Category Archives: Canada

Postcard from the Road #9: Toronto Skyline at Night

Postcard from the Road (Top of the World Edition)

Toronto Skyline at Night
The city of Toronto sparkles on a frosty January night


Dear friends of TGB,

Here is a photo of yesterday’s Toronto skyline. I shot this from the CN Tower (once the world’s tallest free-standing structure) Observation deck through a curved window that was reflecting the lights from inside the room. This made for a difficult shot to begin with. 

Add the fact that I was using my new camera and new lens (and I am very unfamiliar with it) as well as having no use of a tripod, I was wondering how this was going to turn out. Well, the answer was “pretty well.” I used a circular polarizer on my lens so that I could use a lower ISO setting (125) and slow down my shutter speed further. That way, I could get the streaks of light from the moving traffic, get the clouds and the steam rising from the buildings to have movement as well. If I used a higher ISO with no polarizer, I would have had too much light; if I used a faster shutter speed, I would have no light/cloud motion. So this was a fun experiment that worked out pretty well! Oh, and I did this while drinking a beer as well, so we killed two birds with one stone. I look forward to taking photos with this new camera when I head out on my next adventures. Our blog posts should be even more vibrant in the not-too-distant future as a result. Hope you will enjoy them.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out our recent posts featuring Cuba and Bali, please have a look.



Camera set-up details are below
Nikon D810 / 16mm focal length, ISO 125, F/4.0 at 15.0 seconds, circular polarizer, no tripod, one handed shot with beer in other hand.

Our Water World in 30 Travel Photographs

An endangered green turtle rises to the surface for air, while a SCUBA diver descends upon entry into the water
“You’re going the wrong way” An endangered green turtle rises to the surface for air, while a SCUBA diver descends upon entry into the water

The calendar has turned to October, and if the crisp air in New York is any indication, autumn has kicked summer to the curb. I want to say thanks for a very busy September here at The Gentleman Backpacker, where you visited us more than ever before. It’s a nice feeling to see people viewing what we put out. I’d like to encourage you to please leave us comments and ask plenty of questions. I want to help make traveling as enjoyable for you as it is for me. I’ve been busy the past few weeks as some big changes are coming in my life (stay tuned), but I’ve also been swamped with selecting entries for some photography contests. “Water” was the topic of one of these contests, and as broad as that one word is, there are so many meanings. If we take the frozen kind, for example, the Inuit People of the Arctic are famously known to have 50 words for snow. So I took to thinking about water from different perspectives as I sorted through some 30,000 photographs to weed out perhaps 5,000 water photographs, before culling my list down to 30. For the contest, I finally submitted just a handful from that penultimate list of 30, but I thought I would share these with you in the form of a post. I was surprised at just how many different places these photos came from, and they made for a very interesting look at our world. I’ve included a few lines about each photo to describe to you the place and time, and what I felt as I captured the scene. If you had to enter a contest and submit only five photos, which ones would you pick? Please let me know in the comments section below! Please note I worked really hard and traveled to many places at great personal expense to capture these photos. If you want to use one, please contact me at [email protected] and we can discuss the matter. Please don’t just download them for your own commercial use. They are copyrighted and all rights are reserved.

Postcard from the Road #7: Steveston, Canada

Dear Friend,

This postcard may be slow to reach you. I forgot to mail it until near the end of my trip. I was looking south across from Steveston at the mouth of the Lower Arm of the mighty Fraser River. This scene struck me, with the driftwood, the boats passing by, and the purple wildflowers growing by the water’s edge. In the distance, some islands, including Vancouver Island provide a nice silhouette. It was just a beautiful scene that stuck with me.

My friend Melinda Green Harvey was in BC around the same time, and took a magnificent photo of driftwood, if this sort of thing interests you. I promise to continue with posting about Iguazu Falls later this week.


A magical Pacific Northwest summer sunset
A magical Pacific Northwest summer sunset

All the best,

The Gentleman Backpacker