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!

Ian

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.  

San Francisco Chinatown Street Photography In Classic Chrome – Part Two

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Note:  Part one of this series can be viewed HERE.

I’ve had some random thoughts about photography on my mind for a while now, but they never really came together in my head in a way that allowed me to write about them until today.  The truth is that it was the responses to my latest blog post, part one of new street work from San Francisco’s Chinatown, that made things click in my mind.  I’d like to write about them quickly before I share this photo essay if that’s ok…

Photography is often a solo endeavour for me.  Most of the time, actually.  I usually travel by myself to build my travel portfolio and generate new work for my upcoming book series.  I shoot street photography by myself because I am always moving through the city, watching and reacting.  I write on my own, though my brilliant wife serves as editor in chief.  I don’t work with assistants on weddings or portrait sessions.  Barring the workshops I lead or the presentations I conduct, I am almost always on my own when it comes to photography.

Having said that, the photography world is also full of communities, and I don’t think I’ve ever been part of communities I enjoy more than those surrounding the Fuji X series and the genre of street photography.  This really hit home for me when I published part one of this series on this site, and shared some of the thoughts and images on my Instagram and Twitter feeds.  This series is no different than any of my other work, but over the last week I have had amazing discussions with people from all over the world about the Fuji X series, techniques for shooting street photography, questions about San Francisco, requests for workshops, etc.  These conversations seem to happen on a regular basis now and I couldn’t be more thankful for them.  I am proud to represent Fujifilm as an Official Fuji X Photographer and to participate in the opportunities that this role provides me.  I love that I have the opportunity to interact with artists that I have an amazing amount of respect for.  As a long time educator, I enjoy having conversations with new photographers too, whose passion and excitement is infectious at times.  It is all good.

I am launching a new series of workshops in 2017 that will be expanding to various cities around the world, and I cannot wait to actually meet many of the people, face to face, that I have become friends with through social media, our online Skype mentoring sessions, and other avenues.   Exciting times ahead for sure.

Until then though, here is another series of new street work from San Francisco’s Chinatown.  As with the first series, all of the photos below were shot with the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and a 35mm f/2 lens.  All images are in Fuji’s Classic Chrome film simulation, which works perfectly with the gorgeous light and shadow I had during this trip.

Finally, please keep up the conversations via email, comments here, on Twitter or on Instagram.  Interacting with other artists is such a great thing.  And now, let’s look at some photos!

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I have more from this recent trip to San Francisco to share soon, but next up I’d like to share some stories from my most recent trip to Amsterdam.

Until then,

Ian