Where are Minarets and Cupulas not a world away? When you live in a city that is as culturally diverse as Toronto, they’re scattered throughout. We are fortunate to live at a point in history and in a city where everyone is welcome. This city has so much variety in terms of arts and cultural festivals, and cuisine that one might be forgiven for becoming desensitized to it all.
As a photographer, I often receive requests for photos of far-off exotic destinations and discover that there’s yet another location that I haven’t visited. That’s when I remind myself of how fortunate I am to have the world in my own backyard. It’s easy to forget that Toronto is an international tourist destination and that we too have wonderful landmarks that others come to visit. This summer Toronto plays host to the 2015 PanAm Games and all those shutter bugs will be pointing their cameras at us.
It was a Saturday morning, earlier this spring, when I’d offered to drive my daughter to a location just north of Toronto, to perform in a student film, and the fog was so thick I could barely see down the street. Anyone who knows me, knows that I usually have my camera with me, and this was one time when I’m so glad I did. I was returning home and turned a corner to find myself in Istanbul. Every time, I look at this photo of the Minaret and Cupula shrouded in the thick, early-morning fog, I’m taken far away. I imagine the rising sun filtering through the still streets of a Middle Eastern city and hear the chant of the Islamic call to prayer, pierced only by the shriek of a gull flying overhead.
If we don’t want this paradise to become a caricature of itself, in which culture is nothing more than a re-enactment at summer festivals, then we must be accepting, and appreciate that everything has its price. If we want to encourage the variety and richness of all, that the music and food have to offer, than we must accept the people behind the traditions and that which nourishes them.
We are so incredibly fortunate to have so much cultural wealth in our own backyard. Open your eyes, point your camera and be transported.
Contact me to discuss your photographic needs.