Sunrise & Golden Hour Photography Walking around The Exchange District

The Historic Exchange District in Downtown Winnipeg is one of my favourite places in the city to shoot. The area is over 20 blocks of beautiful older buildings, which I absolutely love to capture. 

However I have never done a sunrise shoot, so I decided one weekend to do a morning shoot. 

A little bit about The Exchange District

The buildings in the Exchange District where built between 1878 and 1913. During that time Winnipeg was going through a boom and the Exchange District was at the heart of. It even got the nickname “Chicago of the North”. Throughout the Exchange District there are hand painted “ghost signs” on a lot of the buildings. This was how the businesses in the area advertise their products and services. They also make for a great subject to photograph! 

In 1997 The Exchange District was declared a National Historic Site and has become a favourite place for locals and tourists to explore! 

Sunrise 

I prefer shooting sunrises instead of sunsets. Most people sleep in on the weekends which makes it a perfect time to shoot sunrises, especially if you are wanting an empty street look that I had wanted for my images. 

Shooting sunrises can be challenging, as you are pointing your camera towards the direction that the sun rises in. The camera has a hard time seeing dynamic range like our eyes see. If you are wanting to do silhouettes this is the perfect time of the day to do them. I wasn’t looking to shoot silhouettes that morning. I had wanted to capture the golden light hitting the buildings (more on that later in the blog)

I haven’t expected to get any colour in the sky that morning, but I was presently surprised when I did. One of my tips when shooting either a sunrise or sunset is to look in every direction, as you can get colour in the sky where you least expect it. 

A couple of the images below were taken facing south and south west. Which allows for easier exposure of the buildings as you aren’t shooting towards the sun. I also thought that I would share my exposure settings, that I have used to capture these images. 

Gear used for the shots below:

Canon 5D Mark 3

Canon 16mm-35mm Lens f/2.8

  • Image # 1
    • Aperture – F/7.1
    • Shutter Speed – 1/200 sec
    • ISO – 1000

0Y1A7007

  • Image # 2 
    • Aperture – F/7.1
    • Shutter Speed – 1/100 sec
    • ISO – 1000

0Y1A7011 copy

  • Image # 3
    • Aperture – F/7.1
    • Shutter Speed – 1/100 sec
    • ISO – 1000

0Y1A7014

The Golden Hour

This time of the day is absolutely beautiful to shoot in. You have 2 chances each day to shoot during the golden hour. The first is after sunrise and the second is just before sunset. Shooting during this time in the city can be really tricky because some of the building is lit by the sun while the other parts are in the shadows. When I am shooting during the golden hour I like to shoot in manual mode, this allows me to pick the exposure that I would like. In order to get details in the shadows I will slightly over exposure the sky. I shoot in camera raw which allows me to get the detail back that was over exposed, in post production. 

The angle of the sun changes throughout the year which will create different lighting effects on the buildings. For instance in the summer the sun rises, more to the north in the eastern sky and in the winter it rises more towards the south. 

Going out during different times of the year and watching how the light hits the buildings will help you learn about lighting. 

Gear used for the shots below:

Canon 5D Mark 3

Canon 16mm-35mm Lens f/2.8

  • Image # 1
    • Aperture – F/8
    • Shutter Speed – 1/160 sec
    • ISO – 1000

0Y1A7027

  • Image # 2 
    • Aperture – F/8
    • Shutter Speed – 1/160 sec
    • ISO – 1000

0Y1A7028

  • Image # 3
    • Aperture – F/10
    • Shutter Speed – 1/160 sec
    • ISO – 1000

0Y1A7047

Hope you have enjoyed reading my blog! If you have any question about photography please feel free to ask!

 

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