Monthly Archives: March 2016

“Corkin Gallery Stairs and Arches”

“Corkin Gallery Stairs & Arches”

“Human society is like an arch, kept from falling by the mutual pressure of its parts”
– Seneca

The Toronto Distillery District is known for its boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. One of the art galleries in this area is the Corkin Gallery, featuring artists of many disciplines.

Within this large gallery are some of the original distillery structures, including these interesting arches which lead to two staircases to the second floor of the gallery. I like how the gallery retained the significant architectural elements of the distillery in their floorplan. It blends past and present beautifully. There was something about how the modern (stairs) and old (arches) blended together into a whole that just felt right.

I also enjoyed the various textures, from the age and patina of the brick, blotchy, cracked concrete, smooth steel handrails, and the clean lines of the glass and wood of the staircase. The staircase feels like an anachronism, placed as an escape from the ancient arches, a bridge to some uncertain future.

iPhone 5s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2
1/20 sec;   f/2.2;   ISO 320

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“Kill Plate” – Atro Gallery of Gems, New York

“Kill Plate” - Atro Gallery of Gems, New York

“As I see it, life is an effort to grip before they slip through one’s fingers and slide into oblivion, the startling, the ghastly or the blindingly exquisite fish of the imagination before they whip away on the endless current and are lost for ever in oblivion’s black ocean.”
― Mervyn Peake

A “Kill Plate” is the geological term of a particular strata in which numerous fossilized animals can be found. In this case, a large number of fish, each about two inches long, all died and were preserved as fossils in a narrow layer of sandstone. We will never know what event caused this mass death to happen, perhaps a big wave deposited the fish to die high up a beach somewhere and subsequent waves buried them? Or, a river dried up, with the same effect. It leaves us with an unanswered story to ponder, but the end is written in stone.

I should have written down more of the details about this particular artifact. The primary reason I made the photo was that I saw this as a piece of art and have neither the space, nor the funds for the original, though I am fascinated by the details and wanted to spend more time looking at it. It’s a bit like a large stenciled drawing, with the same shape repeating randomly over and over on a carefully textured background.

I can picture the person who first saw this slab, peeling back the top layer and revealing the scene above. I also imagine this is a small portion of a much bigger slab that was divided and sold off to galleries and collectors.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 80 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Across the Ice” – Secord Pond

“Across the Ice” - Secord Pond

“One of the reasons there are so many terms for conditions of ice is that the mariners observing it were often trapped in it, and had nothing to do except look at it.”
― Alec Wilkinson

As winter transitioned into spring and the light coating of snow melted on the lakes, rivers and ponds in the area, some very interesting effects emerged, that I had not previously noticed. Perhaps it’s due to the small amount of late snow we received, which melted soon after it fell, clear and uncontaminated with dust and grime.

The effect I noticed was smooth ice surfaces, in endless shades of blue and white. The colours seem almost unnatural, but I suppose the purity of the ice and how it formed this year may have something to do with that.

In the image above, you can see deep blues where the snow must not have accumulated much versus the whiter areas, where it would appear snow has melted and refrozen. And, of course, there are the white cracks, crisscrossing the surface. I also like the mottled effect in the distance, which was harder to capture well from the angle I shot from.

The entire image has the look of a blue and white abstract painting, but it’s just nature showing off her own artistry, something I have been seeing a lot of lately and am happy for.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 125 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Tankhouse Lane” – Toronto Distillery District

"Tankhouse Lane" - Toronto Distillery District

“Every doorway, every intersection has a story.”-  Katherine Dunn

For any who have not had the opportunity to visit Toronto, there is a wonderful area which used to be the Gooderham and Worts distillery. After the distillery ceased operations, the early 19th century buildings were preserved and it has become a popular destination filled with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. It’s a place I visit at least once a year and always offers me new images.

This year I went, like last year, on my birthday, hoping to spot some new artifact, piece of architecture, and just enjoy the sights and atmosphere, as well as a good meal.

These street signs were installed to help navigate through all the side streets and alleyways, each representing the principal building which stands along that route. It helps give a sense of how things flowed back when the distillery was still active. It was the light that drew my eye to this sign as well as an image of New York Street signs I saw a few weeks ago.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 155 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Study in Wood #3”

Study in Wood #3

“To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature.”
― Thomas Hardy

As I walk the trails, I can’t help but be amazed at the colours and textures of the stumps and standing dead trees along the way. I’ve started a collection of these aged and aging forest statues, each so unique in its appearance, yet somewhat similar. Some are recognizable as wood, while others, gnarled, twisted and covered in moss and fungus, take on the appearance of something slightly alien. Each tree species has its own unique character and form and tends to become habitat to specific mosses and other growths.

There are those that stand for years, bare and smooth, weathering the elements and bleaching in the sun, while others, fall and turn quickly into a spongy, mossy heap, home to mushrooms, mosses, and ferns.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Waiting for Spring”

“Waiting for Spring”

“Beneath your burdensome regrets and who you think you are through the lens of past mistakes, there is someone beautiful who wants to emerge.”
― Bryant McGill

Spring has arrived! Though, somebody needs to inform the weather. In stark contrast to last week, this one has been quite chilly. Despite the sun shining brightly and turning open trails to mush, the forest floor remained locked in a shallow frost. At least enough to create a thin skiff of ice on the small forest floor puddles.

These leaf filled puddles, with their yellow, brown, and gray occupants, are like a miniature canvas, reminding me of the spectacular fall last year. In a few more days, the ice will be a memory and green will return once more to the forest floor, followed by bright trout lilies, pink spring beauties, and white trilliums. I even noticed a few wild leeks beginning to emerge from the chilly earth.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/100 sec, f/7.1, ISO 250

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“Spring Pastels” – Wendat Pond, Stouffville

“Spring Pastels” - Wendat Pond, Stouffville

“Nothing clashed because nothing had the strength to clash; everything murmured of safety among the hues; all was refinement.” ― Mervyn Peake

In anticipation of spring greens and colours, I find myself back in the familiar and somewhat commonplace of local walking trails. In the middle of town, I find small sanctuaries of wildlife and the remnants of last years plants which have survived the winter. relatively intact. Though my eyes see mainly greys, yellows, and browns, a deeper look yields subtle pastels, adding a softness to the stark and brittle stems.

I’m trying to see all aspects of life that way, looking beyond the surface and anticipating subtle beauty and wonderment in every situation. Admittedly, this can be a challenge, given the world we live in, with all its stresses and pressures, but I believe it to be a worthwhile goal.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 190 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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