Trying some new techniques out. I’ve been mucking about with different styles, including different brush stokes. This worked out better than I had hoped:
Waiting for the subway at Union – Nov 2 2016
It’s a muck about of a photo I took a couple months ago but couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with it. The actual photo isn’t much to look at, but the motion caught my eye and I kept it, in hopes I could salvage something intriguing from it. I tried at least 7 variations until this morning when I got a bit frisky with the brush tool. It’s a hybrid – a brush outline, a bit of hand shadowing and a little cutout effect with some HDR thrown into the mix. I might mess about a bit more, but not sure. I have a slightly different brush style I’m testing out, so if it works, I’ll post it. If it does’t .. you’ll never know.
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.
For 4 decades CHUM radio in Toronto sat on the corner of Yonge and Jackes Street, sending out a signal all over Ontario. At one time, CHUM was THE station everyone listened to. The building itself was an ugly little squat, 2 story building, I nicknamed “the bunker” – not much to see. CHUM was sold to CTVglobemedia and operations were shipped down to their Richmond Street location. The new owners sold the property off to condo developers for $21.5 million who laid out plans to demolish the red brick bunker and erect an 11 story condo. I don’t think anyone is misty eyed over the demo. Anything would be an improvement.
This week demolition began and the CHUM building is rapidly vanishing. It’s all fenced off, so hard to get near, but yesterday the fencing was left open and I was able to grab a few shots to work with. I have a number from my balcony, kind of an awe inspiring view of the demo job, but not sure they are going to work out as far as digital art is concerned. I might just throw them up as is for the nostalgia fans. I snagged one great shot out of about 50 taken. It turned into a beautiful piece of industrial art work:
Goodbye CHUM – demolition of the CHUM building on Yonge Street
Sept 23 2016
I was flipping through about 40 photos that I took today, looking for … the one. That shot that has the right shadows & contrast that begged for attention. I tossed over half the photos for a variety of reasons. They were either too bland or lacked a key element that drew the eye to it. Usually nothing stands out. Then once in awhile I get this:
Pleasant Blvd, facing Yonge Street, in front of the St. Clair Subway exit.
Sept. 22 2016.
Something about the way the light was bouncing off the buildings and that perfect blue sky. I liked the way the two buildings produce a curious optical illusion and look like they are tilting away from each other. The condo (The Clairmont at 1430 Yonge Street) at the end of the shot is an example of a better design. When it went up, it complimented the neighbourhood, rather than standing over it like some unholy carbuncle.