Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Saturday, April 21, 2018

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

Toronto ravine, Beltline Trail – May 2016 #photography

Toronto Ravine May 2016

I wandered down towards the ravine Saturday afternoon. I’m lucky I live right on the cusp of one of the big green lines that run through the city. Toronto is home to quite a number of ravines, which make for some excellent hiking and biking. If you come to TO as a tourist, it’s something you might want to investigate. You can always drop me a line and I’ll direct you to a few excellent websites about walking them.  The Beltline Trail (my small part of the Ravine) is an impressive swath of nature that cuts for 9km through the heart of Toronto, backing onto the David Balfour Park

It’s early yet, so not a lot of greenery cooking down in the ravine. A couple of bright warm days and that will all change. I took a couple of shots, but the sun was already hiding behind clouds by the time I motivated myself to go take a look. Alas my little smart phone doesn’t do a good job on landscapes, less so on glarey/cloudy days. I’ll have to sit and fuss with it for awhile and see if I can figure out why landscapes look so washed out. HOWEVER … I am the proud owner of NIK filters and I’m not afraid to use them… sometimes I have to smack my hands to stop from going over board.

Read more: Toronto ravine, Beltline Trail – May 2016 #photography

Your week is a true success when you end it by rescuing a #toad

I was up along the nasty stretch of Yonge, just above York Mills this morning. On my way to my appointment I spotted a lone blooming tulip:

Tulip apr 2016 - Toronto

Read more: Your week is a true success when you end it by rescuing a #toad

#NIK filter - Spring crab apple tree

Spring is finally here.  I was out yesterday and noticed the crabapple tree in front of my building had sprouted a healthy showing of leaves.  It was completely bare on Sunday.  It's hard to get a good shot of the tree, there's a boring industrial looking building right behind it. It's a great little tree and with the right filters, it really stands out.  Just glide your mouse over the image to see the original.Spring crabapple 2016

NIK Filter - Silver Efex Pro 2 using Film Noir 2 effect

Illford Pan F paper ISO 50

Silver toning: 70%

Paper tone: 0%

White Frame 2


Yonge Eglinton Centre – concrete GoGo flare & nowhere to sit

I wander all over the city in the course of a week – I pretty much see it all. The other day,  I was cooling my heels up at Yonge and Eglinton, or Young & Eligible as it’s demographically referred to by some. Anyway, the big plaza on the NW corner was under refurbishment for a couple of years. Platforms, coverings, construction for months and months made it look as if the entire concourse was going to have a full facelift. Every time I nipped in I thought wow, wonder what magic they are pulling. Imagine my surprise when it was finally unwrapped to display a barren wasteland that looks like an unwanted GoGo club:

 Inside Eglinton Centre

Unwelcoming and uninviting are two words that come to mind - big, blocky, barren, clinical and not a fricken place to sit!

Read more: Yonge Eglinton Centre – concrete GoGo flare & nowhere to sit

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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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