Aug 7, 2015

Aug 7, 2015 and I took my camera to work. It’s a bit awkward on my 15km bicycle trip simply because of the weight. I have a new process though. I use to walk a lot and shoot, now I ride and research with my iPhone. Often posting to social media and generally living with images for a few days. If I’m still interested I take my big camera out and re shoot using the iPhone images as a reference.

My work trip takes me along Overleigh in Toronto’s East end. Before Overleighh hits Don Mills there was a Target. The middle shot was taken months ago on one of these journeys, the top and bottom images below were taken this week.

These are examples of images that I take because I love how photography of found objects and landscapes can often emulate what might be considered painterly or sculptural tableaus.

There’s always an element of contemplation in my work, but I avoid calling it minimalist. I’ve begun to dislike that term. Minimalism is bandied about by people as a term that can simply be exchanged with simple. I don’t find the attached images simple.
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No picture of any vacant Target store can be politically uncharged. The successful U.S. chain bulldozed into the Canadian market thinking they knew everything and planned to easily covert that U.S. success. How the mighty have fallen since.

Because my day job deals with larger retailers in Canada I have a tie to this failure and opinions about it. I don’t feel this is the forum to discuss that, nor do I feel I have strong enough opinions to want to discuss them. These pictures to me though comment to a degree on commercialism, consumerism and U.S. Canada relations.

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Broadview

Today I found glory on Broadview through the windows of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I went to take pictures of the satellite dish that sits in their parking lot but ended up peering through the windows into the foyer of their church. A foyer that looks like it might not be used too much. I’m glad nobody was around because I guess I was technically trespassing on Mormon land. I don’t know any Mormons, maybe there not bad folks.

Just a reminder to see a bigger image than below just click on the image itself and it should open in a larger widow so you can see more detail.

Anyway the satellite dish ended up being not so interesting because it was behind a fence and I couldn’t get a clear shot. While I was looking though I realised that the entire parking lot was completely empty and by extension the building was probably vacant. I plucked up enough courage to look through the windows where the vertical blinds were not drawn and I saw this. Iw as smiling when  I shot it.

The most remarkable thing is that i’ve passed by here on my bicycle and on the bus at least 1000 times and I never thought to explore this block on foot. IF I had I might have discovered that at least during the week in the mornings there’s no one around the building and no one to get all bent out of shape when I take photographs. I think that’s one of the most amazing things. We all pass by so much stuff without ever giving it a second thought. If I could stop doing that I think I’d discover a lot more exciting stuff to shoot.

The image below was shot earlier this same morning on the the Danforth east of Donlands subway stop. Today instead of getting off at Broadview and busing the remainder of the trip to work, I went five or six stops further on the subway and then walked and took photographs as I made my way back to Broadview. I shot the image below of an empty retail window. I’m not sure if someone is storing the pianos in here, trying to sell them or they are left over from the last occupant. Regardless this piano and chair had a nice casual and natural composition that I like.

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Retail

Retail is often the subject of my work. This store front is a Rogers on the Danforth. It’s super-ghetto but the colour is awesome in amongst all that blahhh.

The side of a Jehovah’s Witness Church attached to a Budget Car Rental north of Bloor on Dundas West. I’ve shot this wall for 10 years. Obsessive might be to casula a word for that.

The Abacus Condo Sales Office. Dundas West around Gladstone. Note the coffee cup in the background on the right side of the image. The coffee cup series is another possible body of work. I’m serious.

 

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