5 Weeks (6): Harsh Sun, Urban Photography and a Secret Ballroom

Toronto was a productive time! (and yes, this is part six of the 2012 North American tour recap)

Water fountainsRelease pixie Matt Ravsitar Armstead posted an episode of TFTTF about dealing with harsh sunlight. That episode was pre-recorded before the trip. I pre-recorded a few but didn’t use as many as I thought I would. Oddly enough, being far away from home can sometimes turn into a bit of a productivity boost.

Jail KitchenI discussed the goings-on at Efke and Kodak on TFTTF with Monika, as the news broke that yet another film manufacturer will leave the playing field.

Ballroom TorontoExplored an abandoned hotel ballroom somewhere in Toronto with Monika and Sean.

At the end of the week we held another awesome workshop, this time digital and grouped around urban photography. A perfect way to wrap up two great weeks in a great city!
Toronto Urban Photography 2012 Group Shot

» more from the 2012 tour

How good can you operate your camera upside-down?

We’re lucky that we have access to one of the best views during the Toronto Urban Photography workshop. The roof on the building that Sean Galbraith lives in reveals a stunning skyline…

…and a high ledge that my tripod is just a little bit too short for.

Well okay, it’s not too short, but in order to get a proper view of the city, I’d have to fully extend the middle column which for a 2-second exposure is a bit too shaky. So in order to be able to peek over the side and have a solid and stable foundation for longer exposures, I have last year decided to completely collapse the legs of the tripod (very stable!) and hang the camera upside down under it (low center of gravity, also very stable).

Tripiod upside down

As you see, the only potential problem with the setup is that right behind the edge of the railing comes an eleven floor drop, which is why I had the stap hanging this way. During the exposure and the setup, my arm was always through the loop. There was also no wind and no real chance of the tripod being bumped, and the rubber feet did a great job holding it in place. Still, just the slightest bit scary.

But in the end it was worth doing it like that:

Toronto Skyline

What are your unconventional tripod setups?

Photo tours with Chris Marquardt:
» May 2017: Svalbard — Arctic (sold out)
» Oct 2017: Bhutan — The Happiness Kingdom (only 1 spot open)
» Jan 2018: Ladakh — Chadar Trek
» Aug 2018: Ireland — Giant's Causeway
» Sep 2018: Norway — Lofoten Fantastic Fjords
» Oct 2018: Morocco
» all photo tours

A Toronto Group Shot

I often make the group shot part of the actual workshop as opposed to it just being an add-on. This way the group can see the photo from inception to completion and be part of the process rather than just having their picture taken. The theme was urban, so we decided to use a parking garage as our set.

This time we’ve ended up with a behind-the-scenes iPhone shot taken by Sean Galbraith:

Group shot from behind

and the actual group shot from the front:

Toronto 2012 Group Shot

We had fun, can you tell?