FINE ART GALLERY IV

St Vincent De Paul Church photo by k.g. Sambrano

St Vincent De Paul Church

Toronto, Ontario 2019

St. Vincent de Paul is a familiar sight on Roncesvalles Avenue, just north of Parkdale where affluent Europeans once built their summer homes dolloped like cathedrals along the shores of Lake Ontario. The church is a tranquil ornament amongst the intersection of grocery stands and all night streetcars.

 

Mid-March, the clocks had been turned ahead. The air was frigid as I searched for this photo. I had made several attempts from the front of the building, but to no avail. As streetcar lines and other detritus obstructed a more formal approach, I began reframing the concrete pillars and the lamp post with an eye towards the abstract. .

March 17, 2019

SONY ALPHA a7r MANUAL F5.6  ISO64 

Sony 28-70mm F3.5

Humberside Collegiate photo by k.g. Sambrano

Humberside Collegiate

Toronto, Ontario 2019

Humberside Collegiate was originally built in 1909, at the time perhaps a lone structure in the burgeoning community of the then Town of West Toronto Junction. As the name implies, the "Junction" was not far from where cattlemen would converge upon the marketplace. Over one hundred years later the building having undergone several renovations, is now in the centre of a community of homes and nearby condominiums.

Over the last year, I’ve learned that for urbanlandscapes, the best light, perhaps even the most pristine is found in the morning or at dusk. Eager to explore the spring, I ventured out mid-afternoon, so the sky that is usually central in many of my images was textureless, and so was cropped out. I concentrated instead on the building’s facade, in particular the concrete columns from which the light seemed to emanate. As it was March, and I was underdressed as usual, and without a tripod, I was guided more from instinct than craft. Yet, as this was only the second photo after a five-month winter hiatus, it was a promising start to a new season. 

March 21, 2019

SONY ALPHA a7r MANUAL 1/25 F5.6  70mm ISO64 

Sony 28-70mm F3.5

 

The Junction Toronto | k.g. Sambrano

The Junction

Toronto, Ontario 2019

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It was only the second outing with my camera since the fall, and I wanted to photograph the spring in the part of Toronto known as The Junction. The cattle and trains that once merged here have long since departed, but not without first seeding this rare area of the city where the roads narrow and wind, and the buildings stand like a gauntlet of giants along Dundas Street West. Brick is the chief material, coupled with wood. Above the storefronts, apartments, decades old still remain. The Junction is tranquil at night, and one of my favourite places to stroll through at dusk.

March 27, 2019

SONY ALPHA a7r MANUAL F4.5 35 mm ISO50 

Sony 28-70mm F5.6

 

Foot Candle 70 High Park  k.g. Sambrano

Foot Candle 70 High Park Avenue

Toronto, Ontario 2019

" (a foot candle) is a unit of illumination equal to that given by a source of one candela at a distance of one foot."

That winter, the elements had shifted, December not arriving until January, Toronto's usual spring delayed indefinitely until this day. From the window of the indoor pool, the sky grew dark but with small patches of light. By the time I returned with my camera, the photo of the mid-afternoon church in the spring thaw had left. Yet there remained something eloquent about the shape of the light that remained. As dusk settled, I took a handful of snap shots, interpreting it several different ways in post processing before deciding on this final version. It is a simple image of a simple spring moment. If one looks closely, the faint image of the church facade, integrated into the modern condominium remains in the background.

March 30, 2019

SONY ALPHA a7r MANUAL F22  70mm  ISO320 

Sony 28-70mm F5.6

April Sky Toronto k.g. Sambrano

April Sky

Toronto, Ontario 2019

While studying film, very few motion pictures impacted my creativity on the same level as Citizen Kane. Every frame is a photo onto itself—carefully lit, perfectly balanced. It’s been rumoured that although Orson Welles maintained strict creative control, cinematographers like Gregg Toland and others had saved up all their cinematic “tricks” and used them all in this film. Years later Francis Ford Coppola emulated similar techniques in his film adaption  of S.E. Hinton's Rumblefish—a film I painstakingly repeatedly analyzed frame by frame over a 3 month period.

In March the Toronto sky is purer than any other time of the year. The unyielding opulence of the winter sky hold the promise of dramatic black and white images. Perhaps more Salvador Dali than Welles or Coppola, nevertheless, I find the resulting image striking, if not surreal. Technical note: Had I my tripod, I may have been able to introduce focus stacking in order to render both the foreground and the background in focus a cinematic technique known as deep focus.

April 6, 2019

SONY ALPHA a7r MANUAL F4.5  28mm ISO 80 

Sony 28-70mm F3.5

 

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Enercare Centre

Toronto, Ontario 2018

“It’s all very different in the fall. The shorter hours, the pixies of light. After the long summer, day turns to night more easily, and without argument from the sun.”

The day began balmy, but didn’t last. I had just shot the Prince’s Gates, and the temperature continued to fall. I got off my bike to gain a better vantage point. I focused on the leading lines, and the glass, and the darkness of the season, and waited for winter.

October 18, 2018

 

Sony Cyber-Shot  1/1000sec  3.5 100 ISO

 

Kew Beach Fire Station

Kew Beach Fire Station (Looking East)

Toronto, Ontario 2019

 

July 20, 2018

SONY a7r AUTOMATIC  1/60 ISO 125 56 mm

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm F/5.0 OSS handheld

 

Hospital For Sick Kids

The Peter Gilgan Centre (Hospital for Sick Kids)

Toronto, Ontario 2019

And then there is the refuge that tends to some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

 

Please click here to discover ways to donate.

​June 22, 2018

SONY a7r AUTOMATIC  F/4.0 ISO 100 28 MM

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

 

Toronto Urban Landscape

Spring Light (One for the Angels)

Toronto, Ontario 2019

In an episode of the Twilight Zone, an elderly salesman agrees to accompany Death but only after the salesman is allowed to make one last sale, one for the angels he calls it. Attempting to cheat Death, the salesman reneges swearing never sell again. That night, a little girl is struck by a car. On his way to retrieve the girl, Death is intercepted by the salesman who knows if he can distract Death long enough, he would miss his opportunity to take the girl. The salesman opens his briefcase and begins to sell, pitching everything he can until he delays Death long enough to allow the little girl to live. The irony is the salesman has now given the pitch of a lifetime, the very thing he had vowed to avoid. Death accompanies him peacefully into the night.

​The skies in Toronto are the deepest blue in early spring. In black and white photography the deeper the blue, the more dramatic the sky. Sundown, the brick radiated with light against the backdrop of the sky. One of those rare occasions I knew the image would be presented exactly the way I had envisioned it  as I looked up the length of this 20-story residential building in High Park. In many ways a beautiful gift bestowed upon me so early in the photography season. As the lines disappear into the sky, I couldn’t help but think this was one for the angels.

​April 22, 2019

SONY a7r AUTOMATIC  F/14 ISO64 28 MM

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

 

Spring Twilight, High Park

Spring Twilight, High Park

Toronto, Ontario 2019

As a young child, I remember fearing the dark. As a photographer you never quite outgrow that fear, the feeling that as night approaches you will miss out on something, and that something beautiful and fleeting will be eclipsed. It's the same feeling you have watching the first snow falling on the garden you had planted months ago—beautiful and sad.

April 22, 2019

SONY a7r AUTOMATIC  F/14 ISO64 28 MM

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

 

Landscape Light

Landscape Light

Toronto, Ontario 2019

In 1984, I discovered Canada, and have never looked back. Where my friends have tales of distant places and lands, my stories and photos have always been of my home. Canada is so vast, so beautiful that when I first stood before the Rocky Mountains I wanted no place else. Over 30 years  later, Canada still remains my first love. Even here in Toronto the commingling of artificial and natural light stands me in awe.

This is my second attempt to capture the mood of this simple landscape lighting. The first attempt was at dusk, exploring a long exposure with my new travel tripod. Although the background rendered perfectly, the glow from the light fixture was blown out. In this second attempt, I shot well before sundown when I was able to expose for the background. I then took a second photo exposing for only the light fixture. I combined the two images in Photoshop to create what used to be called a "negative sandwich", allowing me to maintain detail in both the background as well as the light fixture.  

May 7, 2019

SONY a7r AUTOMATIC  F/13 ISO64 29 MM

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church

Our Lady Of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church

Toronto, Ontario 2019

Most of my Saturday was spent in anticipation of returning  to the church I had seen the previous week, fascinated by the circular window embedded into the building's façade. I had seen this church many times over the years, but never before at dusk in the spring light, which accentuated the textures of both the archway and the glass and concrete window.

June 15, 2019

SONY a7r AUTOMATIC  F/11 ISO64 28 MM

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

Our Lady Of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church

Quis ut Deus?

Toronto, Ontario 2019

One of the first picture books I ever read as a child was given to me by my parents. The only story I can recall is that of an angel, perhaps Michael, casting out the devil from heaven.

On this Saturday evening, I set up my tripod on the concrete steps of the church amidst a light drizzle. The sky darkened as clouds thickened above me, yet it was still too early in the evening to make the photo I had planned for since mid-afternoon. As it was now early evening, I waited for the light to fade, knowing any blue hour would be short-lived.

I took only a few photos of the structure, finally deciding on this image, noting the lines made by the pillars, and the gentle glow above the head of the figure poised with the sword—reminding me of my childhood conversations with God each night before I slept.

June 15, 2019

SONY a7r AUTOMATIC  F/11 ISO64 28 MM

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

 

70-high-park-condo-final-si.jpg

70 High Park, Sunday Evening Light

Toronto, Ontario 2019

And then there is summer, the most luxurious time of the year. Long, warm days, no coats, jackets or gloves required. It is spontaneity at its pinnacle. I hadn’t planned on shooting that evening, but it was a warm Sunday night and I wanted to attempt some evening or blue hour photography. I set off at 8:00 pm while the sun was still in the sky. This was the third or fourth attempt to capture this church turned condominium. My previous attempts had resulted in abstracts, bits, and pieces of a photo broken off or separated into its own image. This photo is the first where all the elements were at last integrated.

The photo is also an example of the combining of two photographs, the first representing the highlights in the photo such as the lights, and the second the mid-tones and shadows. The greatest challenge about this photo was the people who stopped to chat with me while I worked. Years ago when I took landscapes, it was more of a solitary process, while I’m still adjusting to photographing in the city and people’s natural curiosity. That said, I'm always willing to share.

June 30, 2019

SONY a7r AUTOMATIC  F/6.3 ISO50 33MM 1/5 sec

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

 

Toronto Brickworks

Toronto Brick Works

Toronto, Ontario 2019

The Furies, in Greek mythology, were the goddesses of revenge—deities who visited retribution upon those who broke their vows. Recently, the weather cycles have shifted, as if the months have been thrown forward in time—Fall arriving in November, barren Christmases, very different from my childhood of snow forts and homemade ice rinks. It seemed that on this mid-summer afternoon at the Toronto Brickworks, the lone tower became the barometer gauging the elements—a reminder of the changing landscape, and an earth whose climate continues to evolve, and sometimes angrily so. 

June 30, 2019

SONY a7r AUTOMATIC  F/6.3 ISO50 33MM 1/5 sec

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

 

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Our Lady Of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church