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More Photos from Around Toronto

Published March 31st, 2012

So I've got my Rebel XSi, my 50mm Sigma f/1.4, and Adam's 18-135 zoom lens and I'm out and about around Toronto. I got a lot of feedback on my last story and on the photos I posted last week, and I'd like to thank Adam, Tom, Diana, Megan, Evgeny, Oleg, Sam, Debbie, and anyone else I've forgotten. I really appreciate all of your super-helpful critiques!

I've taken when I've learnt and gone back to some old shots to redo them, as well as take some new photos using some techniques my friends taught me. I'm looking forward to your feedback!


Daffodil II

This is my second attempt to try and capture that damned daffodil.

I took a few different angles and liked this one the most. The flower looks exceedingly sad despite being a yellow daffodil, and I really want to capture that juxtaposition. I think having the flower cemented in the bottom left of the frame looking out to a sidewalk and a bike in the background really help.

Unfortunately, the focus is not great. I struggled with this and such an open aperture - maybe a higher f-stop would help with the focus. I'm going to go back some day and try to retake this. Again.

  • March 29th, 2012
  • Canon EOS digital Rebel XSi
  • 50mm / f/1.4 / 1/1000 sec


I had a few moments after the barista at Dark Horse on John St. made our coffees to take a photo of the machine. I love how there are so few parallel lines on the machine.

It's still a very new cafe so everything still seems pristine and unworn. I really like, though, that there are a few rags visible. I thought about cropping them out, but I like them.

Maybe not the best shot, but I like it.

  • March 27th, 2012
  • Canon EOS digital Rebel XSi
  • 26mm / f/4 / 1/20 sec

Self Portrait

Since I got my camera, I've been itching to try and get a picture in our work elevators, but it's hard to find a few seconds alone in them. The other morning, I took my camera on the elevator going down from the seventh floor during the rush to get up to work.

I like this one best out of the 6 or 7 I took; I considered adjusting the photo's angle, but I kind of like the attention that's drawn to the camera's lens. Also, the mirrors aren't quite parallel on both planes, so the repeated reflections are skewed anyway, so fixing the angle would have just drawn attention to how the photo isn't perfect.

I'm not really one for doing self-portraits, but I couldn't resist this one.

  • March 29th, 2012
  • Canon EOS digital Rebel XSi
  • 26mm / f/4 / 1/15 sec

Fear of Cranes

This is the building that's being constructed next door to the office. Well, one of the buildings that are being constructed next door. I tried to apply what everyone suggested in terms of framing, but it was difficult to get this shot as it was so effing cold out. Also, even though it was overcast, I struggled to get the exposure balanced between the shadows and the sky, both while taking the photo and during post-processing. Any feedback on these aspects of the photo - composition and processing - would be greatly appreciated.

I should also mention that I have a profound fear of cranes.

  • March 27th, 2012
  • Canon EOS digital Rebel XSi
  • 18mm / f/10 / 1/320 sec


We went out for dinner and the restaurant had a string of white Christmas lights strung around a tree outside. It was late and very dark, so I tried to play with the lights.

I struggled with this in a few ways - it was very dark, so exposure was hard. I'm surprised the shot turned out so well with a 1/30 shutter speed without a tripod. I shot this a few times with a more open aperture but I wanted a wider depth of field. Also, there's a red car and building behind Ashley, who is wearing a red coat, so the composition could be improved.

What I really like are the lights framed in the photo. I'm planning on bringing my tripod, my camera, and my subject back on a warmer night to try and get a really nice, longer exposure.

  • March 29th, 2012
  • Canon EOS digital Rebel XSi
  • 50mm / f/2 / 1/30 sec


One of the reasons I decided to get into photography was the wonderful photos that Roland Shainidze took around Toronto, particularly of the TTC. I'm only beginning to learn how to use post-processing techniques, but I wanted to try and emulate his style a little.

I tried to clean up the barrel distortion best I could and make details within the (relatively) dark streetcar visible, as well as details outside that appeared washed out. This might look better earlier in the morning when it's not so bright outside.

Also, I'm gotten a lot of feedback that my photos are well-composed, except always centred. Something I really like about Roland's work is that he uses the geometric lines converging at the vanishing point to draw your eyes to something off-centre. This is another photo I'm going to go back and retake, hopefully with an even more deserted streetcar.

  • March 27th, 2012
  • Canon EOS digital Rebel XSi
  • 18mm / f/5.6 / 1/400 sec

Stand Back

This is another one inspired by Roland. I see this sign every morning and love it. Its yellow is so starkly contrast with the grey of the concrete it's fixed to. I'm going to try some selective colour techniques and see what I can make of this. This is another one that suffered from barrel distortion that I've tried to correct. I would have moved further back from the sign, but couldn't afford to lose my place in the lineup for the streetcar.

I know that this is completely centred in the frame, my trademark mistake, but I couldn't help myself. I'm not comfortable shooting people yet, but going back when people are standing around the line might make a better photo.

Sharper Dressed Manikin II

This is another do-over from my last story. I took what Adam and Tom suggested about framing and a steady hand to try and capture something more than just the manikin this time.

What's restraining about this photo is that damned bar in the way of the manikin - I tried, but it doesn't look right cropped. Regardless, I think this is a much better shot that the first.

  • March 25th, 2012
  • Canon EOS digital Rebel XSi
  • 50mm / f/2 / 1/320 sec

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Roland Shainidze  over 5 years ago

Lovely pictures! What I really like about street photography - you capture very special moment without any preparation, spontaneously! I really like first picture, great example of DOF... Great idea with self-portrait, creates feeling of infinity... you know me I love shooting subway/street cars, the street car shot is my favourite, love the tones, I should try it with selective colour play as I did it with subway car... Stand back is very simple but powerful composition, yellow really stands out...
Well done my friend, however, if I were you I would do few things to improve those images, first of all I see you were shooting without tripod and I am pretty shire you had to increase ISO, I would run it through Topaz DeNoise and then would add some sharpness in photoshop or would use Topaz InFocus. I would also remove yellow tones using hue/saturation tool in Photoshop...
All the best,
Keep shooting and posting.

Ash Furrow  over 5 years ago

Thanks! I really appreciate your feedback. I purchased a tripod yesterday to do some nicer, longer exposures at a lower ISO, but that won't help in situations where I can't use a tripod, so I'll check out InFocus.