Project 365 – Week 2

Continuing with the 365 project where I plan taking a picture everyday, here is a roundup of photos taken during week2.

Day 8 – Jan 8th 2012

Waiting for summer

Waiting for summer

With a fresh light snow covering, a leisurely walk on Mont-Royal after brunch seemed like a good way to spend a few hours on a crisp Sunday afternoon.

Upon arriving at Lac aux Castors (Beaver Lake) I saw these benches stacked up and thought they would make for an interesting photo subject. I did a little post-processing in Topaz Adjust to bring out the detail in the clouds and soften the tree, benches and snow – quite happy with the result.

Here’s another shot taken from the side processed from 3 exposures merged using Photomatix and using the Dynamic Setting Sun effect in Topaz Adjust followed by some tweaking in Lightroom.

Photomatix HDR with Topaz Adjust Dynamic Setting Sun effect

Photomatix HDR with Topaz Adjust Dynamic Setting Sun effect

During the winter, Lac aux Castors is transformed into a large outdoor ice rink. The following picture was produced from 3 exposures in Photomatix Pro. I decided to leave some of the ghost figures in the final image and add some grain to give it a more mysterious look.

Bygone Skaters

Bygone Skaters

After watching the skaters for a while, we headed up to the observation area for a view of downtown Montreal. I never tire of this view, but in the 12 years of living in Montreal, I’ve still not shot a sun-rise or a nightscape from this vantage point – Hoping this project will force me to capture both in the near future.

Downtown Montreal from Mont-Royal

Downtown Montreal from Mont-Royal

For the next image, I added a small tilt-shift effect using Photoshop.

Tilt-shift effect

Tilt-shift effect

The Saints drinking fountain

The Saints' drinking fountain

The image below shows the look out area and was treated using a couple of effects in Topaz Adjust – French Countryside and Split Tone. I like how you can stack the effects with Topaz and often get a bit carried away, but was quite happy with how this one turned out.

Observation area on Mont-Royal

Observation area on Mont-Royal

We took the quick route back home via the staircase. Even on a snowy day like this, you will find fitness freaks running up and down the winding staircase – but I was holding a camera, so took it gentle.

Staircase on Mont-Royal

Staircase on Mont-Royal

Staircase on Mont-Royal

Staircase on Mont-Royal

Day 9: Jan 9th 2012

Fountain at Place Ville Marie

Fountain at Place Ville Marie

After a busy Sunday afternoon taking photos on Mont-Royal, I only managed to take just one single picture today – glad the 365 project only calls for 1 photo per day.

At the North end of Place Ville Marie (outside above the food court) is a fountain with a bronze sculpture called Feminine Landscape by Canadian sculptor and painter Gerald Gladstone. The fountain has programmed water jets and light display, but unfortunately only the light was on this morning. Behind the statue you can see part of the tall artificial Christmas tree decoration that is erected each year. I had planned to go back one evening this week before they dismantled it, but when I passed by Wednesday they were already unscrewing the light bulbs…Next year then.

Day 10 – Jan 10th 2012

Band Stand on Parc Avenue

Band Stand on Parc Avenue

Just North of Avenue Des Pins on Parc Avenue is this derelict band stand (constructed in 1928) and recently inhabited by homeless people until they removed the flooring.

I’ve recently wondered what the plan was for this structure, and discovered the City of Montreal had proposed honoring the late Montreal author Mordecai Richler (1931– 2001) by renaming the structure after him. His novel Barney’s Version was made into the film of the same title in 2010. However, as a controversial writer, and critique of the Quebec language law and Separatist movement it seems like the plan is on hold – partly due to the uproar that resulted from the planned renaming of parc Avenue to Blvd Robert Bourassa – but that’s another story…

Here is a treated image using Topaz Adjust from an HDR produced using Photomatix.

Band Stand on Parc Avenue

Band Stand on Parc Avenue with Topaz

The following shot was taken just north of Ave des Pins looking south on Parc Avenue and was made with 3 exposures. The tower on the Left is the Air Transat offices and the towers behind and to the right (with the blue lights circling the top) are Les Appartements La Cité (where I currently call home).

Corner of ave du Parc and Ave des Pins

Corner of ave du Parc and ave des Pins

Looks like I need to buy a new tripod since after taking the above shot one of the bottom sections fell out of one of the legs and no longer locks – appears I lost a few important pieces in the snow. I thought I may be able to get some replacement parts but the tripod was made by Cobra in the UK who seem to be no longer in business 😦

Day 11 – Jan 11th 2012

Morning coffee at The Pikolo café on du Parc

Morning coffee at The Pikolo Espresso Bar on du Parc

I generally start each day at a local café to get my fix of caffeine – today was at the Pikolo Espresso BAR on du Parc (corner of Sherbrooke). The Pikolo is a relatively new café with a good vibe, great coffee, soothing background music, friendly service and the smell of freshly baked muffins and croissants wafting through the air. One of these days I will post some pictures of the inside decor and have plans to shoot an HDR one evening from the outside since I think the retro style lights will come out great.

Read an interesting article in the Scientific American Mind on how Neuroscientist Jack L Gallant and his team at UC Berkeley are able to reconstruct the visual experiences of subjects watching movies…Now, if only they can work on enabling us to record and play back our dreams (in 3D and surround sound would be nice).

Day 12 – Jan 12th 2012

Cardboard Christmas

Cardboard Christmas

With the first big snow storm of the year arriving, I didn’t manage to get outside as I had planned. Instead I shot the cardboard Christmas tree Guylaine had received from one of her printer clients. For the shot I simply lit it using a light painting app on my iPod and held a torch facing the camera for a couple of seconds for the star. I processed the image in Lightroom and added a Bleach Bypass effect (brushed out on the figurine) using Topaz Adjust.

While I had the camera set up, I tried a couple of other ‘abstract’ light painting tests.

Red and Blue

Red and Blue

Yellow

Yellow

Green and White

Green and White

Sailing away

Sailing away

Day 13 – Jan 13th 2012

Bike in snow

Bike in snow

With it still snowing hard in Montreal today, I only managed a quick walk to parc Carré St-Louis in Le Plateau quarter. It wasn’t long before by lenses were wet and had to call it a day. At least I managed to get a few reasonable shots.

For the posted picture above, I did quite a bit of work on the original bike image (shown below). Started by processing in Topaz Adjust using the Setting Sun effect (with minor tweaks), then straightened in Photoshop (loving the new straighten tool in CS5), cloned and spot healed (also liking the new spot-healing tool) some trees out and finally messed around with it in Lightroom and added a vignette.

Original bike shot

Original bike shot

The other pictures I would like to share were taken in parc de Bullion:

Bench in snow

Bench in snow

Bench in the snow #2

Bench in the snow #2

Day 14 – Jan 14th 2012

Shadows on avenue du Parc

Shadows on avenue du Parc

Despite the freezing cold (-30 with wind chill), it was a beautiful day in Montreal. After brunching at Cafeteria, headed over to parc la Fontaine via parc Carré St-Louis. It was one of those days when the snow crunches under foot…I love that sound.

Despite managing to get a few shots (see below) during the brisk walk about, I actually decided to post a picture that was taken from the roof terrace of the apartment taken late-afternoon.

The two pictures below were taken around parc Carré St-Louis – looked much nicer than yesterday in the snowstorm. The building in the first sells fruit, ice cream and coffee during the summer months, but is shut during the winter season.

Parc Carré St-Louis

Parc Carré St-Louis

The red house on Carré St-Louis

The red house on Carré St-Louis

During winter in parc LaFontaine, the lake is made into an ice rink. Maybe because it was so cold, there were not too many out skating today.

Parc LaFontaine Ice Rink

Parc LaFontaine Ice Rink

Buried Bike Stand

Buried Bike Stand

On the corner of rue Roy Est and rue Rivard (just east of rue St Denise) is a metal sunflower sculpture. Since the background of buildings was distracting, I decided to go overboard with the Topaz Adjust processing.

Urban Sunflowers

Urban Sunflowers

Well, not a bad 2nd week in keeping up with the 365 project…hoping it will continue.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

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