Convenience Stores – Introduction

Toronto is a city made up of many neighbourhoods. And most of these neighbourhoods still have their convenience store.

We can all remember a few of our past experiences with our local convenience store when we were growing up. It was a short walk or bike ride away, a place to meet up with friends, a confectionary store where we could spend our allowance or pocket money.

I am embarking on a mission to photograph many of the local convenience stores in Toronto, and present them in a photographic style that I am experimenting with. My first two images are included in this post, and I hope to add to this collection in the coming months.

I would also like to learn more about how these stores can continue to survive in today’s environment of rising real estate values, large chain stores and the continued reliance on cars as the primary means of transport.

sunshine convenience cw
Sunshine Convenience
iren's grocery cw
Iren’s Grocery

Toronto Storefronts as Art

I have been experimenting lately with a technique in Photoshop on some images of storefronts. The technique involves creating a “cartoon-like” black and white image with black outlines and shading, and then selectively re-introducing colour back into the image.

My first series of images focuses Toronto storefronts. These are small businesses that I usually just stumbled across while walking along the street. Each storefront has something unique that made it worthwhile to capture.

Each image has been framed using an outline, shape, pattern or colour that is derived from the storefront. For example, I found a background of bats to include with the image titled Protected by Witchcraft, as there are bats depicted in the sign above the shop. In The Lucky Spot, I framed the image with a white ring as a play on the word “spot.”

Each storefront has a door, which is my pretext for posting these images on a Thursday in order to participate in Norm’s Thursday Doors blog.

I plan on creating more Storefront Art images in the future, so please follow along on my Flickr site or stay tuned for another blog post. Any and all comments are welcome.

lucky spot cw
The Lucky Spot
bbq express cw
BBQ Express
pomegranate cw
The Pomegranate
witchcraft cw
Protected by Witchcraft

Graffiti Doors

I have three images of graffiti doors to contribute to Norm’s Thursday Doors challenge this week.

The first image – Melbourne Jan 2014 – is a good example of “high” street art. Melbourne, Australia is a great location for scouting graffiti as an art form in various laneways. The graphic quality; the bright, neon colours; and the sophistication of this composition all contribute to the pleasure of the visual experience. The image is dated January, 2014, as graffiti in its nature is temporal, and this door may be completely different today.

d17-Melbourne Jan 2014
Melbourne Jan 2014

Message delivered is at the opposite end of the graffiti spectrum. Hard to discern any form of art on this Toronto garage door – just a written message. It seemed to be effective though – there were no cars parked in front of the door.

d17-message delivered
message delivered

Blues and greens lies somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Someone has painted this facade with some swirling blues and greens, and a few tags have been applied in response. Definitely on the grungy side.

d17-blues and greens
blues and greens

 

Black & White Sunday Photo Challenge – Typical

On two occasions over the past decade, I have visited the Louvre Museum in Paris. On both of my visits, I viewed The Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci. This is my first example of the use of this week’s theme word – I am certain that an infrequent visitor to the Louvre, like me, will “typically” view this iconic painting during a tour of the museum.

I took a photograph during each visit, and both images display a “typical” crowd of viewers crowded around the painting. Cameras and mobiles ready to shoot.

Perhaps “atypically,” there is one person in each image who is pointing a camera or phone in the opposite direction. The 2016 version is likely for a selfie, but not the earlier version.

These images have been posted in response to Paula’s Lost in Translation challenge for this week – Typical.

LiT-mona lisa october 2010 cw
Mona Lisa, October 2010
LiT-mona lisa april 2016 cw
Mona Lisa, April 2016