We feature some of the brightest Instagram storytellers in the Passion Passport community through our Instagram Spotlight series. This week, Dennis Phillips (@wrtbrother) shares a few of his favorite things to photograph in his home city of Montreal.
One of my favorite pastimes is walking or biking the streets of Montreal, looking for unique and distinctive houses. I enjoy houses with sharply contrasting colors and repeating patterns, but what I love most is finding a house that looks like it could have leapt straight from the pages of a fairytale.
I’ve always been drawn to images with strong leading lines which drive the viewer’s focus into the middle of a photo. In urban settings, long avenues with tall buildings or row houses are a perfect way to create this effect. I often like to include a figure where the lines converge to add scale and perspective.
If I had to pick a favorite Instagram hashtag, it would have to be #strideby. I love hunting for a great background, taking the time to frame the shot the way I want, and then waiting … and waiting … and waiting. Patience is key. On a more technical note, it’s important that your shutter speed is 1/125 or faster when taking these types of shots, if you want to completely stop the motion of a passerby.
When it comes to architecture, for me, it’s all about symmetry. I look for repetitive windows and arches or columns, and try to get as close to perfectly symmetrical lines as I can with my camera. When all else fails (or when I only have time for a quick photo on my phone), I spend a lot of time rotating and shifting the perspective of the image with the help of tightly packed grid lines, which ensure that the image is exactly the way I want it to look.
Drone photography introduced me to a whole new way to see the wilderness that surrounds me here in Montreal. Although autumnal colors are breathtaking on their own, sometimes, aerial images cause the foliage to appear too abstract. For this reason, I usually include something like a road or house to give the image some context.