Category: Toronto

Kodak Ektar 100: Falling in Love

It is sadly ironic that at what might appear to be the twilight of the analog film era some of the best films ever made are now available. I’ve only shot a couple of rolls of it so far, but Kodak Ektar 100 colour negative film is rapidly becoming my favourite colour film. I used to see colour negative film as a decidedly poor sister to slide fim, in terms of sharpness and saturation, but I see no such weakness in Ektar 100. The image below is from the Kodachrome walk, where in addition to some Kodachrome I did shot a roll of Ektar. I look at the blues and red/oranges, and I’m in love with this film!

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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.

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A Great Day for the Kodachrome Photo-Walk

Thanks to “The Scarborough Dude” for the photo!

It was a great day for the Kodachrome photo-walk in Morningside Park in Scarborough, Ontario yesterday; we couldn’t have ordered better weather, and we had a really nice group of people in attendance. The most popular cameras were Nikons, from a Nikkormat FT2 (mine) to a beautiful F100. A couple of folks had Pentax cameras, and one lucky attendee (here from Texas!) had a gorgeous Leica M6 rangefinder.

What was also really neat to see was over one century-old view camera brought along by one attendee; he wasn’t able to shoot Kodachrome, but instead was shooting paper negatives. Imagine, in an era where digital cameras are declared obsolete after a few years, here was a camera from around 1901, still being used to make images!

The leaves were beautiful, and I can’t wait to see the images. Waiting is part of the experience of course; it will be about a month before we get our slides back. By then the leaves we made images of today will long since be gone, but thanks to Kodachrome the colours will last a long long time!

The Ghost Bike

People used to say “the camera never lies.” Nonsense. The world is 3-D, cameras for the most part are 2-D. The world (for humans at least) is in colour, and photographs are often in black and white. I would go so far as to say that what makes a photograph special is how it differs from reality, and that the difference directly informs what the photographer is trying to say in an image.

The image below is unrealistic. It is black and white, and deliberately underexposed to bring out the white bicycle and roses, which where in fact a temporary monument to cyclists killed on Toronto streets earlier this year.  (The monument has since been removed.)  For the subject matter, the non-realism I added to the image for me captures a tragic reality, and that’s as real as it gets.

 

Bicycle Memorial, Toronto

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!

Icon or Eyesore?

From the beginning, the crystal addition to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto has been a source of controversy.  Some people like it, and many people (probably the majority) consider it an eyesore. For the record, I actually like it, and the way it is juxtaposed against a more traditional building. From a photography point of view, it is a most interesting subject!

No Right Angles

Nikkormat FT2, Tokina 35-105mm lens, Ilford XP2+ film

Reflections

I love reflections, especially reflections that create distortion: geometry and optics become a plaything, and all I do is capture photons at play.

This image is of reflections on a building in downtown Toronto, not far from the Ontario Art Gallery. I am reminded a bit of Escher; if I stare at this image long enough the shapes and angles almost seem to ripple.

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One technical point about the photo; I used my just acquired Nikon N90s to create this picture. Little more than 10 years ago, the street price of a N90s body was around $1,000. I got my somewhat beat-up but perfectly functional specimen for about $50 on eBay.

Obsolescence rocks!!! 🙂

Concrete and Asphalt

Scarborough, Ontario, has been given (often unfairly) a reputation of being rather bleak. There are many areas of hidden beauty within Scarborough, but there is still plenty of concrete and asphalt, and in this image of the Kennedy Subway station passenger drop-off, it felt to me like a decayed echo of a space age vision; a future which did not gracefully become the present.

Subway Kiss and Ride, Scarborough, Ontario Canada

Nikkormat FT2, 24mm f2.8 lens, Ilford XP2+ film