turned out as well as I'd initially hoped.
The area around Victoria park largely consists of parking lots and they were all empty this morning. I walked up a side street to see what there was to see and saw a little puddle on the ground. I wondered if I could get a reflection shot of the 'dome from. I'd watched some landscape videos on youtube earlier this week and was somewhat inspired for the composition.
So I squatted down and it looked like it might go, but if I was going to take the shot I'd need to commit and get as low as possible.. which meant lying down on my side, so I could have the camera at ground level and still look through the viewfinder.
I guess I could have done that hold-the-camera-down-no-look shooting that I've done a few times recently and honestly, as I type this up, I'm wondering why I didn't think of that at the time. I guess I just really wanted to lie down on the wet-slushy road to frame up the photo.
So I took some shots but the light was kind of dim.. the sun was behind some clouds but it looked like it might break out soon. I decided to wait, it wouldn't be long and then I could lie on the road again - as if I wasn't wet enough.
While I waited a car came by.. I quietly hoped they wouldn't drive through my little puddle and splash it out of existence! (it was really pretty small).. luck was on my side as they completely missed it. Then a few minutes later, another car came by, pulled a u-turn and kind of parked in a spot about a third of a block away and it just sat there. They could obviously see what I was doing, which for now, was just standing there, on the side of the road - all out in the open, probably looking like a weird-o. But, soon, I was going to lie down on the road to take a photo.. and to be honest I didn't want to have an audience. What could I do, I wanted the shot.
The sun eventually broke and I got back on the ground and took some more photos.
So for the shot I cropped it so the bottom of the frame chopped part of the reflection. I had two problems. One is that the best ratio for posting portrait photos on instagram is 5x4 (doin it for the 'gram..) and the other is that, with this crop, if I include the full reflection I lose too much of the sky and it feels unbalanced. I'm weird about the edges of my photos and I try hard to make sure that the edges are clean and there aren't things jutting in from everywhere and there's a nice balance.. and I'm loathe to just chop off stuff at the edge of the frame.. it's like cropping a photo of someone at their ankles, the photo wouldn't feel right.
In contrast, for the photo below, I left as 6x4 instead of 5x4 because I couldn't make a 5x4 crop work, but I still liked the shot. if/when I post on insta I'll have to include a bunch of weird white borders so it'll post properly. I think my problem is that I don't have a consistent approach to the 6x4 borders and every-time I try it, I feel like I'm re-inventing it.. perhaps I should just come up with a standard that I can re-use.
It was getting close to 9 and I was partially soaked from lying on the road (no joke, my entire right side and my gloves were all dripping.. ) so I made my way back to the car. It was a pretty cold walk back. The sun was fully up by now and the light just a bit harsher. I tried to shoot a few more photos but haven't posted them yet.
If I do, you'll be able to see them here
Thanks for looking.