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Photos from a dark downtown Calgary

Story by Neil Zeller October 14th, 2014

Our city is in good hands

I watched the drama unfold on Twitter, mostly following Crackmacs <twitter link> . They were literally in the thick of the situation. Blue flames, acrid smoke, loud explosions and the powering down of the west end of our downtown, thanks to them for staying up and letting Calgary know what was happening. I stayed away from the scene (we missed it by a few minutes as we left downtown that evening), as I really have nothing to add in the moment. We are in very good journalistic photographer hands with the likes of Leah Hennel <twitter link> and Lyle Aspinall <twitter link>

I decided Thanksgiving night might be a good time to shoot some photos. It goes without saying, all the hundreds of workers, emergency crews, and all the others there, on this day of rest for most, are unsung heroes. I took a few photos of the workers, but didn’t want to disrupt their efforts too much. By the looks of things, they were all very determined and on task.

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The artist in me

Now, I’ll be honest. The other reason for going on Monday night was to take advantage of the dark streets downtown. I am assuming as the week goes on there will be more and more light filling the streets, eliminating some photographic opportunities that I wasn’t about to pass up.

Long exposure photography downtown. That pretty much sums it up. On every other night, it’s almost impossible to get a decent contrasting taillight trail because of all the ambient light. Let’s face it, Calgary is a super bright city and this was just too good to miss. 

Surreal and quite a bit terrifying at times too as it is very very dark on some streets.

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Footnote: When shooting at night, always survey your locations for safety.
Calgary, AB, Canada