10 fun Harbourfront photos – all my ducks in a row

10 fun Harbourfront photos – all my ducks in a row

Managed to score some decent Harbourfront photos on my last outing. The original title was going to be Harbourfront Expedition part 2 – waterfowl, but once I wrote it out, it sounded like a bad B Hollywood horror flick.  Ducks in a row is much better. There weren’t a lot floating around when I went down on Friday.

Saw many more back in Feb, but the long-tailed ducks are happy up in the tundra now.  Mallards, gulls, and Canada geese were the birds du jour. Goose. There was one lone goose bobbing along.  There were some in the distance, but they weren’t interested in coming close to shore, so I wasn’t sure what they were. Unlike the winter trip, I was able to get close to the birds and get some strong shots.

Harbourfront photos of a persistent little mallard

Photo of a female mallard standing on the boardwalk- Harbourfront photos

She was a brazen little mallard

Not sure why, but when the lady in the photos below walked by, the female mallard ran up to her, quacking away like she found a long-lost friend.

Harbourfront photo of the female mallard duck chasing woman

Hey, I recognise that bag. Share it

Photo of the mallard chasing woman out of the harbourfront boardwalk

She wasn’t a happy little duck. Chased the woman into the parking lot

Maybe, she recognised the grocery bag and knew food comes from them.  She kept following the woman all around, all the way to the parking lot.  Poor duck stood watching at the roadside as the woman left.  She looked around a bit and latched onto a pair of men in deep conversation.  She quacked off and walked along with them.

Never walk alone

Harbourfront photo same female mallard going for a walk with 2 men

You two look more interesting. I’ll just walk with you

The men didn’t seem to notice they acquired a feathered companion, much to everyone’s amusement. Last I saw her, she was strolling beside them, quietly quacking to herself.

Some the photos are sharper than others – I don’t have a zoom lens and I really don’t like disturbing them for a better shot. I prefer to take a pass on a photo than be a bird botherer. But with patience comes opportunity.

Closeup with a male mallard duck

Photo of a male mallard duck paddling in the water

Got up close to this one

This one blew up nicely. What’s that phrase? Water off a duck’s back. You can even see the water beading off the feathers. And the blue green feathers are so beautiful.

Extreme close up of the male mallard duck, showing details of feathers

This shot worked out better than I hoped

A few were paddling around the boats, ignoring all the humans.

Male mallard paddling away

So long

Ring-billed gull at the Harbourfront

And off course there were gulls.  I like gulls, despite their bad press. This one is a Ring-billed Gull, but most people simply label them “sea gulls” despite the fact there isn’t a bit of sea to see.

Photo of a gull standing on the edge of the boardwalk

Much maligned, but I love them – Ring-billed Gull

I was happy to find this site Gull Watching Guide by the Ontario Field Ornithologists website. There are people who love gulls as much as I do!  I was surprised at how many gulls can be found in Ontario so I’m printing the page o’ gulls for my next trip.

What is a Canadian waterfront photo without a Canada goose:

Photo of a Canada goose swiming in the water

Don’t mess with a Canada goose

The ubiquitous Canada goose – Canada’s stealth weapon to the world.

Photo of a Canada goose staring at the photographer

You could see his feet slowly paddling under the water

The trip was fun. Oh, good grief, “the trip” makes it sound like there was some kind of effort needed to get to the Toronto Harbourfront. All it takes is a quick TTC ride to get there.  No fuss, no hassle and boom I’m strolling on the waterfront. It’ll soon be wall to wall humans, so I’ll have to nip down again before the height of the tourist season.  Or a trip to High Park to see the birds? Hmmm dunno yet.

I’m still working on the first Mapping Toronto posting and should have the first walk for the second week in July. Fingers crossed.

By the way, if you go down to the waterfront for a visit, please don’t feed the ducks and geese. All that bread and stuff is not good for them. They are quite happy foraging around on the lake for food. Not only are bread crusts bad for birds, handouts encourage them to be nuisances.  Read more here Please Don’t Feed the Birds

Harbourfront expedition & some awesome photos

Harbourfront expedition & some awesome photos

Ok, I’m biased. I think the photos from my Friday trip to Toronto’s Harbourfront are pretty good.  Lots of great landscape and activity to play around with and the weather was wonderful.  The last time I was down at the Harbourfront, I nearly froze my tail feathers off. It was all ice, wind and waterfowl back in Feb. Friday’s trip was sunshine, people enjoying the weather and lots of fun things to photograph. 

The area is ripe for anyone who wants to photograph boats and the Toronto Island, but it was a bit too early for sailboats. Only one was pottering around on the water so I turned my attention to the spectacular north view of the city. By steadying the camera on some posts, I managed to try a bit of bracketing.  Some shots didn’t have the desired effect, and one or two wowed me:

North view of Toronto skyline from waterfront

I especially liked the little swallow that swept through when I hit the shutter.  And yes, I did some processing, I threw it into NIX’s HDR to really bump up the sharpness. There is some graininess but it was worth it to get those water reflections right.  There’s a bit of fringing around the buildings, so I’ll still have to work on that.

This shot begged to be converted to black and white.

Black and white photo of row of benches in the shade

I’ve been experimenting with black and white quite a bit. It’s interesting what works and what doesn’t.  The colour version was an okay photo, but had no focal point. Converting forced the eye to follow the shadows rather than dodge around the photo.

After sitting for awhile, I circled back to the Power Plant to watch glass blowers work.  Now, this presented an interesting problem. The furnace lighting created a few issues with exposure. Wow, intense light, darker surroundings, lots of movement, lots of wasted shots. HOWEVER, I kept at it and snagged this one:

Photo of a table of glassware

I was quite far from the table so worked hard at getting the clean sharp edges, strong colours and clarity. Good combo for a change. I went inside to watch for awhile and took a number of shots of the blowers at work.  The next one is very grainy, but sometimes you have to accept it to get a shot. The intensity from the furnace made for a difficult shot.

Photo of glass blowers putting glass into the furnace

Lots of blurry shots resulted when he started working at the bench,  one captured his concentration and intensity.

Photo of glass blower working with glass and blow torch

I really like this one. Not as sharp as it could be, but a good try. I sat for awhile on Saturday looking at the photos, analysing them. I think I know where I can improve, so a return trip is definitely on the books.

One last photo to close off.  One of their work benches. I kept the quick moving feet in the top corner because it amuses me.

Photo of the glass blowers bench
I’m already working on another series from the trip. It’s all feathers & waterfowl. Hopefully it’ll be up by Wed.