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 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:


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.