David Giral Photography Blog | Just Off The Press: 36h Hours In Ottawa for The New-York Times
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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.

Portrait of chef Kevin Mathieson and scenes at Art-Is-In Bakery – 250 City Centre Ave. #112 in Ottawa

Then I moved on to The Maker’s House a store specialized in furniture and home items made by local craftsmen and artisans.

Scenes and Portrait At Maker House Co., 987 Wellington St. W., Ottawa

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.

Chocolate Hazelnut Beavertail pastry – BeaverTails, 69 George St., Ottawa

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).

Ottawa Locks and East Block Building – Parliament Hill Ottawa

Center Block Building – Parliament Hill Ottawa

Detail of Laurier Sculpture (by Joseph-Émile Brunet – 1922) in front of East Block – Parliament Hill Ottawa

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.

Randall Anderson Zoom! sculpture on Alexandra Bridge with Parliament Hill and Ottawa Skyline in the background

Giant bronze spider (Maman, by Louise Bourgeois) at the entrance to the National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., Ottawa

I then proceeded to the top of the Andaz Hotel for some views on the city skyline at dusk.

woman enjoying a drink and the view of Ottawa Skyline at dusk from the lounge at the top of Andaz Hotel, 325 Dalhousie, Ottawa

Only to finish with a few more photos of the Byward Market at night.

Night view of York Street with Salon De Provence Bakery on the right and Andaz Hotel in the background, Byward Market, Ottawa

Night view along Georges Street of Beavertails pastry shop and Byward Market, Ottawa

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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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright David Giral (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without permission from David Giral.

David Giral
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