Some images from earlier this year during a short overnight trip to Toronto for a conference that I totally forgot to process until recently. Most are from one of my all time favourite buildings: the Toronto Reference Library, which is just a stunningly beautiful place.
If you’ve never been there before, it’s an absolutely stunning part of Waterloo Region that straddles the Grand River with church spires, old buildings, and so on. It gets used a lot for filming locations on shows like Murdoch Mysteries 🙂
Malcolm really wanted to use my Canon DSLR, so we traded cameras and I used his VTech Kidizoom Action Cam you can read about that here. Malcolm took over 850 shots with my camera, including a LOT of the insides of garbage bins for some reason. It was fascinating to look through them and see what caught his interest.
I went through every one and picked out what I thought were the best ones and we reviewed them together and talked about what made them work (focus, composition, subject) and landed on these as the favourites. I did some light processing, straightened a horizon line or two, and the B+W Conversions, but otherwise these are more or less what he shot without significant alterations.
Hope you enjoy!
This past weekend my son Malcolm and I joined my friends Kevin and Paul on a Film Revival photo walk in Historic Galt, located in Cambridge, ON. It’s a beautiful part of town that straddles the Grand River with church spires, old buildings, and so on. Avid watchers of The Handmaid’s Tale will recognize parts of it instantly.
My son really wanted to use my Canon SLR, which left me with his VTech Kidizoom Action Cam. This camera has some … limitations… but I thought this presented an interesting challenge.
About the camera
- At a total size of 1 x 2.3 x 2.2 inches, this thing is small. It was actually challenging to hold it as you can really only use your finger tips.
- The lens is tiny – about the same as what you’d have on a older smartphone
- The photo resolution is 640-x-480 pixels or 0.3 megapixels – these are really small images basically. For comparison, an iPhone X has a 12 megapixel camera
- There is no manual control whatsoever – you just point and shoot… and hope.
- I can’t say if this is a bug/feature of these cameras in general or just a sign we haven’t been able to clean the tiny lens, but I notice all the photos had really interesting blur and edgy quality that naturally produced something slightly akin to the Fractilus Photo look. It’s like the camera leaves out some details and over emphasizes others leaving a painterly feel.
What all this translated to for me was the framing mattered a lot. I didn’t process these much aside from a converting some to B+W and adjusting the brightness and contrast a bit – the results were really neat and I actually think they’d make neat set of tiny prints.
Would love to hear what you think!
I like farms. Probably because I spend a lot of time on one. It’s a beautiful place, in an amazing community, and it constantly inspires.
So when it comes to putting pencils to paper, I find myself drawn to rural scenes, both real and imagined. Here are a few new drawings I’ve done in the last year. I am particularly fond of the latter, which took much longer than most of my drawings and is one of my most detailed – the farm building are based off this photo of the Freeman Farm where my Brother-In-Law was raised.
A few weeks ago, my good friends Kevin and Paul came down to Kitchener to check out the Edward Burtinski exhibit at the KW Art Gallery. The exhibit was (of course) incredible and while we were there we also got to see Kent Monkman‘s breathtaking series “The Four Continents”. It was pretty mind boggling and I am thrilled that we’re able to have such world-class art here in KW.
Inspired, we headed out into the utterly frigid streets of KW to take a few photos of our own! Here were a few of my favourites from the day.
As I work to improve my sketching, particularly around things like scale and perspective, I often find it easier to start to with a photo. I don’t always do this, but I find it effective to learn the more technical side of the art – and I also just find it really enjoyable.
This sketch is based off an a photo I took about 6 years ago of the Owen Sound Grain Elevator. You can see the original here.
I was pretty happy with the result 🙂
Clearly, I don’t get out to much on the photography front much these days – or at least not the way I like to take photos, which tends to be away from people and out in nature. That said I have been doing a lot more work with my phone camera, which I’ve been posting here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139848974@N04/
Still, I wanted to find a way to something creative while at home – so I tapped into one of my older creative pursuits: drawing. I used to draw quite a bit when I was younger; I even took an art class on cartooning when I was about 13 or so. I used to spend a lot of time trying to sketch characters I developed or replicating baseball team logos that caught my eye.
I’m not sure I was ever very good, but that’s really not the point. I liked it. And I recently discovered I still like it thanks to my wife Kim and my friend Steve. Kim started colouring complex colouring books a while back and I realized that she was really onto something not over complicating her artistic endeavours – she didn’t wait for the right conditions or the time. She just sat down and created something.
I started with a rough sketch in a notebook, but it wasn’t until I sat down with our oldest son to draw together that I really found enjoyment in it. The kids inadvertently destroyed that sketch by “adding to it” with some markers. But we sat down again a little while later and I made this sketch based on a photo I took last fall.
I was pretty happy with the result, so I soon embarked on another effort, this time based off of a photo my friend Wayne Simpson took of the Elora Mill.
More recently I did this one, which was a pen sketch, that I went over with charcoal afterward. This wasn’t based on an existing photo, and while I need to work on perspective, I was quite happy with the results.
Looking forward to sharing more with you!
I knew Hamilton had a lot of waterfalls, but I really had no idea of the scope! When we hit our first stop at Tews Falls, I was stunned to see a plunge of over 100 feet in a massive canyon. My jaw dropped.
In all we visited four falls: Tews, Webster’s, Albion and The Devil’s Punchbowl.
Webster’s and Albion were the most accessible and the latter’s beautiful cascade was definitely my favourite for the day. Tews was only accessible from the top so I have fewer shots from there and the timing wasn’t great for The Devil’s Punchbowl so I didn’t come away with much that I loved.
We had a great time at all of them though and I’m looking forward to revisiting! Here are a few from the day!