Monday, May 30, 2011

The First of Many ~ Mono Monday!

"Convocation Grand"
1/50 sec.@ F/8, ISO 250, 18mm fl, 18-55mm kit zoom, late day overcast light)

Can I just say how much I love downtown Toronto. I spent twelve hours there yesterday, just me and my Nikon. And I was in heaven. Well, as much in heaven as one can be when the skies are flat grey, the humidity was sitting at 86% and I'd inadvertently left my spare battery at home in the charger.
But I digress.

I was in TO for the annual Doors Open Toronto festivities. Doors Open happens all across the province at some point in the year, and it allows the public glimpses into the more private and historical properties for free. It can be a photographer's paradise. You just have to fight to get shots all the other hundreds of photographers are trying to get at the same time. You can almost hear all the creative gears turning as photographers eye each other and their respective gear trying to guess what the others might be seeing that they're not. I've learned over time to tune everyone out, and just enjoy exploring.

And if I can be honest, my first time shooting an area is rarely all that productive. As I wandered up and down University Ave, Yonge St. and Front St. I was looking at it all with new eyes. I've visited the area now and then my whole life but never with the intent to photograph it the way I would now. Basically yesterday was a scouting trip if anything. Deciding which buildings or scenes I'd return to with the intent of shooting it differently, in better or more interesting light, different seasons, better angles, a rented lens or two...
My first time wandering a location feels overwhelming. I almost didn't know where to start aiming the camera. But because I know that the first go 'round feels like that, I simply payed attention to the things that stood out, and made plans to return as soon as possible. Also, the hours of DoTO leave little to be desired, they pick midday hours, the worst time of the day to shoot anything. There's a reason they tell you to return over and over to a subject or location. The more familiar you are with it, the more you can creatively decide what it is you want to photograph, and how you'll go about it. It just can't be done in one visit, realizing of course that there are times you only get one chance at it, and you must always make the best of it.

I've posted a very quick edit today, from yesterdays ramble. I love the University of Toronto's campus architecture. Let me say that again. I LOVE the architecture on the U of T campus. Beautiful, historical buildings where brilliant minds are allowed to flourish. I was enchanted. Above is Simcoe Hall, the office for Convocation and is attached to Convocation Hall proper. As I took this shot there were many recent grads having family pics taken around this important and celebrated building. In other words, I was left aiming upwards, which as you should know by now suits me just fine. I will definitely return in more interesting light to photograph this building. Classic ivy covered architecture from 1924 is always worth a repeat visit.

This shot was towards the end of my visit and was followed by dinner at a wonderful bistro, bustling with people relaxing at tables along the sidewalk, in the company of my own brilliant and talented brother who resides in Toronto and would be the first to agree that TO can be very enchanting. And not to forget the incredible Grilled Chicken Penne I devoured after 8 hours of photography. Mmmm. Yes, this visit will be the first of many.

Thanks Toronto for the fabulous chance to ramble through your streets! I will post more from my day in TO through the coming days on the blog. Have a great day gang!

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