Lurking around Toronto with my camera & misc thoughts

Lurking around Toronto with my camera & misc thoughts

I’ve been wandering around Toronto in my spare time, testing out routes for the Mapping Toronto project.  After doing a few test runs in a couple of neighbourhoods, I realized some will take multiple trips just to scratch the surface. As well, the sheer volume of photos started to make the logistics of posting and editing a monumental task. I’ve rearranged and relabeled the files about 4 times as I grapple with staying organized.

Some areas have so much to look at, it’s difficult to figure out what to leave out. I was in Cabbagetown recently and realized I could do one series of photos just documenting the historic plaques.  I could spend another day photographing people along Parliament and another on the architecture. During summer months, Cabbagetown is stunning so that means another exclusively on the flower.  Couple that with the trips to the library for historical info on each area, well, there you have it – years worth of work.

I’ve figured out a way of addressing the irritating issue of setting up routes.  Plot a route is an AMAZING website that calls up detailed maps that include topographical details, distances, timers and the ability to upload photos to any given route.  After setting up a route, you can download it for printing or upload it to a GPS or a smartphone. The site allows users to post unlimited public routes, but if you want to keep your route private, you have to pay a nominal fee ($22 US a year).

After playing around with Plot a route, I had a brainstorm. I’m going to add the routes as part of the Patreon perks. Subscribers will have full access to all the routes that will have photos attached to the map.  I’ll also offer access to one time donations that hit a certain amount.  I’ve been casting around looking for interesting perks to offer and this one struck me as a great idea. I’ll be revamping my Patreon account in the next few days (oh and YEA … I have my first Patreon supporter as of yesterday) that will focus strongly on the Mapping Toronto project.

Here’s a test route I’ve been playing with:

Lurking around the neigbhourhood - Map of St Clair Yonge proposed route that likely won't make the cut

It’s based on a little walk I like to take occasionally around the neighborhood. I can adjust the various points on the map to emphasis spots to photograph (or cafes with decent espresso and desserts).  Once completed, I will upload photos and notes so the user can enjoy the route.  I’m excited about this. It dropped the final piece of the project into place so this spring I’ll begin.

If you want to support this project look to the right-> and use either the yellow button for a one-time donation or the orange button to become a subscriber.

 

Self portrait? Me and the graffiti

Self portrait? Me and the graffiti

Nice day to wander about with a camera. No rain, for a change.  Was down on Bloor and Bathurst taking a few shots – it’s one of my favourite areas to lurk because it’s always busy. I was standing outside Honest Ed’s (former discount department store, now vacant) looking at all the graffitti that has proliferated. CIties are quirky creatures – they seem to abhore a blank canvas. Leave something long enough and it will be filled.

Some of the graffiti was imaginative; the wall art is spectacular in spots. And then you have the garden variety idiot with a spray can and zero talent. Those are the ones who tag the windows. While standing in front of one of the large windows, I thought the reflection would make a great non-standard selfie. I actually loath selfies for a variety of reasons. I do enjoy self portraits – shots that speak about the neighbourhood and person taking it. When I was standing there looking at the window, graffitti and people striding by, I was struck by how the image captures the empty building. So, I grabbed a couple of shots. When I sat down for a coffee to look over the photos, I ran one through a couple of basic routines – saturation, contrast, increasing shadows yada yada yada and here it is: Photo of graffitti on window - self portrait

Motion Project – Self Portrait of an Urban Scribbler July 07 2017 Bathurst and Bloor, Toronto. Originally meant the scribbler tag to mean me, but after looking at the tagging, it seems to have a double meaning. I’m including it in the Motion Project because it has a kinetic feel to it and fits with what I think of as a city in motion. Kind of cool shot.

More intriguing reflections on Toronto architecture

More intriguing reflections on Toronto architecture

Still going through the mass of photos I took about 2 weeks back. I’ve discarded nearly half. But found a few that are intriguing. If you stand in the right spot, on Dundas and Yonge (in Toronto), you can see some stunning optical illusions. With the right mix of cloud cover and sun, the reflections off the mirrored buildings can present a dizzying appearance.

Photo of buildings on corner of Yonge and Dundas Toronto with a mirrored effect

It’s difficult to tell where the actual corner of the building starts because of the intense optical mind games.  The ladder reflections are from the building on the right. The part that’s cool is the section with the red circle. It’s from the same building, but a south facing wall, not west. Oh, and that panel is also south facing. Bend your brain around those optics for a second.

The photo would have benefited from a decent lens filter, but the camera I own doesn’t allow for them. I’ve put a new SLR camera on my wish list for next year. But in the meantime, this little Canon does a great job and is fun to use. I’ll be posting a few more shots in the next day or two. My work schedule suddenly became far less irrational and I have a bit of time to potter again.