About / FAQ

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How did you get into the hobby of transit fanning?
My hobby first began at the age of 5-years-old, when I began to have a fascination with other forms of wheeled transportation, such as cars, trains and of course buses in the city of Burlington, ON. I would always stare at the trains coming my way, in fact at times writing down the fleet numbers of vehicles and trains that passed me. (sadly those lists are lost to history.) Around 7-years later in late-2015, now living in Calgary, AB, I began to ride the school bus to school. I again had a fascination with them, which led to me start photographing school buses sometime around late-2016. The photo quality began to evolve, which led me to start my own Flickr account. Not too long after, I started photographing transit and coach vehicles in around late-2017, with the photo quality significantly increasing to the point we're at today.

The origins of techspotlightphoto.com, why I created it.
In September of 2017, I started my Flickr account. At the time, I wasn't even thinking of creating a website, in fact at the time I liked the way Flickr was organized. It was not until Flickr changed it's policy on free acounts in 2018, only allowing 1000 photos instead of the 1 TB of free storage that I decided that I would build a website. Starting in April 2019, my website began in the programming process. In fact, this site was programmed both by hand in HTML/CSS and in Adobe Dreamweaver. Several months later, in June 2019, techspotlightphoto.com was finally live.

About the webmaster!
My name is Hayden, and I'm currently living in Calgary, AB. As of November 2019, I am a high school student in Grade 11 with high hopes to go to university in the near future.

Why are all your photos from Calgary and area? Why not go to other cities to fan?
A: I'd like to, however being a high school student with limited funds doesn't give me much free time or money to spend several days or a week in another city. Expect some more photos from outside the Calgary area when I graduate high school in 2021.

What are your future plans for this site?
As mentioned above, I'd like to fan in other cities. Expanding this website to also add avitation photography along with rail are also in the near future. I'd also consider opening some doors for some smaller transitfans to be able to showcase their photography on my site. Please stay tuned for when those do happen!

Why do you like photographing public transportation? Do people you know make fun of you because of it?
Think of it this way, transitfanning is like documenting the history of transit. A unit could be documented with or without a bike rack, a new livery or a repair that unit has undergone, just like how people document history from Canada's past. Also, keep in mind that transitfanning has more to do than just riding and photographing buses. It's also about the discussion, routes and trying to predict what vehicles/route changes will be put in place in the future. I normally don't tell normal people outside of the hobby that I do this, mostly because of the taunts people will make because of it. The follow up question is normally what I'm trying to answer here.

What are your favourite things to photograph while transitfanning?
Personally, my top three things I like fanning the most are the oldest buses in the fleet, oddities such as an Anderson garage key on a route that normally is covered by Victoria Park buses, as well as rare spottings such as big buses on shuttle keys, artics on 40-footer keys, buses from a different garage filling in on a certain run, the list goes on.

What is your opinion on people who dislike the hobby? Do people approach you when you fan?
Unfortunately while doing any hobby, you're going to run into some people who don't agree with what you're doing. I have had several people approach me while fanning, (mostly operators) and asking me about my photography. I will explain to them what fanning is all about, in full honesty. Don't lie and just say "I'm waiting for someone" just 'cause you're loitering around a bus loop taking pictures. They're going to classify you as suspicious. But honestly, if you're a bus operator and don't like us fanning, covering your face in the shot and/or middle fingering us is not the right thing to do. In all honesty, it'll just get you reported to the company. I have seen cases of transit employees (particularily at Chinook Station in Calgary) saying that photography on property is illegal, which is simply not true. Lots of misinformation gets spread around about what is "legal" and "illegal". The peace officers don't seem to care. Speaking of property, if you're photographing stuff on public property such as a city-mainained sidewalk, you have the right to stay there as long as you'd like. However in places such as LRT Stations and bus loops, transit companies CAN set restrictions, so if you see notices, be mindful.

What would you say makes you back on a photo so fondly?
Photos of now-retired vehicles always make me look back on a photo fondly, esspecially when I have more of one photo of that unit. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to know which units will be retiring first, so you have to make your best guess. There were plenty of cases with the Calgary Transit 1999 D40LFs that units were retired before I had the chance to get them, however the plenty of success stories (and the audio recording I got of 7667) more than makes up for it.

What is your most prized photo you've taken to date?
I'd say the photo of 7664 at 69 Street Station working Route 698, filling in for an artic run. I have been told that 7600s haven't been on that route since they were last at Victoria Park Garage, which was around 12-years ago! It is unlikely that a 7600 will show up on this route ever again, esspecially with the "69 Street Station" code punched in. Click here to view the image.

What camera equipment do you use?
As of October 2019, I use a Canon Rebel T2i body and Canon EF-S 18-135 and 55-250mm lenses. In the coming months, I plan to upgrade my camera body and purchase some higher quality lenses.