Tag Archives: Toronto

VIA Rail—Sunset and Signals.

On a sub-zero evening, in February 2010, I exposed this view of an eastward Toronto-bound VIA Rail corridor train at Sunnyside in the western Toronto suburbs.

Pat Yough, Chris Guss and I were on a winter adventure in Ontario that I’ll remember for the cold as much as the photos.

Here’s a hint: extremely cold weather can produce some stunning light effects.

For this view, I used Fujichrome Velvia loaded in a Canon EOS-3 fitted with a 100-400mm Canon zoom lens (featuring image stabilization).

I like the curvature of the track and classic searchlight signals which are accentuate by the rosy glow of the setting sun.

Although Brian is on the road, Tracking the Light still Posts Every Day!

GO sunset—Sunnyside, Toronto.

Bitterly cold with a clear sky; that was Toronto on the evening of February 8, 2010.

I exposed this photo of a GO Transit train using my Lumix LX3. While this was a great little camera, it suffered from poor battery life. On this cold day, I rapidly worked my way through all three of my rechargeable batteries and had to take time midday to recharge one.

Exposed using a Panasonic Lumix LX3; f2.8 1/320 second ISO 80. Set manually. Vivid color profile.

By the time I made this frame, the last battery was flashing red, yet I had enough juice left for a few more photos.

My LX7 is a better camera and the batteries are much improved. Word to the wise: always carry a spare battery.

Tracking the Light posts daily.

Amtrak’s Maple Leaf on an Arctic Canadian Morning in February 2010.

Amtrak's Maple Leaf near Sunnyside in Toronto on the first leg of its journey to New York's Pennsylvania Station.
Amtrak’s Maple Leaf near Sunnyside in Toronto on the first leg of its journey to New York’s Pennsylvania Station.

on a frigid February 2010 morning, I exposed this view  on Fujichrome using my Canon EOS-3 with a 100-400mm zoom lens.

This was one of dozens of action photos I made while traveling with Chris Guss and Pat Yough that day.

One of the great challenges in working in sub-zero temperatures is short battery life. While my Canon film camera faired reasonably well, my poor Panasonic Lumix LX3 digital camera did not. By noon two of my three batteries had gone flat.

Tracking the Light continues to post Daily while Brian is on the road.

Canadian National’s Spadina Roundhouse, Toronto

May 1985

Looking down from the CN Tower on Canadian National’s Spadina Roundhouse in Toronto.
Looking down from the CN Tower on Canadian National’s Spadina Roundhouse in Toronto.

I exposed this vertigo inducing view from the sky-reaching CN Tower using my Leica 3A with 50mm Summitar and Kodachrome 64.

It was a glorious clear morning and I was visiting Toronto for the first time. After the tower, I wandered around on the ground making a few select images.

While the nearby Canadian Pacific roundhouse at John Street survives as a museum, CN’s Spadina Street was demolished a year after my visit, and almost everything in this view has been erased from the scene.

Looking down from the CN Tower on Canadian National’s Spadina Roundhouse in Toronto.

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Tomorrow: Mineral Point, Pennsylvania.

 

GO Transit, Toronto, February 8, 2010—Daily Post.

Sunlight on a Commuter Train.

It was extraordinarily cold when Pat Yough, Chris Guss and I set out to photograph Toronto’s morning rush hour.

One of the biggest challenges working in very cold weather is the effect on battery life. After a couple of hours, almost all my batteries were dead. We made a mid morning trip back to our hotel to charge batteries.

Toronto bound GO Transit train near Sunnyside on February 8, 2010. I exposed this view on Fujichrome using my Canon EOS 3 with a 200mm lens.
Toronto bound GO Transit train near Sunnyside on February 8, 2010. I exposed this view on Fujichrome using my Canon EOS 3 with a 200mm lens.8

For this photograph, I opted to center the locomotive, while setting it back in the frame. This adds visual tension and draws the eye in.

Bright low sunlight reflecting from the white locomotive front made for a difficult exposure.

Although, I pre-set the camera manually, I continued to make fine adjustments as the train approached. In the last instant before I released the shutter, I stopped down (reduced the exposure) to compensate for the bright front end.

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Tomorrow: Good Friday = Good Luck. Irish Rail’s Sperry train on the move.

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Toronto, February 8, 2010

Braving frigid temperatures to take advantage of incredible low-light; on this day, three years ago (February 8, 2010), Pat Yough, Chris Guss & I were in Toronto photographing in suitably arctic conditions. Cold but clear—there’s a fantastic, surreal quality of light in sub-zero temperatures which can lead to great images if you chose to endure the conditions. Not, only were we up early, but the night before we spent an hour or more making night shots from the Bathurst Street Bridge. It didn’t get any warmer by daybreak, which we photographed from the lake front west of the city center. On that morning, after setting up the tripod, my numb hands only managed to record in my note book, “0646 [6:46 am]—ugg. Twilight—cold.”

View from Bathurst Street, Toronto approaching Midnight on February 7, 2010. Lumix LX-3 time exposure.
View from Bathurst Street, Toronto approaching Midnight on February 7, 2010. Lumix LX-3 time exposure.

Sunrise on Lake Ontario, February 8, 2010. Lumix LX-3 on tripod.
Sunrise on Lake Ontario, February 8, 2010. Lumix LX-3 on tripod.

While we made an intense tour of Toronto area railroading, among the most memorable images were those exposed toward the end of daylight near Queensway & King Streets along the Canadian National quad-track line west of Union Station. This is one of the busiest lines in Canada, and hosts a flurry of trains at rush hour. For me the highlight was a pair of in-bound GO Transit trains with new MP40PHs running side-by-side as the sun hugged the horizon over lake Ontario. A few minutes later, I scored a VIA train gliding under a signal bridge in last glint of sunlight. At the time, I was still working primarily with film, and I kept both Canon EOS-3s busy. One was fitted with my 100-400 IS zoom, the other with a 24mm AF lens. The only digital camera I had was my Lumix LX-3, which I learned tends to chew through battery power in sub-zero conditions. By the end of the day, I’d drained three full batteries. The McDonalds on King Street made for a nice place to thaw hands on cups of hot chocolate while watching TTC’s trams glide by at dusk. On the way back we swung by Niagara Falls, my first visit to the famous waterfall, despite having photographed trains crossing the gorge on several occasions over the years.

GO Transit.
Eastward GO Transit trains near Sunnyside at sunset on February 8, 2010. Canon EOS-3 with 100-400 zoom; Fujichrome RVP-100, exposure not recorded.

GO Transit.
Eastward GO Transit trains near Sunnyside at sunset on February 8, 2010. Canon EOS-3 with 24mm lens; Fujichrome RVP-100, exposure not recorded.

VIA Rail at sunset.
Eastward VIA Rail train approaches Sunnyside at sunset on February 8, 2010. Canon EOS-3 with 100-400 zoom; Fujichrome RVP-100, exposure not recorded.

View of TTC streetcar on King Street from McDonalds on corner of Roncesvalles Avenue and Queen  at dusk on February 8, 2010. Lumix LX-3 ISO 80 at f2.8.
View of TTC streetcar on King Street from McDonalds on corner of Roncesvalles Avenue and Queen at dusk on February 8, 2010. Lumix LX-3 ISO 80 at f2.8.

TTC Streetcar Toronto.
TTC Streetcar at corner of King and Queen Streets, Sunnyside, Toronto, February 8, 2010.
Lumix LX-3 set at ISO 80.

Niagara Falls at night in winter.
Time exposure of Niagara Falls from the Ontario side. Exposed digitally with a Lumix LX-3 on a Bogan tripod.

 

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