Tag Archives: Street

Thursday Doors – June 23, 2016

“Call from Above?” - Bloor Street, Toronto

This week’s submission to Norm 2.0‘s Thursday Doors.

I was out a few weeks ago, walking Toronto’s Bloor Street West, looking for photo opportunities. The doors pictured above belong to St. Paul’s Church and I had stopped to photograph just the door earlier in the day.

As I was walking back to my car, I noticed this gentleman standing outside the church, very focussed on his cell phone. The title “Call from Above?” just struck me as funny and somehow appropriate.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/60 sec, f/4.0, 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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“Empire State Building” – West 34th & Broadway

“Empire State Building” - West 34th St. & Broadway

“I get a little romantic about the old Empire State. Just looking at it makes me want to play some Frank Sinatra tunes and sway a little. I have a crush on a building. I’d been in there several times but never to work. I always knew there were offices in there but the face never penetrated, really. You don’t work in the Empire State Building. You propose in the Empire State Building. You sneak a flask up there and raise a toast to the whole city of New York.” – Maureen Johnson

What’s a trip to New York City without a photo of the iconic Empire State Building, as it soars high above midtown Manhattan? What really struck me was just how eye-catching it is. The sun reflects beautifully from the walls from nearly every angle I saw it from, which were numerous. In the image above I tried to incorporate much of the street and surrounding buildings, some quite modern and others hearkening back to earlier times.

This image was made mid-morning, and as I stated in earlier posts, the New York light is something unexpected, as it reflects from the skyscrapers into the streets below. I was really expecting street level to be darker, but there is a constant soft glow everywhere I looked.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm
1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 400

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Bright Morning Walk on Mill Street, Stouffville

This year’s final post is a reflection on a winter past. As I noted throughout the fall, it has been a particularly mild year and we had no significant snow or cold weather till a few days ago, and even that was fairly insignificant.

Two years ago, we got hammered with an ice storm that buried us in a combination of wet snow and ice. This mixture quickly froze into solid ice and remained frozen for weeks. Power for hundreds of thousands was knocked out, mature trees toppled under the weight of the snow and ice, and our world was locked into the land of winter. Due to the extreme cold temperatures we experienced such things as ‘frost-quakes’ where the rapid cooling of ice caused the ground to boom as it contracted and the ice accumulations on the rooftops echoed with similar thuds which sounded like the roof was collapsing.

It was, a winter wonderland, and beautiful, for those who were not contending with power outages or downed trees. This image above was made looking down my street as a neighbour walks her dogs under a canopy of snow and ice.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6, @155 mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

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“Warm Spring Day in Vieux Montreal”

“Vieux-Port Montreal”

A very pleasant day in Old Montreal.

In my 50 some years growing up in Canada, I missed this marvel of culture. I know it has existed in various iterations and many of my friend s have enjoyed this cultural gem in my absence. I discovered Old Montreal a few years ago, while visiting with cousins and long to return whenever I get the chance, especially on recent business trips.

Montreal has a gorgeous “Old Town” near the port of area Montreal known as  “Vieux Port Montreal”. This area is known for its European look and feel (and some rather fine restaurants).

This particular photo was made in late May. The day was unusually hot for the time of year and Betty and I spent some time touring around and enjoying the atmosphere, before sitting down for a wonderful dinner at a local steak house. The nice thing about May is the soft light at the end of the day and how it filters down the narrow streets.

This was a fairly complex photo in that it was significantly underexposed to avoid blowing out all the details in the sky and background buildings. I spent a bit of time dodging and adjusting shadows in Adobe RAW to bring out the details in the foreground to capture the interactions of the people in the street, which was an important part of this composition.

In the end, I was pleased with the details I was able to recover for the shadows to recreate the scene as I saw it that warm, late spring day, a few months back.

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

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“The Search” – Buskerfest, Toronto

Old Lady at Toronto Buskerfest 2014

Another favourite photo and a venture into street photography for me. This photo was made last year at Toronto’s annual Buskerfest.

I was walking the street, knowing there would be some interesting scenes to photograph. The street was extremely busy and it became difficult to get a shot that was not full of distractions. I like to isolate my subject as much as possible. Off the main venue, Toronto’s Yonge Street, which is closed to traffic for Buskerfest, there were several people sitting and chatting, including this woman, who was searching through her purse for something. For her, it was a break from the busy crowds and a chance to sit and have a smoke.

Originally, I had titled this image “Old Lady at Buskerfest”, but on further reflection, I can’t tell if she is really that old. I don’t know her story, but the photo makes me want to know more. For now, it remains a moment in someone’s life, captured in a single image.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 @185 mm
1/60 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 200

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“Three Columns – Place d’Armes” – Montreal, Quebec

“Three Columns - Place d’Armes” - Montreal

A simple photo of three columns at Place d’Armes in Old Montreal. The building is directly across the square from the well known Notre-Dame Basilica. I simply enjoyed the form and details of the columns. I’m not sure if this would be street photography, urban, or architectural. Technically, it’s travel photography, though I did not travel far.

What I also find interesting is the fine details that emerge from the photo, not visible in the viewfinder. I did not notice the meshing to keep pigeons off the scroll-work or the bolts stick from the fluting. Yes, thats what the official name of the carved out part of the column is. Something new I learned today. I also learned that the top of this type of column is a Corinthian Capital. Amazing what you can learn when you look at details and want to know more. I feel so enriched 🙂

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 165 mm
1/60 sec @ f/5.0, ISO 250

Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market

Mayan Ceremony - Kensington MarketYou never know what you might see in Kensington Market. During a recent trip to the popular Toronto Market, streets were closed to vehicles (one Sunday every month in the summer) and the market was packed with people. Street performers, musicians, vendors, and artists filled the street with sights, sounds, the smell of ethnic cooking, and colour. At one corner, a group of performers were re-enacting a Mayan ceremony. I was captivated by their bright costumes and snapped a few photos to capture the moment.