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7 best places to take pictures of Calgary according to Neil Zeller

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Daily Hive Staff Mar 16, 2016 4:00 am

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.

His pictures of Calgary and Southern Alberta have landed on the front page of Reddit, on newscasts around the world, and on countless covers and calendars.

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.

Image: Buzz Bishop

Image: Buzz Bishop

McHugh Bluff on Crescent Road NW

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.

Scotsman Hill on Salisbury St SE

Overlooking Stampede Park, this is an amazing spot for sunsets or the Stampede Fireworks ($5 parking fee in Ramsey for fireworks).

Tom Campbell’s Hill Nature Park at Hill Rd NE

With views over the Zoo and Downtown above Bridgeland, soak up the city from here.

The Peace Bridge

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.

East Village – 6th St and 6th Ave SE

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.

Edworthy Park at the upper levels along Edworthy Street

This is the place for full moon rises and sunrises, with amazing views along the river valley to the downtown core and beyond.

North Glenmore Park and the Weaselhead Natural Area at the South end of Crowchild Trail

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.

Zeller will be offering Monday night photowalks through April and May, as well as a weekend course in May to show off his favourite places and how best to shoot them.

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.


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Daily Hive Staff
Launched on June 1, 2016, Daily Hive is the evolution of Vancity Buzz and is now in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal.

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