Grange Park is in the entertainment district of Toronto, at Beverley and Grange. It is a lovely park with a lot of space, some trees and a playground. Many people bring their kids or walk their dog in the park. It also features a beautiful view of the business district and the Sharp Centre for Design (more on this building in a future post).
For the image above, I choose a black and white processing because it focused on the structure of the image, with the cloud streaks and the buildings. I also chose a different composition below, with the reflections and the trees as a frame.
Everything interesting is east of the park, so you will want to set up on the west side. If you are too close to the buildings in the foreground, they will hide the business district, so go as far west as possible. Be careful with the trees, especially in winter when there are no leaves.
Blue hour is great to shoot this location, but so is sunrise, with the sun rising behind the business district.
How to set up for a long exposure? You will need the following: a sturdy tripod, at least one Neutral-Density filter, a remote with a timer.
First, find your composition and set up your tripod so your camera won’t move. Then set everything: focus, aperture, ISO, white balance, etc… once you are done, do a quick test shot and verify the exposure. If it’s good, do not touch your settings anymore. Put your focus on manual so the camera will not change it.
Put your camera in bulb mode, so your remote will choose the exposure time. Take the exposure time without filter and find the equivalent with your filter. For example, for a ND8 filter, multiply by 8. There are several smartphone apps to help you with it.
Put your filter one and set your timer on your remote. Put your camera in remote mode and press the remote shutter. Just wait for the exposure time and you get your image!
It takes practice to master the steps above, but that’s the basics!