Cruising through "photos & digital art"

Calm & chilled Stratford through a lens

Written by catpaw

September 12, 2020

Spent a great Sunday morning looking at Stratford through a lens. Beautiful city centre and river. I didn’t take a lot of photos, I was too busy eating and relaxing. While there, I splurged and purchased a polarising filter for my Canon. I’ve been thinking about getting one for quite awhile, okay for about two years and took the opportunity to pick one up at Carman’s Foto Source in the downtown area.  Super helpful staff in the store, especially to amateur photographers.

My nifty ProMaster CPL filter

Photo of a promaster polariser filter

My shinny new ProMaster C-PL filter

It’s going to take a bit to figure out how to use it  and still get sharp photos, but it really makes shooting blue skies on a bright day easier. I’ll have to do a lot of fussing to get the settings right, but so far, it’s interesting to use. I found it interesting how my whites weren’t so blown out like usual. I did struggle to get the light correct. Many shots were too dark and not worth keeping, others lacked the strong edges I prefer. When looking at photos, I tend towards crisp, dynamic colours, slightly over saturated and strong textures.

Did I do it this time? No, but it didn’t stop me from having a lot of fun.

River views while wandering down Stratford, Ontario

Photo of Stratford, On bridge on the river

Idylic and calm

The filter is great for water shots. It’s easier to get a mirror effect. I still struggled to get the blues, especially in the above shot, without everything being too dark. Need to fuss with the settings more. But, this one isn’t too bad. It took about 5 photos before I achieved an ok balance. The sky is a little too white, especially given how deep blue everything was. However, I love how the shadows work, especially on the water. It brings a depth I didn’t get without the polarizer.

Photo of Stratford, On river

Paddling along the water

Looks inviting, doesn’t it? Lots of people paddling and kayaking, along with tons of ducks. Stratford is famous for it’s swans, but I’ll be buggered if I only saw 2 the entire long weekend. In spots, the water looked like a polished mirror. I really can’t wait to get to the waterfront with the filter and try this again.

Photo of Stratford, On river view

Glassy, smooth water

The blues in the sky aren’t quite right yet. The water came out beautifully, the sky, a little off.  Not sure why, but trial and error, trial and error. Eventually, when I look through a lens, photography will come naturally.

Stratford, Ontario City Hall

Photo of Stratford, On City Hall

Stratford, Ont. City Hall

Now that’s a city hall. Unfortunately we couldn’t go inside any of the historic buildings because of Covid restrictions. Spent the rest of the day looking in windows, taking the odd photo and just enjoying the sunshine and beauty.

Looking at myself through a lens

Photo of Stratford, On - selfie in the window - looking at myself through a lens

A perfect selfie – me and cheese

I don’t take selfies as a rule. I think they should be more than just a photo of a person smiling and posing for the camera. The filter helps with the reflections in the windows and makes it easier to pull up details and colours in post-production. Most selfies are deadly boring. They should be an expression of a person’s humour and outlook on life. So, that’s me with a big wheel of cheese, looking through a lens. Friends will find it amusing.

Notes:

Stratford is a great place to visit. You don’t have to go for the theatre. There’s tons of stuff to do and places to stay. Check out Stratford Tourism and Stratford for more info.

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