Taku’s Top 5 Winter Photography Favourites

As of 6:45pm, March 20, winter is officially over, however it may not feel like it with the current cold front passing by our city this week. To recap this wonderful season that offered a number of prime photo opportunities, I’ve rounded my top five favourite photos that I took with my Nikon over this winter season.

If you’ve been following my blog throughout the winter, or are following me on Instagram @smaku or @theSmaku, then you may have noticed some of these photos pop up there. I’m also uploading select photos on my Flickr account as well.

Number 5

This photo was taken in early December when Christmas lights were just being turned on, and everybody was getting into the festive spirit. On my way home from the Christmas Market, I took a quick detour to City Hall to see what was happening. The semi-long exposure of 0.8 seconds made some skaters a blur, while those who stood still remained in focus. All lights were on, and I made sure to include the city’s Christmas tree in this frame too. I opted to include that spotlight on the top left, to add some more excitement to the top half of this frame. I just can’t help but feel a little festive whenever I see this.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who liked this photo as city councillor Norm Kelly liked it enough to retweet it to everybody.

0.8 sec. at f/20, ISO 800, 24mm

0.8 sec. at f/20, ISO 800, 24mm

 Number 4

This one was taken on the same day as number 5! Visiting the Distillery District Christmas Market for the first time, I wanted to really capture the festive spirit and business of the event. I had to prop my tripod right in the middle of the walkway, getting my camera high enough above everybody’s heads to really capture this mood. I think it turned out rather nice; you can feel the warmth from the halogen Christmas lights. Since this was a long exposure, by chance, I happened to capture three flashed coming from different places. As an added bonus, I loved how this one person in the crowd stood still enough so that I could capture her on her phone, perhaps Instagramming all of this!

Three flashes a charm?

Three flashes a charm?

Number 3

This winter had no shortages of sunrise shoots. While some of them were a little lacklustre, others proved to be very rewarding. This day was one of them when the colours were so vibrant it really made you second guess what was happening here. This 6 second long exposure created a different texture to Lake Ontario, further adding to that special morning glow that you can only get with a sunrise.

Nikon D800, 70mm, f/14, 6.0 sec., ISO 100, B+W 6-stop ND filter

Nikon D800, 70mm, f/14, 6.0 sec., ISO 100, B+W 6-stop ND filter

Number 2

Surprisingly, one of my favourites of the season is not even a colour photo! I really like the tone of this with its faded shadows. The intricate details of the plants in the foreground silhouetted against the brightly lit waters of the background make this for me. That ball of sun right in the middle also makes this a special moment that you know it wasn’t taken any time during the day.

Nikon D800, 1/20sec., f/9.0, ISO100, 70mm

Nikon D800, 1/20sec., f/9.0, ISO100, 70mm

Number 1B

This one would have to be my favourite photo taken with the full sun in the frame. The patchy fog on top of Lake Ontario really makes you feel the frigidness of that morning. I was lucky those colours were so vibrant that day as well. It was an absolutely beautiful morning and one that I definitely didn’t want to spend in bed!

Nikon D800, 1/6 sec., ISO 100, f/9.0, 24mm, +2/3 EV

Nikon D800, 1/6 sec., ISO 100, f/9.0, 24mm, +2/3 EV

Number 1A

This would be my favourite landscape photo where you can see the city within the frame. That morning was almost a bust since the clouds were so thick near the horizon. I really didn’t think I would get any colour out of Mother Nature. But as I waited a little more, the clouds broke open ever so slightly, allowing some magical morning light to come through. That red on the side was out of this world, so to speak. It’s mornings like this that really make waking up so early worthwhile.

Nikon D800, 24mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 30 sec., 6-stop ND filter

Nikon D800, 24mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 30 sec., 6-stop ND filter

Those are my top 5 favourite winter photos for 2014. I hope you enjoyed them! I believe Both #1 photos I hadn’t even posted anywhere so this may very well be the first time you’ve seen them! Just another reason for you all to keep following me on my blog. 🙂

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Have you been out to take photos this winter season? Where was your favourite one taken? Let me know in the comments below.

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