Jun 122012
 

Niagara-on-the-lake is a really pretty little town with a great location on the banks of Lake Ontario. That being said, I found it really difficult to photograph. Granted I didn’t give myself a lot of time there, but I found a lot of potentially good shots on the main street that were, unfortunately, ruined by cars parked along the road. If I were in charge there I’d ban parking of any motorized vehicle on that street to maintain the old small town feel. Unfortunately, I’m not in charge.

As it got closer to sunset I started getting a bit concerned about failing to get any photos for the evening, particularly as the sunset was getting interesting. I went down to the lake, but felt like every spot that looked like it would offer up a good vantage point was behind a fence. I feel like this a lot here in Bermuda. All the best viewpoints are on private property. It makes sense that people want these spots for their homes, but it’s really frustrating!

Eventually I found this spot. Initially, I got irritated trying to find somewhere to get a view over the fence surrounding the marina. Then, I had an epiphany. I attached my camera to my tripod and used it in a somewhat unorthodox way. The fence was chain-link so I opened up one of the legs and inserted it into the fence. It was a pretty flimsy support and made it pretty difficult to frame my shot. I had to wait until I was sure the camera had stopped bouncing around and then use my cable release to fire off three shots.

Sunset over a marina with sail boats on ground and masts reflecting at Niagara-on-the Lake in Ontario, Canada

 

May 132012
 

It’d be pretty easy to spend all of your time driving around Bruce County photographing the farms that dot the landscape. They’re all the stereotypical barn and silo combination. Most of them are positioned in the middle of flat areas. I particularly like this one, nestled at the bottom of a hill, with a lone tree to the right at the crest.

Barn and silo with red roofs at bottom of hill with tree at crest in Bruce County, Ontario

If you’re interested in buying a print, click here.

Apr 242012
 

Operation Horseshoe Bay Sunrise: Day 2

It was far less confusing when my alarm clock woke me up this morning. It was still a little startling, but I remembered why I’d set it. It was lighter this morning, making me think that maybe it wasn’t as cloudy. Upon setting off for horseshoe bay, I realized that it was still completely overcast. When I got to the top of the rock I realized that there was a clear band at the horizon for the sun to slip through briefly.Unfortunately, as it approached sunrise a band of rain blocked this gap. I spent a while trying out different vantage points and then noticed a break in the clouds moving across the sky. I waited for it to move into frame and caught the sun bursting through it. It may be quite interesting, but it’s not what I’m after.

I realized I didn’t mention what I was trying to capture yesterday. I’d like to manage two shots. For one, I want a spectacular sunrise forming a backdrop to the beach. For the other I want a blue sky with a few interesting clouds and the beach bathed in golden morning light. I think Thursday will probably be the best day for it.

Toronto Skyline

This is another view of the city from the shoreline near Ontario Place on the way out of Toronto. I wound up in this location after researching Toronto viewpoints on blogTO. It’s not quite where they recommended, which was actually a pedestrian overpass nearby. I got up there and couldn’t frame a shot I was happy with. I think it would be better at night, with light trails leading into the city. I’ve actually had a couple of my Toronto shots picked as blogTO’s photo of the day, which is pretty cool. If you poke around their site a bit you’ll find them.

View of Toronto from the shoreline near Ontario Place under blue sky with fluffy clouds.

 

 

Apr 192012
 

If it looks like I’m standing in the water here it’s because I am. Well, not really. My camera was though. I spotted this weir next to this old mill above Walter’s Falls in Ontario. After failing to be satisfied with a shot from the bridge I went clambering down the bank, through branches covered in thorns to get down to the river edge. I landed heavily on a pair of rocks which immediately gave way under me. I looked like I’d be getting wet for sure. Somehow, I managed to back pedal faster than the rocks were falling and build myself a new platform of rocks landing beneath my feet.

From my precarious perch, I lent out as far as I could to place my camera closer to the middle of the river, and fire off 7 exposures, before clambering back up through the bushes. Following this I went down to the bottom of the waterfall to get some shots there. I and my gear got pretty soaked once down there, but that’s a story for another day.

 

The Old Gristmill and weir at Walter's Falls, Ontario

Apr 142012
 

I was driving westward from the center of Nigara-on-the-Lake, chasing the sunset. The sky had lit up just above the horizon and I was trying to find somewhere to take a few photos of the last light. I came across a small park nestled in amongst a few houses and parked the car. I hurried across the park to find stairs down to the edge of the lake where there happened to be a beach. I fired off a few shots and then finished up with this one.

It was dark enough that setting a small aperture allowed me to smooth out the small waves on the lake and capture some of the underwater details. This is a composite of 7 photos bracketed from -3 to +3.

Last pink tinged light seen reflecting on calm Lake Ontario at Niagara-on-the-lake with rocky shoreline.

Apr 122012
 

It’s amazing what you can find when you leave the road and set off on foot. I pulled over because I saw a lone tree standing at the end of a dirt lane surrounded by dried up grape vines. The sun was setting behind it. I kept walking closer, trying to find a picture. I fired off a couple and then decided to continue on past the tree. It looked like it was at the precipice of a hill and I thought there my be a view out over the landscape from there. As it turned out, the elevation wasn’t as great as I’d expected. Despite that though, I’d stumbled upon this scene and quickly set about trying to capture it.

 

A pink and yellow sunset just before night falls with a serene lake and a row of tall fir trees reflecting in the water in Ontario.

Apr 102012
 

I’d have liked to get out to Toronto Island during my time there. In fact, my plan was to head there immediately after checking into my hotel. Unfortunately, I missed my connection in New York and got in far too late. I walked by and decided the ticket booths would make for a good photo.

Bright colored ticket booths lit up at night for ferry to Toronto Island in Ontario

Apr 052012
 

It’s possible that Eaton Centre was built with HDR photography in mind. There are so many lines and textures and bits hanging from the ceiling it can make for some very interesting images.

Eaton Center in Toronto before the shoppers arrive where it looks ultra modern.

Apr 032012
 

Before writing about today’s post I’d just like to state that the roads around Toronto are bloody terrifying for an island boy used to driving on the left. I haven’t got a clue how anybody from out of town ever could have navigated the corkscrewing web of highways prior to GPS. I was using a TomTom and even it got confused. Just as we were reaching our destination it instructed me to keep right. Somewhat unsurprisingly this lane split off, with no warning or recourse, before the off ramp that the TomTom thought it was directing me to. Fortunately, the little machine successfully assessed the situation and plotted a new route.

That was at the end of my trip, this photo was at the beginning but the traffic reminded me of my return journey. I’ve had a bit of a whinge in a previous post about some of the difficulties I encountered on the night I arrived. My flight to New York was delayed and resulted in me missing my connection. I got there far too late to hit all the points I had planned. I decided on my way into the city that I’d concentrate on taking some skyline shots with the last remaining light. Then, the fog, the all enveloping fog that obscured the city from view.

It seemed unlikely that the viewpoints I first had in mind would be possible in these conditions. I could only see a couple of blocks in all directions. I resigned myself to doing some research with the plan to have a really successful morning, if the fog had receded. Then, I realized I was near one of the viewpoints I’d researched and decided to check it out.

I arrived on top of the Queen’s Quay Parking Garage, with a view of the Gardiner Expressway, Rogers Centre and the CN Tower. On this night the CN Tower was just a stem, disappearing into the clouds, but, then the fog became my ally. The purple lights of Rogers Centre glowed in the fog and buildings faded in and out as traffic flowed into the city. Happily, I set up for my first successful photo in Toronto.

I keep mentioning my pre-planned view points of Toronto. I had discovered these points the day before I left for Toronto on the following site:

http://www.blogto.com/toronto/lists/the_top_views_of_toronto/

I processed this photo as usual but then brought back the shadows as I felt that the HDR process had actually pulled out features i couldn’t see (or didn’t notice) at the time. The photo felt more natural with darker shadows.

View of the Gardiner Expressway, Rogers Center and the CN Tower in Toronto from the top of the Queen’s Quay Parking Garage with the purple lights of Rogers Center glowing in the fog and traffic flowing into the city.

 

 

Mar 312012
 

I got up early to photograph two specific locations at sunrise. One involved setting up in the middle of a small road. A small road that was surprisingly busy so early in the morning! So, that wasn’t an option. My second location was obscured by fog. So, I started driving around trying to find some shots. I actually got quite a few so it all worked out.

I spotted this barn from the road and began taking photos. Suddenly I realized I was no longer on the roadside and probably trespassing. I set up for this last shot before scampering. I don’t think anyone saw me, fortunately.

Inside of dilapidated wooden barn with hole in roof where cat perches with sunshine pouring in through all the holes in Niagara, Ontario.