Tag Archives: canada

Cathedral Notre Dame, Quebec City

Cathedral Notre Dame, Quebec City, originally uploaded by jezza323.

These are a couple of shots from inside the Cathedral Notre Dame in Quebec City, which is the head of the Catholic Church across all of Canada. You can read some of the Cathedral’s history here on wikipedia

It is a very unassuming building from the outside, but the inside is quite spectacular. We ended up visiting here a couple of times. We happened by it ourselves whilst wandering the streets, and the following day we did a guided walking tour which also stopped in at the Cathedral. Take note of the lovely sky painted on the ceiling. It was very overcast and rainy both times we were inside so it was good to see a little blue sky somewhere.

Cathedral Notre Dame Quebec, originally uploaded by jezza323.

Both shots here were done handheld with my Pentax K200D and Sigma 10-20mm, at ISO1600 (highest my old body goes!) and are 3 exposure HDR’s taken at +/- 2.0 EV. The noise reduction in Photomatix, which I used for blending, seems to have done a great job on the noise. The noise is still quite noticeable in the full size images though. I used Tone Mapping with the Enhancer method in both cases to generate the final image.


An Evening Walk in Koreatown

Bathurst Street Theatre, originally uploaded by jezza323.

Golden Evening

Last week I was lucky enough to have some time to go for a lovely walk through Koreatown in Toronto in the late evening with the camera and take a few pictures. I haven’t been out shooting as much as I would like the last few weeks, but I am hoping to get out more soon. I haven’t even had a chance to use my newly acquired tripod yet! What about that photowalk you say? Well I may or may not have missed that due to some Jagerbomb caused, self inflicted illness…

An Evening at Bloor & Christie, originally uploaded by jezza323.


Both of these shots are HDR’s as I thought they would show off the lovely soft golden evening light the best. Both shots were taken handheld with my usual Pentax K200D, and I used a lens I haven’t used for a while, the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8. I took the 3 shots for the HDR using bracketing at +/- 2.0 EV. To process them I imported into Lightroom 3, then used the Photomatix Lightroom plugin to export the 3 base images to Photomatix for blending. I used the standard Tone Mapping method to generate the final HDR’s which the plugin automatically re-imports back into the Lightroom library for you. I made a final crop and adjustment before exporting to JPG and uploading to Flickr.

Grand Prix du Canada


Grand Prix du Canada Stand 21, originally uploaded by jezza323.

The Grandstand

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently spent the weekend in Montreal to attend the Grand Prix du Canada (Formula 1 Grand Prix). You must view this panorama in large size!

The View

I had seats in Grandstand #21, which luckily happened to be right next to the entrance to the track, as well as having a great view of the hairpin. This is the view from the edge of the stand, my seats were a bit off to the left of the photo, but the view was almost as good!

Shooting the Panorama

This panorama was shot using my Pentax K200D and Tamron 17-50mm. I took about 10 shots in portrait orientation at 17mm, with lots of overlap to give me the best chance of a successful panorama. It worked out very well considering the challenges of the image, and only the railing of the grandstand and some minor problems from moving people were encountered.

Harsh Lighting

It was a very bright sunny day which meant the shadows were quite harsh, so, once Autopano had stitched the image together for me, I loaded the single TIFF file into Photomatix and generated a low key HDR. This is the result, good view isn’t it?

Carn Webber!

To make the panorama extra special, that is my favourite driver Mark Webber in his Red Bull Racing car approaching on the right side of the image. Webber finished the race weekend 3rd, after being hit and spun in the 1st corner of the race, a good comeback! It was also a very spectacular race, Jenson Button won the race after a come from behind victory. During the race he had a drive through penalty, a flat tyre and was run into by his own team mate! What a performance.

Yonge St, Toronto

Yonge St, Toronto, originally uploaded by jezza323.

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Seeing Toronto

This is from when I first arrived in Toronto. My wife and I got ourselves a CityPass which allows you entry into the most popular attractions in the city at a reduced cost. I can highly recommend the CityPass, as you save an awful lot over paying the individual entry fees. One of the places a Toronto CityPass will get you into is CN Tower. The viewing area there gives an amazing outlook over the city, Lake Ontario and the islands.

The View

This is a shot looking North from the tower over the Toronto Entertainment District, with the Financial District on the right, and the line of building’s stretching towards the horizon is Yonge St.¬†I had originally posted this shot to flickr in colour, but about 3 weeks later I was reviewing all the photos I had taken since we arrived, and decided to give black and white a try. I made a virtual copy in Lightroom, converted to black and white then adjusted the levels somewhat to come up with this image. I think it works much better than the colour version.

In Colour

Yonge St from above

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, originally uploaded by jezza323.

A close up shot of the Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls at Niagara Falls. You can really see the power of the water here!

I went for an early morning walk on our last day (Victoria Day) while there were not too many people about. It was a beautiful clear sunny morning, but the spray was quite intense, and the harsh light made for difficult shooting conditions. I walked up to the falls, then took this shot on the way back.

This was a single exposure, taken with my Pentax K200D and Tamron 17-50mm len with a Kenko Pro-Digital CPL filter fitted. All editing (levels and tiny straighten) were done in Lightoom 3.


Newspaper?, originally uploaded by jezza323.

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I managed to beat the rain out and about in Toronto this morning. Its been a while since I been out just to take photos. Its good to be back on the horse!

This is a Brenizer panorama I took of some newspaper and magazine stands near St Patrick Subway Station in downtown Toronto. This one was 93 separate shots, all taken with my Pentax K200D and Tair-11a 135mm f2.8 lens. I set the camera to Manual, dialed in the correct exposure and then started shooting.

I imported the RAW files into Lightroom from the SD card. Next I exported the images as TIFF files to a separate folder (to make the stitching process quicker, I exported the TIFFs to only 1280×1280 max size), which I then ran Autopano over to generate the final panorama. Finally I imported the panorama back into Lightroom, made a final crop, distortion and level adjustment. The image is still slightly distorted, but this comes from the projection of the panorama, and I wasnt quite able to get it spot on.

If you like this shot, check out my Tair-11a lens review and my post about the Brenizer Method / Bokeh Panorama technique.

Now A Canadian (Life Update)

As you might have noticed, my recent shots are all from Toronto, Canada and its surrounds. The reason for this is that I have made the move across the globe, from sunny Brisbane to not as sunny Toronto.

A Big Move

My wife and I decided to make the move in late 2010, and after much organizing, paperwork and hard work we were finally able to move in mid April 2011. Of course we had to get rid of most of our possessions, rationalize what we had and bring as little as possible with us. This meant that I had to get rid of, or leave behind, quite a lot of photography gear. I have updated my list of gear, and hopefully I will be able to acquire some new gear soon!

Replenishing Stocks

In particular I am missing my tripod. I have my eye on 1 at Vistek but I need to save up a little first, hopefully a tripod review is just around the corner. I am also looking to replace my point & shoot camera. At the moment the one which catches my eye is the Canon ELPH 300 HS (IXUS 220 HS). The reasons this one strikes me are it features a proper wide angle lens (24mm equivalent), the lens is quite fast at f2.7 (at the wide end) and being a Canon it will be able to run CHDK software. The camera is quite a new release, so currently CHDK is not available for this model (it is still being ported), but I believe it will be in the near future. Another bonus is the full HD (1080p) video recording the camera offers, and its relatively cheap price. Again, you can look forward to a review of this model as soon as I get my hands on it.


If anyone has any tips for living in Toronto, places I should visit (and photograph) then please let me know.

Absent Photographer


Absent Photographer, originally uploaded by jezza323.

Here is another quick capture from Saturday evening down at Niagara Falls. There are some really beautiful gardens in the parks by the Falls. This building with its garden and the tripod setup caught my attention for a nice image.

This is another HDR combined from 3 exposures taken at +/- 2.0 EV using Photomatix, and some minor tweaks in Lightroom. I took this using my Pentax K200D and Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens.

I am having some trouble with this lens at the moment, it is back focusing quite a lot, you can only notice it when using wider apertures and longer focal lengths, but I will need to do a bit of testing to see if it is just this lens, or my body. One or both may need some repair.