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Wednesday 16 April 2008

The Landscape

Perce, Quebec
I guess it’s what I do. I’m a landscape photographer. It seems so simple. Get up early, get into position and hope for fabulous light. There is the odd issue that crops up: long drives, bad food, cheap motels, or a leaky tent. And then there’s the bugs - lots of bugs, leaches, spiders and ticks. I have been covered in wood ticks. Lori calls me a “tick magnet”. Clever girl.

I started with a modest amount of equipment. It easily fit into a small backpack – just a couple of camera bodies, a wide angle to medium telephoto and a macro lens. I would head out for a week or two at a time, sometimes by car, sometimes by canoe. I would look, listen and learn. I didn’t have a long lens. Often I would see animals and birds and think, that would make a beautiful photo but it’s out of my reach. Instead I concentrated on the landscape and the beauty of the Canadian wilderness.

After a few years I could afford a big lens. I bought a used manual focus Canon 500 f 4.5. It was real sharp and I got pretty good with it. So I started to shoot both landscape and wildlife. I joked with a friend, “When I’m looking for landscape images I see wildlife. And when I’m looking for wildlife I see landscapes.”

I started to go prepared for everything. I got a huge backpack and added medium format to my tool box. This meant I had to have one set of lenses for my 35 mm equipment and another for my 6X7 system. I have to admit, I did get some good images because I carried all my equipment with me, but it wasn’t much fun with all that stuff on my back.
I seem to have lost my way in the past few years. I have lost touch with what I do.
With high-resolution digital cameras, I only carry one system now so it’s easier for me to carry everything. But more and more, I want to get back to the landscape. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love photographing animals and birds. I just don’t think I can do both really well. For the first time in ten years, we don’t have a big road trip planned. I’m hoping to wander in Ontario and get back to what I think I do best - waiting and dreaming of light touching a beautiful Canadian scene.

Monday 7 April 2008

The Canary: Almost Gone

I have been driving by the old Canary Restaurant in Toronto's Distillery District for years. I've also dropped in and had coffee with a friend, or driven by when they were using it as a movie set and I have recognized the place in several films and TV shows.

The Canary closed down in April 2007. I'm not sure of its fate.

We were heading home on Sunday and decided to stop and take a few photographs. I shot with a Canon 1Ds Mk III and a 16-35mm lens. Later I converted them to Black and White and added a diffused glow in Photoshop.

These old buildings hold so much character and texture.

(The 2 images shown above and to the right are the same image - just adjusted differently in Photoshop. Which do you prefer?)

I must get out and do more of this around town. So much to do and so little time!

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