Photographing The Esplanade Toronto

Photographing The Esplanade Toronto

Picking up where I left off last week, I headed down to The Esplanade and Front to test out my focus and sharpness skills. I took over 400 shots and had a handful that pleased me. The exercise was to work on colour balance, overall focus and sharpness of the subject. Instead of a “bucket ‘o seeds” that didn’t move, I went back to street scenes to test the settings.

I started with my favourite doors in the city 1 Front Street. It has the best over the door features around. Can you think of anything more Canadian than this:

Photo of beaver sculpture over door at 1 Front St

I slowed way down and concentrated on focus points this time. I stood across the road and tried to zoom in to capture the details. The sharpness surprised me when I threw it up on the screen.  About the only work done was adjusting the exposure, I haven’t quite mastered that yet.

I stood on the island in the middle of the road snapping random shots, adjusting and reshooting. The next photo took about 10 tries before the focus worked. I finally took my glasses off and put the screen right up to my nose to see the focus points properly. Yea, I know, a simple solution that should have been obvious. Problem with taking my glasses off is, I’m pretty much blind without them. The signs and the iconic Flatiron building in the background were a bit tricky to get sharp. I think I can do better next time out, but this is pretty good for a start.

Photo of Yonge and Front facing east

After pottering around Front for awhile, I wandered east along The Esplanade, looking for an interesting angle to shoot from.  I poked around quite a few places and found a 6 story parking garage, tucked behind the Novatel hotel that looked promising.  Up on the top level, there are great views. I circled the level, testing various spots and then hit the perfect one.  It was well past noon so the shadows were quite good. I had to do a few adjustments on the computer and airbrushed an irritating red roof umbrella, but otherwise, the photo is pretty strong.  

Photo of Church St looking North from 6th floor of a parking garage

From the 6th level, you can look straight north along Church St. This is the type of view I love, when looking at various photographers works.   I’m kind of glad no one could hear me muttering to myself up there. It might have been embarrassing, but it was exciting to finally find a spot to work from.  Later in the month, I’m heading back down with my tripod and going to test some bracketing shots. I want to try for a crisper photograph.

On the south side, there’s an awesome view of the QEW traffic, planes landing at the Island Airport and trains rumbling by. I’m still working on those shots and will post them in a couple of days. I tossed one up on Instagram and may put a few more up before I write the article about them.  Not sure yet what I want to do with them, so keep checking back or hit the bell down in the bottom right to get a notification when I post.