Winter ice storm in mid-April

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So mother nature decided to treat us Torontonians (and much of Ontario, in fact) to a winter ice storm this weekend, almost a month into spring. How sweet of her.

So while I could have taken the bad weather opportunity to stay home and edit photos or clean house, I went downtown to capture the storm – well, the people out and about in the storm, actually. How on earth my umbrella survived turning itself inside out a few dozen times during my outing is beyond me. The wind inspired awe. Anyway, I walked around for maybe three hours and actually managed to get some shots I’m happy with.

I was actually supposed to be doing a talk on street photography for a buddy who is running a two day workshop, but that got postponed to May when the weather will hopefully be more cooperative.

On that note I’m seriously thinking to teach one day street photography workshops. This upcoming presentation I’m giving will sort of be a trial run. Now, that alone won’t make me money enough on which to survive, but I was also thinking to start a guided street photography slanted walking tour of Toronto for tourists. Basically, for a fee I’d take visitors to Toronto out on walks, showing them the sites and teaching them how to get the best photos. It would be very one on one. For now that’s all just a thought. If a solid 9/5 job comes along I’ll be jumping on it. I need the structure in my life, to be honest.

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Posted in art, Black & White Photography, Canada, City, Documentary Photography, Downtown, People, Photojournalism, Rain, Spring, street, Street Photography, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography, Winter Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Texting and smoking

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I shot this back in early February on a particularly wet day in Toronto. It was supposed to snow so I brought my big Canon out with my 50mm f1.4 prime on it. The ideas was to shoot wide open so my subject would be in focus but both the foreground and background would be out of focus, making the subject sort of pop off the screen. That idea fell apart once it turned into a rain day instead of a snow day. But even with this shot, done at f1.4, gives you a sense of the narrow depth of focus. The woman’s in sharp focus but the background is blurred. I love this lens for that. Hope you like the photo.

Posted in art, Black & White Photography, Canada, City, Documentary Photography, Downtown, People, Photojournalism, Rain, Reflections, street, Street Photography, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography, Winter Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Peter Parker in costume

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I shot this yesterday during a walkabout downtown. Had a really good day but man with the wind was it ever brisk. This guy was performing for the kiddies at Spadina and Dundas in the heart of Toronto’s Chinatown. I’m very pleased with how my shot came out. Hope you like it.

Posted in art, Black & White Photography, Canada, Chinatown, City, Documentary Photography, Downtown, People, Photojournalism, Portrait Photography, Sky & Clouds, Spring, street, Street Photography, Sunny, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snowy night on the Danforth

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I shot this back on February 13th. I was out with friends and we had a good afternoon shooting in the snow, but the magic came once we got back to the east end at the end of the walk. We spent maybe an hour working the scene as the light changed. With shots like this it’s all about using the light and reflections, etc. and building the shot. I waited maybe 10 minutes for someone interesting to walk into this composition. The red coat worked well to complete the shot.

On a personal note: So I’ve been out of work for like six months now. I’ve enjoyed most of it but boy am I ready to go back. It’s difficult to find anything suitable, though, since my resume is remarkably eclectic. I owned a business for almost 20 years, edited a national trade magazine for 11 more, and for the past 7 I was an administrator at a big financial services firm. I’m finding I don’t really “fit” anywhere. I wish I could just retire now but it’s too early and I’d end up having to sell the house. Anyway, that’s probably more than you need to know, right? Wish me luck on my job search, I’ll need it.

Posted in art, Canada, City, Documentary Photography, Downtown, Night Photography, People, Photojournalism, street, Street Photography, The Danforth, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography, Winter Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

How not to back up your car

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What’s funny is I’m certain she noticed me photographing her but still didn’t duck down out of my shot. And I was with two other photographers, and they were also snapping away at this funny sight. My buddy Geoff actually got the best shot of the three of us but accidentally erased his entire memory card when he got home. What a disappointment. I actually found myself thinking about the great shots he’s showed me on the back of his LCD screen while we were walking, all gone now. As for the girl and the car, both were stationary and she was on her phone (who the hell isn’t nowadays).

Fujifilm X Pro 2 issue: So I noticed lately, like every since I upgraded my firmware from 3.12 to 4.01, my camera seems to be struggling to auto focus. This is especially prevalent when I’m snapping off two or more shots back to back quickly. It’ll focus the first time but for subsequent shots it seems to struggle, even though I’m aiming at the same subject and the subject hasn’t moved much. Like when I’ll fire off three shots in a row of someone with their head out of a car sunroof. First shot, no problem. Second and third, the lens hunts. And it happens with both my lenses, the 18/f2 and the 23/f2. I’m wondering if the latest firmware update puts a strain on the camera’s processor, since the new firmware adds 4k video, which I don’t need and never use. I dropped Fuji an email query about this over the weekend and am awaiting a response.

Anyway, hope you enjoy this photo.

Posted in art, Canada, City, Documentary Photography, Downtown, People, Photojournalism, Spring, street, Street Photography, Sunny, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Golden sunset kicking out long shadows

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I shot this a couple of weeks back during a walkabout downtown. The one benefit of being downtown all the time is you learn where the light is happening at various times a day. It’s always all about the light, really.

Posted in art, Canada, City, Documentary Photography, Downtown, Dundas Square, Toronto, light & shadow, People, Photojournalism, street, Street Photography, Sunny, Sunrise/Sunset Photography, Sunsets & Sunbursts, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography, Winter Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chauffeured doggy

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Had to laugh at this little guy. He didn’t know what to make of me when I walked up to his car to take this photo. To his credit he didn’t start barking. Good boy. Sit and be silent. ūüôā I shot this yesterday during another walkabout downtown with friends.

Posted in art, Black & White Photography, Canada, Cars, City, Documentary Photography, Dogs, Downtown, People, Photojournalism, street, Street Photography, Sunny, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography, Winter Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Condo Life

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This is a condo building right on Bay Street at Dundas, which is pretty much the heart of downtown Toronto. There are of course plenty of upsides to condo living in an urban centre, but the big downside has to be the noise. All night long you’d be hearing streetcars and buses and fire trucks and cop car sirens, etc. Then there are the drunks slugging it out in the early hours after the bars close. And of course the endless construction that the city undertakes at night. I suspect you’d have to be a pretty darn good sleeper not to be driven nuts by it all. Me, I live on a quiet street in a quiet neighbourhood but I’m always 30 minutes from downtown. As a street photographer it would be nice to live closer to the action.

Posted in Architecture Photography, art, Black & White Photography, Canada, City, Documentary Photography, Doors, Downtown, People, Photojournalism, street, Street Photography, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography, Winter Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments