Autumn is upon us, and as the sun sinks lower in the sky, every sunny day becomes more appreciated. The streets of downtown Toronto can get dark as you walk among the office towers, but there are locations where the sun still shines.
It has taken me some time to find a new theme for a post. Last week, I journeyed into the downtown core in search of shafts of sunlight. They are even more appealing today as we are greeted by a wet and soggy morning.
Most of the time I found lots of people also out enjoying the sunshine as they adventured into the day.
The high contrast subject matter was best exhibited in a monochrome interpretation. The hard edges of the shadows created by the architectural elements were softened by the human content.
I have been travelling in Europe for the past month, and as a result I have collected some new images to add to my portfolio.
In order to ease back into posting on my blog, I decided to start with a familiar theme – some new images to add to my “wallpaper” album, which is included on my flickr site. I am always on the lookout for walls and facades where I can minimize the perspective and create a two-dimensional image.
All of the images in this series are of public spaces located inside buildings. Two of these buildings are located in Australia, where the sun is always prevalent. The sun, shining through glazed windows, leaves its imprint on the walls and floors. The structural system of the walls and glazing is revealed through the shadows that are cast by the sun.
I have recently been experimenting with darker tones in black and white photographs. Using images that were shot in broad daylight, I have been processing them with masks and gradients to darken parts of the image. These three images are examples from this processing.
The Rock of Cashel is a popular tourist attraction in Ireland. The proximity of gravestones and the cloudy sky add to the sinister and moody look of the image.
The RC Harris Water Treatment Plant is located in the Beaches area of east Toronto. It is a majestic art deco building that looks much more impressive than its purpose – to process domestic drinking water from nearby Lake Ontario. Water purification is a basic human need, so, perhaps, the “darker” treatment is not in keeping with its altruistic public health goals.
The exterior fire escape is attached to an office building in Victoria. External fire escapes are much more prevalent in other cities, but this is a good example of a simple geometric facade with the fire escape and its shadow dominating one end of the building. Applying a gradient adds some interest to an otherwise monochromatic wall.
Black and white photography has always interested me, ever since my darkroom days. In the digital world, it is easy to get caught up in colours and vibrance and saturation. By returning to black and white images, tonality and gradients become more important.
The framing of an image has always been important to me. In this series, each image is framed by an arch and/or contains a series of arches. The archway leads you into the image, to discover what lies beyond the frame. From an architectural perspective, it is also interesting to study the differences among the styles of arches – be they gothic, romanesque or barrel vaults.