I took this picture in the lobby of the Delta Toronto Marriott when I was there a few months ago. Have you ever noticed how hotels design lobby spaces to feel inviting? This one is a far cry from the Motel 6 we stayed at when I was a kid.
When I’m in a big city, I like walking into lobbies and taking pictures of the architecture. The lobby is where the hotel puts its best foot forward. The idea is to convey a sense of luxury and comfort at the same time. Comfort usually means plush furniture and pillows that make you want to sink into them.
Anyway, I was walking through in the evening, and the colors caught my eye. I had been sitting here a few hours earlier to meet someone, but hardly noticed it in the daylight. I’m continually surprised at how light affects a place. In my opinion, it’s the key to photography. On the top floor, there is a lounge with a spectacular view of the CN Tower. And my room had a pretty nice view of the lake as well. I think the hotel is rated four stars, but from a photographic perspective, it’s easily a five.
Earlier in the year, I was up in Toronto for a quick stay, and at night I wandered around taking photos. This arched walkway is a connector between the convention center and Union Station. Little did I know that this is also where I would catch the train to the airport in the morning. So I ended up at this same spot eight hours later to grab an early flight home.
It was a good idea because a snow storm came in that night and the streets were a mess, but the trains kept rolling. The flight ended up getting delayed anyway, but at least I was at the gate on time.
I used to live in Toronto a long time ago, and I’m sure I walked through this spot at some point. But this time I had my camera, and it seemed new to me. Nevertheless, much of downtown Toronto is connected by covered or underground walkways because of the long winters. I think we should do the same thing down in Florida for the long hot summers. Or, maybe not, we probably spend enough time indoors as it is.
You’ll never guess where this is from. If you need a hint, look for the flag. But seriously, the rain should give it away for sure.
I was wandering around the downtown part of the city on a Sunday morning before my flight home. When I arrived here there was no one around on account of the rain. But, being an iconic spot, within three minutes a bus full of Chinese tourists arrived and started taking selfies. It was a comical scene and so I sat on a bench to watch the ensuing chaos. Five minutes later they climbed back onto the bus and were off to the next location.
Iconic locations are fun to shoot, and with a little effort, you can add your own spin. Many famous photographers seek out the same landmarks around the world. I’m not super motivated to do that. But if I happen to be there then why not, it’s still fun. In fact, it can be more fun to shoot the people at an iconic location than the location itself. Wished I’d thought of that before I took this.
Daylight savings is upon us and somehow this seemed appropriate. It’s a combination of images taken at different times of day. By carefully merging them I’ve created a surreal scene that combines a daylight image with another one at night. It’s a little like the confusion I experience on a Monday after we change the clocks, eh?
If you detected a slight Canadian accent it’s because I took this while in Toronto. I took one shot out the hotel window when I arrived in in the afternoon and another in the evening. In the past I’ve done similar images using a tripod, but in this case I handheld the camera each time. That creates slight variations which could have been difficult to align, but with a little effort it turned out okay.
Even when I travel for reasons other than photography I bring my camera. This was a quick business trip with very little time for photos, yet I still managed to get a few shots from around the hotel. Hope springs eternal and I figure that if I bring the camera and I have an extra hour in the day (knock on wood), I’ll get a little time for doing what I like best: eh?
The floor of Toronto’s Eaton Centre as I walked through early one morning. The shapes and lines caught my eye so I used a balcony to capture it looking down. There are normally a lot of people walking around but I was here before opening.
Years ago when I lived here this was called the Eaton Center. Eaton’s department store was one of the anchors with Hudson’s Bay the other. Things have changed since those days and the stores are now different and the name of the mall is changed. However I think everyone still calls it the Eaton Centre.
In some monochrome images I’ll leave something in color. This is a technique I use to elevate individuals or things. Photography is a way to freeze an instant of time, a random moment of our lives. Here I am emphasis a person within the setting.
Each person has a unique way of seeing the world, no two are alike. When the mall opens in another hour all of those people will pour in and become a crowd. Each individual in that crowd experiences it in their own way.
This is the city of Toronto just before dawn on a Sunday morning. There’s something about the electricity of a city that is attractive, I think it’s something in our nature. I used to live here for a dozen years, it was at a time I stopped doing photography, now when I go back I bring my camera.
This spot is just east of the city, I’m sure it’s popular with photographers but there were none here at this hour. I guess I was a little lucky with the timing because just as I was finishing up it started raining. Not that I mind a little rain, but being in a deserted industrial site in the rain at this hour is, well, less fun than sitting in a Starbucks with a spiced pumpkin latte.
Another good thing about showing up late or early to locations like this, the water is smooth as there are no boats moving about. That creates the smooth reflections which are further enhanced by the long exposure. So despite the cold, the rain and the ungodly hour, this is the perfect time and setting for photography.
In fact this is a three image panorama. I took three, eight-second exposures side by side with a tripod and then stitched them together. The end result is a high resolution image that I can enjoy from the comfort of a warm room while sipping a latte and thinking to myself “that’s wasn’t so bad, was it?”