This was taken on one of my first walks home after work in September after we moved from High Park into downtown. It was a great evening, the clouds were amazing so I stopped and took a few shots. This is Toronto City hall with Nathan Phillips in front.
There was a group laying on the ground covered in bread trying to get the birds to eat it off them (they seemed quite worried about the birds though!). I’m not sure what the point of it all was though.
Both shots are 3 exposure HDR’s taken at +/- 2.0 EV with my Pentax K200D and Sigma 10-20mm f4.0-5.6 lens. Blended using Photomatix with final editing in Lightroom.
Another one from the summer Caribana parade in Toronto. This one is a bit more of an amusing candid than anything else.
This lovely couple were grinding their way up the street for the parade, and I just happened to catch the rather unimpressed young girl in the background, along with a great expression on the guys face!
Have a giggle and enjoy
Here is the annual Toronto Caribana Parade, which this year ran along Lakeshore (not sure if it has always run along here?). It was relatively small in number of paraders, but there were plenty of people out for a look on what was a very warm summer day.
Most seemed to be having a great time. This was 1 of the larger groups dancing their way down the street. I just held the camera up high and took a quick snap or 2. I processed this in Photomatix as a single exposure HDR, it really made the bright, loud Caribana colours pop.
This is a lovely dog I came across at a little espresso coffee place near Dundas West during the summer here in Toronto.
After a little chat to the owner we discovered that it was a Husky/Foxhound cross, which is quite suprising, because apart from the very obvious Husky eyes there is nothing about this dog that would have you believe it was part Husky!
A quick pat and a photo or two and we parted ways. I shot this one with the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens, zoomed in to help generate some out of focus (OOF) area in the image. Unfortunately I couldn’t get an angle where the background wasn’t too blown out, but this one came out ok with a bit of tweaking in Lightroom.
Last week I was lucky enough to have some time to go for a lovely walk through Koreatown in Toronto in the late evening with the camera and take a few pictures. I haven’t been out shooting as much as I would like the last few weeks, but I am hoping to get out more soon. I haven’t even had a chance to use my newly acquired tripod yet! What about that photowalk you say? Well I may or may not have missed that due to some Jagerbomb caused, self inflicted illness…
Both of these shots are HDR’s as I thought they would show off the lovely soft golden evening light the best. Both shots were taken handheld with my usual Pentax K200D, and I used a lens I haven’t used for a while, the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8. I took the 3 shots for the HDR using bracketing at +/- 2.0 EV. To process them I imported into Lightroom 3, then used the Photomatix Lightroom plugin to export the 3 base images to Photomatix for blending. I used the standard Tone Mapping method to generate the final HDR’s which the plugin automatically re-imports back into the Lightroom library for you. I made a final crop and adjustment before exporting to JPG and uploading to Flickr.
Just a quick post with some updates. I managed to get hold of a tripod yesterday, a great 20+ year old Manfrotto ART190. It is a bit beat up and scratched up but it works great, everything is smooth (much smoother than my old tripod!) and it seems very solid. It has a very old 3 way head on it at the moment, which I will replace with my Benro ball head as soon as I find myself a screwdriver of the appropriate size to undo the locking screws on the head baseplate. This was a great craigslist find, and only cost me a quick $40 and a detour 2 subway stations out of my way on the way home. A big thanks to the seller, by far the most organised craigslist seller I have encountered thus far.
In other news, I am planning on attending my first ever photo walk on Saturday. More so in an attempt to meet some new people in Toronto than to get any photos, but I am sure I will take some of those as well. I discovered a local Flickr user who appeared to have been attending a number of photowalks (based on their photostream) in 1 of the many Flickr Toronto groups. I sent him off a Flickr mail and received a reply back with links to a local Photowalk Flickr group and their website – torontophotowalks.ca. The next event is on Saturday, and happens to be in my neighbourhood, so I will join in and say “G’day”!
I finally managed to get myself down to the nearby subway and get some photos of the remaining wall paintings there. I also had a little venture up an alley way nearby and got some graffiti shots as well. The angle on the Wolf annoys me a little, but it at least shows how striking the painting is. That light pole is very frustrating!
This post is very picture heavy, but worth it to see some of the great art on display in the area. I was armed with my usual gear for an outing on the bike, the K200D and Sigma 30mm f1.4. I had to bump the contrast quite a lot on these shots to get the colours to really pop.
Down the Alley
Down beside a construction site is an alley giving access to the rear of some of the shops which line Bloor St West. I only went to the first building in and took some photos of the great graf art. I will explore further down the alley in the future though.
Yesterday morning I decided to go for a leisurely bicycle ride around the neighbourhood. On the way I stopped off and took some more photos of the street art behind the shops along Bloor St West (pictures to come!). After that I went to visit a Yard Sale. There was a huge amount of dark room equipment for sale, but unfortunately I am lacking storage space just at the moment. Perhaps another time.
On my way home from the Yard Sale I happened to pass this great old Buick. I made a quick stop and took a few photos of it. I took a couple from the front at different apertures, and a couple from the back with different orientations. Choosing the best shot from the front was easy! However I could not decide which of the photos from the rear I preferred. As I was writing this post I finally chose the portrait orientation shot. You can see the other option here on flickr.
Shot and Processing
I was carrying my Pentax K200D with the Sigma 30mm f1.4 mounted whilst riding. All 3 shots are single exposures, with little processing in Lightroom 3. Just a bump in contrast, fill light and a slight crop for each (straighten for the rear, and centering for the front). I would have liked to get the Buick badge on the front a little more in focus, perhaps a smaller aperture would have got it just right, but I think its good enough that it still works.
Here is a shot I took this morning on my way to work. Just a quick one I had to get because it made me giggle a little (yes I giggle…)
Patience or not
Obviously someone had some fun with this fire hydrant. I made sure to shoot with a large (wide) aperture for this shot to isolate the subject from the background. I used my Sigma 30mm f1.4 lens @ f2.0 to give a fairly narrow Depth of Field but keep the subject in focus. The road behind was quite busy, so I waited for a break in traffic and snapped a couple of shots off.
For post processing I used Lightroom to straighten it up a little bit (I am going to blame the slope I was standing on) and bump the contrast a little bit to help the colours and subject pop.
Here is some great street art (and some tags) on a wall at the local subway station’s carpark. There are a whole series of Canadian animals painted on the wall, including a wolf, blue jay, snowy owl and this great bear. I have been meaning to take some photos of the animals for a while, but had not managed to get myself down there. You are able to see the art from the train just before you come into the station. Last weekend I finally got my bike ready to ride, and got on it!
I loaded up my great Crumpler bag with my Pentax K200D and my Sigma 30mm f1.4 lens, and rode down to the carpark. Once there I was disappointed to find a light pole positioned right in the middle of the wolf painting, and some cars parked in the way of others. I will definitely return to photograph those.