July 1, 2015

July 1, 2015 I ventured into the Junction. I’ve shot there countless times but not for a long time with any success. I simply wandered and tried not to think about what I wanted to shoot. I found some things of interest in a place that I thought might be exhausted.

The Junction has continued to gentrify at an outrageous pace. That’s not the worst thing, and hopefully a sparkling new Shoppers Drug mart or Tim Horton’s is still a long way off. You can always tell a neighbourhood has reached the tipping point when those sort of places look to set up shop. By then the tastemakers, artists and generally interesting folks have up and left, replaced by the suburban Proctor and Gamble eating hoards.

I find the illusion that happens in the shot below interesting, how the  two dimensional wall mural merging with the discarded carpet roll. The deteriorating plaster to the right side of the frame helps to make sense of what’s happening.IMG_5344On the rail path this is the fence that surrounds a now vacant Toronto Hydro yard. It use to  have a bunch of odds and ends strewn around but they did a major clean. Now it’s virtually empty. I’m not sure what they plan on doing with it, but now the place is derelict. I liked the jumble and chaos of this scene. IMG_5365 Here below is a side wall of a restaurant on Dundas West east of Keele. IMG_5355This is the front window of what was once a retail store and now is someone’s house or apartment. Every now and then they change up a slapdash installation in the window. This time I chanced upon it there was this cool button “I FEEL GOOD ALL OVER” and to the right of it was an old school globe. I didn’t like the shot of the globe, so I kept the shot of the button. IMG_5324 More weird stuff on Dundas West. Just some pipes in front of a store front. I’m pleased with myself for breaking my straight on shooting habit.IMG_5305The reflection from across the street on Dundas west of a strange art decco style building before you enter the Junction proper before Keele. Across the street from the reflected building is another sort of deccoish building that is the Salvation Army.IMG_5299The hoarding for the in construction condo building that’s going up where McBride Cycle used to be once upon a time. These will be called The Duke. I imagine they’ll be quite nice, however the marketing makes me fairly sick.IMG_5292Vertical blinds in a lawyer’s office beside The Sweet Potato oganic food market.IMG_5312 I just uploaded everything that was worthwhile from today’s walk. I’ll elaborate a bit more later. Suffice to say I’m thinking about painting and lines/hard edges.

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June 21, 2015

June 21, 2015. Sunday, Father’s Day. This post is really yesterday and today. Saturday I walked and today I took the bike out with a definite destination in mind. There were other things to see as well. The first two images were taken in the Junction on Saturday. The whole area was getting ready for the Summer Solstice Festival so the curb lanes where cars are usually parked had been blocked off in preparation for the street closing.

The first image is the base of a city road sign and the asphalt. I liked that the rest of the metal frame Is echoed in the a shadow across the base. To me this portrays the power of light and ability to bend in such a way. Colour yellow is nice as well.IMG_5117This metal billboard skeleton was my first destination. Since the picture a few posts ago of the AGO interior I’ve been thinking about this billboard scaffolding structure and others like it. How it could be another potential painting subject. It was little difficult shoot on such a steep upward glancing angle, I had to crop the original image rather drastically, but this frame works for me for a template for painting.IMG_5119I’ve taken pictures of this place over the years. It’s never had anything in it that I remember, but it’s been freshly renovated to sell or lease. That renovation includes a circular window in this the West facing wall. It’s on the north side of Dupont just east of Spadina. Very close to the Magic Oven cardboard pizza place and the liquor store. In the desolation that is the back parking lot there’s a large city recycling bin and beside there is the largest collection of liquor store paper bags you’ve ever seen.

That said the side window is rather special. It’s slightly tacky with the stucco wall. For some reason I detest stucco wall treatments. Maybe because I can picture the Styrofoam underneath and the technique feels so superficial and so pedestrian and suburb like. The glass faces another building which might actually be the pizza place-associated apartments. The whole time I was shooting I was waiting for some resident to tell me to fuck off from one of the shitty windows that some cheap bastard used to replace the originals.IMG_5162Inside the same, vacant, newly renovated, weirdly attractive building that somebody will rent for some weird store. This is taken through the circular window pictured above.IMG_5164This was my original destination on the Sunday. I had planned to take a picture of an exterior wall that had a nice square chunk jack hammered out of it and backed with plywood however there was a car parked in front of it and when I framed the spot I thought I had liked it didn’t work well enough to press the shutter. I could however see indie through the super-dirty windows and I liked the nice linear layout of the raw framing and the way the light played inside. This reminds me very much of one of the first photographs I took through glass. That image was of a a building on the Dundas West/Roncessvalle transition curve that was a Bank of Montreal then was converted into the existing Starbuck store. I particularly like how the electrical hangs at a nice angle from the top left of the frame and the play of cinder block grey against the wood framing browns.IMG_5170Another shot of that building that’s being renovated on Avenue Road, just North of Dupont. The Skylight here brings a nice glow to the setting.

The windows really were really remarkably dirty. I always get a kick how easy it is to clean them up and make the images relatively crisp by simply playing with the levels and curves in Photoshop. IMG_5181Just south of the interior shots on Avenue road is Del Luca Fine Art pictured below. The gallery appears to have moved, or is in the process of moving. TBCIMG_5182 IMG_5190

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Salt

I shot this image about ten years ago, but I’ve got better equipment and my eye has changed a bit so I came back to it.

These are the stairs I traverse everyday on my way to and from almost anywhere. In winter they lace them with so much rock salt that they completely transform into a weird birch tree like colour. You can glimpse the street below and the colours of the graffitified  support structure in some of the shots.

One of the following images is my normal view, the other two are rotated so the idea of the steps disappears. IMG_4376IMG_4388IMG_4387

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