To prepare for our trip to Israel, we sought out spiritual vistas… the intention was one per week. Below are my first two images captured during the first week of January… renditions of The Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Markham, Ontario.
In the second image, there is a visibly expanded colour range that gives the photograph an edge of unbelievability. That is because I purposely “pushed” the shadows and highlights so that more detail would be visible in each. I then applied a contrast boost by blending in several black + white and colour layers. Of course, I also selectively darkened and lightened certain areas in order to direct the eye.
The shots were captured at sunset on a beautifully mixed sun/cloud day. The variation in colour is a result of all that. The "colour temperature" at that time of day, with that type of sun/cloud mix was constantly changing, which made for the varied palette.
Because of poor weather conditions, I decided against an outing during the second week. Instead, I searched through my cache of medium-format test images captured in late summer of 2011.
No, this is not Rome or Athens… it's Toronto!
Yes, these are sculptures that once adorned University Avenue but have been relocated to The Guild Inn, in Scarborough. This image was captured using a Hasselblad H4D-40. I converted it to Black & White and then applied a sepia photo filter on a portion of it - a technique that is used more frequently now by many professional photographers (to emphasize items within a photograph).
It was a very cold, snowy grey day and I happened to be in Collingwood, Ontario for a “boys” eating retreat during the third week. My bro and I ventured away from the gang and came upon the above scene. I had visioned it many times, in different seasons; The abandoned silos beckoned me to capture the image on an appropriately dreary day. The raw image was a very low-contrast grey composition and needed some magic to make it look like as it is above.
Night photography has always been a "hit or miss" activity for me. There are simply too many variables to expect outright success. But, as the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained!” So, in week four, I searched downtown Toronto for shot.
This is a night shot of the skating rink at Nathan Phillips Square. I went through the steps of processing the image, attempting to minimize digital "noise" (because of the long exposure required to capture the scene) and then giving it that final look - only to decide that I didn't care for the colours… and so I made it a black & white photo.
The ghost effect (on the skaters) is totally a result of the long exposure used. In reality, there were upwards of 100-125 skaters on the ice, but the movement of the skaters essentially made them invisible in the photo because the exposure was set at 4 seconds; so, only those skaters that moved very little or not at all were recorded as discernible items within the photo.
When it comes to photography, Winter is simply too dirty! So, I decided to end the series in week five.
Trying to find an environmentally harmonized (or simply pleasing) location is so difficult at times, especially when there is only a thin patchy layer of snow on the ground. So, I travelled to Markham again because I remembered seeing this long, interesting driveway leading to a very large farm at the edge of the development envelope. This farm will likely not be there in a few years. The day was cloudy and grey, but when I arrived, the clouds seemed to part to allow the sun to make an appearance, just before sundown.