Category: Street

Canadian Manners

Today’s image of model Keira Jade was taken in Kensington Market in Toronto last week.  It was very hot and fairly crowded, but we were both struck by the continued politeness we encountered, as passersby made every attempt to stay out of the shot, either by stopping and waiting, or going behind me, all the while saying “Sorry.” Sometimes the stereotypes are true!

Keira Jade in Kensington Market, Toronto

(Mamiya 645 Pro TL, 150mm/f4 lens, Tri-X at E.I. 1000, developed in Diafine 3+3)

First Home-Developed Colour!

This image is from some street shooting I did in Ottawa last weekend. (If you look closely you can see me taking the picture; I’m the second bald head ;-)).

This was also the first roll I developed at home using C-41 colour negative chemistry; it was not hard at all — the only challenge was maintaining the higher temperatures required

Pab2012 Colour022

The Decisive Moment, After The Fact?

In a article from 1998, author Philip Greenspun predicted that eventually “we’ll all probably just be using high-resolution video cameras and picking out interesting still frames. ” Skip ahead to 2011, and the available technology on HD video-enabled DSLR’s is making that possibility a reality, and it really concerns, indeed alarms me, when it comes to street photography.

I think about renowned street photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and the recently discovered Vivian Maier, and how a large part of their genius was a instinctive knowledge of when a moment or scene worthy of photographic capture was developing (no pun intended) coupled with the ability to capture and create the resulting compelling image.

If one sets up a camera on a tripod at a busy downtown intersection and record 30 minutes of Hi-def video, a frame by frame inspection will reveal plenty of “decisive moments” but it’s just not the same; the photographer is reduced to an editor, at best. One no longer needs the ability to see (as opposed to mere looking). It’s like throwing a bunch of canned loops together in a program like Garageband, and calling yourself a composer, without having written a single note yourself.

It would not surprise me to eventually see someone write an application that could find “Decisive Moments” in video, to give a photographer the ultimate in convenience for generating images.

Just don’t call it art.

At the End of the Race - Toronto Marathon 2010

My attempt at a decisive moment from the 2010 Toronto Marathon

The Second Law of Thermodynamics

The second law of Thermodynamics has to do with entropy, or how systems will go from a higher-ordered state to a state of lower order (more disorganized). Think teenager’s bedroom as the perfect example.

I like the TV show “Life After People” which chronicles just how ephemeral the infrastructure of our civilization would be, without constant upkeep. The image below was taken in Montreal in September, 2009, of peeling graffiti paint. A year and a bit later, I wonder what that section of wall looks like now; continued decay, or a fresh coat of paint trying to forestall the inevitable?


It Was a Marathon Weekend ….

… with the Kodachrome photo-walk on Saturday, taking pictures at the Toronto marathon on Sunday morning, then another photo-walk/meet-up in High Park in the afternoon.

It was fun taking pictures of the marathon, and especially of the half-marathon at the finish. Seeing the joy and sense of victory on the faces of otherwise ordinary people who had just accomplished something extraordinary was quite powerful. The image below is one of the pictures that for me captured it best.


Telling a Story

I like street photography that hints at the stories that are hidden inside of everyone. I took this photography in Brussels this past August, in an historic part of town called Central Place. It is an amazing old square with a lot of great historic architecture, but the people who filled it gave it its vibe, and its stories. We only had one night there, but I am longing to go back.


Photo Exhibit: Hindsight’s G20/20

I thought I would put in a reminder/plug for an art exhibit featuring G20-related work by a number of photographers (including me!!) this coming weekend called Hindsight’s G20/20, at Studio 561 in Toronto. There is also a Facebook event listing for this exhibit.

This is the first time any of my work has been part of an exhibition, so I am quite excited!! What’s also fun is doing relatively large prints of some of my photographs of what I saw on that unique day.

Tools of the Trade

What wasn’t fun was cutting mat boards for the prints. Thanks need to go to my wife, who is better with sharp objects than I am 🙂

I’ll be at the exhibit at various points during the weekend, so I hope to see you there!

A Civil Religious Debate

I was around Yonge and Dundas in Toronto last weekend with my old Nikkormat film camera, when I saw the religious debate pictured below. It was certainly a spirited discussion, but it did not come to blows, or result in any acts of terrorism or wars of aggression.

Given how many places in the world where this kind of discourse would be sadly unthinkable, it’s just one more reason why I am happy to live in Toronto

A Civil Religious Debate