190815 Boats - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

These first two photos are from the eastern gap, taken about an hour before and an hour after sunset. The daylight photo is at a fast shutter speed – less than a second – while the night one is a blend of ten frames at twenty-five seconds each to capture the lights of the boat and the DHC Dash 8 as they both came in to the Toronto harbour just a few moments apart.

From the Ward's Island water taxi dock, watching the 9:30 ferry back to the city. This is another stacked exposure, covering about twenty frames at thirteen seconds each. Shorter exposures allow transient lights to register in ways that one single long exposure doesn't.

I suspect there was both a solid and a graduated neutral density filter involved, but never remember these things as well as I want to. 

Finally, a "no filter" shot – long exposure the old fashioned way, by it being really, really dark at 10pm on a mostly moonless night. This is thirty seconds at iso 400 and f/8, stacking three photos together as a boat pulls out of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. And then, just for good measure, I used a fourth photo exposed for the sky to brighten things up – it really was quite dark.

A surprising amount of the islands is dedicated to these yacht clubs, which can include things like tennis courts as well as places to park boats. Oddly, while the open eclectic island residential neighbourhoods occasionally have to defend their right to remain in place, these gated and inaccessible enclaves never seem to.