Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Monday, March 19, 2018

Digital art - CHUM building demolition

Amazing what you can find when you lurk around with a camera. Yes, I've been back at the CHUM building tear down. Too many opportunities to pass up. Anyway, earlier in the week, I was over at the site testing out apeture settings, f stops etc with the camera. I've never been particularily good (or interested) in poking around with the settings. I've been pretty much a point the camera and hope for the best kind of photographer until now. With the help of a couple decent websites greared to novice photographers, I've started experimenting. 

I've also started looking at stretching the filters and special effects with Photoshop. The hardest part is to stop fussing and leave a shot alone. Here's another I'm happy with:

Photo of CHUM building demolition - tear in wall showing condos across the streetCHUM building tear down  showing condo building across the road.
Yonge St and Jackes Ave Oct 8, 2016



Another Monday - made it out alive and a bit of street art

Pretty much describes Monday, doesn't it - best you can hope for some days is getting to the end of the day without being arrested. 

Photo of wall art - man with top of his head popping off Kudos to the uknown artist. Look for it in Chinatown, Dundas & Spadina in an alley way. 


Among the bees and thistles - bug hunting in the ravine

Can you stand more insect photos? 

Photo of a bee on a thistleChased him for quite a while. Ended up picking thistles out of my shirt. Worth it though. 


Drake couldn't save Honest Ed's - posters in TO

Walking by Honest Ed's on Saturday and had to stop to grab this shot:

Photo of a poster on Honest Ed's walls saying "WHy didn't Drake save Honest Eds"

Honest Ed's was a massive department store, here in Toronto, that was part of the cultural landscape for decades. It feels like every immigrant family I know has a story to share about their first trip there. Everyone knew who Honest Ed was. You couldn't miss the huge side show attraction on the corner of Bloor and Bathurst. But times change, as do shopping tastes. The store closed it's doors last Christmas (2016) and is being redeveloped. It's difficult to explain how big a cultural touchstone Ed's was, but this sign hints at it. The poster is an interesting nod to the importance of Ed's and a bit of cheeky humour at Drake's expense. 

After blowing up the photo I spotted Apologies.Ltd in the corner. Here you go Get the poster on a shirt. 

An afternoon in the ravine - David Balfour Park bugs 'n stuff

Pottered around this afternoon in the ravine behind David Balfour Park. Lots of green and buggy things down there to enjoy. Far too many of the 2 legged creatures today using the paths so no chance of catching any wildlife. Still a nice day, all in all. 

I've decided to save for a better camera in the fall. I'm currently using a Canon PowerShot SX130, which is a pretty decent point and shoot camera, but it's frustrating if I want to set up a close up shot. The macro zoom sucks. I've given up on it. It takes forever to set up close ups and is severely restricted in how close (especially with macro) I can actually get. Second issue is the view screen. I can't see close up very well so it's kind of irritating setting up shots at weird angles because the screen is pretty much a big blur. I'm going to see if a Canon with a swivel view screen is in the budget. Also, the new camera must have a better colour balance - this is a MUST. I find the Powershot, although fun to use, often bleaches out colours. The greens are never quite right and lean more towards a bluish tint, which I'm constantly correcting with Photoshop. A proper DSLR camera will also let me pop filters onto the lens to compensate for intense sunshine. Hopefully cloud cover will come out with more depth. 

I'm thinking of sticking with Canon and hopefully will find one in my bracket. Henry's Cameras usually has a good selection of used DSLR and lenses. I also need read up on f stops. Fussing with it on the PowerShot seems to be a lesson in futility - does bugger all.  It's pretty limited in what it can do. Oh and the biggy on my wish list? Better control over focus. I'm tired of the camera trying to pick the focal point. I end up with more blurry shots than I can count. I'd prefer to be able to manually focus. The Canon PowerShot says it has manual, but it's more a glorified "point and we'll help you focus" kind of focus. Also be nice if the ISO were a bit more sensitive so night photos would actually look decent. Lots of research to do. I'm a bit wobbly with the mechanics of DSLR cameras and the ins and outs of photography. Time to educate myself about fstops and iso settings so I know what I'm actually doing. 

In the meantime, here are a couple of photos from today. 

Photo of a moth on a thistle plant

It took me forever to catch this moth. Well, okay, not forever, but it felt like it. Taking a photograph of these little white moths is like trying to bottle a will-o-wisp. They flit about so quickly, plus my camera really does stink at close ups. Got a lot of great shots of blurry white spots on thistles! Want to see those? 

Read more: An afternoon in the ravine - David Balfour Park bugs 'n stuff

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Catpaw with a pint & a typical bad haircutTime for a new look - the venerable cat on a postage stamp is now retired. As much as I loved him, it was time for a face lift - bad haircut & all. 

"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."

- Albert Camus

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