Category: Uncategorized

Flashback Friday: The Dancer

I’ve decided to do the occasional Flashback Friday, using images I’ve created sometime in the past but didn’t post at the time. This film image (taken at a dance rehearsal with  I think a Nikon N90x 35mm SLR) has a number of technical challenges, but I do like the lines and light.


Two for Two

Today’s image is from a roll I was using to test both a camera, and a film/developer combo. I was testing my newly acquired Olympus Pen F (replacing a faulty/not really repairable Pen FT). The Pen F is a 35mm half-frame SLR of the 1960’s and is truly a cult classic.

The second test involved pairing Eastman Double-X 5222 film with Diafine film developer to increase the speed to around EI 400.

I am happy to say that both tests were successful. 🙂

Wilted Roses

A Milestone

I mentioned some time ago that I got to do my first cover photo for the new EP titled Leap by the incredibly talented Angela Saini  and with her recording now released in Europe and about to be launched here in North America I can finally take the wraps off and show you a scan of the cover.

Angela Saini: Leap

Angela is an artist who understands the importance of story; every song of hers has a story, and the concept that evolved for the cover definitely was definitely story-centric as well. The concept of the Leap cover was to show a mix of emotions surrounding taking the next step, taking the risk, “going for it.” That mix of nerves, fear, thrills and excitement you feel when you realize you are about to do something significant; the knowledge that when you go through the door, and take that leap, things will be different and that there will be no going back.

When going through the images there were a lot of very subtle differences in facial expressions, and the image that was finally picked I think has the perfect expression, full of the subtlety and complexity that Angela can muster so effectively.

The launch party for Leap will be held on November 14th at the Rivoli here in Toronto . I cannot go as I will be in 17th century New England that evening (as part of my role in The Crucible, being put on by Alexander Showcase Theatre), but that doesn’t mean you can’t go! The evening is sure to be a lot of fun!

In the meantime, check out some videos of her music!

Sunnyside Pavilion

This past weekend I had a shoot on Saturday at Sunnyside Pavilion in Toronto. While waiting for the couple to arrive (and more on them in a future post), I did some shooting of my own. This location has become a bit of a wedding photography factory, so I mainly skulked around the edges and did detail images.

Fencing, Sunnyside Pavilion, Toronto

(Canon 7 Rangefinder camera, circa 1961, Soviet Jupiter 8 50mm/f2 lens,
Fomapan 100 film developed in Tmax developer 1:9 for 9 minutes)

Early Music

Last night I was at a concert put on by Sine Nomine, a Toronto-based early music ensemble (of which my wife is a member). In addition to recording the concert, I decided to do some photography of the group warming up and decided to go “old school” by shooting Polaroid. In retrospect I wish I’d brought a flash as the venue was not very bright. I ended up shooting 1/30 second, wide open @ f4.7, even with Fuji FP3000B film with an ISO of 3200.  Pictured in the image is Randall, who in addition to being a musician and scholar is also an enthusiastic advocate of traditional film.

Early Music


This week I am in Scottsdale, Arizona and it is hot even for this time of year: over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 40 C every day. Today’s image is the view I get when I step out of my hotel room, captured on my iPhone using the Hipstamatic app and “infrared” film. The “wrong” colours actually capture the feeling of being in this spot better than accurate colour rendition ever would.

Outside my hotel room in Arizona

Not Quite What It Seems?

If you’ve been on the Queen Elizabeth Expressway (Q.E.W.) , around exit 57 you have probably noticed this shipwreck. It is not quite what it seems. Quite a few years ago, some entrepreneurs took a non-descript boat, and started adding bits and pieces to make it appear like a tall ship of sorts. In the process, the ship was made completely unseaworthy, but that was not as issue; it was meant to be a restaurant/attraction. But then disaster struck in the form of a fire, and for many years the hulk has sat close to shore, an eyesore to some, a landmark to others, but regardless, not quite what it seems. This image is not completely what it seems either; although shot on film, it was heavily post processed with Silver Efex Pro. Given the history of the subject matter, I find this quite ironic.

Shipwreck, Sort of

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



I am currently on vacation in Salisbury, England and in a town like this, it is certainly easy to feel overwhelmed photographically speaking. The Salisbury Cathedral is certainly the most iconic object to make pictures of, and therein lies the challenge.

How do you find a way to take a photograph of something that has been photographed many times before, and be original (instead of just saving money on postcards)?

I think the answer lies in looking for a detail, perhaps even macro images. Each detail holds a story, waiting to be explored and communicated