Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Something a little different - poster for the website

Experimenting with something a little different this week.  I want a create a poster to promote the website. It's an interesting excercise, if for no other reason to create a sense of focus about the website's mood. Parts of the poster design will hopefully be incorporated into a basic web redesign sometime this summer. 

What I have discovered is I REALLY, REALLY like cityscapes. After combing through my photo archives, I realised how often I take photos of buildings.  I've gone back to some buildings a number of times over the years to capture different angles.  It's been illuminating.  Second thing is how much I like urban and industrial design. No, not the wretched concrete boxes that are often mistaken for design. I'm talking about metals, gears, wheels and factories. I take photos of the most unlikely things, including rusted hinges, patches of interesting metal or cracked brickwork and layer them underneath urban scenes. You don't get to see much of it because I often toss the work into a big folder titled "experiments" and move on.

I also seem to like rust. Yes, rust as in the stuff you scrap off metal. Rust offers up so many textures to play with, it's unbelievable.  Oh and shades of brown. No idea why, I just like brown. It's quite hard to move away from it. So I let myself go with the poster and pulled together a few of my favourite things: rust, skylines, night shots, clean simple fonts, space and the colour brown: Poster for Bitter Grounds Magazine 

My first poster draft had coffee beans in it. While looking at it, I figured they weren't necessary - this site isn't about coffee or even espresso so why have a coffee bean on the page? I eventually settled on this cityview. I used a companion photo taken in 2010 on a brochure for someone last year and decided to see if I could transform it into something completely different.  It's a view of Yonge Street from my balcony on an april evening around 11pm. I must have stood out there taking photo after photo that chilly night.  I layered another photo of a spot of rust underneath, then on a brown layer to give it the right feel.

Read more: Something a little different - poster for the website

Last shot of May - Ivy covered building in downtown Toronto

I never know when I'll see something that makes me want to stop and take a photo.  Today, trotting along the hall of a building near St Lawrence Market, I saw one.  I pass by this window quite often and I love the building. I take the back route specifically to stop and admire it.  Taking a photo through a window is tricky - glare, rain spots, dirt all conspire to turn a potentially great photo into a crap shot.  But today ... oh today was different:

 Photo: Ivy covered building near St. Lawrence Centre Toronto


Read more: Last shot of May - Ivy covered building in downtown Toronto

Spring in #Toronto - a riot of green & colour

Spring in Toronto brings a riot of colour. After the relentless dull grey of winter, everything seems so bright:

 Riot of Colour May blossoms in Toronto 2016

I picked photos I took the last 5 days that needed no adjustment.

Read more: Spring in #Toronto - a riot of green & colour

Chestnut trees in full bloom - David Balfour Park 2016 #Toronto

Chestnut tree blossoms David Balfour Park - Toronto 2016

I was cutting through the park today on my way to pick up a bag of espresso beans and stopped to admire the chestnut trees in full bloom today.  We're lucky, the David Balfour park has a number of them, in good health, including these two:

Read more: Chestnut trees in full bloom - David Balfour Park 2016 #Toronto

Spring flowers on St. Clair Ave Toronto – Timothy Eaton Church

See, I told you all we needed were a couple of bright sunny days and the blooms would be in overdrive:

Lilac May 2016 in Toronto

On a good day, when I spend time fussing with settings, my little smartphone does an admirable job of taking snaps. About the only thing I did to any of these photos was a bit of cropping and reducing the size for the web. I used OneShot app and tweaked the settings for sunshine, macro and white balance to avoid the white washed effect that often happens. After pissing about I found I could grab both bright flower colours and the brilliant blue sky.

Read more: Spring flowers on St. Clair Ave Toronto – Timothy Eaton Church

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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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