Living in Toronto provides many fabulous backdrops for photographs, but none quite so photogenic as the historic Distillery District. We love this area of the city because it’s just so cool, with great restaurants, interesting shops, and a spate of awesome new condos. We don’t spend a lot of time down here as a family simply because, in spite of the fact that it’s a pedestrian zone, the cobblestones aren’t ideal for leisurely strolling with a stroller, and wobbly toddlers can easily trip on the uneven surfaces. The bars and restaurants don’t exactly scream family-friendly either, but that’s ok – I kind of love that there’s a part of town that’s almost exclusively adult.
Now usually I let Mr. Have Baby Will Travel take care of the photography duties here on the site, but I appreciated this time to play with our Canon EOS Rebel T5i and get a little more comfortable with *our* camera.
Canon arranged for Steve Russell, staff photojournalist for the Toronto Star, to join us. Since he’s often shooting moving targets (and that’s how I often think of our kids), Steve understands more than anyone the challenges of getting great pictures of wonderful places – that also feature people! First of all it turns out I was holding the camera wrong. Holding and adjusting the lens from underneath (rather from the side, as I typically do) gave me greater control and steadiness when shooting on the go.
One thing Steve also pointed out was the rule of thirds – that’s dividing up the shot by thirds so that the framing of a shot feels right when you see the final product. Sometimes I achieve this by cropping after the fact, but truly knowing how to square up your shots as you’re taking them really helps a lot.
One thing that was a bit tough to come by in the Distillery District is a lot of contrasting colour – especially on a cloudy day. I was pleased to see the bright red of our flag contrasted against a sliver of blue sky that poked through. This is the type of shot I’d likely never get with one of my kids in tow, but I was pleased with this photo as I think it captures colour, the rule of thirds, good framing, AND I took it while holding the camera the correct way.
For those heading to the Distillery District with kids in tow, I definitely don’t mean to dissuade you. My daughter loves the character of the area – it’s very reminiscent of parts of Vieux Quebec and Savannah.
And while it’s not painted in primary colours, nor made of non-toxic, organic wood (or even plastic), I know my kids would make good use of these climbing structures – or what passes for climbers amongst the wine bars and artisanal bakeries.
*The #CanonBlogtography program is sponsored by Canon, but all views expressed are my own.