As you may recall from an earlier post, to my chagrin, Marie Reine du Monde does not have a public restroom. After inventing several very post-modern dance moves, I briskly walked to the nearby Marriott hotel. This also provided Lori the chance to ask directions to beautiful Notre Dame while I visited the little boys [...]
My ideal morning starts by waking up around 10am and involves another hour of burrowing in warm blankets. Sadly, as a photographer, this fantasy is only a plague on my mind when trying to capture the early morning rays. Especially in winter. Especially in Montreal. And so, at the snot freezing, digit disabling, toe numbing temperature of -25°F (-32°C, and that’s without the windchill coming off the St.Lawrence), I found myself in Habitat 67 starring at some of the most marvelous modern architecture on Earth, and I was completely grumpy about it. With sunrise angles and times calculated, reference images found, and even a new wide angle lens purchased, all the remained was to have fun and take the photos. Thankfully, Habitat 67 is quite photographic and the light was still low enough to play well with the boxy architecture. Also, I was glad that no one was around to watch as I was forced to warm my completely deadened fingers in the warmed place I could find… (desperate times call for desperate measures, don’t judge me). Moving quickly raced against my own diminishing body temperature to photograph the campus. Although I didn’t get a good look inside, based on the exterior aesthetics, I would assume that the interiors of these units are equally as functional. This place would be (and perhaps already is) the perfect place for a thriving hipster community. Although, I’m sure hipsters would have their own take on that idea.
After about 40 minutes I had hit my limit and headed back to Lori who was waiting patiently nearby in the car. One of the last photos of Habitat 67 I took was the lead image of this post and was a photo I had envisioned while planning the shoot. We concluded the morning by heading to the nearby Casino du Montreal to just “look around.” One thing lead to another and after a very short time we found ourselves enjoying their mouth watering lunch buffet.
It’s cool to be smart
This inspiring architectural feat was designed and built for the World’s Fair in 1967, called Expo 67, by internationally acclaimed Moshe Safdie, an Israeli-Canadian architect. Interestingly, this was the first building ever constructed by Safdie as he was still in the infancy of his career when approached to adapt his master’s thesis into the pavilion for the World’s Fair. The complex of Habitat 67 is composed of 354 prefabricated concrete forms combined to make 148 apartments. Habitat 67 is a still a functioning residential campus. One site quoted monthly rent of a 4 unit apartment (3000 sq ft) at $4000. For more on Habitat 67, visit the official page here or the Wikipedia page here.
Post processing of lead image
- 7 Bracketed photos taken one shutter stop apart
- Chromatic aberration sensor dust and lens distortion corrected in Lightroom
- Tone mapped in Photomatix
- Tone map and sources blended and masked together in Photoshop
- Edited in Photoshop with with multiple Curves and HSL adjustment layers. Then re-edited the following morning because my first attempt was way too gloomy and dark.
- Sharpened using high pass filter
Lori and I like to pack our weekend trips as full as possible. It takes some strategic planning, and often a decent amount of caffeine, but we’ve gotten pretty good at hitting the major attractions of a city in a 2-3 day span. Of course, when in Montreal, we couldn’t miss the famous Cathedrale Marie Reine du Monde (English: Basilica of Mary, Queen of the World). Although not as colorful as Notre Dame, it was also much less crowded. While there, a small assortment of tourists and homeless came and went, but we basically had the place to ourselves.
Still a fully functioning Catholic cathedral, I have one important piece of advice for successfully photographing the gorgeous interior of Notre Dame in Montreal: DON”T GO DURING SUNDAY MORNING MASS!
Aside from the standard stunning shots of Notre Dame Cathedral’s sanctuary in Montreal (still processing those) there’s a lesser known private chapel in the back right corner that I knew about from a previous visit. I’ve outlined my workflow for creating this HDR photo for the more curious HDR photography enthusiasts out there. One thing I’ve been working hard at with my HDR photography is to control the glow-y effect that tone mapping in Photomatix creates.