Just Off The Press: 36h Hours In Ottawa for The New-York Times
One of the key aspects of editorial travel photography is the ability to organize yourself efficiently. When The New York Times contacted me to do a piece on “36 Hours in Ottawa” in the middle of winter, I spent a fair amount of time to organize my trip as efficiently as possible.
One of the first task was locating all the locations mentioned in the article, see how they were grouped and look up each one and figure out which ones would be the most interesting. Once that was done, I drafted a list of all the locations I would visit and for some of them, I would decide once I was there whether or not I will take pictures.
At the time, my schedule was quite busy so I only had one full day to do the assignment. Arriving early in Ottawa, the temperature was quite low at -29C. Although this didn’t come as a surprise, it limited the amount of time I could spend outside without freezing.
I started my journey with the location the most to the west in the city at Art-Is-In bakery. It was also the best place to indulge myself with a coffee.
Then I moved on to The Maker’s House a store specialized in furniture and home items made by local craftsmen and artisans.
This brings me to point out that whenever I visit a store or a shop, I always try to get a mix of different shots: interiors, details and portraits. This helps tremendously to give a feel for the place and to give as many options to the editor when selecting the pictures for the article.
Once I had the locations outside of the center of the city, I parked my car at the Byward Market for the day and started walking around.
My first stop was at Beaver Tails bakery. Although it was a Saturday, it wasn’t overly busy, mostly because of the freezing temperature, so I had to be patient to get some life into the shots I wanted.
Next up was the Parliament Hill. As usual, another thing I always plan for when photographing outdoor scenes is the position of the sun. It does always look better when facades of building are properly lit (unless it’s sunset and then backlighting can be interesting).
Taking a break for lunch, I covered a few other locations early afternoon. Then once I realized we were getting close to sunset I ventured outside for a few more pictures this time from below the Parliament Hill and around the National Gallery of Art.
I then proceeded to the top of the Andaz Hotel for some views on the city skyline at dusk.
Only to finish with a few more photos of the Byward Market at night.
Thanks for viewing!
David Giral is a published Montreal/Toronto based editorial and commercial professional photographer specialized in architecture, interiors, portrait and travel photography.
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