I am in Cologne, Germany on business this week, and of course I am taking advantage of the location to do some photography. This morning the light was amazing for a brief interval, and it was breathtaking to see the Cathedral across the Rhine take on the ruddy colours of a red-sky morning.
The other night I had fun shooting stills for The Alexander Singers (a Toronto community theatre group) production of The Fantasticks. It was a challenging shoot: no flash allowed, so I had to shoot at ISO 3200 wide-open and hope that the VR (vibration reduction) on my D90 would give me at least some non-blurry shots. I was quite happy with how things turned out; after a busy evening of “spray and pray” shooting, I had over 150 usable pictures, including the image below of the character “Henry”: an actor well past his prime, hired to take part in an abduction. If you are looking for something to do over the next few nights, I’d recommend checking out this show; a very strong cast makes it a most enjoyable production.
I think Quebec City is my favourite city in Canada; it’s a close to being in Europe without crossing the Atlantic. It’s also a photographer’s dream.
I took the photo below in 2007, taking advantage of a non-crowded moment. It is slightly underexposed on purpose, to de-emphasize the benches, and emphasize the lines and texture in the wood. It also makes it a challenge to determine the time of day this image was created, and I like that mystery.
I shot this Toronto street image below on Kodak Tri-X film, one of the all time classic black and white films. I shot a lot of this in the 1970’s, and a few weeks ago I decided to step back in time and shoot it again. Then it sat on the shelf until I finally got a developer tank and some chemicals. I finally got around to doing so, and yesterday developed my first roll of film in about thirty years.
The ritual came back fairly easily; loading the developer tank in complete darkness, then putting the lid on, turning on the light and “souping” the film in the various chemicals. My “darkroom” (actually our basement bathroom) soon took on the smell of acetic acid (vinegar), but at the end of it all the negatives came out fine; I let the film dry, and a few hours later I had scans of the negatives, including this image. It wasn’t as fast as snapping a photo and looking at the LCD panel on the back of my DSLR, but it will do just fine.
It’s neat to be doing my own processing again, and the alchemy has its own magic. 🙂
While many of my autumn pictures are either focused on splashes of colour, or are black and white texture studies, sometimes I feel the need to explore the space in-between. The image below is one I captured a couple of weeks ago in the Don Valley in Toronto; the paint on the bridge is faded and blotchy, and the taggers have been busy. The image did not work in either full colour or black and white, so I turned the colour down quite a bit, and that captured the mood of gentle decay for me.