Quebec City, the night before Christmas


I went back to my hometown for Christmas eve and before the feast, I braved the elements to shoot some images of Quebec City at dusk. The weather was frigid as the temperature dipped below -18C the moment the sun disappeared from the skies. And that’s before factoring the wind chill… Unfortunately it was quite windy as shown by the motion of the clouds during the long exposures.

I wanted to stay out longer to shoot the Petit Champlain area which is nicely decorated and lit for Christmas. The mistake I made was arriving there an hour too early. After standing out there for almost two hours waiting for the sun to come down, I could not stay out in the cold much longer.

I went to the Parc Montmorency which offers a view of the Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City’s most famous landmark, as well as a look down into the Petit Champlain and the River. While waiting for sunset, I shot a few pictures of the lower town to produce fake miniatures which look a bit Christmassy.

In the end, it was an interesting test for man and machine alike. I think I will find some nice snowy forested areas to shoot now that I am acclimated.

Equipment: Canon DSLR 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L lens, Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8 L lens

This picture is shot from the Promenade Champlain just before heading to the town center. Notice that Quebec birds are comfortable in water just above the freezing point and are happily swimming about. No migration down South for these guys!






This picture was shot on the previous night from the Terrasse Lévis on a night that was even colder and windier. The pictures I got from that shoot are not very sharp as I could not shield my tripod and camera sufficiently from the wind.


15 thoughts on “Quebec City, the night before Christmas

    • Thanx Arnold. The bridge shot is also my favorite. I have tried shooting into the sun often but I do not always get happy results. I think that the sun being partially blocked helps.

      • I have just tried something similar, the sun is mostly behind some clouds so it seems to work. Have you tried making HDR from one shot? It would ovecome the fast cloud problem..

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