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Explore the unknown

Even in your own hometown, it’s exciting to explore areas that you don’t often frequent. It gives you an excuse to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and maybe get in some much needed exercise for the day.

Explore the unkown. iPhone 6 Plus. Edited in Snapseed and VSCOCam.

Explore the unknown. iPhone 6 Plus. Edited in Snapseed and VSCOCam.

I’ve taken many walks and runs along the lakeshore lately but what makes these trips more exciting is venturing off to places I normally wouldn’t go to. I often find myself taking turns to unexpected areas and sometimes even losing my bearings. No worries there, as I’ll always have my google maps with me!

You never know when you’ll find that perfect location for your next shoot so don’t be afraid to explore the unknown and find new places around your city.

Do you have favourite places in your city that you like to go to? Share them with me in the comments below.

The next sunrise shoot

Nikon D800, 1/160 sec., f/10, ISO 100, 70mm

Nikon D800, 1/160 sec., f/10, ISO 100, 70mm

It’s no secret that I love waking up early in the morning just for the sake of capturing that first light. Whether it be in the middle of winter or spring, I’m game when it comes to photography. Call me crazy but that’s just when you get that best light and dramatic scenery. Moreover, it’s those moment when you get a beautiful photo that makes it all the worthwhile.

A number of people over the last few weeks have asked me when my next sunrise photoshoot will be. I haven’t been on one lately, and I likely won’t be going on another one until later in July or August.

Why, you may ask? I tend to like the sun to rise near another point of focus within an image. That’s my preference. And now, since the sun is currently rising well behind the city skyline, I’m not able to get a good view of it from anywhere near where I usually take my sunrise photos: parks along the lakeshore.

Until the sun starts to make its way back towards the CN Tower, I won’t be making another sunrise shoot. Be sure to stay with me on this blog, follow me on Twitter, or Instagram, as I will announce again, when I will start heading out in the mornings. The sun rising and the warm temperatures of July/August should make it easier to head out there, although we may be lacking some visual interest like fog or extreme winds, like what I had in the photo above.

Regardless, I’ll be sure to announce my next outing so that more people can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature combined with the beauty of Toronto’s skyline!

B&W landscapes can be dramatic

iPhone 6 Plus, 4 second exposure

iPhone 6 Plus, 4 second exposure

I’m not the one to make black and white landscape photos, but when I see one that works, I stick with it. This photo that I took with my iPhone 6 Plus is one such example.

This was in fact a long exposure of about 4 seconds, which is why you can see the rocks so clearly. The exposure was long enough to smooth out any movements from the water.

I was standing on the edge of the icy area so I was restricted in where I could place my camera and tripod, but I knew somehow, this place would work well. While I was pleased with the coloured version, as soon as I edited this in black and white, I knew instantly this was the version I wanted.

When you have an instinct for a photo, go with it and take it. The same can be said about your editing!

Colonel Sam Smith Park II

It’s nearing the end of March and it looks like winter is still here to stay—at least here in Toronto. So, allow me to post yet another one of my Winter Wonderland series where I trek outdoors in “ungodly” hours to take sunrise pictures.

This was actually taken back in February, when there was a lot more snow on the ground, and the sunrise was still quite early, around 6:30am. I’ve visited Colonel Sam Smith Park before (in fact, this is the park that started this entire series), however, seeing as it’s nearby my house and is actually not a bad park overall, I decided to revisit this old gem.

Above: The golden colours from the sun coupled with the clear and crisp blue morning sky, captured in a long exposure with the use of my neutral density filter makes this one of my favourites of the morning.

Above: One of the last photos I took in the morning gave way to the mist coming from the water as it started to heat up from the morning sun. A relatively short long exposure, you can see the water starting to become silky smooth.

Above: Right as the sun came above the horizon, I took a long exposure allowing the sunlight to burst out from the center of the frame. The water is smooth while I included the details of the ice and snow in the foreground as a contrasting element.

Above: You never know what you will find when you go out shooting, so always be sure to look around you for any other photo opportunities. I looked behind me and found the moon still in the morning sky. I like this photo of the moon with the pastel pink and blue hues. Had I thought even further, I would have taken a panorama with the sunset on one end and the moon on the other end of the frame. I’ll have to leave that for another time.

It’s only fitting that I end off the Winter Wonderland series with the park that started it all. However, we’ll see if I’m up to any more early morning shoots within the next couple of weeks. Only time will tell.

Until then, enjoy the cool, crisp, morning sunlight while you still can!