Cosy on up

Sometimes you just have to change your perspective a bit. I was at the Distillery District in Toronto, a set of old buildings once used for distilling liquor before prohibition and now an interesting collection of shops, restaurants and art galleries. Last year I assisted a friend shoot a wedding here in the old brick buildings and cobblestone road.

I originally came here to visit the CIAO exhibit. I’ll be lazy and quote from the site:

“GAIA is the latest tour de force of Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil® and first-ever private space explorer to publish a book chronicling his photographic journey. GAIA is comprised of sixty stunning photographs of the Earth taken from 220 miles away during an eleven-day trip in space, with unique views of nearly forty countries. Proceeds from the sale of GAIA benefit ONE DROP.”

Many of the photos in the exhibit, all outdoors on metal (see photo right), seemed more abstract than photographs of the earth. Many show patterns of colour and others graphic images from sand dunes, mountains and rivers. All were beautiful and make an important point about the scarcity of water in so many places.

Of course I had my camera and ironically, I ended up focusing on an old rusted Fargo pickup truck where I decided on some close up shots. I like landscape but when I am not enamoured with the view I tend to look closer. In some cases, very close (I do carry a macro 105mm just in case). I noticed the truck when we stopped for a coffee and remembered that a lot of wedding photographers use this and another old wagon as props. The sun was out, but I managed some photos when it dipped behind some clouds for a while.

They were taken with my 24-120mm f4.0 walking around lens. When I do photographs like these, I tend to try and bring out as much contrast and detail as possible. I used the high pass filter in Photoshop twice (once at 30 and again at 1.5) using a soft overlay blend. I also sharpened using the unsharp mask, keeping the radius high and the percent low. You play around until you get something you like, but I used 30% and a radius of 70 for these photos.  One of the photos is so abstract you wouldn’t know it was a panel on the truck (right)

While I can’t afford to float 220 miles above the earth for a few landscape photos, I can certainly cosy up to something nearby and get equally interesting photographs. Well, at least for me.


2 responses to “Cosy on up

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