Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Self portrait? Me and the graffiti

Nice day to wander about with a camera. No rain, for a change.  Was down on Bloor and Bathurst taking a few shots - it's one of my favourite areas to lurk because it's always busy. I was standing outside Honest Ed's (former discount department store, now vacant) looking at all the graffitti that has proliferated. CIties are quirky creatures - they seem to abhore a blank canvas. Leave something long enough and it will be filled.

Some of the graffiti was imaginative; the wall art is spectacular in spots. And then you have the garden variety idiot with a spray can and zero talent. Those are the ones who tag the windows. While standing in front of one of the large windows, I thought the reflection would make a great non-standard selfie. I actually loath selfies for a variety of reasons. I do enjoy self portraits - shots that speak about the neighbourhood and person taking it. When I was standing there looking at the window, graffitti and people striding by, I was struck by how the image captures the empty building. So, I grabbed a couple of shots. When I sat down for a coffee to look over the photos, I ran one through a couple of basic routines - saturation, contrast, increasing shadows yada yada yada and here it is: Photo of graffitti on window - self portrait

Motion Project - Self Portrait of an Urban Scribbler July 07 2017 Bathurst and Bloor, Toronto. Originally meant the scribbler tag to mean me, but after looking at the tagging, it seems to have a double meaning. I'm including it in the Motion Project because it has a kinetic feel to it and fits with what I think of as a city in motion. Kind of cool shot.

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More intriguing reflections on Toronto architecture

Still going through the mass of photos I took about 2 weeks back. I've discarded nearly half. But found a few that are intriguing. If you stand in the right spot, on Dundas and Yonge (in Toronto), you can see some stunning optical illusions. With the right mix of cloud cover and sun, the reflections off the mirrored buildings can present a dizzying appearance.

Photo of buildings on corner of Yonge and Dundas Toronto with a mirrored effect

It's difficult to tell where the actual corner of the building starts because of the intense optical mind games.  The ladder reflections are from the building on the right. The part that's cool is the section with the red circle. It's from the same building, but a south facing wall, not west. Oh, and that panel is also south facing. Bend your brain around those optics for a second.

The photo would have benefited from a decent lens filter, but the camera I own doesn't allow for them. I've put a new SLR camera on my wish list for next year. But in the meantime, this little Canon does a great job and is fun to use. I'll be posting a few more shots in the next day or two. My work schedule suddenly became far less irrational and I have a bit of time to potter again.

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Guess what I found? ... oh and a random photo from my archives

HA! I found it! Found my missing Wacom tablet and am so relieved I didn't stupidly toss it out when I moved. Spent nearly a month moaning and complaining about losing it, only to find the tablet tucked into a side slot of a table. Why I put it there is a mystery, but there you have it. 

So, to celebrate finding the Wacom, I'm going to post ... an old photo from a vacation to the UK. Nothing to do with tablet art, sorry. Had to get a new laptop on the weekend, my venerable HP simply decided to stop cooperating. After 4 years of hard use, I suppose it deserved retirement. I've spent the last week tweaking and playing with the new computer and finally got around to setting up the Wacom the other day. Tested it in Photoshop but, that's as far as I've gotten because I'm too busy playing to actually work. Have to say, the dedicated Nvidia card really makes Photoshop sing.

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Read more: Guess what I found?... oh and a random photo from my archives

Photographing clouds east on Dundas at the foot of Old City Hall

Padded around Old City Hall today, looking for interesting shots. Got some good contrasting images of old buildings and the shiny skyscrappers. This shot is one of the best of the day:

Photo of clouds reflected on side of skyscrapper near Old City hall in Toronto

This is on the north side of Dundas, standing at the front steps leading into Old City Hall. Looking east towards the Eaton's Centre and The Bay.  The sun and clouds were perfect for catching reflections and I took nearly 50 photos. Not all are worth keeping, but after scanning through them, I think there are about 8 or 9 worth working with.  I'll post them over the next few days as I finish sorting them out.

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Spring blossoms in Toronto

One nice thing about padding around the neighbourhood - there's never a lack of beauty.

Photo of blossoms on a tree April 2017 Yonge and St Clair area Toronto

 

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"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."

- Dorothea Lange

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