Tree of light in downtown Montreal

Tree of light in downtown Montreal
Tree of light in a square, Montreal, Canada, Leica M (Typ 240), Summilux-M 50mm, f1.4 ASPH, 1/45sec., f3.4, ISO 200

Family was the one and only reason for traveling to Montreal for Christmas. Getting away from work and obligations is an absolute necessity for anyone, but keeping things simple is not always an easy task. There are so many people and friends to visit, sticking to our objective of “getting away” can be complicated and probably not understood by all. Yet, we decided to visit relatives only and make good use of the little time we had at our disposal for this trip. After all, I’m pretty sure the best people we know (i.e. close friends) would understand our decision. Even if you decide to visit some of your friends, those you don’t visit will eventually find out about your trip to town and will be questioning why you did not visit them too. It’s a catch 22. Visiting only relatives makes it clear and fair for all. That’s my opinion.

Although it’s been a very busy week for us in Montreal, there was one moment where I found myself alone and decided to walk around town with my Leica. It was a pretty cold end of evening, but I just felt it was right for me to hang out and explore the areas I know perfectly well yet still find everything fascinating. Christmas in Montreal is special, you feel something warm inside. Not just because it’s my home town. Of all the places I visited in my life, Montreal is one of the best I’ve seen. And it gets even more exciting during the Christmas season. But let’s go back to the topic of photography. I walked quite a while that evening and ended up on a little square between The Bay (Square Philips) and Christ Church Cathedral. There was snow everywhere because they’ve got a lot of it recently, and a tree was standing in the middle of the square, completely covered with small white glowing lights. It looked like a burning tree in the middle of nowhere.

Just like the Fountain of Youth, but this time as an incandescent object in a dark and cold surrounding. For some reasons “contrast” is always what turns me on in photography. Contrast could be in colors, shapes, textures and so on, but I never though about contrast in “temperature”, as in hot/cold. That’s interesting.

So I started shooting this tree from various angles, purposely including and/or excluding things around just to make sure I could get something interesting once I’m back home and working on the files. My solitary walk (It may sound sad at first, but for me, walking alone is a moment that’s rich in emotions and reflections on many topics in areas in my life. Walking around alone is like being conscious of my little self in the big world around me. And it’s only then that I start to really observe and “see”. “Looking” is very different) did not end there and I shot some more at the cathedral just beside that little square. There was an old red door to the side of the church with a single light spot above, ice on the roof, snow everywhere. Silence. Solitude. That was a great moment. I had this great feeling of simply doing what I love in a place I love.

I hope this picture brings back some good souvenirs from your holidays, regardless of your beliefs and wherever you are on this planet. And I wish you all a wonderful Year 2014. May all your wishes and dreams come true!

Good Light!


© Normand Primeau