FINE ART GALLERY III

Royal Bank Plaza Toronto

Royal Bank Plaza, North and South Tower

Toronto, Ontario 2018

The south and north towers of the Royal Bank Plaza stand like sentinels among Toronto’s financial district. On sunny days the city below is showered with golden reflections from the buildings' gold-plated windows. The tallest tower is no less than 180 metres (590 feet) tall.

After a long day of shooting, this was my final photo, unplanned, and taken on my way home. Ironically, this sepia-toned image remains one of my most iconic photos of the day, and most likely the summer.

September 15, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r AUTOMATIC  1/160 F2.4  ISO1600 

ZEISS Batis 18mm F2.8

 

Royal Bank Plaza Toronto

Royal Bank Plaza, South Tower

Toronto, Ontario 2018

It was John Christopher’s novel The City of Gold and Lead that spirited me to a different time and place, and here I remain. Of all the books I read as a child, his young adult trilogy remains the most memorable.

I had given very little thought to photographing the Royal Bank Plaza until it stood before me as I returned from a photo shoot. 41 stories tall, during the day the south tower sparkles with its gold-plated windows, that evening—lit only by headlights, cellphones and the ambient glow of Toronto's busy metropolis.

 

September 15, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r AUTOMATIC  1/160 F4 ISO 1600

ZEISS Batis 18mm F2.8

 

Humber Bay Arch Bridge

Humber Bay Arch Bridge

Toronto, Ontario 2018

Colour does not come naturally to me after having studied images through a “monochrome” lens for the last 30 years. I had woken up early on this September morning to revisit the bridge I had photographed the week prior. Somewhat disappointed with the results, I returned believing there was more…much much more to capture. As the sun rose, I turned my camera towards the sky believing the weather conditions were favourable, returning home only to be disappointed once again. 

I was about to abandon these series of shots but noted the composition was nonetheless strong, and the images extremely sharp as a result of the Zeiss Batis 18 mm lens. As a last-ditch effort, I sought to experiment with the original colour versions, resulting in the final image.

 

September 16, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r 1/30 F10 ISO 125 

ZEISS Batis 18mm F2.8

 

Humber Bay Arch Bridge

Golden Hour, Humber Bay Arch Bridge

Toronto, Ontario 2018

Only my third colour photograph in 30 years. I’d heard that many photographers shoot for colour, and if unsuccessful, convert their images to black and white. On this September morning, the same seemed to work for me, only in reverse.

 

September 15, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r 1/40 F9 ISO 80 

ZEISS Batis 18mm F2.8

 

Humber Bay Bridge Toronto

Golden Hour, Humber Bay Arch Bridge 

Toronto, Ontario 2018

This is the black and white version of a previously captured image of the blue hour, as it turned to sunrise.

 

September 15, 2018

 

SONY ALPHA a7r 1/40 F9 ISO 80 

ZEISS Batis 18mm F2.8

 

Humber Bay Arch Bridge

Humber Bay Arch Bridge/Palace Pier

Toronto, Ontario 2018

This is the third and final colour photo of the Humber Bay Arch Bridge series, taken shortly after the morning sun displaced the blue hour. I had crossed this bridge so many times, each time noting Palace Pier in the distance, but I must admit it was extremely satisfying being able to capture both these familiar structures in a unique juxtaposition.

 

September 15, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r 1/30 F9 ISO 125 

ZEISS Batis 18mm F2.8

 

Humber Bay Arch Bridge

Humber Bay Arch Bridge/Palace Pier

Toronto, Ontario 2018

This is the black and white version of a previous photo of the Humber Bay Arch Bridge taken shortly after sunrise. I had crossed this bridge so many times, each time noting Palace Pier in the distance, but I must admit it was extremely satisfying being able to capture both these familiar structures in a unique juxtaposition. It's as if the four years I spent at film school, including viewing Coppola's Rumble Fish over 30 times, and Welles' Citizen Kane, seemed to pay off in this one-thirtieth of a second.

 

September 15, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r 1/30 F/9 ISO 125 

ZEISS Batis 18mm F2.8

 

Humber Bay Arch Bridge
Underpass Toronto

Underpass 6:34 am

Toronto, Ontario 2018

Although Toronto hosts a plethora of concrete, glass and steel, it is balanced by a waterfront spanning the length of the city. This is the concrete underpass I ventured below on my way to the beach to photograph the Humber Bay Arch Bridge before sun up.

The simple irony of this image is that I had planned this photo as a colour image, only the second in 30 years. But once processed, the image was more powerful in black and white, while the remainder of the photos taken that morning as monochrome images, resulted in a mini-colour gallery. Funny thing, life.

 

September 15, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r AUTOMATIC  1/30 F2.8 ISO 6400 

ZEISS Batis 18mm F2.8

 

Union Station k.g. Sambrano

Union Station, Interior Arch

Toronto, Ontario 2018

Although I have lived in Toronto my entire life, it has taken decades for me to call Toronto home. Over the last year, I’ve noted much of the cities beauty lies in the unnoticed moments—the glow of the blue hour before an October morning or the exquisite architecture often lost in the metronome of a modern metropolis.

I was merely passing through, one of the 200,000 passengers that do so daily. Using my 18 mm lens I focused on the centre of the image, trying to include the window that highlighted the brickwork and the many natural lines folding into an arch

September 15, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r F4 ISO 80 

ZEISS Batis 18mm F2.8

 

Train Museum k.g. Sambrano

Train Museum

Toronto, Ontario 2018

The presence of a number of full-sized locomotives stationed in a lot in downtown Toronto, surprised and fascinated me the first time I passed the Train Museum. I returned on two separate occasions, each time with my camera. The museum is a carefully articulated adventure through Canadian history and the story of how thousands of feet of iron, barely a yard wide, united the second largest landmass in the world. Bathed by the afternoon sun, the locomotives reminds me of a time long after we could walk, but well before Lindbergh and Earhart took to the skies.

September 15, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r F10 ISO 80 

ZEISS Batis 18mm F2.8

 

Daniels Building

Daniels Building (Colour)

Toronto, Ontario 2018

The Daniels Building has a little known history as the Spadina Military Hospital where legendary aviatrix Amelia Earhart, worked as a nurse's aid during World War I. Needless to say, I had fallen in love with this building ever since hearing of its history while I researched a writing project some years ago. 

On this evening, I had  taken a number of preliminary photos from a distance, and now continued to move closer. It was difficult capturing such an enormous and yet, decorative building even with my 16-35mm lens. In October the sun moves moves quickly into the horizon, and without a tripod, I knew I only had minutes to capture the sharpness, as well as the allure of the setting sun on the brick that I desired. I painstakingly watched the numbers in my viewfinder move up and down as I scrambled to balance the correct ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Perhaps for me this photo has a special significance as the building's spires seem to gesture to the sky—the unknown, and the fate of the world’s most famous aviatrix.

October 5, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r 1/30 F10 ISO 100

Sony ZA 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T* OSS

Daniels Building

Daniels Building

Toronto, Ontario 2018

This is the near identical image of  a photo I had previously produced in colour. I find the occasional colour image to be pleasing, and provides for a change of pace, but ultimately I remain pulled towards the creative latitude and drama of black and white.
 

October 5, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r 1/30 F10 ISO 100

Sony ZA 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T* OSS

 

Daniels Building

Daniels Building

Toronto, Ontario 2018

As I’ve often remarked, the city of Toronto is one of hidden treasures. Its vastness can often obscure the most simple of its beauties such as the Daniels Building. This photo captured just before dark, illustrates the presence of this structure as it continues to dominate the skyline just north of College street, over a century after the building's first appearance.

 

October 5, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r  1/30 F4 ISO 100  16MM

Sony ZA 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T* OSS

 

Yonge and Bloor

Overcast

Toronto, Ontario 2018

Daybreak

October 8, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r  1/250 F18 ISO 200  16MM

Sony ZA 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T* OSS

 

Davisville Subway station

Davisville Subway Station 12:22 am

Toronto, Ontario 2018

The Toronto subway at night is a magnificent mixture of light, and glass and steel, and at times, even colour. I was returning from a friend's house late one Sunday night when I walked down the subway stairs to this image. Initially, it was the leading lines that caught my attention. Once I returned home, I began to recognize its potential as a colour photo, especially the glow of the yellow strips, and the overhead lighting, rendering a stunning light show.

Like all my photos, a great deal of post-production was involved accentuating the natural colours of the image, including dodging the yellow strips, and the surrounding walls in the image.

October 8, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r  F4 ISO 100  16MM

Sony ZA 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T* OSS

 

Davisville Station Black and White

Davisville Subway Station 12:22 am

Toronto, Ontario 2018

On this mild October night I found myself alone in the subway, a rarity in a city of three-million people. Davisville subway is one of a handful of outside stations, balmy and beautiful in the summer and fall months, cold in the winter. I have a dear friend who lives in the country, and we often speak of the differences in our lives, our life choices, even where we have chosen to live. I don't believe he could ever imagine the ethereal feel of a solitary subway platform. That night while the usual passengers either slept or huddled about the bars, or had chosen to walk beneath the city’s spectacular lights, the word tranquility seemed to best describe this moment. Simple tranquility.

October 8, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r    F4 ISO 64  16MM

Sony ZA 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T* OSS

 

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Davisville Subway Station 12:22 am

Toronto, Ontario 2018

The third variation of the same photograph of the Davisville subway at night.

 

October 8, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r    F4 ISO 64  16MM

Sony ZA 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T* OSS

 

Toronto Conservatory of Music k.g. Sambrano

The Royal Conservatory of Music I

Toronto, Ontario 2018

“Don’t wait for it to happen. Don’t even want it to happen. Just watch what does happen.”
                                                                              The Untouchables

 

While a film student in the 80’s, an artist friend gave me a book, The Zen of Seeing. Since then Zen has become popularized to the point where its original meaning seems to have become lost in popular culture. Recalling my brief stay at the Zen Buddhist Temple, I know that sometimes I look, and at other times I see— the two are not synonymous. Often I'm able to uncover the “figurine within the rock” by simply tinkering, mindlessly, not waiting for it to happen, but rather watching what does happen. This detail of the doorway is such an example.

My goal in almost every photo is to convey what Ansel Adams called an "impression of light". This has been my philosophy since  my earlier landscape work using film, particularly the front cover of my second book of poetry, Abbotsford Station, for which I supplied the artwork. The digital age has allowed for a fuller expression of this philosophy. My tools now include a 2003 version of Photoshop, and recently, a 2011 version of Lightroom—no presets or plug-ins, although I do look forward to upgrading my computer system and software to take full advantage of the digital age. That said, please visit GALLERY ONE where I used a $119.00 camera and 15 year old software. I work with what ever I have available to me.
 

October 7, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r    F4 ISO 160  16MM

Sony ZA 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T* OSS

 

The Royal Conservatory of Music II

Edition size:  25 photographs signed and numbered by the artist. Available in various sizes on paper or canvas.

The Royal Conservatory of Music II

Toronto, Ontario 2018

In some respects, I’ve not adapted very successfully to the digital age. I’m still of the mindset that I have only a limited amount of shots, and so I’m very particular even though, unlike film, I literally have thousands of exposures at my fingertips. As an older building, the orange brick and the concave patterns caught my eye. The final photo is only one of four photos of the exterior captured that day. Ironically, I overlooked this photo for weeks until one Saturday night as I meandered through the week’s images.

Over the past year, I've made many striking photos beneath an overcast sky, as the diffuse light allows for greater control over the image. In this case, I concentrated on the subtlety of luminescence that  is often taken from granted.

October 7, 2018

SONY ALPHA a7r    F4 ISO 50 18MM

Sony ZA 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T* OSS

 

Princes' Gate Toront

The Princes' Gate

Toronto, Ontario 2018

This October afternoon was unseasonably cold as I cycled through the empty fair grounds. Each summer, millions of people attend the Canadian National Exhibition. After Labour Day, but for the a few buildings that hold indoor events, all that remains is the emptiness of a small-sized town seemingly abandoned to the cold.

The image of the Princes' Gate was taken with my Sony Cyber-shot "point and shoot", and on this day, the only camera I could fit into my fanny-pack. I began the post-production process focusing on the glow from the silver posts in the foreground, as often I will key off of one particular element of an image as a starting point. In this case I was fortunate enough to have the entire length of the stone entrance in which to continue that sense of drama. As a final edit, I  applied a gradient filter to the sky’s left in order to capture the detail in the clouds. I don't usually include the sky on such dark days, but lately I've been experimenting more. Having now been photographing urban landscapes for almost eight months, my goal remains the same—to capture the natural beauty of light on human made structures.

October 19, 2018

SONY DSC-W800 ISO 100 F32 1/500 Handheld 20 megapixel camera

 

Prince's Gate and Man

The Princes' Gate and Man

Toronto, Ontario 2018

Like a comma in a sentence, one simple element can change the the meaning of a thought. I did not want the man included in the photo, but as the weather was becoming bitterly cold, I snapped what shots I could, confident I would simply remove anyone I wished in post production. Ironically, most believe I had inserted the man digitally, but the opposite is true. The man is removed in the first version of this image, hence, the difference between urbanlandscape and surrealism, both of which I enjoy.
 

October 19, 2018

SONY DSC-W800 ISO 100 F32 1/500 Handheld 20 megapixel camera

 

park-2.dogesharpen.jpg

October

Toronto, Ontario 2018

When fall arrived this year, so did the dark skies, more so than any other October in recent memory. The temperature dropped, the air turned to a white mist, and what normally would be a slow wind down of the summer, became an abrupt stop, and with it—some of Toronto's most picturesque images of its architecture.
 

October 24, 2018

SONY DSC-W800 ISO 100 F6.4 1/250 Handheld 20 megapixel camera

 

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Dundas Square (Snapshot)

Toronto, Ontario 2018

Front Street  Toronto

October Sky (Last photo of the season)

Toronto, Ontario 2018

From the tops of the buildings on Front Street I can only imagine the railway tracks and bridges must look like runways. The plethora of dark steel a reminder of when Toronto moved almost exclusively by trains that dissected the downtown core.

 

Even now footbridges span the width of the tracks below like barriers cordoning off the various sections of the city, from old to new. But this photo isn’t so much about the perpetual clang of metal on metal, but rather the bridges that hover above the past.

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