FINE ART GALLERY V

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church (Colour)

Toronto, Ontario 2019

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

June 15, 2019

SONY a7r AUTOMATIC  F/11 ISO64 28 MM

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

The Junction

While You Were Sleeping II  (The Junction)

Toronto, Ontario 2019

June 13, 2019

SONY a7r AUTOMATIC  F/16 ISO50 34 MM

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

Waiting for a star to fall

"Waiting for a Star to Fall"

Toronto, Ontario

This began as a test for a long exposure, taken just a few feet away from one of my first images. The exposure lasted 20 seconds as the sun set. The original colour image was one of the blue sky at dusk, and the moon’s glow making its way into the mid-summer's night.

 

July 18, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL 20 SECS F/9 ISO50 29 MM

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

k.g. Sambrano Toronto Photograpy

Beneath the Bridge (Lakeshore Blvd.) a.ka. "If a tree falls in the forest..."

Toronto, Ontario

July 20, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL 6 SECS  F/7 ISO50 28MM

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

 

Toronto, Bloor West  Villiage

Neighbourhood Billy

Toronto, Ontario

July 21, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL 1/5 SEC  F/10 ISO50 30MM

SEL Sony FE  ZA 28-70mm

Toronto, urbanlandscape, k.g. Sambrano

Wood and Light

Toronto, Ontario

June 24, 2019

Sony A7R MANUAL 1/15 SEC F/13 ISO64 28MM

SEL SONY ZA 28-70 MM

 

Royal Bank Tower, Toronto

The Day God  Saw Me Crying

Toronto, Ontario, 2019

"When I climbed to the top of Big Bob today, I saw the sky. It was blue with white clouds. When I was really young I thought if I made it to the top, I'd be able to see for miles, maybe all the way to Australia which is supposed to be on the other side of the world. Today when I got to the top I was happy and all, but couldn't see all that far. Then I looked down and it scared me like it did when I used to climb Little Bob with my Dad. When you saw me crying, and you probably did because I was so high you must have seen everything, but it wasn't because I was scared, I was. But it was because I was thinking of the rock and my Mother crying after my dad’s funeral. I know you work in mysterious ways, but do you ever tell us how things are supposed to end?"

 

[Excerpted from "The Day God Saw Me Crying" short story]

August 3, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL .8 SEC F/11 ISO50 19 MM

SONY FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens

Beneath the Bridge | If a Tree Falls in the Forest | k.g. Sambrano

Beneath the Bridge (Lakeshore Blvd.) a.ka. "If a tree falls in the forest.."

Toronto, Ontario

 

July 20, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL 6 SECS  F/7 ISO50 28MM

SEL Sony FE 28-70mm

 

October 12, 2019

2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

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Photography Exhibit, k.g. Sambrano
Go Station Toronto by k.g. Sambrano

GO Station,  After the Evening Rain

Toronto, Ontario 

It was the height of summer. Earlier that afternoon it had begun to pour, a sudden shower that threatened to ruin my evening shoot. But a few minutes later the rain stopped leaving behind what can only be described as the remnants of a summer storm. The resulting conditions were pristine—cloud-filled skies, blue hour ambience and warm, still air.

I had intended to shoot a number of older buildings located on the other side of the train platform, but once I was standing between the two tracks, I turned back to notice the distance I had walked from the entrance, and the leading lines left in my wake. But most of all, I was interested in the open space of the concrete and the unfolding drama of the sky. The excitement of the scene was palpable juxtaposed with the tranquility of this perfect summer evening.

The final image is a combination of three bracketed exposures processed in Aurora HDR to produce a fuller dynamic range, then completed in SilverEfex Pro. I have only recently begun to explore both of these programs that have had a dramatic impact on my final images. The photograph was taken with a high quality and a wider lens than what I usually use, exceeding my expectations of both.

 

August 6, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL 1/6 SEC F/11 ISO50 12 MM

SONY FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens

 

Royal Bank Tower, Toronto

The Day God  Saw Me Crying (Redux)

Toronto, Ontario, 2019

"When I climbed to the top of Big Bob today, I saw the sky. It was blue with white clouds. When I was really young I thought if I made it to the top, I'd be able to see for miles, maybe all the way to Australia which is supposed to be on the other side of the world. Today when I got to the top I was happy and all, but couldn't see all that far. Then I looked down and it scared me like it did when I used to climb Little Bob with my Dad. When you saw me crying, and you probably did because I was so high you must have seen everything, but it wasn't because I was scared, I was. But it was because I was thinking of the rock and my Mother crying after my dad’s funeral. I know you work in mysterious ways, but do you ever tell us how things are supposed to end?"

 

[Excerpted from "The Day God Saw Me Crying" short story.]

August 3, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL .8 SEC F/11 ISO50 19 MM

SONY FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens

 

View from Union Station Stairs

View from Union Station Stairs

Toronto, Ontario

As my style and subject matter continues to evolve, this print represents a conscious effort to leave behind what for the longest time has been a hallmark or “tell” of my work—glass, steel, concrete, sky, and drama. I don’t believe the actual composition to be particularly strong, but the image remains indicative of where I was at a specific place in time and space.

The winter sky was cloudy with patches of blue. Concrete is my favourite texture as it emits a unique glow. I performed almost all my dodging with the radial filter tool found in Lightroom, accentuating the natural light to lead the eye through the image.

February 2, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL 1/100 SEC F/5.6 ISO50 28 MM

SEL Sony FE 28-70mm

Film and Cigarettes 1982 k.g. Sambrano

Ontario Place, 1982 (film)

Toronto, Ontario

Spring of 1982, I took my first colour photograph. My high school photography teacher allowed us off the school property to photograph whatever we pleased—pure heaven for someone like myself who always felt a bit stifled by convention. Printing in colour consisted of loading paper in the dark and using a tray of warm chemicals, and patience. The process, although gratifying, was inherently more tedious than black and white printing.

 

A direct line can be drawn between those early days in the darkroom and the care and patience I exercise with my digital work. I have no issues spending six to eight hours on a single print, only a fraction of the time I used to spend in the darkroom. I received a grade of 75/100 for this print, as my teacher commented on the magenta cast and the need for spotting to be performed by hand.  

 

1982

PENTAX K-1000 Film Camera 50 MM

 

York Street

York Street 7:04 am. Saturday Morning

Toronto, Ontario

Gone are the days of maintaining the colour chemicals within half a degree of their set point, or the pendulum-like rolling of the black cylindrical tube that held the colour paper.

I believe photography in its digital incarnation has seemed to come so naturally to me after a 30-year hiatus, is because I had an excellent foundation having logged hundreds of hours in the darkroom working on fine art prints that averaged two to five days to complete. Patience became my teacher.  

York Street is my latest colour photo, handheld and captured from the middle of the street on a Saturday morning in the height of summer. The colour medium has progressed exponentially since my first colour photo in 1982. I am grateful that I’ve been able to continue pursuing an art form that I have enjoyed since a teenager. 

 

The final image was processed in Aurora HDR to produce a fuller dynamic range, then completed in Lightroom 5 and Photoshop. 

 

August 3, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL .1/125 SEC F/10 ISO50 12 MM

SONY FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens

 

Royal Bank Plaza, k.g. Sambran Photography

York Street 7:04 am. Saturday Morning (Monochrome)

Toronto, Ontario

I believe photography in its digital incarnation has seemed to come so naturally to me after a 30-year hiatus, is because I had an excellent foundation having logged hundreds of hours in the darkroom working on fine art prints that averaged two to five days to complete. Patience became my teacher.  

This York Street handheld and captured from the middle of the street on a Saturday morning in the height of summer. I am grateful that I’ve been able to continue pursuing an art form that I have enjoyed since a teenager. 

 

The final image was processed in DXO Photolabe 2 as an RAW file, then completed in Lightroom 5 and Photoshop. 

 

August 3, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL .1/125 SEC F/10 ISO50 12 MM

SONY FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens

 

Nathan Philips Square

Nathan Phillips Square

Toronto, Ontario

Summer ended quickly on this Friday evening. Nathan Phillips Square was filled with people who gathered on this last day before the Labour Day weekend. Toronto’s city hall is one of the most spectacular and most photographed landmarks that the city offers. I arrived just prior to the blue hour as people passed just beneath my lens.

 

The image was original processed in colour as I continued to work on the concrete and the clouds, and to experiment with different pre-sets. Although “dramatic”, the colours left me with a “postcard” feel so often associated with Toronto monument photographs. Eventually, I came to recognize the image’s potential as a monochrome piece and continued in that direction.

August 30, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL 1/6 SEC F/10 ISO50 70 MM

FE 28-70 mm 3.5-5.6 OSS

Nathan Philips Square, Toronto

Nathan Phillips Square

Toronto, Ontario

August 30, 2019

 

SONY a7r MANUAL 1/13 SEC F/11 ISO50 70MM

FE 28-70 mm 3.5-5.6 OSS

Dusk Leaves, Torontoplantsfinal-1.jpg

Dusk Leaves 

Toronto, Ontario 2019

Dusk Leaves is my first "nature" image since Victoria, British Columbia in 1988. It was the texture and luminance of the leaves contrasted with the rich black tones of the soil that caught my attention in this urban garden. As the evening was unusually breezy, the wind presented one of the technical challenges. I took at least three or four times as many exposures than usual in hopes of capturing an image without the wind’s blur on the leaves. What compounded the "motion" issue was my choice of a small aperture that forced me to shoot at a slow shutter speed. The photo is inspired by Ansel Adams who often concentrated on nature’s natural luminance. I purposely included the lawn lights to illustrate the mixture  of both human-made and natural light on  both organic and manufactured objects.

The image was processed as a RAW file with Aurora HDR that combined three bracketed photos, then Lightroom 5 taking advantage of any relevant pre-sets. The remaining two hours were spent moving the image between Lightroom, and Photoshop for the adjustment curves, dodging, burning and the removal of any visual distractions.   

For anyone interested in the control of light, I highly recommend Adam’s books The Negative, and The Print. I purchased them over 30 years ago, yet they remain intensity relevant to this day.

September 6, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL 1.3 SECS F/14 ISO50 70 MM

FE 28-70 mm 3.5-5.6 OSS

 

Dusk Leaves, Toronto

Dusk Leaves (Colour)

Toronto, Ontario 2019

Dusk Leaves is my first "nature" image since Victoria, British Columbia in 1988. It was the texture and luminance of the leaves contrasted with the rich black tones of the soil that caught my attention in this urban garden. As the evening was unusually breezy, the wind presented one of the technical challenges. I took at least three or four times as many exposures than usual in hopes of capturing an image without the wind’s blur on the leaves. What compounded the "motion" issue was my choice of a small aperture that forced me to shoot at a slow shutter speed. 

The photo is inspired by Ansel Adams who often concentrated on nature’s natural luminance. I purposely included the lawn lights to illustrate the mixture  of both human-made and natural light on  both organic and manufactured objects.


The image was processed as a RAW file with Aurora HDR that combined three bracketed photos, then Lightroom 5 taking advantage of any relevant pre-sets. The remaining two hours were spent moving the image between Lightroom, and Photoshop for the adjustment curves, dodging, burning and the removal of any visual distractions.   

For anyone interested in the control of light, I highly recommend Adams' books The Negative, and The Print. I purchased them over 30 years ago, yet they remain intensity relevant to this day.

September 6, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL 1.3 SECS F/14 ISO50 70 MM

FE 28-70 mm 3.5-5.6 OSS

 

Early Morning Church, Toronto

Early Morning Church

Toronto, Ontario 2019

Alfred Hitchock’s "Frenzy" was a departure from the director’s usual filmic style. Gone were the various techniques he had utilized to separate himself from his peers, focusing instead on the subtle nuances of the medium.

 

The sun rises extremely early in the summer, so early that I almost missed this photograph taken at 5:35 am.  I usually take public transportation to my shoots but this morning I chose my other passion, pedalling through the otherwise desolate streets of High Park, and The Junction. Trafficless, almost sunless, the image was taken without filters, and minimal  processing. The fact the image is colour and remarkably subtle in nature is a marked departure from my usual dramatic/monochrome style.

August 5, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL .5 SECS F/14 ISO50 14 MM

SONY FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens

 

Midnight Sun, Wallace Avenue Pedestrian Bridge

Midnight Sun (Wallace Avenue Pedestrian Bridge)

Toronto, Ontario 2019

Evenings such as this one, don’t come along often—a breezeless night after a summer rain and the tranquility of day’s end. I am fortunate to live in a city diverse both in culture as well as architecture. In 2011 I first climbed to the top of this over one-hundred-year-old  structure that spans the width of the train tracks below. I had tried least a dozen times to capture this subject over the last year. It wasn’t until on my way home, tired from a 3-hour shoot, and crossing the bridge for the second time that evening did I come across this image, as elusive as the proverbial unicorn.

 

Although well past sunset, the natural light had not subsided in the distance. I moved quickly for two reasons; the first being it was 10:30 at night and what little light the sky held was fading. The second, was that I had very little room left on my SD card, and could not take many more exposures without first removing the photos already written to the card. No, that was not going to happen, not on my watch.

 

With my wide-angle lens I set my tripod up quickly, again, in order to maintain the balance between the ever-darkening sky and the glow of the building's lights in the distance. The exposures ranged between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Only now do I remember a number of pedestrians who passed through the shot who were not captured due to the long exposure. Some few minutes later, the sky had darkened, and I had run out of room on my SD card. But even in the near darkness, looking through the viewfinder, I knew I had captured the bridge in a manner that I had never before imagined! This remains one of my favourite images.

 

August 6, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL  Approx. 45 SECS F/4 ISO50 12 MM

SONY FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens

 

RBC Financial Services Centre, Toronto, Ontario

RBC Financial Services Centre

Toronto, Ontario 2019

Toronto on a balmy fall evening is for lovers of the city. With tripod and camera, I walked from Sherbourne Commons to the corner of King and Jarvis streets where I met a man with a dog (Sam), wanderers like myself, and couples in embrace in the quiet melee of the evening. I am rarely up this late but I had spent at least two hours photographing Sherbourne Commons and was on my way home. I could have taken public transportation but there was something magical about the evening. Call me a romantic.

I plunked myself down on the sidewalk across from the building. I had tried several different angles but due to the foliage, this was the only angle that seemed to show the entirety of the building. As it was almost 11:00 pm I had little choice but to shoot at a long exposure that caught the lights from the many cars (look closely you'll find a streetcar!). I debated a long time over whether or not this photo fit into my genre, but I could not resist the architecture of the building. The streaks of light remind me that Toronto, like Canada, is a mix of old and new in its culture, as well as its architecture.

September 21, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL 4 SECS F/22 ISO50 30 MM

FE 28-70 mm 3.5-5.6 OSS

Giorgio Armani, k.g. Sambrano

The Stunt Man

Toronto, Ontario 2019

                    

                      "...And every star in the sky is taking aim at
                           Your eyes like a spotlight"

 

Behind the lens, I’m particularly attracted to beauty regardless of gender. Outside of the Eaton Centre early one Saturday morning, I came across this billboard—the chiselled look of the model juxtaposed with the cologne bottle, and the glow of the walkway below.


Most of my photos take hours to process, including this one which is actually a composite of three additional photos; one Gaussian-blurred layer to create a soft effect, the second layer again blurred but this time brightened in order to create the glow of the light, and finally, the sky from a separate photo. I rarely use composites in my work, but the original sky contained a building and an unattractive sky, that would have relegated this photo to my Dud folder. I decided as the very nature of the photo is somewhat surreal, my previous non-composite rule became only a guideline.


The photo's title is from a film of the same name I saw years ago. I have now contemporized its tagline—"If God could do the tricks we could do...she’d be a happy woman.”

 

On more than one occasion while working in the digital realm I've revelled in the same thought.

July 21, 2018

SONY a7r MANUAL 1/100 SEC F/7.1 ISO100 41 MM

FE 28-70 mm 3.5-5.6 OSS

Étienne Brûlé Park, Torontofinal-two-versions.jpg

Dreamin' You Up (Étienne Brûlé Park)

Toronto, Ontario 2019

August 6, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL  1/200 F/10 ISO100 24 MM

SONY FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens

Spring Shower by k.g. Sambrano High Park Subway

Spring Shower

Toronto, Ontario 2019

​My favourite light is in the winter when there are fewer particles in the air, turning the sky a deep blue. As I usually focus on my writing during the winter months, rarely I do begin shooting again until that first springlike day when my life outside of written words begins. Exiting the subway I noticed the light at the edge of the subway tunnel. I had seen this play of light many times before but always without a camera. I was at last able to document some of my favourite photography elements—steel, brick, and light.

 

This truth is I file this photo under “smash and grab” rather than fine art. No tripod. No real set-up. Only one exposure was taken. The process took about 30 seconds, no doubt on of the quickest image I can remember attempting to capture. Perhaps there's something to be said for living in the Zen—less thought, more instinct. Or perhaps I simply got lucky.

April 4, 2019, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL  1/80 F/14 ISO64 70 MM

FE 28-70 mm 3.5-5.6 OSS

St Vincent De Paul Church, Toronto

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  28mm

Sony 28-70mm F3.5

Wallace Avenue Pedestrian Bridge

Midnight Sun (Wallace Avenue Pedestrian Bridge)

Toronto, Ontario 2019

Evenings such as this one, don’t come along often—a breezeless night after a summer rain and the tranquility of day’s end. I am fortunate to live in a city diverse both in culture as well as architecture. In 2011 I first climbed to the top of this over one-hundred-year-old  structure that spans the width of the train tracks below. I had tried least a dozen times to capture this subject over the last year. It wasn’t until on my way home, tired from a 3-hour shoot, and crossing the bridge for the second time that evening did I come across this image, as elusive as the proverbial unicorn.

 

Although well past sunset, the natural light had not subsided in the distance. I moved quickly for two reasons; the first being it was 10:30 at night and what little light the sky held was fading. The second, was that I had very little room left on my SD card, and could not take many more exposures without first removing the photos already written to the card. No, that was not going to happen, not on my watch.

 

With my wide-angle lens I set my tripod up quickly, again, in order to maintain the balance between the ever-darkening sky and the glow of the building's lights in the distance. The exposures ranged between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Only now do I remember a number of pedestrians who passed through the shot who were not captured due to the long exposure. Some few minutes later, the sky had darkened, and I had run out of room on my SD card. But even in the near darkness, looking through the viewfinder, I knew I had captured the bridge in a manner that I had never before imagined! This remains one of my favourite images.

 

August 6, 2019

SONY a7r MANUAL  Approx. 45 SECS F/4 ISO50 12 MM

SONY FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens

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