Tag Archives: Temper Trap

The Mysterious Smiling Face

A face in a window! I skipped a beat, or maybe it did a double beat. Not sure. There’s nothing unusual in a photographer grabbing their camera and heading out to witness the world beyond the confines of our environmentally controlled abodes. Although I gravitate naturally to the less trampled path of a hiking trail or portage, I live in Toronto and don’t break free of the traffic gridlock as often as I’d like. So, rather than lament what I can’t do, I head out for the busy sidewalks and laneways that offer up no shortage of unexpected surprises, regardless of the time of year or hour of the day.

I was sitting in front of my computer screen, keywording some images that were now a few years old, but hadn’t gotten around to processing, when I pulled up this image. I was in a streetscape sort of mood that day and found a storefront that caught my eye, but there was something missing. I positioned myself across the street and waited for someone to walk past. I was fortunate that smack in the middle of the reflective window, was some signage that would be perfect for disguising my own reflection, and exposed several frames, of passersby.

I picked this one as the best in the bunch, and although I didn’t know if it would ever see the light of day I straightened it out a bit, converted it to black and white and made some contrast and exposure adjustments. I zoomed in to check focus, when suddenly it hit me. Maybe it was Temper Trap playing over my speakers or maybe it was the mood set by the late February funk, but what ever it was, the image took on a whole new meaning.

I had been completely unaware that there was a smiling face behind the glass. Who was she, what was she thinking, did she think I had pointed the camera at her, or that I might even be aware of her? I’ll never know, but the discovery of that smiling face in the window, reminded me of how powerful a photograph can be, even after all this time.

With the heightened concerns regarding privacy, I know that many photographers have become, shall we say, hesitant to photograph the street life that humanizes the city. Up until a few years ago, I too counted myself amongst those timid photographers, but no more. I may not be able to sell the images, but the pure satisfaction I derive from documenting our communal struggles is satisfaction enough. Finding that mysterious face in the coffee shop window has only reinforced my craving to bear witness to the human spirit.

Streetscape on Bay Street in Front of Urabna Coffee as photographed by Miguel Horitiguela, Photography By Miguel, Toronto Photographer serving Toronto, GTA and Southern Ontario.

The Imperative To Create Art

Like most teenagers, I was drawn to music, like a pig to… mud. Growing up in Toronto, that meant listening to 1050 CHUM and I can still recall the jingle. The radio station was synonymous with top 40 when top 40 described a variety of music that would span from Frank Sinatra to Deep Purple and everything in between. Now that was a musical education.

To keep track of all our favourite music, it became a ritual to race down to our neighbourhood music store to grab a copy of our very own CHUM Chart, which published for 1,512 consecutive weeks, from 1957 straight through to 1986. From it’s debut until 1975, the chart was printed in a brochure format and became instant collectors items. I still have a few hundred of my own, well worn, little nostalgic gems. In 1975 the individual collectors brochures were discontinued and the chart was instead published in the Entertainment Section of the Toronto Star, until 1986.

The CHUM Chart was the longest-running Top 40 chart in the world produced by an individual radio station, beginning it’s run with its first #1 single by Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up”, and bowing out with it’s final #1 by Madonna’s “Live to Tell”.

My interest in popular music has waned with changing styles, but I’ve been fortunate to be reacquainted at different times by other music lovers. My youngest brother turned me on to much of the “New Wave” bands, both domestic and imports of the 1980’s, and now my children have picked up the baton.

From the time they began listening to music, of all types, I’ve quizzed them on the composers, artists and titles of what they were listening to and regaled them with trivial anecdotes. I guess you could say I was there very own personal CHUM Charts. I like to think that I’ve had a meaningful impact on their wide ranging musical tastes and now I’m reaping the harvest. Last year I attended a Cold Play www.coldplay.com/ concert with my son, where we were also blessed with Elbow www.elbow.co.uk/, an opening act from Scotland, to rival the star attraction. And the beat goes on, when a few days ago, my youngest daughter introduced me to Temper Trap www.thetempertrap.com/, a wonderful band from Melbourne, Australia.

Long live the Imperative to Create art.