Project 365 – Day 263: The Simon McTavish Monument

September 19 2012

Today’s post is a little different to my normal scatter gun approach where I often shoot anything that moves, or is theme based. Today (partly due to lack of time available), I decided to concentrate on a single subject and explore different ways of shooting it.

My selected subject was the McTavish Monument at the base of Mount Royal near the Peel street entrance. It’s not the most exciting subject to photograph given it’s a block of stone with some engraving, but the location adds a nice backdrop.

Simon McTavish was born in Scotland in 1750. The family was poor and at 14 Simon moved to New York where he began work as a merchant. He became a leading business figure in the fur trade, but in later life had diversified his business interests to include agriculture, flour and saw mills in the Montreal region.

It’s interesting that the monument was erected by 2 of his nephews – William and Duncan McGillivray. McTavish had fathered 4 sons, but they all died in their 20’s. As a wealthy businessman, McTavish had paid for his nephews schooling in Scotland and they later joined him in Montreal to work for his company – William being the successor to Simon upon his death on July 6 1804.

If you have been following for a while, you may recall the name McTavish from previous posts – The nearby reservoir below Rutherford Park was named after him and the Allan Memorial Institute was built on where the McTavish manor house used to be. The fact that his manor was so close to the spot where the monument stands, I would guess this used to be land owned by McTavish.

Okay, history lesson over. I restricted myself to producing just 6 images, which I initially thought would be hard to find that many varied shots. But once I got going it was evident that I could have, and I did, take a lot more.  Still though, I kept to my original plan to share just 6 images.

One shot that was an absolute must was to show the staircase in the background to convey the quiet location, while maintaining the main subject as the key focus.

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal
ISO 100 – 48mm – f5.6 – 1/15 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

I admit I am a sucker for Bokeh and so I could not let this one escape by final selection.

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal
ISO 100 – 110mm – f6.7 – 1/15 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

The monument is in a secluded spot with a small cliff behind and overhanging trees together with a man made wall being the boundary to the Allan Memorial Institute car park. I don’t know if this wall dates back to McTavish days though.

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal
ISO 100 – 10mm – f4 – 1/45 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

I wanted to include a close-up of the engraving at an angle, this was the best of a few I took.

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal
ISO 100 – 20mm – f8 – 1/10 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

You may have seen I recently posted a couple of images I took on Montreal where I pulled the zoom during the exposure, well I couldn’t resit trying it again.

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal
ISO 100 – Varied mm – f22 – 0.5 sec

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal

Simon McTavish monument on Mount Royal
ISo 100 – Varied mm – f22 – 0.7 sec

To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

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