Tag Archives: Toronto

Queen’s Park Cycling Grand Prix

It’s no fun being the butt of a joke and living in Toronto, we put up with our share of criticism, some deserved but most, not. Let’s face it, as Canadians we make it a national sport to diminish the contributions of our artists, ignore our scientific advancements and, yes, ridicule any comparisons between our large metropolitan centres and the great cities of the world. Well you know what, this is a great city, but don’t believe me, just ask the thousands of people living here now that have arrived from every corner of the world.

Despite our shortcomings, it is truly miraculous how people from such diverse cultural traditions, religious believes and language groups, can coexist and not just tolerate each other, but adapt, adopt and share our differences to produce something incomparably unique.

But that’s not all. I remember when Highway 401, the major east/west corridor, crossing what was once the northern reaches of the city, was quiet after nine or ten at night and on Sunday’s it was all but deserted. Not any longer. This is truly a city that doesn’t sleep and with such a diverse citizenry it only stands to reason that there is always a variety of festivals, and concerts and exhibitions of every description, to choose from. Yes, and even though our sports teams may not be the most competitive, we love them too.

As a photographer, regardless of the time of year, there is so much to choose from that the difficulty is in deciding where to focus my attention. Like a musician or a writer, the photographer too needs to nurture their creative juices. That is why I try to set aside one day every week or two, when I take on a new challenge or hone a point of view, long ignored.

That was the case a couple of summers back, when I headed over to take in, and photograph, the 2010 Queen’s Park Cycling Grand Prix. Sporting events, generate hundreds if not thousands of images, primarily, because one needs to capture a split moment in time and you never know until you later scan over the harvest, whether you got anything worth keeping. That was a good day for me and a couple of my images were recently selected by Nikon to advertise their new Coolpix S9300. It’s not like I can retire on the licensing of the photos, far from it, but it is gratifying to turn a pleasant Sunday afternoon into a feather for my cap.

Benches – Initial Offering

After looking through a selection of some of my favourite images, I discovered that I often point my camera at chairs: chairs in a row, stacked, different colours, looking lonely. Anyway, bouncing around ideas for a potential exhibit, I decided to keep an eye out for benches.

My initial thoughts were to use the benches to illustrate their function as a place to relax, converse and observe. Ideally I would want people in some if not all of them, but the whole issue surrounding Privacy concerns me, not only from a legal perspective but also not wanting to intrude.

Also, sure, there are lots of benches, but what’s the point, photograph every bench I see? Well, no. I want the image to have a strong graphic and artistic component. I want the photos to cause the viewer to consider the image, to imagine themselves there, to recall a friend or time in their lives. As I began, I also decided that it was important for the bench to be perhaps part of a larger scene, not necessarily a detail in the corner, but rather that the viewer might try to guess where it was taken. That of course brought up the question of including or excluding images not local to Toronto.

Anyway, here are a few examples of the benches that have caught my eye, but mosey over to my Benches V1 Photo Essay, take a guess at where these benches are, if you’re curious and can’t place them, drop me a line and if you’re feeling really inspired, share your own story about a bench, a friend or a memory that took place on a bench. I’m also open to any interesting location suggestions.