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Distillery District Photo Walk

Published July 2nd, 2012

These photos were taken with Caroline McGregor and Rick Weiss last weekend in Toronto's Distillery District. TD's Jazz Fest was also going on, and those concerts were the majority of my subjects (though I couldn't help but take a few shots of some buildings).

I had a great time and a great dinner in the Distillery District and the accompanying walk back to Union Station. Lots of new ideas for photos and the whole day really got my creativity flowing again after a draining flight back from San Francisco.



I used to play the piano, and the venue we were in was really tight, so I was forced to get a little creative to capture the first member of this trio. I used my telezoom to frame just one component of the subject and eliminate other details. Of all the things we shot that day, this concert was the most challenging subject to compose, but I had a lot of fun trying.



This singer had so much character and soul that we were all pretty excited to shoot her. Lots of other photographers were there and thought the same, though they were all very friendly about sharing the space.

I had never shot a singer before, and it was very hard to get a capture where her face didn't look distorted out of context. I learned a lot for sure!


The Look

I took dozens of captures of this woman and I liked this one the best; she's looking at the pianist during his solo and I love the look of admiration she has for another musician's ability.



Another look towards the pianist; these musicians really got along well and I loved the convivial glances. There's something about playing music together that gets you into a groove, and these players were really into it.



This guy was so classy, I couldn't help but take is photo. Luckily I was still using the telelzoom so I didn't look conspicuous. This is also one of my first attempts to take a photo of someone without their knowledge. People have found their way into my shots before, and I've taken photos where people are the subject, but never without them really knowing before. It was hard, actually, just to compose since it's something so new and I pushed outside of my comfort zone. I think I'll be ready next time to be a little more brazen about shooting people in public.


I loved the geometric lines, and the off-kilter composition is as much out of necessity as it is art; this was one of the only shots to isolate the scaffolding to keep other skyscrapers under construction out of the frame.

The overcast sky held off on actually raining long enough to take this shot - the sky opened up about 10 minutes later.

  • June 24th, 2012
  • Canon EOS digital Rebel XSi
  • 35mm / f/8 / 1/160 sec

Flower Girl

Caroline and I were patient enough to get our subject to return to her doorway and pose - not sure if she knew we were taking her photo, but we got some really cool shots. This one is m favourite, since I can't quite figure out what she's waiting for. Lots of clutter in the photo really makes it visually busy, but I think that compliments the brickwork really well.



At this point, it had really started to rain so I only had a few seconds to compose this before rain would accumulate on my lens and ruin the shot. In Lightroom, this was also hard to process, since so much detail is lots in the blacks (to appropriately expose for the sky). Even if it's not my best building shot, I'm still pretty happy with how it turned out.

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