Category Archives: Street

“Store Fronts” – Front Street, Toronto

“Store Fronts” - Front Street, Toronto

“Imagine having a city full of things that no other city had.”
― Bill Bryson

Old meets new in this view of Toronto’s Front Street, near the St. Lawrence Market.

The area reminds me of Europe, with it’s old buildings and storefronts. It’s sad to think that much of Toronto looked like this till the wave of “Urban Renewal” in the 70’s demolished most of the old buildings to make room for…parking lots!

Yup, apparently, parking lots were what people needed and the wonderful architecture paid the price. There are still some vestiges of Toronto’s architectural past remaining: the Annex, Front Street, and the Distillery to name a few, but they are few and far between.

I imagine the original builders did not ever expect the building to become a coffee shop, in fact, I had clients in this area who used upper floors as office space and it looked like these would have been warehouses at one point in time, based on the thick floors and heavy wooden beams inside the buildings.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 145 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200

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“Chinatown Rush” – Montreal

“Chinatown Rush” - Montreal

“The first problem of living is to minimize friction with the crowds that surround you on all sides.”
― Isaac Asimov

I wanted to capture the hustle and bustle of this Montreal intersection with an experimental long exposure. It was interesting to look back on it and see the woman in the foreground moving quickly across the frame, while the car is stopped.

This was also an experiment in light where I was trying to cover the whole spectrum for white to black.

Interestingly, growing up in Toronto, I really would not consider this a ‘rush’. For that, I could set up at Montreal’s Gare Centrale (about 18 million people pass through there every year) at quitting time. Perhaps on another visit?

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/10 sec, f/22.0, ISO 200

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“OISE Windows” – Toronto

“OISE Windows” - Toronto

“Humans are pattern-seeking story-telling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.”
― Michael Shermer

OISE is the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, part of the University of Toronto. This is where people study to be ‘educators’ or ‘teachers’ as we know them. It is also where trends in education are studied and public policy, regarding education in Ontario, originates. I have several friends who are teachers and they have shared some interesting OISE stories with me. In the parlance of ‘teacher speak’ such gems as “Oracular Device for Conveyance of Knowledge” aka ‘a book’, came from this building.

Despite the reputation for over thinking the obvious, the building is quite interesting, architecturally and I was particularly drawn to the patterns of the windows in the mid-afternoon light as I walked along Bloor Street looking for new material. I tend to enjoy old buildings and complex stonework, but I did find this modern image interesting because of the repeating patterns and limited gradations of shading.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 145 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

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“Keeping Score” – Quebec City

Keeping Score - Old Quebec 2012

While on a walking tour of Old Quebec a few years ago, I came across this man sitting in Parc Montmorency. When I first saw him, I had a front view and he was talking to a lady in a nurse’s uniform and she walked away laughing. I imagine she knew him and they had just shared a joke.

As the tour progressed I came around behind him, at a distance. He was now sitting alone and was writing in a note book. The angle I shot from was ideal and incorporated all sorts of elements which make this, in my option, a wonderful photograph. There is the light reflecting off the bench, the diagonal lines of a staircase in the background, wonderful shadows and textures, and the pigeon (which I did not notice when I made the photo).

This solitary gentleman sitting alone in a park, writing in a book, or journal, pulls me in and has me wanting to know more about him and his situation, like: who is he, why is he sitting on a bench writing, what is he writing. The title came from my imagination as I pictured him sitting there, watching the world around him and keeping score as it unfolded.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.4-5.6, @ 300 mm
1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 450

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