White bus leaving

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I’m really pleased with this shot. To me, it’s quintessential street photography. It’s simple, with really only three main elements – the bus, the woman and the crosswalk. Yet there’s a story there, if you wish to see it. Perhaps she’s missed the bus and is watching it leave without her. Or she’s trying to see a loved one through the tinted windows as they say their last goodbyes.

The point is, there’s an inherent mystery about the shot, an ambiguity to it. The story exists only if you wish to see it. And each of us will bring to it a different story based on our own life experiences. I really like that in street photography. Ideally, there should be something unsaid, a story suggested but not told. Something that sparks one’s imagination and causes one to pause and reflect. The best street photography always draws the viewer back for another look, another contemplation.

I’m not trying to say this particular photos does all that, of course. Only that for me I do like that a potential story does exist. I’m not out on the street trying for these shots, mind you. I just shoot whatever catches my eye. Sometimes it’s only later when reviewing the shots in Lightroom that I am pleasantly surprised by one. Anyway, I hope you like it.

NEWS: For any of you Canadian street photographers who happen to be on Facebook, I am an Admin for the “Street Photographer Canada” FB page and we just launched a photography contest. You could win a copy of Bystander – The History of Street Photography and a one year subscription to Street Photography Magazine if you enter. You have to join the group to enter. The rules/guidelines are pinning to the top of the page. Hope to see you there. I’m also an Admin for “Toronto Street Photography” FB page and you’re welcome to join that, too.

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Posted in art, Autumn, Black & White Photography, Canada, City, Downtown, People, Photojournalism, Rain, Reflections, street, Street Photography, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

CNE Gondola

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This one dates back to August, when the Canadian National Exhibition (aka The CNE, or The Ex) was on. Here in Toronto the CNE always represents the end of summer. It starts roughly the same time the “back to school” sales begin to show up around town.

I haven’t been in many years because I find it far too crowded for my liking, but my buddy Brad (another photographer) wanted to go for a night shoot, which sounded fun. We arrived in the daylight, as you can see from this photo, but most of our time there was after dark. I’m only half way through editing those photos. For this one I brought out Wilson, my Canon 5D Mrk III, sporting the Canon 16-35mm f4 L glass lens.

This shot, in case it’s not entirely obvious, was taken looking straight up. I thought it might be something different and fun. Most of my shots from the outing are processed in black & white, save for this one and a few more.

Last night I came home to an Amazon box in my door. In it was my new copy of “Bystander, A History of Street Photography.” It’s a must-have book for any would-be street photographer’s collection. I don’t own a lot of photography books – I think seven in all – but it’s my view that it’s a good way to learn composition and to see how others see the world. Maybe one day I’ll write a post about my favourite street photography books.

Have a wonderful weekend. Hope you like the photo.

Posted in Alley, art, Canada, City, Downtown, Event Photography, People, Photojournalism, Sky & Clouds, street, Street Photography, Summer, Sunny, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rainy night in Toronto

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Went out for a walkabout Sunday with a buddy of mine. We ended up getting back after dark, and it was raining. Nothing better than street photography at night in the rain. This shot came out rather nice. Most of mine are in black & white, though, which I really like. You’ll see in the coming days and week.

Posted in art, Autumn, Canada, City, Downtown, Dundas Square, Toronto, light & shadow, Night Photography, People, Photojournalism, Rain, Reflections, street, Street Photography, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scooter in the rain

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This is sort of a good example of making a photo rather than taking a photo. I’d come across this interesting set of stairs and knew it would make a great element in my photo, but I needed more. Either someone walking by, a cyclist or perhaps an interesting old car. Problem was, the walls on each side of the stairs entirely blocked my ability to see what was coming along. All I could do was focus and set my composition and wait.

And wait. And wait.

People and cyclists did come along but there was always other things in the photo at the same time, like cars on the other side of the street, or too many people in the wrong locations, etc.

What I was waiting for was a perfect moment with only a single interesting subject in the upper left of the frame, where all my leading lines seem to be pointing to.

After almost 10 minutes this lone scooter rider whizzed by and I fire the shutter. Had I missed him, I might have ended up standing there another hour waiting for the next interesting thing to come into my frame.

The point is this: Making a photograph is defined by the process of pre-envisioning the end results by recognizing that what’s currently in your frame on it’s own is not the photo. That through patience the missing element or elements will come along to round out your vision of what’s possible. Some people would have seen these stairs and simply snapped a shot of them, thinking they were enough. Sure, it would have been okay, but the scooter really adds to the photo and makes the stairs more of a backdrop than the subject itself.

Making a photograph is the art of seeing what’s possible rather than just pointing your camera at what’s already in front of you.

Hope you like it.

Posted in art, Autumn, Black & White Photography, Canada, City, Downtown, People, Photojournalism, Rain, street, Street Photography, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Halloween on Church St

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So they closed a couple of blocks of Church St here in Toronto for a big Halloween celebration. For those not familiar with Toronto, Church Street is where they hold the big Pride parade each summer. Anyway, I went down with a few friends and we spent the evening shooting it. Man alive was it packed. Had a hard time getting the shots I wanted because I couldn’t get far enough away from my subjects. Plus, the auto focus on my Fuji struggled to lock in the low light. I was shooting with my 23mm f2 prime. But I did manage to capture a few with which I’m happy. And I had a good time.

Sorry for not posting for a while. No real reason. Just haven’t bothered. Hopefully these will make up for it. Hope you had a good Halloween.

 

Posted in art, Autumn, Black & White Photography, Canada, City, Downtown, Event Photography, Night Photography, People, Photojournalism, Portrait Photography, street, Street Photography, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A moooving portrait

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Drove out to the country for the day today. Visited Port Hope and Cobourg with a friend of mine. Had fun and got some shots as usual, but it wasn’t until the drive back that we lucked out with a herd of cattle. And man were they eager to have their picture taken. Sure was a perfect autumn day to be out and about. Hope you had a great day too.  🙂

Posted in Animal Photography, art, Autumn, Canada, City, Downtown, Fall Photography, People, Photojournalism, Portrait Photography, Rural Photography, street, Street Photography, Sunny, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Raindrops keep falling on my head

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I shot this a week back while meeting an old friend for coffee who’d just returned from a photographic assignment in the Middle East. We were on the second floor of Starbucks on the Danforth when it began to rain. I’ve never shot raindrops on a window with a shallow depth of field before but I like those sorts of photos when I see them. The thing is, they’ve been done to death. But since I’d never done it, I figured why not give it a go. And here it is. Hope you’re having a great Friday.

Posted in art, Autumn, Canada, City, Downtown, People, Photojournalism, Rain, Reflections, street, Street Photography, The Danforth, Toronto, urban, Urban Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Foot bridge on Queen

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Over the summer they replaced the foot bridge that spans Queen Street and links Toronto’s famous Eaton Centre with The Hudson’s Bay department store. I took some shots of Queen while the bridge was down and some shots when the new one was finally erected.

This one is much later, as they finish the interior of the bridge. I was on a balcony at the Eaton Centre that’s usually closed to the public, but that morning the door was ajar to accommodate a large air intake pipe, which was pumping air into the bridge space. The guys were laying flooring so I assume they were using toxic adhesives, which is why they needed the pumped in fresh air.

I took a bunch of shots but I like this one because the orange of the cab matches the orange vest of the guy working on the bridge. The bridge is set to open before the Christmas shopping season begins, so it won’t be too much longer now.

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