Workshop: Lets go to the Ex

The Ex is the Canadian National Exhibition, the CNE, and is one of Ontario’s greatest traditions that has been in operation in Toronto since 1879. The CNE runs for 18 days culminating on Labour day and is full of vendors selling wares from across Ontario. There is a huge fairground with roller coasters, a water slide and other mechanical devices that want to shoot you into oblivion or spin you round faster than you have ever been before. It is also a place for sampling weird and wonderful foods that smell incredible. This is the perfect place for a photography workshop.

The CNE at night
The CNE at night

I met Parm from Planet Blue Adventure, Sameer and Chanchal on a hot summer evening to walk, talk photography and enjoy what was on offer. It was very busy, challenging us and giving us more to work around. The atmosphere was great and the temperature was high. We were all pleased to be playing with our cameras and sharing our knowledge with one another.

Sameer, Parm and Chanchal
Sameer, Parm and Chanchal

We talked about camera settings, and what to look for. As it was so busy, there was a lot to focus on. The loud music, mechanical rides whirring around and colourful soft toys swinging in the breeze. The hundreds of people and the smells of doughnuts increased the atmosphere. There was something to capture everywhere you turn.

paulkporterphotography - Toronto CNE -4
This is a great place to photograph people

I find the people at the CNE really interesting. They are from all over and all have a different story to tell. They add the colour and the soul to the event.

Playing with bubbles
Playing with bubbles

As the sun was going down, the colours allowed fantastic opportunities to capture. You can buy pretty much anything at the CNE, there seems to be an especially huge demand for hot tubs, but it was the kids bubble blowing guns that caught my eye. The bubbles float quickly and are not the easiest to focus on. It is good to challenge yourself to make an image.

paulkporterphotography - Toronto CNE -13
Everywhere you look there is a different image to be made

For photography, the fairground rides offer lots of lines and movement to capture. From wide angles capturing the whole ride to close up macro shots for details. The above image highlights the CN Tower in the background.

Crazy mouse sunset
Crazy mouse sunset

With the sun going down, as we were passing the Crazy Mouse roller coaster, I wondered if I could capture the sun in the ‘O’. It was a fleeting moment, and moving around the grounds I was able to put myself in a spot to make the image and share with the group.

paulkporterphotography - Toronto CNE -11

I really enjoy these workshops, it is a great place to learn from one another. I always learn more when sharing my knowledge with others. It was also good to step back and watch the   group question each other and figure things out for themselves. When a person creates the shot that they have been trying to make for a while, the smile and the look in their eyes is priceless.

Chanchal and Sameer ponder losing some money
Chanchal and Sameer ponder losing some money

We stayed until the end, making long exposure images and also enjoying a beer or two in the heat. After all, it would be rude not too.

Long exposure photography can be practised at a fun fair
Long exposure photography can be practised at a fun fair
paulkporterphotography - Toronto CNE -14
Even without a tripod you can make some great night images that give you a sense of being there.

I can’t wait to see the images that Parm, Sameer and Chanchal made. Did you go to the ex and photograph it? I would like to see the images.

Are you interested in getting more out of your camera? If so, get in touch 🙂


And remember to follow my journey 🙂

Instagram: @pauliespics

#paulies365   #explorewithpaul   #paulkporterphotography

Twitter: @pkpphoto

Facebook: paulkporterphotography

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Do you have any more workshops coming up in Toronto?


    1. paulkporter says:

      Hi Maggie,

      Thank you for your interest in a workshop, I am no longer based in Toronto. What is it that you need help with? I operated the workshops with Vincent Croos, he should be able to help you. You can contact him via

      I hope that helps 🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s