Blog written by Stephen Cushing
Often describing a Halifax adventure is just not enough; you want to take the perfect photo, too. Australian Photographer, Destin Sparks, captures this sentiment perfectly: “Photography is the story I fail to put into words.”
As an avid (albeit amateur) photographer, I’m sharing 10 of my favourite places to capture unique natural, architectural and human sites during your Nova Scotia vacation.
The ultimate stop for people-watching, the Halifax boardwalk spans 3 kilometers along the waterfront. If you’re still developing a photographic eye, this is a great place to practice your shooting skills! With harbour views, festivals, public art, street performers and skyline scenes, there is always something interesting to shoot.
Pro Tip: For a moody atmosphere, photograph on a rainy, foggy or snowy day.
The Halifax Transit ferry is the most inexpensive harbour tour you’ll find! For $2.50, you can take a return trip to and from Dartmouth. Your experience will depend on the day, but I recommend riding on the open top level and shooting a sunrise or sunset. Early evening makes for excellent skyline shots. If your camera is capable, try time-lapse photography to capture your trek. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a retreating morning fog or galloping harbour porpoises!
Pro Tip: Time your travel to catch a firework show over the harbour on one of Halifax’s many festival weekends.
Pro Tip: The juxtaposition between infrastructure, the ocean and treed landscapes makes this a creative place to play with lenses, lighting and colours.
6. Peggy’s Cove
Peggy’s Cove is the place to capture a quintessential East Coast landscape. The iconic lighthouse, oceanside fishing sheds, colourful houses, open skies, calm coves and rough ocean currents make for an idyllic shot.
Pro Tip: For those interested in macro (close-up) photography, patterns in the white granite, seaside wild roses and shells make for striking images.
In between the Alderney and Woodside Ferry on the Dartmouth side of the harbour, a trail system loops around the Dartmouth Cove. Here, industrial landscapes are regenerating into new built environments while maintaining a connection to the sea.
Pro Tip: Dartmouth Cove is home to the works of many budding graffiti artists. Try capturing the street art on your visit.
4. York Redoubt
As one of Halifax’s National Historic Sites of Canada, York Redoubt is a remnant military fortification at the mouth of the Halifax harbour. Roam the grounds for unique shots free from human interference.
Pro Tip: Residual military architecture, meadow-like and forested landscapes, dark tunnels and staircases are strong settings to capture a sense of mystery and suspense.
Located in the heart of Eastern Passage, Fisherman’s Cove offers a glimpse into a recreated, but active, rural fishing community. Brightly painted fishing shacks, shops and children eating ice cream are some of the scenes that await you on your visit. Snap fishing boats moored at the wharf with the Halifax skyline in the background.
For the adventurous, Duncan’s Cove is a rugged view into the exposed landscapes along the Atlantic Ocean. Here, craggy cliffs drop down to crystal clear water. No matter the season, a sunny day means a great walk ahead. Native plant life, wildlife, passing ships and colourful earth-toned landscapes mean there is no shortage of photographic opportunities.
Pro Tip: At the end of this hike, war-time concrete look-outs offer shelter and perfectly frame ocean and landscape views.
With over 150 kilometers of colourful, exposed and species-rich coastline, there are endless opportunities to capture seaside landscapes on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. A number of popular beaches are within short driving distance. Rainbow Haven Beach, Conrad’s Beach and Lawrencetown Beach are 3 popular and active beaches. Here, you can capture the power of nature in the waves, ephemeral sand patterns and ever-changing grasses and dune plants. If you’re looking for action shots, be sure to capture surfers as they power through rough Atlantic Ocean waves.
Pro Tip: Most sunsets are not viewed over the water on Halifax beaches, so a morning sunrise is the best time to shoot a low set-sun reflecting on the water.