December 17, 2009

Man Up Or Shut Up

I knew that shooting Downsview Park's Trail Of Lights last night would be a challenge; there was the possibility of flurries making things difficult. Plus, in 2008, my efforts at photographing the Trail were hampered by cold weather and camera batteries which eventually died. In light of these potential roadblocks, I did everything I could to ensure a successful shoot.

Spare battery? Check!

Warm clothing? Check!

Umbrella? Check!

When I arrived at Downsview Park, things got off to a bad start. The bus driver thought he knew where I could purchase a Trail ticket, but he ended up letting me off at the wrong stop. Admittedly, the walk to the ticket booth turned out to be short, but nonetheless, I wanted to hit the ground running.

Speaking of the ticket booth, unlike last year, it was not indoors. Thanks to new routing which made the Trail car-friendly (pshaw), I had to buy my ticket at an outdoor booth. I was counting on being able to set up my equipment in an indoor area, but this would not be the case. As a matter of fact, immediately after purchasing said ticket, I readied Nicky, Legs and Millie for action.

A few seconds after I commenced the shoot, the cold temperature started to get to my fingers. Since I needed to use my wireless controller and manipulate my tripod, I'd either have to call off the shoot (shut up) or tough it out (man up). I chose to do the latter; even though I had to prioritize and skip a few photo opportunities, I made it with no frostbitten appendages. Intermittently blowing into my gloves helped somewhat, but this shoot required mental tenacity as well as good physical conditioning. Fortunately, right after taking my last shot, I caught a bus which I saw heading into Downsview Park a few minutes earlier. Despite my cold fingertips, I started collapsing my tripod on that bus and finished packing my gear when I got to Downsview station.

I usually pack two granola bars in case hunger strikes during any given photo shoot; I don't always need the second one. I didn't need it last night, but that didn't stop me from eating it before I went home. ;-)

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