What's that you say? You want to photograph the Calgary skyline but you're unclear on where to go or how to shoot it? Well let me be your virtual guide and take you to some of the most popular and hidden locations Calgary has to offer.
Tucked away high on the shelf above Mission Road, the city skyline stands at attention stretching east to west. This is the spot where the Bow hugs the Calgary Tower. A perfect spot for both sunrise and sunset as the light will illuminate the profile of the buildings. Use 'The Weather Channel' App for satellite cloud formations or do it the old fashioned way by looking at the sky. Ideally, storm clouds to the north could render a dramatic image. There's lots of parking and green space for many tripods. Residence are just across the street, so please be mindful of them and have respect for their space at all times. TIP: Always shoot with a sturdy tripod.
Navigate the labyrinth of streets through Bridgeland and you'll discover Tyndale Park, another one of Calgary's elusive parks with an impressive 358m of skyline to choose from. The Delta West Academy provides great foreground material. Not surprisingly, Calgary's cloud formations and sunsets can be unpredictable causing surprising light shows. The thin Calgary tower is anchored between a valley of new skyscrapers providing a point of separation and symmetry. A great place to view the Stampede fireworks. Oh, and the neighbours were extremely friendly I might add. TIP: With your camera on a tripod, use a cable release or the 2 second timer function to alleviate camera shake as using your hand may produce a blurry image as you press the shutter button.
One of the most iconic views of Calgary will never disappoint. Whether you are a tourist or a life long resident, the thunder of chuckwagons on the nearby racetrack and youthful screams on the midway during a hot summer evening are all part of the Calgary experience. A large wooden platform on the lip of a cliff is the perfect spot for your tripod. To the south runs a long fence separating the road from a steep cliff and to the Elbow river below. Warning signs deter people from the cliff edge. However, during the Stampede, spectators hop the fence and lay their blankets out for the fireworks show. Beware! TIP: Level your camera horizontally and vertically so your buildings and horizon are straight. In my opinion, this makes for a more realistic and aesthetically appealing image.
On the edge of Ramsay lays a small green space. This spot itself displays a close up of the city. But if you walk up the hillside to the south you will be greeted with a much clearer view. Be warned, if you have mobility issues such as bad knees or ankles than this spot may not be for you. I'd recommend you shoot from the bottom of the hill, that is if you don't mind a few trees in your shot. Nevertheless, the spot provides a brilliant, intimate view of the city, up close and in your face (lens). Stick around for twilight and get the nearby pathway lights.
If you are an amateur photographer or pro, shooting the Calgary skyline is a great experience to get out of your house and explore the city, not too mention good shooting practice. If you find yourself lacking motivation to get out and shoot, or would rather shoot with other likeminded individuals, then you can join the Facebook group 'Exposure YYC' for FREE meet ups that happen through out the city. Thanks for reading and sharing this post and I hope to meet some of you on location soon.