A Walk in the Park

A stroll through Assiniboine Park on one of the last days of summer. 

Hello, and thank you for stopping by.

The purpose of this project is for me to document things that I see when I go out. My intent is to go find something worth capturing in photos at least once a week. I hope to not only keep my photography skills sharp, but my writing skills as well.

I am not yet entirely comfortable interviewing people as far as their names, what they are up to, and things of this nature and I intend to remedy this.

Play structure located in the Childrens Garden section of Assiniboine Park. Winnipeg, MB.

Having said that, my first foray into this was on September 04, 2012. I visited Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, MB armed with a Nikon D7000 with a Nikon 50mm F1.8, as well as a 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 zoom lens. The latter of which was used for the majority of the shots used in this entry. I also carried with me my old Canon TL 35mm film camera.

I arrived at the park around noon, and immediately came to the conclusion that were the park to be renamed ‘Wasp Park’, no protest would be heard from me. I found it difficult to change to my 28-80mm without being swarmed by these black and yellow assailants. Having successfully retreated to a nearby (and not coincidentally, trash can free) bus stop to change lenses, I was ready to go. I managed to snap a few photos of the bridge crossing the river.

Footbridge crossing the Assiniboine River into the park.

While approaching the end of the bridge, my eye was immediately drawn to a set of a flourishing vines amid text scrawled in chalk on the sidewalk. My memory immediately called back to an article I had recently read in the Winnipeg Free Press. If only I had caught the Artist, Graham Hnatiuk in action. So it goes.

A woman walking her dog takes in the sidewalk art of Winnipeg artist Graham Hnatiuk.

The first natural place to make your way to is the duck pond, near the entrance to the park. As it was noon on a weekday, there wasn’t a whole lot of people around, however there were some relatively interesting things to take photos of. Having gotten my obligatory duck and goose shots out of my system, I set out to find more dynamic ways to photograph the pond. I concentrated around a unique bicycle rack near the pond, with protruding bars used to lock a bike to.

A boy sit near the Assiniboine Park Duck Pond. The Pavilion can be seen in the distance.

I then made my way around the pond another time or two before delving deeper into the park. As I explored, the sound of children playing met my ears, but I could not place where the sound originated from. I continued up the path and came across a big, beautiful, and over photographed building. I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but in the few seconds I poked my head in, I saw signs for meeting rooms, a restaurant, as well as two floors of art galleries. I did not investigate the building any further, though I intend to in the future.

I came back outside in search of where to go next. On either side of my view were two enormous fields. This would have been a prime opportunity to photograph picnics, sports, or any sort of activity going on… had the fields not been completely empty. However, it was at this time my next destination was presented to me. A woman noticed not only my two cameras, but my complete lack of direction and suggested I enter the Children’s Garden. Having nowhere else to go, I did just that.

A young family makes it way through the entrance to the Childrens Garden.

The Children’s Garden portion of the park was impressive, to say the least. Unfortunately I didn’t capture too many images of it, as I’m not entirely comfortable shooting people, and even less so children. I did get one image of the view looking down of the climbing hill, which I think turned out interesting.

After this I took a short break and considered going home, satisfied I had captured enough images for my first post. It was at this point that my friend Daniel Crump texted me to inform me he was going to meet me at the park to shoot.

Having heard about a tiny train that makes its rounds of the park, but having never seen it, I suggested we look for it. We are able to find the station, but no tiny train was to be found.

Using infallible logic, we concluded that if we were to follow the tiny tracks we would eventually discover the tiny train. In theory this worked, as we were able to find the shed in which the tiny train resided about half an hour later. As it happens, the ‘train season’ had ended the day before. So it goes. Determined to muster at least one decent image, we continued down the tracks and found ourselves back at the station.

The Assiniboine Park’s rail station for it’s miniature steam train. Service had been halted for the season the day prior.

We then made our way back to the Children’s Garden, where Daniel’s bike was chained. It was then that was decided to let our subjects come to us, and ended up shooting people through two objects that worked as perfect frames; A giant chair and a kids sized door, respectively.

A woman and a young boy take advantage of the agreeable weather.

A jogger makes his way past the entrance to the Childrens Garden.

Having been at the park for the better part of five hours, it was now time to head home. Daniel walked with me, and seeing as to how I had to pass by the duck pond to take my bus home, we made one more go around. This time however, Daniel noticed something that had eluded my eye previously. I like to think it wasn’t there a few hours earlier.

A Chinese flag rests in the bottom of the duck pond of Assiniboine Park.

What appeared to be, and indeed was, a Chinese flag rested on the shallow bottom of the duck pond. After moving around a bit, I was able to frame it with the aforementioned beautiful, yet much photographed building.

I had a great time taking photos, although the journalistic part of the exercise could use some work. The end product for me (at the time) was a decently composed photo. However I did nothing in the way of helping my future self in the way of taking notes, talking to people, and things of this nature.

Overall, I feel my excursion was a successful one. I intend on making this a weekly expedition, learning more each time.

A young boy feeds the geese as two woman chat while keeping an eye on him.

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