Thursday, April 25, 2013

Toronto: A walk around one of my favorite cities

I used to travel to Toronto all the time, but over the last couple of years, I had not made a visit to this great city. So, I was happy when I was asked to return and train the folks at Henry's (a great chain of camera stores in Canada). At the end of March, I flew to Toronto and caught the last of their long Winter.

I was staying right by Nathan Phillips Square, so I decided to head out one evening and shoot the square just after sunset. As you can see from these images, there are some really cool arches over the unused ice rink.

I had fun moving to different locations around the ice rink to see how I could photograph the arches from completely different perspectives.

For this last shot of the arches, I set up at the far end of the rink and waited for the ambient light to drop.  I dialed my exposure compensation down 1/3 stop to emphasize the shadows and changed the white balance to bring out the blue color in the sky. (Photo shot at f/18, 15 secs, ISO 100, with the Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 28-300mm lens, Lexar 1000x CF, Gitzo tripod)

I was walking away from the square, when I turned around and saw the blue and pink skies in the distance. Time for one last shot of the evening.

I swear that it snowed for 90% of this trip. But on my last day, I had an hour of clear skies and I was able to grab a nice shot of the CN Tower in the background, nicely framed by the buildings and flags. (Photographer's note: When shooting photos of common landmarks and buildings, try to find something different from the "typical" photo. Sure, I could have walked to a location to photograph the CN Tower unobstructed, but most people take that photo and I want to photograph the tower in a more dramatic way. I saw the sunlight highlighting the flags and saw that as the perfect foreground to my image.)

I love the contrast between old and new architecture...

While walking around downtown, I came across this really cool art museum, with a very modern building built directly on top of this older building.

On this evening, I had walked about 5 miles and was pretty tired and cold, but when the sun set and the deep blue skies appeared, I could not help myself. I had to stay out and shoot some more. I found an interesting location (in front of the Superior Court of Justice building) and framed this shot.

After shooting the first evening shot, I then moved next to University Avenue and grabbed this photo. This particular shot has the shutter open for 25 seconds. I was surprised and happy to see the Canadian flag so clear during such a long exposure.

And here is a tease for the next blog post. Next week you will see images from my exploration of Toronto's "Graffiti Alley".

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