Toronto skyline & a bit of Photoshop fudging

Toronto skyline & a bit of Photoshop fudging

Not a clue how I managed to create this:
Photo showing north skyline @ Yonge and St. Clair looking west Toronto

It’s a view from my balcony – north skyline of Toronto, last summer. I fussed with it a bit off and on during the winter, trying this and that. Problem is, I wasn’t keeping any notes on what I’d done. I simply created it, saved a copy and moved on. I found it while culling photos and thought “cool”. I like it but for the life of me can’t figure out everything I did. I vaguely remember using it to experiment with saturation and highlights. I enjoy tweaking saturation for a specific effect to draw the viewer’s eyes to a feature I’m interested in.  I also remember thinking St. Mike’s cemetery should standout. It’s one of the oldest cemeteries in Toronto, surrounded by highrises and condos. Not a lot of people realise it’s nestled where it is.

I think I was trying to make some of the architectural features pop out as well. I’m endlessly fascinated with how highrise buildings change neigbourhoods and how simple design elements can radically change the view. To the left of the photo, the blue building (not that bue in real life), has a cool pattern that shows up if you adjust the highlights a bit. I’ve noticed that in a couple photos. I suspect that was the intent behind this work – trying to make the balconies and windows reveal their patterns.

Kind of cool. It’s now my desktop background. I do have notes on what Photoshop elements I was experimenting with around Christmas so maybe that will clue me into what I did.

A little something for my construction fans – VIDEO of an auger in action

At one point last week, I realised not many of my readers will have actually stopped and watched the big augers in action.  So, I went out just before Christmas and stood in the COLD taking a couple of short videos. You’re welcome. I loaded them up on Youtube Christmas day but was too tired to do anything with them.

The company doing the work is Rumble Foundations out of Mississauga. That’s all they do – foundations for big builds. I was poking around their website and figured they are putting caissons in. If I’m wrong, please correct me. I’d be happy to be educated on the process. They’ve done a lot of the big jobs here in Toronto, but this is the first time I’ve paid attention to what they are doing. I have to say, I really expected this work to be far noisier. I’m sure it will get pretty loud at one point during the build, but the augers themselves are surprisingly muted.

Here’s the first one:

This one is better – they were drilling near the entrance and I was able to catch a great video of them dumping the dirt off the auger itself.

I enjoy watching this one. It’s fun to watch the auger spin in reverse and throws all the dirt off. It’s like watching a dirt vortex whirling about. I’m not sure if that means I’m a complete and utter geek or I desperately need to get out more. Anyway, come back in a day or two and I’ll post some excellent photos of what happens when they drill down into rock. It was illuminating and amusing.

Most of the noise on the first video is the sound of the wind. When I went out the second time, there was zero wind and let’s you hear, up close, the noise, which isn’t a lot considering the equipment.

After posting the videos, I realised Rumble Foundations really needs a Twitter and Youtube account. That would be an account I’d follow. They could load up lots of shots fo their work so people here in Toronto start to understand how complex the work is.  Enjoy the videos. As I said, come back for more later in the week. I have some great shots. I’m also working on more digital art (non construction related, I promise) but it will take time to do. My Wacom is getting tempermental, as is my trusty laptop. Time to consider replacing both in the new year.

If you’d like me to poke around getting more videos of the work in progress leave a comment here or on my Youtube page and let me know.

 

Digital art – CHUM building demolition

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

 

 

Digital art – Hole in the Wall

Digital art – Hole in the Wall

Been having fun with the new camera. The higher quality means I can really push the digital manipulation without fearing the photo will disintigrate into a mass of unviewable pixels. I wandered back across the road yesterday looking for more interesting photos of the building tear down. They had everything blocked off so I hoofed it around the lot looking for a spot. I found one on the backend, gates uncovered but a lot of tree coverage. I originally thought the view was ruined, but snagged a some anyway. When I got home I was surprised with a couple of them. I somehow managed to grab a spectacular shot that was ripe for HDR fun. I think I need to adjust the brightness on some of the leaves, but all in all, far better than anticipated:

Digital art - more on the CHUM demolition - Hole in the Wall

Hole in the Wall – Toronto site of the former CHUM building on Jackes Ave.
Oct 6, 2016

The leaf and fir needle definition is wonderful. However sometimes it’s hard to know when to stop, so maybe I’ll just leave this as is.

 

The damned bastards! Where was my wakeup call?

The damned bastards! Where was my wakeup call?

For a couple weeks now the building across the road has been in tear down mode. The old CHUM building (a hideous carbuncle of a building, if ever there was one) is being demolished to make way for yet another condo. But hey, I hated the building so I’m not weeping tears over it. However, that means a fair bit of noise is generated, starting at 7 am Monday to Friday and 9 am on Saturday.

Well … today they didn’t start until well after 9 am  The bastards! I’ve been using them as my morning alarm clock. What’s the world coming to when you can’t rely on the local demolition team to wake you up in a timely manner.  Tooling around in this little fellow all morning just doesn’t generate the noise needed to wake me up:

Photo of construction equipment - bobcat