Photography is at lot like fishing. You gather your gear, set it up, and wait. For fishing you wait for a bite, in photography you wait for the perfect shot and one of the best in Calgary at bringing home the big one is Neil Zeller.
The best part? Zeller is self-taught and he shares his wisdom willingly with others through photowalks, meet-ups, and seminars. I took a class with him recently and after just a few hours I was capturing time lapsed images of the night sky in Starland County, just 90 minutes north east of Calgary.
Now a great fisherman will never give up all his secret holes, but Zeller has been kind enough to offer up seven places to take pictures of Calgary where you’re sure to catch a great shot.
Above Memorial Drive, West of Centre Street, you’ll find amazing views whether day or night, but the city really sparkles from here at night.
Overlooking Stampede Park, this is an amazing spot for sunsets or the Stampede Fireworks ($5 parking fee in Ramsey for fireworks).
With views over the Zoo and Downtown above Bridgeland, soak up the city from here.
Park at 6th Street and 1st Avenue SW and you’ll surely get great photos anytime. Santiago Calatrava Designed bridge is incredible functional artwork and placed in a location that stands out as it should.
The Riverwalk, George C. King (Skipping Stone) Bridge, and St. Patrick’s Island offer iconic photo opportunities of the city, with amazing reflections available from the riverbanks and parks.
This is the place for full moon rises and sunrises, with amazing views along the river valley to the downtown core and beyond.
This beautiful park offers scenic trails, nature, and views of the Elbow River Valley all the way to the Rocky Mountains.
Great photography is “not really about the camera,” Zeller explains. “Telling a photographer they must have a great camera is like telling your surgeon they must have an amazing scalpel.”
Sure, different bodies and lenses allow photographers to do different things, but at the core of it all, taking good pictures takes understanding and practice. If you want to take better pictures, take a course to learn how to get the best from your equipment and then practice.
If you want to take better pictures, you need to take a lot of pictures, break a lot of rules, and try new things. “Get low, move around, shoot other people shooting what you are shooting. Tell a story with your image,” Zeller advises.