Toronto Street Photography Part One – Sunshine

In July I spent a week in Toronto on business:  a 3 day street photography workshop, a photowalk with my friends at Fujifilm Canada, meetings, and a day of private instruction with a student.  It was a whirlwind trip, to say the least.

When I teach, I rarely take photos as I am of the belief that my students should be the ones creating the images unless I am demonstrating something specific.  Experiential learning is so important to a student’s development, and every photo that I don’t take is one that I can help a student create instead.  Still, I did manage to grab an occasional frame during the week, mostly during walks between meetings, after each workshop day, or during quick meal breaks.  That last part is so important: never forget to carve out a few minutes here and there with a camera in your hands doing what you love.

Now that the summer rush is over I finally have time to get to these images.  This blog post will feature a few photographs taken during the sunny summer weather you’d expect in Toronto.  Don’t think of them as a series though, they really are just small snippets of life observed as I walked around the city.  We also had a few hours of torrential rain, however, and part two of this series will feature a few photos from that.

All of these images were taken with either the Fujifilm X100F or the X-Pro2 (usually with the 50mm f/2 lens).  All processing was done using either the Classic Chrome film simulation (colour images) or Acros+R (black and white images).

Talk soon!


FujiLove Podcast

Good morning everyone,

Just a quick heads up that I am the guest on this month’s FujiLove Podcast. We talked about defining our photographic styles (or rather, not defining them), inspiration and motivation, why we pursue photography, why we shoot Fujifilm and of course about this gear that we love so much.

You can find the podcast here (it is episode 20):

…and of course on iTunes and other assorted places too.

If you aren’t already following FujiLove I highly recommend doing so.  It is a wonderful community of people (both on the website and on the Facebook group) that offers a lot of free content to its readers.  Additionally, there is a paid option that provides a beautiful monthly magazine and educational videos.  FujiLove also hosts workshops around the world… they really are doing great things for the community.



September 11th

Today is the 16th anniversary of the September 11th attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  Anybody old enough to remember that horrible day can probably remember exactly where they were, and what they were doing, when they heard the news.  It was my generation’s Pearl Harbor and it changed the world forever.

I have a 20 year history working as a paramedic and I distinctly recall watching my peers respond to the towers and to the other crash sites that day.  I also recall how I felt when I learned that so many of them fell while performing their duties.  My wife and I honeymooned in New York City not long after that, and I have a close friend who served in Afghanistan as a direct result of the attacks.  Like many people, I feel a connection to that day.

When I was back in New York last year I took this photo of one of the two reflecting pools found at The National September 11 Memorial & Museum (which is located underground).  Each reflecting pool is approximately 1 acre in size and is located in the footprint of one of the World Trade Center towers.  More than 400 trees surround these pools, creating an incredibly peaceful experience.

The Memorial & Museum is a moving tribute to that horrible day, with a strong focus on the people involved (the victims, the heroes, the responders, those who worked so tirelessly at Ground Zero for so long, the families that were left behind and yes, the attackers too). It is respectful, educational, and it is not to be missed if you are ever in New York City.

I have so many other photographs from my day spent at the Memorial.  I even have a blog post written about it but even now, 16 years later, it still hits a little close to home for me.  I wouldn’t trade my current life as a photographer and author for anything but I will always honour my previous life serving on the streets as a paramedic, those who I served with and ultimately those who sacrificed everything to care for us and to protect us.

My life is blessed:  I am so lucky to have an amazing family and to be an artist.  Days like today serve as an important reminder to never take any of it for granted.

Author’s note:  Parts of this text have been posted on previous years.