Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Sunday, April 22, 2018

New Canon camera tested on some construction equipment

I've aquired, through a swap in services, a nifty Canon Powershot SX130. I've been screwing around with it for the last 24 hrs, to the point of not getting much else done.  Best part about it is the sharp, crisp images. I love my little Acer smartphone but the camera is the weakest link. Quite frankly, Acer could have done far better. It's ok ... but you need nearly pristine conditions or the edges seem weak and at times pixelated.  So yesterday, I went out and lurked with the Canon, taking some of the same basic shots previously taken with the Acer. My,  what a difference. Stronger colours, spot on contrasts and much better definition.

To be fair, the Acer phone is exactly what it claims to be - a budget smartphone with a reasonably decent camera. I suspect you will be flooded with all sorts of photos in the coming weeks as I test the Canon. While I was flipping through the photos I took over the last day, I've begun to see new possibilities for digital fun - things that were impossible with the smart phone. For one thing, the Canon works with a far higher resolution, offering more to work with - double the dimensions and resolution. That's excellent. Already I'm happier with the basic output.

The other thing that has begun to amuse me is my utter fascination with the deconstruction of the CHUM building across the road. I've been madly taking photos of each stage, watching it slowly disappear. Now with the better camera, I've been able to get some decent close ups from my balcony, looking down. Wish I could get into the site to take more photos, but I'll have to stay on the sidelines. Whoever put the fencing up knew what they were doing and it's rock solid. Yea, I tried... well done fencing.

Here's one of the photos I took with the zoom. I've been screwing around with saturation and layers again and got a bit carried away - not the best I've done.  I'll have to back up and fix it. The point of the exercise was to see how well the photo stood up to poking it with a large Adobe stick. The resolution on previous photos was never strong enough to handle a lot of adjustments. So, all in all, I'm ... thrilled.

Photo of machinery at the CHUM teardown - Toronto

There's something about the tear down that makes me think of construction as art. No idea why. But it has been haunting watching the building disappear by inches.  

Digital art Motion Project #4 - pedestrian path on Yonge

I have a couple of "regular" photos to post later, not much outstanding though. Caught some good wall art, just deciding which ones I like the best. In the meantime, here's #4 in the Motion series:

Digital art project #4 - Pedestrial pathway along Yonge St

Pedestrian Pathway on Yonge St.  - Sept 20, 2016

The sidewalk, running on the east side of Yonge by Jackes, was cut in half to make room for demolition work on the other side of the walk way. I have a couple of neat photos coming from the other end, highlighting the posters that were slapped up before the ubiquitous NO BILLS signs were posted, that I'll work on as at a later date. When I walk through this space, I'm impressed each time by the amount of work that went into riveting everything into place. It's better built than some of the condos that have been thrown up. 

Digital art Motion Project #2- Pleasant Blvd St. Clair subway

I was flipping through about 40 photos that I took today, looking for ... the one. That shot that has the right shadows & contrast that begged for attention. I tossed over half the photos for a variety of reasons. They were either too bland or lacked a key element that drew the eye to it. Usually nothing stands out. Then once in awhile I get this: Digital art Motion Project #2 - Pleasant Blvd

 Pleasant Blvd, facing Yonge Street, in front of the St. Clair Subway exit. 
Sept. 22 2016.

Something about the way the light was bouncing off the buildings and that perfect blue sky. I liked the way the two buildings produce a curious optical illusion and look like they are tilting away from each other. The condo (The Clairmont at 1430 Yonge Street) at the end of the shot is an example of a better design. When it went up, it complimented the neigbourhood, rather than standing over it like some unholy carbuncle.

Digital art Motion Project #3 - G'bye CHUM building

For 4 decades CHUM radio in Toronto sat on the corner of Yonge and Jackes Street, sending out a signal all over Ontario. At one time, CHUM was THE station everyone listened to. The building itself was an ugly little squat, 2 story building, I nicknamed "the bunker" - not much to see. CHUM was sold to CTVglobemedia and operations were shipped down to their Richmond Street location. The new owners sold the property off to condo developers for $21.5 million who laid out plans to demolish the red brick bunker and erect an 11 story condo. I don't think anyone is misty eyed over the demo. Anything would be an improvement.

This week demolition began and the CHUM building is rapidly vanishing. It's all fenced off, so hard to get near, but yesterday the fencing was left open and I was able to grab a few shots to work with. I have a number from my balcony, kind of an awe inspiring view of the demo job, but not sure they are going to work out as far as digital art is concerned. I might just throw them up as is for the nostalgia fans. I snagged one great shot out of about 50 taken. It turned into a beautiful piece of industrial art work:

Digital art - G'bye CHUM. The demolition of the CHUM building

Goodbye CHUM - demolition of the CHUM building on Yonge Street
Sept 23 2016


Digital art #1 - Berczy Pk renovations Toronto, Ontario

I'm working on a digital art series about street scenes in Toronto highlighting everyday life.  Kind of like street motions with a bit of digital artwork blended in. The first one, I'm still working on. I might rework it with a new style I'm happier with one. So ... this is No 1 in the series:

Berzcy Park, downtown Toronto, Ontario - digital art

Berzcy Park Under Construction

Berzcy Park at Wellington and Front, Toronto, Ontario
Sept. 16, 2016

The park is undergoing a renewal and I've looked at it over the past few months wondering what to do with a shot of it under construction.  Well, on Friday, while wandering past on the way to a job an idea hit me. NIK few filters that make saturation pop, but I could control which areas I want to highlight. Then run it through a few filters, blending and adjustments and bingo: construction as digital art, so to say. Something about the iconic Flatiron building with the cement truck tweaked my attention. I'm happy with this. It's now my desktop background.  If you want a larger version, pop me a line and I'll load one up for you.

Look for more to come. I'm slow in doing them, it takes a lot of trial compositions before I'm happy with the texture and feel.




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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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