Posts

The Festive Toronto City Hall

Toronto’s City Hall is no exception when it comes to decorating during the holiday season. With lights wrapped around the arches of the skating rink to those lined along the walls, you can’t not get into that magical mood.

I haven’t skated since my childhood years, so rather than attempt to showcase my fancy skating skills, I took to the rink and area with my camera instead.

1/3 sec. at f/9.0, ISO 800, 24mm

1/3 sec. at f/9.0, ISO 800, 24mm

It was by chance that I came here with my tripod, so it came in handy for all of these long exposures that I captured that evening. To illustrate the movement of the skaters, a slow, but not too slow shutter speed was used—it was just fast enough to capture still people’s faces, while the skaters were all a blur.

1/10 sec. at f/8.0, ISO 800, 70mm

1/10 sec. at f/8.0, ISO 800, 70mm

People skate in one direction, so to illustrate this movement, I took to the higher vantage point where I was able to capture the skaters going around and around. My timing had to be just right, however, since if I shot while few people were in the foreground, then I wouldn’t get that circular movement illustrated. I had to wait a bit until a large number of people came towards me. I also extended my shutter speed for this just a bit, so as to capture the curved blur as people skated around the corners.

0.6 sec. at f/9.0, ISO 800, 48mm

0.6 sec. at f/9.0, ISO 800, 48mm

The warm glow from the lights of the Christmas tree really provided that Christmas mood to the area. Standing slightly lopsidedly behind the rink, only a few people walked to it to take their requisite selfie “I was there” moment.

0.4 sec. at f/10, ISO 800, 70mm

0.4 sec. at f/10, ISO 800, 70mm

From afar, you can barely see the patterns of the lights, but from up close, you can see the netting over the tree, and all the bulbs decorating Toronto City Hall’s Christmas tree. What’s your favourite decoration?

1/25 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 800, 56mm

1/25 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 800, 56mm

In the photo below, my intention was to capture all of City Hall’s lights in one frame. I came upon an angle that managed to fulfill this requirement. The red glow of the building, combined with the orange glow of the tree, and the yellow from the arches really “lit up” this photo. Sorry for that pun.

0.5 sec. at f/10, ISO 800, 31mm

0.5 sec. at f/10, ISO 800, 31mm

Over the course of some time, skaters are asked to vacate the rink for about 10-15min. so the zamboni can clean the ice. This was a perfect moment to capture the skaters off the ice, resting and milling about while capturing the movement of the zamboni on the ice.

1/3 sec. at f/9.0, ISO 800, 55mm

1/3 sec. at f/9.0, ISO 800, 55mm

Once the zamboni did its job, the skaters took to the ice once again. I wanted to capture people in action as they darted off from the sideline on to the rink, but I may have missed the mark on this photo below. I did, however, capture that brightly shining moon!

0.6 sec. at f/9.0, ISO 800, 26mm

0.6 sec. at f/9.0, ISO 800, 26mm

The skating rink is a great place to be even for non-skaters like myself. Hopefully I managed to capture some of the spirit of the season in these photos. Hope you’re all having a great season this year!

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

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

Toronto’s Outdoor Cinemas (Part2/2)

Part one of my two-part photography series brought you some great movie-watching experiences from the grounds of Fort York, David Pecaut Square, and Sugar Beach. This second part will bring you photos that I took from screenings at Yonge-Dundas Square, Harbourfront, and St. James park.

City Cinema: Yonge-Dundas Square

While there isn’t any large grassy expanse at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, its large concrete ground is a perfect spot for shows and events. Setting up a few seats and you have yourself a great place to view movies in. Surprisingly, the surrounding bright lights did little to distract from the movie itself. Take me to the YD Square website.

City Cinema: Yonge-Dundas Square

City Cinema: Yonge-Dundas Square

Harbourfront Free Flicks

Harbourfront Free Flicks is presented by Redbox and offers another great movie-going experience by Lake Ontario. These screenings are shown on the Westjet Stage where the stage’s curved seating is great for everyone to enjoy the screening. It’s another fantastic opportunity for you to enjoy the summer by the harbour. I believe I saw many passer-bys taking their evening stroll on the boardwalk stop by to treat themselves to an unexpected film. Take me to the Harbourfront website!

Harbourfront Free Flicks

Harbourfront Free Flicks

Harbourfront Free Flicks

Movies in St. James Park

St. James Park, located on the North West corner of Lower Jarvis Street and King Street East, has a great unasumming park that is literally hidden amongst the trees. It’s a great place for a free flick, and they know it. Take me to the St. James Park website!

Movies in St. James Park

Movies in St. James Park

This ends my photography series on outdoor cinemas in Toronto, but don’t be fooled, as this is no exhaustive list; there are several other parks and neighbourhoods in Toronto that offer this great service, with many of them being free. You can check out BlogTO’s 2014 listing of outdoor movies or Toronto Life’s 2014 listing for the ones that I didn’t cover, so you can start getting ready for next year.

Toronto’s Outdoor Cinemas (Part 1/2)

The Ex has ended, school has started, and traffic and commuting are a nightmare. But that doesn’t mean summer is over just yet. Technically summer isn’t over until September 22, 2014 so let’s keep the spirit going with my two-part series on outdoor movie-watching.

This summer there were no shortages of movies to watch…outdoors! With so many parks, beaches, and local neighbourhoods showing a variety of movies, it was a great way to spend a summer weeknight. With popcorn, blankets, and chairs in hand, there were definitely no shortages of moviegoers either.

This past August, I took to a select number of outdoor cinema screenings across the city and captured Toronto’s love for outdoor flicks. All of these screenings are free of charge, and are family friendly.

Part one in my two-part photography series brings you some great movie-going experiences from the grounds of Fort York, David Pecaut Square, and Sugar Beach. Come back again tomorrow for the second part of my photography series.

Scotiabank’s Summer Cinema at Fort York

Fort York was a perfect backdrop for watching movies with its large flat ground, and plenty of space for movie-watchers with chairs or on blankets. The large expanse even allowed for a food truck to be on premises, which was a great hit for those with last-minute cravings. Take me to the Scotiabank website.

Scotiabank's Summer Cinema at Fort York

Scotiabank's Summer Cinema at Fort York

TIFF in the Park 2014

TIFF offers their free movie screenings at David Pecaut Square, which is nearby their TIFF | Bell Lightbox building on 350 King St. West. It offers a great movie-going experience on a flat ground that is tucked away within the concrete jungle that is downtown Toronto. It’s a nice contrast and a great little getaway from the chaos that we are normally accustomed to downtown. Take me to the TIFF in the Park website.

TIFF in the Park 2014

TIFF in the Park 2014

Sail-in-Cinema at Sugar Beach

For a truly unique experience, the Toronto Port Authority has its annual Sail-in-Cinema event, which shows movies on Toronto’s only double-sided screen, making this the largest outdoor theatre in Toronto! It’s a great concept and great fun for those who want to watch a movie in the comfort of your own boat, or just lazily laying down on Sugar Beach. Take me to the Sail-in-Cinema website.

Sail-in-Cinema at Sugar Beach

Sail-in-Cinema at Sugar Beach

Come back tomorrow for Part Two of my two-part photography series on outdoor movie-watching!