Waking up to the new Saskatoon

Dawn breaks along the Southern Saskatchewan River that runs through the  city Saskatoon. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Dawn breaks along the South Saskatchewan River that runs through the city Saskatoon. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Photo by Julia Pelish
Vacay.ca Visuals Editor

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN — Waking up at dawn and enjoying this panoramic vista of the South Saskatchewan River flowing through Saskatoon certainly made me appreciate a stay at the James Hotel. The boutique property, which has 59 rooms and sublime decor throughout, is home to some of the best hotel rooms-with-a-view experiences in Canada. This past weekend, I stayed on the ninth floor in a suite flooded with natural light that faced out to the city and river.

After a viciously cold few months, Saskatoon appears to have broken through the grips of this nastiest of winters. A week after wind chills dropped temperatures down to unearthly minus-64 Celsius degrees, this energetic boom town bounced above the freezing mark on Saturday and Sunday. Fortunately, I was there to see this dramatic change and capture this sight from the balcony of the city’s elegant hotel. Had it been too chilly, I don’t think I could have withstood the temperature long enough to set up the shot. But with the warmer weather, I had the time to wait for the perfect light to grace my lens.

As a travel photographer I realize that in order to express a landscape’s grandeur, I should ideally photograph it during the right time of day. That means planning ahead if possible to take advantage of the magical light available in early morning or evening. Getting myself up and out at 6 am is always a struggle, but I knew I would be rewarded for my efforts. Lighting is the game changer that can transform a mundane image into a remarkable memory and when you see the results in your work you know the extra trouble was worth it in the end.

I photographed this image on my Nikon D7000 using the workhorse 16-85mm zoom lens. ISO was set at 1250, aperture is 7.1 handheld at 1/20th of a second.

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A photographer who has worked in the largest media markets in Canada and the U.S., Julia’s travel photos and videos have been featured prominently in the Toronto Star and been exhibited in galleries in Toronto, New York and Vancouver. Her new line of photo jewelry was inspired by her travels. Even though she is an American, one of her favourite travel experiences was spending Canada Day 2000 on Parliament Hill, joining in a parade with then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien and others. Julia is Vacay.ca’s Visuals Editor. See her work at www.juliapelish.com/blog.

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