As 2015 was coming to an end, I felt the need to travel. I wanted it to be a unique, one of a kind experience. Then I thought: “Why not go on a freestyle trip?” So I booked my train and hotel straight away and headed to Montreal the following weekend by myself. I didn’t make any travel plans or decide which places I would visit. I ended up just hanging around downtown Montreal, taking photos and embracing the city and its culture.
Had I planned my trip, none of these photos would have been possible. As an avid photographer, I take every chance that I can get to practice my craft. Sometimes, planning can get in the way of a good photo. The most important thing, however, is to be ready for the moment, wherever you are.
I now want to share with you some of my best photos from my trip.
Notre-Dame de Bon Secours
While visiting the Notre-Dame de Bon Secours, I accidentally joined them. But this accident was not an accident for very long. Everything in this cathedral enthralled me – the audience, the mural, and the voices of the choir. The photo here has a wondrous quality to it. The lighting contrasts and dramatizes the photo. Many areas of the photo are pitch black, framing the mural and the choir in front of the audience. The way the light illuminates the top of the audience’s heads and archway above the mural creates a sacred and holy atmosphere. I did not expect the photo to come out so beautifully.
A street in Montreal during the late afternoon
The city of Montreal is cozy, warm, and comfortable. The bright orange tones and faded blue sky capture the essence of what it is like to live in Montreal. Unlike other cities, it is not cramped and filled with litter. Here, I have captured its charm.
As the day went on, I decided to go admire the St. Lawrence River, where most of Quebec’s residents live around. Here, I managed to snap some great photos.
Vantage point overlooking downtown Montreal
The Jacques Cartier Bridge
The port was quiet and colourful. You can still see the buildings of Montreal in the surroundings, injecting its own style and colour that is unique to this city. The Jacques Cartier bridge can be seen from this vantage point as well, adding a romantic elegance to the scene. The sombre blues of the river add a new sense of depth to the city.
It rained later on that day. However, this was not a complete disappointment. The slick rain on the streets of Montreal provided a sheen of texture which gleams and reflects the lights that come on at night. As the streets were empty because of the weather, I managed to take the following long exposure pictures. The city literally glows!
Montreal at night after it rains
As a photographer, Montreal is a tremendously beautiful city to photograph. You do not need to plan your shots days ahead, nor fret about the editing process. You simply have to be there to experience everything that Montreal stands for. The charm, romanticism, and elegance all wash over you. Within these photos, the city is unforgettable.
This piece was written in collaboration with Ken Xu and Lisa Liu.