Apr 25, 2011

Toronto City Hall HDR

Continuing the photographic journey to see how HDR enhances the look of otherwise ordinary scenes, I went back to Toronto City Hall on a bright sunny day. I shot a series of 3 images, bracketed by 2 f stops. Photoshop's HDR Pro merged the three exposures to generate a surrealistic image that emphasized the highlights. To see what the photo looked like on a larger scale, I printed it at 18 by 12 at Pikto in Distillery District. The large image revealed gorgeous smooth tones on the windows, almost like water colors.

Before, top, after, bottom.

Apr 19, 2011

Event Headshots

Gorgeous Smile

A client had a dinner event and I shot candid photos of the guests. Including Dawn and Mike.

Canon 5DII, flash, f4.0

Apr 18, 2011

Corrosive Tank Cars at the Edge of Town

Toronto eastern railway yard tank car downtown1760 is the code for corrosive liquid. The eastern end of downtown Toronto, on both sides of the Don River, was once full of factories, and railway tracks to supply them. Box cars and tank cars. Big chemical users included the Unilever Sunlight Soap plant. But that plant has been closed for several years after a long, fruitless labour strike. Now the only thing left is the Ashbridges Bay Sewage treatment plant. And the tracks themselves are being torn up. What is the point? No industry, no need for trains and the tracks they run on. No tracks, and industry will never come back. Make way for more condos.

Shot, just before noon on a sunny day, with a Canon 5DII, HDR and image merging in Photoshop. Lots of Photoshop.

Inglis, A Sign of Toronto De-industrialization

Inglis, A Sign of Toronto De-industrializationToronto's railway lands west of downtown were once the heart of a major manufacturing centre. One of the companies there was Inglis, makers of machinery and household appliances, and during World War I, Bren machine guns. Employing thousands in the 1950's, high labour costs lead to those jobs moving to Mexico and China. All that remains of Inglis is a stump of a factory building that is the base of a sign. Meaningless philosophical nonsense slogans beckon Gardiner Expressway motorists as cheap ( by Toronto standards ) condos encroach on areas that once provided jobs and a way of life. Factories provided work for 50 years, construction jobs to build the new towers will be gone in a year, leaving work only for a lone building superintendent. And the Fridges and stoves in those apartments probably all say "Made in China" on them. And the condo dwellers will complain that the sign is an eye-sore and finally have that razed as well.

Apr 15, 2011

Abandoned Kodak Plant in Toronto Weston

Looking for more evidence of de-industrialization, i found Building 9 as the only remaining evidence of the once huge Kodak manufacturing facility that once employed over 2000 people. Partly boarded up, the building is now a haven for graffiti artistes, whose work can be seen through the windows. Local kids who would once have found real jobs there. Now closed since 2005, this is the end product of de-industrialization.

Irony is taking a digital photo of a former film manufacturing plant.

Taken with a 70-200 mm lens on a bright morning.

Apr 9, 2011

Canada Malting Abandoned Silos in Toronto

Canada Malting Abandoned Silos in TorontoLike bookends, the silos form Canada Malting company on the west end of downtown Toronto are ghostly reminders of a once flourishing waterfront industry, providing thousands of jobs and financing the early development of the city. Now, partly torn down, waiting for an opportunity to be turned into over mortgaged condos, or a government funded cultural space for government approved culture. With the railway gone, highways turned into streetcar tracks and only the Redpath sugar plant still making any use of the waterway, it seems that Ayn Rand was right. Atlas shrugged and went on his way.

Shot with a Canon Powershot while looking for scenes of de-industrialization.

Apr 4, 2011

Abandoned Victory Soya Mills Silos in Toronto

Abandoned Victory Soya Mills Silos in TorontoWhile looking for the remnants of Toronto's industrial age, when the waterfront was a source of wealth and jobs and a means of transportation I came across this view of the old Victory Soya Mills Silos. This shot was taken from the lift bridge over the Keating Channel, itself a remnant of a bygone maritime industry. Plans for the building are all sad statements themselves. More condos. Another display in the "closed all the factories and put them in a factory museum". Toronto's trendy blogs say that marine and rail transport and industrial jobs are dead. But look at Bunge's huge canola processing plant on the waterfront in Hamilton with several hundred jobs.

Taken with a Canon SX120is on a cloudy, rainy evening. I will go back with a better camera and a better lens.