Spectacular fall colours in the Toronto ravine

Spectacular fall colours in the Toronto ravine

Finally, a few new photos, including fall colours.

As promised, I’ve been working my way through the legions of photos I’ve taken over the years, looking for ones to play with. Most really aren’t worth keeping and I’ve been purging scads of mediocre and downright bad photos. I’m paring down to any that have potential and dumping the rest. That’s when I rediscovered about 20 I’d taken a few years ago and filed away for “future use”. These are shots from a walk in the ravine that runs along behind the David Balfour Park.  It was one of those postcard perfect fall days that produced some spectacular opportunities. Funny I forgot about them for so long because I’ve been looking for certain types of photos to use with the artistic filters in Photoshop. The filters are great, but you have to have the right shot or the effect looks contrived.

Fall colours on a sunny day

Fall colours in the Toronto Ravine

It’s hard to go wrong photographing the ravine

I used just a little dry brush, in Photoshop, to bump up the light effect on the trees. I didn’t want too much applied because I wanted the photo to look like a photo, not a painting, but give a hint of something more going on. The effect brought the leaves in the foreground out, giving them greater definition. That bright green spot up in the left was a leaf that flittered about and caught the light just as I snapped the shot. Because of the yellows and the way, the light hit the leaf, the green looks over saturated. I played around with removing it but decided to against it.

Slightly different photoshop affect

For the second one, I used smudge stick to bring out the intense light on the tree trunks. I tried the dry brush first, but the smudge filter did a better job in this case.  Second photo of yellow leaves in the ravine in Toronto

Analysing the photo attempt

Both effects are interesting and bring a different intensity to the photos. It was fun to play with for a change. I usually move straight on to HDR because there’s something about the high dynamic range that tweaks all the sweet spots in my brain. I gravitate to it like a moth to light.  But for something like the ravine, no. I fussed about with some HDR settings I like using but it destroyed the mood by creating a stark, cold mood. I even plunked a warming filter on them and then thought, nah, don’t bother. The warmth of the sun and long shadows were stripped out, so I went back to the original photos and did a bit of contrasting then applied the filters instead. Far better effect.

I have a few more I’m looking at, if you want to see them posted, drop me a line on FB, Twitter or down below in the comments field.  As always drop by Instagram to see photos that don’t always make the site. It’s turning into a weird glimpse into how my brain hopscotches around subjects.

View from my balcony – fall comes to Toronto

View from my balcony – fall comes to Toronto

Something simple today, a fall view from my balcony. If you want to see the leaves turn in Toronto, well, I can recommend my place. Just pull up a chair and sit and enjoy the view.

View from my balcony Toronto Nov 2016

I’ve been wandering out to the balcony everyday to snap a few photos and marvel at how warm it is. Nov and I’m still wearing my light jacket. Unbelievable. Usually by this time of year, all the leaves have been blown to hell and I see nothing but branches. Spectacular fall. Enjoy it while we can.

 

Life is conspiring against me … and an update on the building demo across the road

Life is conspiring against me … and an update on the building demo across the road

I’ve been so busy lately, I’ve not had a lot of time to do anything but go back and forth, back and forth…. The subway sucks by the way. I’ve not had a lot of time in the past month, especially the past 2 weeks, to do anything but rush around trying to get things done. Which means … Bitter Grounds has suffered a bit. By the time I get home, all I want to do is poke around reading silly stories on the internet. Thinking has been too much work. I’m working on a couple of articles and now have a backlog of photos etc to post for the next few crazy weeks. Hopefully things won’t stay this way much longer.

In the meantime, the construction work across the street is moving along at a steady pace. The old CHUM building is gone, just a bit of brick and rubble left. This morning they started digging out the foundation. I have to admit, I’ve become fascinated with the entire process. It’s pretty impressive to watch. 3 big diggers clawing away at the dirt. I have dozens of photos of the work at various stages and have cherry picked a handful that will turn into stunning pieces of digital art. I was on the balcony about an hour ago and noticed the basement levels are starting to peak out of the ground. It’s going to be interesting to see how they dig out the walls.

And finally, it’s definitely fall here: View of the ravine from balcony

Cold … ugh … I’m never ready for it.