190520 Spit - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

It has been a long time since I've visited Tommy Thompson Park – née the Leslie Street Spit – but this is my year to revisit my favourite places in the city. I've seen the Spit from the islands a lot over the past year or two, so this photo is something of a reverse shot for me.

I'm also testing out my new set of Nisi filters, so this photo was taken into the sun with all four filters from the Starter Kit in place. That's the 3-stop graduated neutral density, 10-stop ND, 6-stop ND, and circular polarizer. Those two little bright spots are the only ill effects from the sun hitting all that glass. (The banding in the top-left corner is from the clouds moving in the two-minute exposure.)

From a series I was trying out: Odd Things Sticking Up On The Beach. It didn't work. This is another two-minute exposure to smooth out the span of the lake.

I've always enjoyed the Spit, which is where the rubble from the city is broken down and smoothed over by time and water. It has always been slightly weird, but that too is being smoothed away by time and popularity. Birdwatchers, explorers, tour de bikepath participants – it's a harder place to be away in than it used to be.

This is a massive pile of rubble that I expected to be bulldozed into the water ages ago, but instead it appears to be remaining as a landform. It gives a decent view, and is slowly being colonized by plants. And the plane in the photo is the Porter Dash 8 Q400 C-GLQM, on approach to the Island airport after flying from Newark.

Moonrise after sunset. This is a sixty-second exposure, but probably only using the ND grad filter. I don't remember for sure – perhaps the six-stop was in play as well – and the filters are good enough that I can't really tell when they're on after the fact. That's not the case for my old and expensive ten-stop B+W, or my new and cheap filters from Jeff's bookstore. 

And to end the tour I have a behind-the-scenes photo. Not tremendously exciting, I admit, but these are long exposures, not action photography.

The camera is my XH1, now using the 16-55/2.8 lens. The pouch on the side of my trust Jobu tripod is an add-on to the Nisi starter kit, which comes in a beautiful display box that's far too heavy to take out of the house. I'm using a Canon RS60 remote, which is a quirk I like about Fujifilm – they don't even make a remote that fits the remote port that they build into their cameras. The Fujifilm remotes use the USB port instead.

I've added a large reflective stripe to my Lowepro Flipside backpack, which is also holding my canteen and little tripod wth the Luxli LED on top. Very handy for low-level light painting. By the end of the night I wasn't even bothering to take it off of my pack, and just used the bluetooth controls to set its power level, and stood with the light pointing where I wanted it. And to give credit where it's due, this photo was taken with my Fuji XF10, which was the only other camera I was carrying for this trip.


Powered by SmugMug Log In