I’m going to start a new series titled “Scenes from my balcony”. Every week something chaotic, silly or fascinating seems to play out below and I have a perfect perch to watch the drama unfold. A notification went up earlier in the week warning Yonge would be blocked Friday night and Saturday for a construction crane installation across the road. Didn’t think much of it beyond I might get a few cool photos. Last night when the equipment was moved into place I took a few ok shots. In the wee hours of the morning I briefly stuck my head out the door to see what the “beep beep beep” was about. Workers were already rustling about down there. I thought way too early for this, crawled back into bed and threw a pillow over my head.
When I woke up and stepped out onto the balcony, I had a “HOLY SHIT” moment. This greeted me: I’m pleased with that shot. Not at all bad for a little Canon Powershot. It did a servicable job on the photos throughout the day. It’s weak spot is night light so most of the night photos are a wash. I’ll likely end up tossing them. I still came away with some great photos.
I guess this is what happens to the kids who play with building blocks and Lego – they grow up and find bigger Lego kits to play with.
The crew was still climbing around when the sun began to set.
It’s 9:30 pm now, the sun has set and the workers are putting away the equipment. The crane is completed and Yonge street should open up by 10:30pm. I can hear banging and motors still going, so they’ll be a while yet. Long, long day for the crew. Fascinating one for me.
I’ve been busy working on more photos – spent a couple days taking hundreds of photos around the city. A couple have potential and I’ve set them aside for later. Also working on a second series devoted to the demolition & build across the road. I have a perfect roost to watch & record the process. Some of the demolition has been impressive. Right now, there isn’t much left of the old CHUM building, mostly rubble. Soon they’ll start digging a deep hole for the parking space. I’m sorting the photos, trying to make a bit of chronolgical sense of it. I’ll ruthlessly pare threw them and toss 90%. Most of the earliest shots, done with my phone aren’t worth keeping, except to mark the start of the project. In the meantime, I’ll throw the occassional photo up, but have set the bulk of the project aside for winter work.
I’ve also been working on fine tuning my dodging & burning techniques. Using a slightly different method that gives me great control over how much contrast I get. I finally have a system that allows me to get an exagerated, hyper real contrast that doesn’t end up looking cartoonish or overblown. Very pleased with the results. It takes a lot longer, but satisfying. Here’s one I worked on yesterday. Took hours to get the contrast between shadows and light the way I wanted.
Construction Workers on Yonge – Oct 13 2016
There’s a tremendous amount of construction going on in my area – you pretty much trip over the sites. This was shot on Yonge St north of Bloor at the huge new condo build. Not sure if the old store fronts will be kept or torn down. Be a shame if they disappear. Construction workers were strugging with some pipes out front and were having a hell of a time. Took a couple of snaps and thought yea, they’ll do.
Anyway, this is a couple of different effects, including HDR Toning (Photorealistic High Contrast), NIK HDR Efex and a lot of dodging & burning the pipes and workers to over emphasis the details. Took hours to do … partially because I sneezed at one point and destroyed some work. Had been so absorbed in some details, I forgot to save for awhile, something I rarely do. I’m a ‘save save save” kind of computer person. A little pissed when I realised how much damage I’d done.
I need a better name than Motion Project. It seems a bit … silly at times. The point of the project is to look at everyday scenes in a large city and turn them into digital portraits of the city. For the time I’ll keep the name, but it will likely shift. Any suggestions are appreciated.