Touching Rust reviewed by Toronto Star

My Contact show Touching Rust was reviewed in today’s Toronto Star. If you’re a hard-copy sort of person, look to page 3 in the Arts section. For the rest of you, here is a link to the review in their Art blog.  There is a complete preview of the show in my “Recent Exhibitions” section (see the menu at the top of this page).

I have to admit this publicity caught me by surprise.  First there were some congratulatory phone messages, but none mentioned what it was about. Then late in the afternoon, I sat down to read the blogs that I follow… which includes the Murray Whyte Contemporary Art blog (a Toronto Star Blog). Scrolling down, I see a familiar photo… it takes a second to sink in…HEY! It’s MY photo! And some nice words about my show. The fame may last only 15 minutes, but it feels pretty good.

Doors of Alton

I went out on a photo walk at the Historic Alton Mill with the local camera club last night. Driving through Alton on the way to the mill, I noticed some interesting details on the old buildings I passed.  So after shooting at the mill for a while, I wandered back down the street with my camera and tripod.  There were two doorways that I thought were really interesting.  The sun had set about thirty minutes earlier, so there were lots of mysterious shadows to work with. Both of these were converted to b&w so I could alter what was bright and dark. I then added some colour back in, and on “A Heart of Stained Glass” added a smudged blur to the darker areas to soften some of the hard lines of the decorative grilles on the door.

Slipping Away
A heart of Stained glass.

Details, details.

I love details.  They’re the little things you see all the time, but never really notice.  Often they can be surprisingly beautiful.  A personal favourite of mine is old door hardware.  You see a lot of them in my Complications Portfolio. Here is a door latch I found in an alley in Port Hope:

In a Toronto alley, I spotted this interesting basement window with a woven steel mesh that has corroded nicely. I like the irregular spacing in the weave.

Pastry Weave

Vanishing Point

I was having some work done on my car last week, so I took a walk with my camera while I waited. I was in the old industrial part of Brampton. In one place I was walking down a twisting rail spur line that I thought would make an interesting photo. I converted it to black and white to allow me to darken and de-emphasize the background while highlighting the rails themselves. I vignetted it rather heavily to add even more emphasis to the rails.

Twisting trail

Out of Context

Back a month or so ago, I was shooting in the town of Fergus Ontario. Some of my shots from that day have already been posted here.  What I did not post was shots I took of three big steel sliding doors that I spotted in an alley.

The raw file capture

I thought the doors had real potential, but I couldn’t figure out how to deal with the rather ugly background.  I also wanted to put the three doors together in a single panorama.  It was while stitching them together that I had a moment of inspiration – why not remove the background entirely?  I tried it, and liked the result.

Hung Out To Dry

Using a plain black background seems to make the door colours more vibrant.  It also makes it harder to figure out just what they are, once the context of the background has been removed.  Printed big (20 in by 60 in) on canvas, it is stunning.  I think I will make “Out of Context” the theme for a new series of photos treated in this way.

Early morning sun.

I was downtown early in the morning last week to pick up a couple of cases of Contact magazines. (**Shameless plug alert** see my Contact show Touching Rust at Terroni Adelaide during the month of May! I also have a gallery of the pieces in the show.)  Ahem.  Anyway, on with the story. I arrived too early for the pick-up, so I went down to the waterfront to walk around a bit.  First there was some play with the early-morning tall shadows.

Shadow friends.
Even shadow dragons won’t cross a chain line.

The best find of the morning was a wonderful multi-coloured reflection of some stacked kayaks.

Gimme Colour!

Another From Valley Brick

This panorama is from a series of shots taken a month ago on my last trip to Valley Brick. The shielded overhead lights made interesting arcs of light that I wanted to capture. For some reason Photoshop had trouble putting them together, so I had to manually assemble the six shots in this panorama. I have a new appreciation for the work PS does when it stitches together a panorama!

Arcs of Light

In the Wind

On a drive through wind-farm country between Grand Valley and Shelburne, I spotted the remains of a barn that I thought would look good against the dramatic skies. I did some re-colouring of the sky and the foreground to add to the drama.

Wind Shaker

A bit further up the road was an interesting juxtaposition of old and new. I converted this scene to b&w then re-coloured some of the grasses to highlight the space between the old and new windmills.

Many seasons passed, but tomorrow nears.