Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monotonic Darkness: Take 2

More commuting pics. The story of my life: wakeup-commute-work-commute-eat-sleep. You know that your life is screwed up when the most exciting part of your day is the commute.

Southbound / Northbound? Whereto from here?

Where to? Where from? All I see is chaos.

It certainly does not feel that way. At least the sun is shining at 7:30 pm.


Sun is still sort of shining at 7:45 pm.

More shoes.

More chaos.

At almost 8pm, the sun is almost completely gone.

And the street lights are on. The world is plunged into darkness. My visions blur. All at the end of my work day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Passive Dynamics

So the weather sort of picked up a bit. I took that as a queue for me to get outside and have a few shots outside of the office. I sat just outside the door and just photographed people as they walked by and soaked up the energy of the place.

Ah, how I missed the days when the sun doesn't set until 8 in the evening. Those days are back.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A laid back entry for a tired mind...

Work continued to be busy, and I am starting to feel the burn. Here is the film stuff from three weeks ago - my street shooting trip through the heart of Downtown Toronto. I tried to play around with depth of field when indoors to get the blurry bokeh, but the shutter speed on my camera is too slow when outdoors to allow a large enough aperture to do it effectively.

At the local Second Cup to get some pick-me-up juice and to use their free Wi Fi to download my emails onto my iPod touch. Thought the lighting brought out the warm atmosphere of the place.

Aww, the sad face... She sat there staring into space for like half an hour. Goodness only knows how long she was there before and after I was there.

China Town.

You'd notice this dog from the previous post. I stalked the dog for a little while and waited for someone to give him a hug. Then I focused and waited for them to look up. My first proper, in-you-face street shot that was not taken from the hip. Composition was terrible, but it nevertheless represents a milestone in my amateur photography career.

It was a cold and miserable day. My second in-your-face shot.

You'd recognise this shot from the previous post, but that one was done on my Canon S90. Here is the colour, digital version:

The digital version certainly offers more vibrant colours but it lacks the bokeh and the character that comes with it. I much prefer the film shot than the digital shot. What do you think?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Queen Street W, 17 April 2010 [Long entry warning]

Ok, it;s been a couple of weeks since my last post. I blame the delay on a couple of things: a loss of interest and my newly found addiction to Smallville. The loss of interest is not really the loss of interest for all things photography, but the digital darkroom.

The other culprit is, you guessed it, work. I have a theory: the only people who get jobs in governments' regulatory departments are all rejects who don't know what the f*ck they are doing and hence cannot get proper employment. They then get jobs at these government institutions and get paid salaries from our hard earned tax money. Then, they impose their revenge on the commercial world by passing regulations and laws that make absolutely no sense for two reasons: they don't know what the f*ck they are doing and they are intent on f*cking up the lives of the people who didn't want to hire them but ended up paying for their salaries anyways.

Anyways, that's my ranting about work.

Now here is my excuse for the long delay since my last entry: the problem is with digital. The story is that I was out shooting around Downtown Toronto for a whole day on 17 April. I came home with over 300 images on my Canon S90 and another roll of Fuji Superia Xtra on my Canonet QL17 GIII.. Of the over 300 images I had, I would think that there were only a handful of decent ones. The rest of them were the result of my shooting as if it costs nothing, because well, it costs exactly that. After my day out, I was constantly put off by the thought of having to abuse my ass by sitting in front of a computer to go through it all.

Any ways, here is the few that I ended up keeping. As usual, all photos on manual exposure.

Subway ride. Destination Queen Street W.

This is how I feel when I am out with a camera with not a care in the world.

Okay, no idea what that street sign means.

Cherry blossom on Queen Street W.

Summer = bikes

That has gotta be one of the worst designed ads I've seen.

Didn't expect so many people so early on a Saturday morning.

Queen Mother's Cafe. Don't know why everybody stopped to have a look at their menu.

Then I saw these guys carrying this Loser sign around with them.

Kick Ass!!!

I don't normally photograph beggars since to me that's poverty porn. But, imagine burning all your cash while travelling! That's gotta be rough.

Very nice pose. This and the Canadian tradition of coffee drinking on the streets.

More coffee drinking on the streets.

Creepy guy checking out the ladies.

More Kick Ass!

1. Armoured soul, tattoos and piercing: so hip it hurts!
2. Fat: Made with love!

Found an HMV so I decided to browse around...

and ended up buying Smallville.

Then I found this shop with a very interested, hmmm, punchline. Decided to take a photo of it.

But then these people realised that they were walking into my shot and scrambled for cover

and again...

More bikes.

Contrast: imagine walking down the fashion street of the fashion capital of Canada dressed like that.

Piercing and shit.

Bong sale on Cloud 9?

Love them pigeons. Awesome creatures.

Don't know why I took this shot, but I still like how it turned out.

The all seeing eye.

The all seeing eye again.

More eye.

Interesting decor.

Saw this cup on the street bench. Thought I would shoot it.

Some bird house sitting on a low street totem.

Hot dog!

Yeah, this dog was awesome.

Isn't it cute?

Female batallion. Mission: Givenchy.

Danger, stay away.

Glee? Doesn't look like it.

More Kick Ass. Does anyone know what this movie is even about?

He looks like the typical kid who gets butchered in horror movies.

He looks like the cool dudes who normally get butchered in the movies.

The typical girl looking lusting after the cool dude and gets butchered in the horror movies.

I think he should stick with soccer.

Roller blades. Popular alternative to bicycles. Unlike bicycles, you're allowed to use them on the sidewalks.

They have very interesting backpacks. I think I should get one of those, seeing as that I was once using Red Bulls so much that I became immune to them.

Rubber boots and tight jeans? Awesome if impractical!

Yes, it definitely does.

Kick Ass pensioners!

It's a grunge thing.

An alternative to the coffee: Harvey's Diet Coke?

You shall not try to feed me an expresso at 8pm. Thank you very much.

Cool shades, but not as cool as the moustache.

Then I took a turn into China Town: Spadina avenue.

Do all China Town's around the world look alike? They all look the same to me.

Coffee in China Town.

Again, don't know why I took this shot, but it did sort of turn out ok. He's concentrating very hard on something.

More decor.

I have never seen someone try to turn the back of their minivans into a store front, but we are in China Town after all. Anything is possible.

I stuck around to listen to the dude promoting the big JC. I was quite surprised that he's got a bit of an audience.

This is so China -- selling plastic shit from plastic buckets.

Me being shutter-happy again. Again, don't know why I took the shot, but oh well.

The owner of the minivan-converted store front.

Sugar cane juice: quite popular amongst the Chinese but try ask any Caucasian what they think of it...

Nolstalgia. How it was done before supermarkets ruled the grocery market.

Translation: Vietnamese buns in French style, written in Chinese. Now I am confused. What the fuck is it then?

Bikes with some rather impressive sidebags.

Always wanted one of these cliched pictures: low angle and a couple holding hands. Now I just need to somehow do it in the middle of the night (to get the mood), but at the same time do it without a flash and have enough light to avoid motion blur. Now that would be a skillfully executed street shoot that I can spend the rest of my life pursuing.

Practicality over style? When I did my grocery shopping (once every two weeks) I avoided the granny trolley. Instead I carried all of it on my builging shoulders. Looked impressive, but inevitably I had briused shoulders every two weeks...

Cargo pants and Beijing 2008 tracksuit top? I don't know. But then again we weren't in the fashion district anymore. We are in China Town for crying out loud. Now how's that for irony? Fashion district right next to China Town... So you walk past the fashion district to see what you like, then walk into China Town to see if you can find the knock off for 90% discount? Interesting business model.

Age and age.

Then I wondered into Kengsinton Market where the arty and junky types are. It's a unique little place: street markets in European style. Apparently the cheapest place to get organic food in Toronto. Not that I buy into the whole organic food propaganda thing. To me all food is organic: it has carbon in it doesn't it?

Like I said, the arty part of town.

Cute puppy.

Tea break for the butchery workers.

I would drive using my rear view mirror if I had that scene in my read view mirror everytime I looked into it.

The ladies in the big T.O. are awesome hot.


Then I saw this sign...

Directly opposite this other sign, on the opposite side of the road. Competition must be stiff!

I thought this could never happen, but the guy on the bike beat the crew into fire engine.

Tourists. Actually no, that would be an insult. Travellers. If anyone ever sees me out and about in a strange town, Don't call me a tourist. Call me a traveller. There is a huge difference.

She was walking past the butchery. Yeah, butcheries usually smell funny.

She did not look happy.

More bicycles. More arty people. Arty people with paint all over themselves.

A quieter side street of Kensington Market. Organic bananas. Well, they don't look anything close to being as fresh as the ones in the non-organic section.

Umbrellas but no rain.

Another cliched pic.

Another cliched shot. Just wondering how much longer it would be until they make it illegal to photograph children without parental consent because of some paedophobic sickos on the streets. Then they are talking about no photography on public transport and etc etc.because of terrorism threats. You know what all this points to? A fucked up world run by some fucking bureaucratic assholes who are elected by a generally paranoid public who love seeing their hard earned tax money spent on useless bureaucracy and security laws that don't prevent shit but inconveniences everybody else.

One of these days I need to get myself a bike. It seems to be the trendy thing to do.

Very cute and pretty. Some people want to be photographed. There is hope for street photography. You try to be discrete when doing street photography to catch people in their unposed, natural habitat. Inevitably someone will still see you. It's great that when they see you taking a photo of them and still give you a smile.

Yeah, blue bananas. They will have a point for selling me organic banana if my non-organic bananas came in blue peels. Until then, I shall stick with non-organic.

What is it with umbrellas and no rain?

Another dog.

The cultural shift to vegan. Only open till sunset: thereafter, the carnivores hunt.
PS: I wouldn't like to eat in a restaurant and look out the window and find the rubbish dump. Even if I was eating a salad.

Interesting hat. Usually worn by the predators in the horror movies.

Now, College Street.

Another dog.

They still use these things? Three of them? Wow.

Jay walkers.

Then started wondering backwards again.

In a way, that sounds so wrong.

Kensington & China Town.

Then back to Queen Street W.

The joy that the female specimen express when they are on a shopping mission is something that I will never ever understand. Perhaps they say the same thing about me and cameras. Perhaps together they explain my relationship status: single.

So is it Ethiopian or Mediterranean? Damn it these people are confusing.

Looks like a scene from a horror movie. This is the part where the victims are wondering around the basement of a would be serial killer and found these carved sicko animals and then in the reflection see some dude with a mask and hat and perhaps even a cape sneak up with a knife. Followed by screams. Then silence. I should direct horror movies I am so talented.

Yeah, junky town. Dude with a blonde mane.

Say "Cheese!" Shit that smile is awkward.

Ok, what does the AAA stand for? I once heard some radio DJ talk about businesses who put arbitrary As in front of their names so that they show up as the first item in the Yellow Pages. Is this a prime example? Probably not. I can't think of many businesses with names that include "Army Surplus".

For some reason I circled back to Kensington Market. More organic goodness.

Taking up a parking space? Not cool.

Then I found a little park with slides and swings for kids. Looks like it got taken over by the junkies. Another awesome creature.


Throwing up or spitting blood?

Keep the dead alive? Ok, maybe not junkies, perhaps goth.

The girl on the right walked up to me and asked if I wanted some weed. I politely declined. "Thanks guy" she replied. She sounded so sweet and innocent. Now why would someone like that be selling dope in a park? Face blurred to protect her identity.

Torn jeans. So not cool.

Cool pose.

Back to China Town.

Tourist in China Town. I meant traveller.

This dude has a Nikon Fe film SLR camera strapped around his neck. Respect. I would have even more respect for him if it were a rangefinder.

Blue banana in China Town? Maybe organic is the way to go? :)

Back to Queen Street W.

Back past the Expresso Bar where they will not be serving me expressos at 8pm. Thank goodness.

Another dog, albeit poorly framed to get the not so pretty part.

Another dog. Perhaps a dog's life isn't really so bad.

And I found the cup again on the same bench. Someone has knocked it over since I walked past it in the morning, 3 hours ago.

Another person making eye contact when being photographed. Respect.

On my way home. The weekend subway dress code is clearly a lot more interesting than during the boring business week.

He realised I was taking a shot and waved.

The film shots will be posted sometime during the week. I am exhausted from this marathon entry. In the mean time, go make the world a better place. Oh, and don't buy into the propaganda of organic farmers. What doesn't kill you straight away makes you stronger.

Peace out.