Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Pursuit of Dundurn

"Dusk's Door"
Image shot at 1/125 sec @ F/11, ISO 100, 22mm fl
As many of you know, I've been very busy working for the city of Hamilton documenting the public gardens and parks for the duration of three seasons. Wonderful work, but has left me with with less time to pursue my other love, which is photographing the city period. So I thought I would post a few results from a few evenings ago, when I wandered the property of Hamilton's historic Dundurn Castle. I needed to photograph something just for the sake of photography in and of itself. Anyone else get like that? No looming deadline, no client to please, just you and your camera?
Dundurn and I have a love affair. I've captured it over the last couple years in every season, at every time of day, from various angles. It's the home of one of Canada's first Premiers,
Sir Allan MacNab, who later went on to become Prime Minister, and was built in 1835. The history oozes out of every regal pillar, tower, and rooftop. I even have my own bit of personal history with Dundurn! I grew up performing Scottish Highland Dancing on this property, competing in contests and performing to bagpipes!
The image above shows part of the cottage on the grounds, a mini-dundurn if you will. I simply loved the way the setting sun was bathing the tiny structure in it's last light.

"Tower Details - Dovecotes"
image shot at 1/40 sec @ F/11, ISO 100, 45mm fl, evening light, tripod
This image was taken looking up at the tower that welcomes you to the castle proper. I love the pattern, the design elements, the way the light shows the lovely golden colour of each dovecote. I can imagine the pigeons and doves dwelling on the rooftops. The flurry of wings as they all landed for the night.

" Sunsets Warm Welcome"
image taken at 1/200 sec @ F/9, ISO 100, 20 mm fl, tripod, evening light
This last image is of the castle's tiny replica cottage. I was smitten with the subtle raking sunset light coming through the clouds. I also liked the worn path leading to the door of the charming abandoned building. For a split second I thought about asking someone to approach it in the shot... but I loved that in the midst of the city's bustle, this looked so untouched, solitary. So I chose to capture it as it was.
I hope to post a few more images, overall compositions of the entire castle, perhaps a few older faves too that display Dundurn in different seasons. And I will continue shooting this beautiful property all year long.
So thanks for reading along with my rambling, and let me know if you enjoy the post!
Have a good one folks.


  1. Beautiful work Christine!!! Love the golden light on the buildings...and i can totally understand deadlines or restrictions...just you and the camera....beautiful!!! Have you tried submitting your articles with photographs to travel mags?

  2. Thank you Paola, for taking the time to respond :-) And thank you for your encouragement.. an interesting thought. It hadn't crossed my mind, but wouldn't that be fun!

  3. This is great Christine. Those shots are beautiful in the evening light. I particularly like the last one. I too have a couple of favorite places to shoot. One is right down the road at the Quaboag River. I have shot it day night, all seasons you name. Probably one of my favorites since I grew up playing on the river..

  4. I love your work so much, Christine! Living in Vermont, it's hard to say there's one place where I love to take pictures... Actually, I can't!

  5. Thank you so much Dave... I've talked to a couple people now who have mentioned that their favorite places also have a "personal" connection to them, long before they ever pursued photography... is it cause we feel compelled to capture those same qualities later on that makes these such special subjects for us, we're more invested in them than most? It makes photographing them all the more wonderful, that's for certain!

    Wow,thanks so much MJL! I appreciate it greatly :-) I hope one day to see Vermont for myself... I know it's a pretty incredible place! And not so terribly far from Southern Ontario!!!