Centre Island PhotoShoot and Picnic 2006

Toronto, Ontario

Saturday July 29th 2006

Saturday July 29th 2006

Gathering at the docks

gathering at the docks
This was my second time ever going to the Toronto Islands. Not much of a feat when considering I lived in Toronto for a year.

boarding the ferry

The ferry ride offered some picture taking opportunities but the ferry was full. Shooting people along the railing proved difficult with lit background so it was necessary to use flash. Most of the time, I spent taking video of the crossing for footage for video later.

Centre Island has many trappings.. as in tourist trappings. Things to take pictures. Vendors with overblown prices. Cheap unless you want to take the ferry back to pick up supplies and spend another 6 bucks to get back.

Lessons in Photography


Can you spot the error in the first photo? The photographer is taking her picture in the shade of the other girl. That means her picture might turn out dark. The second picture by myself avoids facing the sun while using the shadows to highlight the subject.


Shade is not always a great thing. As in the case of our cat girl with the umbrella. Shade from the umbrella darkens the subject. The immediate fix is to take the picture with flash which is the second picture.

Sometimes pictures are about angle. With this hooded cosplayer, standing level with him yielded a boring shot of just seeing cloth. What I did was kneel down on one knee and took this picture looking up at the subject.

Wrong turn

When a group decide to go to the bridge for pictures, I looked south to the wrong bridge and headed that way. I didn't find the group but I found interesting stuff to take pictures of.


I decide to push how far my camcorder could take a picture with normal 20X optical zoom. As you can see , quite far though it was quite difficult to get the picture just by handheld. Needless to say, tripods are a must for zoom photography pass 3 times.

Photography Bad Mojo


With flash

Cranking brightness

Shooting in shade is one thing. Shooting in shade with water in the background on a bright day is totally another level of difficulty. Other photographers had lowered the branch to get this pose. The problem was that even with flash, all it did was highlight the leaves which reflected the light back.  Leaving nothing for the subject behind. I ended up cranking the brightness to nearly 50 percent.  It got the picture but washed out the scene.

Without correction

Tone adjust
Mid 75 Shadow 50


Sometimes a photo turns out there is nothing that can done to fix the error. I tried using contrast brightness but this did was washout the picture.  I turned to Arcsoft Photostudio 5 with I got with one of my cameras or scanners. Photostudio is what I use to make the graphics for the webpages Simplistic and saves to Photoshop compatible files. I tried Tone Adjust which gave modest results. I tried y chance, Equalization and boom, there was a satisfactory fix to a bad set of photos.


It didn't work in all cases. In case here, equalization turned the grass in the background to neon green colour.


Video clips of Centre Island

* V I D E O *
Geese above
* V I D E O *
* V I D E O *
Refuge from the storm
* V I D E O *
More ducks and geese


With a single rain drop, I knew that our time at Centerville was numbered. I went out and cried, "Group Shot!" knowing it somehow would be the last chance at such a photo. While I have single frames of this photo as well as camcorder footage, I thought this panorama turned out well. It captures the moment with one person on the left desperately trying to get into the shot ... just a second too late.

Once more with feeling .... Please!

I tried to get some of the cosplayers to put some facial expression into the photo, Since the character from Air Gear is one of these wild, crazy characters, I tried to get a snarl, smirk, whatever. No luck.


Another was this group cosplaying Samurai Champloo. I thought of two characters screaming madly each other which our poor heroine trying to keep them apart. What I got was one character whispering something to others. Funny but not exactly something I can capture with a camera.

Sometimes out luck out, you can get an outstanding picture.  As in the case, the other photographer was to the left of this picture
took his picture from a side profile. I manage to get more direct shot with the tree trunk which added much texture to the background.

Cultural Exchange

One of the highlights before the rain was a couple of Japanese Exchange students from Tokyo we met earlier on the pier came back to take pictures with Ranma cosplayers. Along with another friend of theirs (I assume), all got into this unusual shot of culture. Needless there was stories taken home from both sides of this cultural exchange.

Refuge from the storm

Not too long afterward, the rain came. So did the thunder and so did the danger of waiting out the storm from under trees. I quickly remembered seeing a band shell from across the inlet and motioned people to follow.


We weren't the only ones who took shelter in this band shell meant to watch boat races. Still it was good to get out from the rain.

Our refuge from the storm gave it's own sense of beauty in spite of the storm clouds overhead. It took me nearly an hour using Photostitch and PhotoStudio to get this panorama to look right.

Voyage Home

_ _

We waited for the exodus of other people to thin out ... or so we thought. When we got to the docks, it was still packed. I notice a booth handing out stuff so I went over and grab a bag. What was inside was two mini cans of cooking spray and small container of frozen egg substitute product. When I got back to the line, others asked what I got.  I told them I got 'Fake Eggs and PAM.' I think they're still groaning from that one.

Final Farewells

with 4mp camera

with digicam still mode

While the restaurant had limited seats, I decided to head out.  Not before I manage to get not one but two shots with both cameras I was using that day. The camcorder snaps were 800x600 and slightly off colour. Hard to compare to 4mp digital camera. Yet newer camcorders have about the same or better resolution for still photography.