Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Is For Imax

Free-Dimensional View of Montreal

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON



Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to do a photographic assignment for the Canadian Tourism Commission and I got to travel to Quebec City, Montreal and several places in Muskoka. This shot of the Imax cinema was taken on my last night in Montreal.

I did a lot of walking on that trip, especially in Quebec City and Montreal. As far as possible, I did not want to worry about a rental car. Why? First of all, I wanted to be able to concentrate entirely on the photography and I wanted to be able to stop on any street at any time and take as many shots as necessary.

Had I been driving, I would not have been able to focus entirely on the sights and I would have been more worried about finding a parking spot.

It was a balmy evening and I could have put my feet up in my hotel, the beautiful Queen Elizabeth, where members of royalty and heads of state have stayed. But I just wanted to soak up as much of the city as I could, so I had dinner, put on my stout hiking boots (so wisely chosen by Mrs Authorblog) and headed out again.

I was using a Canon EOS 3000, shooting film, but I also had digital technology slung over my shoulder as well. I took this shot with a little Pentax Optio 33 LF. I was literally standing on the pavement outside the theatre and I didn't just want to take a stand-and-deliver shot, so I composed this frame, for a "different" view. Looking back at my Montreal folder now, it's interesting to see I only shot one image of the Imax theatre. No, it's not arrogance - I think I was just satisfied that I had an unusual angle.

The vertical and horizontal neon strips worked perfectly, a great foil against the darkness. But I was also lucky that a street light was in just the right spot, so by shooting upwards (and without a tripod) I was able to use its glow to give character to what would otherwise have been a relatively bare corner of the frame.

If you take a close look at the street light, you'll actually see the reflection of its soft glow across the ridged metal surface of the pole as well. It's a value-added extra that just gives a little more dimension to an image that is basically a very simple shot. As I always say to budding photographers - don't always shoot the first view that comes into your mind, try and see if there are minor add-ons that could enhance the quality of the scene you're trying to capture.

A number of my work colleagues have used my photographs as the background on their computers. One of them, a sport-crazy bloke, has had this shot on his PC ever since I came back from Canada. Why? Because his name's Max - and he reckons I partially obscured the "I" in the Imax sign for his benefit.

Now that's really a case of taking it to the Max.

For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

34 comments:

Katney said...

Perfect I photo here, David--but wait, that has implications all itsown, doesn't it. I have never actually seen an Imax movie. I don't know why that is. Perhaps it has something to do with getting airsick at the theater on the Seattle waterfront--I think it is called the Omnidome. Sitting down in front viewing a helicopter ride through the crater of Mt. St. Helens on the domed screen got to me.

I join others in featuring ice--but no one has ice that is at all similar, so the ice visits are quite interesting.

San said...

Great rhythmic shot. The red letters seem to undulate upwards.

Kimberly said...

What an incredible shot...so surreal...

velvetginger said...

Big tall building there for a country girl to look up at.

Janet said...

I like the bright vibrant colors against the night sky.

Kathryn said...

The color is amazing.

imac said...

Great I Post here David, full MArX

Akelamalu said...

Another fabulous shot David!

Hilary said...

That's a wonderful photo indeed.. and from my hometown too. I hope to see more Montreal.. and Quebec City shots. They're both great cities for photography.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

You really nailed the exposure on this shot.

I love Montreal and have stayed at the Queen Elizabeth a couple of times.

Lee said...

Interesting image, David. That red wavy neon stripe make me think of red wavy hair climbing up the side of a dark hidden face. Rather dominating in tone.

I've been to the IMAX here in San Antonio. The movie Twister was playing. I love that flick but seeing it on an 8 story screen was awesome. In that type of theater I believe sitting further back works best.

Cheers!

John said...

Hi David!
Very good shot, nice perspective.

John.

Cowgirl said...

Loved this shot, David. Fab stuff.

Ida said...

Nice angle!
Great shot. :)

Kim said...

I love the angle of the photo. Great shot :)

EmmaK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EmmaK said...

Great shot. I wondered if you had an email, just wanted to ask you something about book publishing. If you like email me emma.theespot@[remove]gmail.com

John said...

Yes David! We had a very very nice holiday in Spain, the day temp was up to 24 degrees(75F) in the shadow.
I have hundreds of photos from our holiday, and i will soon publish some of them.

The ice flake picture is taken exactly at 01 o`clock daytime a month ago. I think these two ice flakes was the last ones at the river this winter.

John.

mrsnesbitt said...

Loved that Mrs Authorblog suggested the sensible walking boots! LOL! Bet she packed your clean knickers too! LOL! Us "MRS" what are we like! LOL!

Dave Coulter said...

Montreal is one of my favorite cities!

Mima said...

Another great photo David, love the strong lines that you seem to have really emphasized, and what an unusual angle, a reminder to the rest of us to look, and then look again.

John-Michael said...

I have linked you on my blog as:

"David ... Friend, Mentor, and Guide"


('cause you are all of that and more)

Andrée said...

gee you were so close to me (I'm an hour south of Montreal) and you never dropped by! tsk tsk

Love this. But I question taking just one, even if you got what you wanted. What if something had happened to the shot in the camera? What if something happened while you transferred it? What if what if! I think you took a huge risk here. So I am glad it arrived here safe and sound!

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Cool!

:@D

CrazyCath said...

That is an unusual shot and you are so right (now you point it out...) about the street light! I wouldn't have thought of that.
All this photography I'm viewing has inspired me to get clicking again. Although I doubt I'll ever make the standards I see on the blogs (you, Daryl, Katney, Chicago lady, etc etc) at least it's made me start again! And the advice you give out helps tremendously. Makes me think about things more carefully.
Thanks.

dot said...

I saw an Imax movie in Chattanooga a few years ago.
Nice shot and lucky you to have visited so many places in the world!

Sniz said...

Composing a great photograph is like composing a great painting...if you have the "eye", you just know what colors and compositions and patterns are pleasing. You have a great eye.

Janice Thomson said...

Wonderful capture David against the night sky. Love that blue color. A unique idea for the 'I' theme.

Lilli & Nevada said...

OOh great shot. I think you were the only one with the I Max Great photo again.

Vienna for Beginners said...

You maxed out on "I"! :-)

Seamus said...

Your advice to new photogs is spot on David!

Sandy Kessler said...

so much depth of field in this photo!!

Dragonstar said...

Wonderful colours!

Max-e said...

For one moment I thought someone had put my name up in lights :)