Saturday, December 26, 2009

2nd Prize

I started my photo adventures in the early months of 2008. Equipped with a digital point and shoot camera I headed out and without a clue as to what I was doing, started photographing buildings and architectural details I loved around Toronto. Most of the pictures I turned into black and white, because at the time I was convinced that was what I wanted to do.

Early in 2009, a photo competition hosted by the City of Toronto, was pointed out to me, and so in the weeks that followed I entered some 63 (I think) images in a wide variety of categories. The city went on strike later that year, and so the competition was halted, then delayed, and in my mind forgotten about.

On Christmas eve, I received a letter of congratulations that one of my images had won second prize in the 'city history' category. What a great surprise! I have won a City of Toronto pin, and a pass to the zoo. My photo will of course be published on the citie's website, and possibly in print material.

As for the actual picture, I now look at it and groan. I keep thinking, I should have done this, and done that. The sign is cut off, the tree is in the way...and so forth. So the lesson I guess I have learned is that I have grown, and hopefully developed a better eye. I know I have a long ways to go, but it has been a fun process thus far.

So I just wanted to share with you one of those early photos...a sneak peek so to speak.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Dinner

The smell of turkey roasting in the oven fills my tiny apartment. I am always reminded of my grandparents when the smell of a traditional family meal fills the air, and of course Christmas's past. As a child we would head to our grandparents house across the town mid afternoon Christmas Day. Not only would we have yet another Christmas tree surrounded by presents to open, but we would have a huge holiday feast with all the trimmings. Today, it is not the presents I remember, but it is the meal. The turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, and vegetables. I can even remember what dishes each food was served on. The meal was followed by pies, tarts, shortbread cookies, and of course plum pudding. It was scrumptious, and it was cooked with love.

As I sit here with the smells around me, I am aware of how I try to keep the tradition alive. Today, it is just my partner and myself, but I am preparing the same foods, in the same way I remember my Grandmother doing.

I dedicate this entry today to them. I hope they can smell the turkey up in Heaven. I raise my glass to them.

May all our traditions live on.......

Happy Christmas.

(Photo taken at Casa Loma, 2009.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Whether we celebrate Christmas or not, many people find themselves at this particular time thinking about the past year, the lessons learned, the moments of joy, the times of sorrow, and the numerous other memories from our everyday lives. We spend time with families, and loved ones, or neighbours and friends. We reach out to those in need and offer them a helping hand. We pause for a brief moment, and enjoy the lights, decorations, and all that surrounds us. It is a wonderful time of year, and my hopes are that we can all try to do this more often throughout the coming year. Stop, and actually see the beauty in both obvious, and not so obvious things, and moments.

To all of you, I wish you a year of Peace, and Joy.

(This stained glass Angel which dates from approx 1909 is from the Eaton Family Tomb in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. You need to look through the heavy doors, and this magnificent Angel is on the back wall.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Edwardian Christmas

This photo was taken within the last month at Casa Loma. One of the many Christmas trees you will find if you visit the historic 'castle' during the holiday period. This particular tree was one of my favorites, and I happened to like the composition of the tree and the surrounding furnishings. And since we are having a green Christmas this year, I the flocked branches add a nice touch..

Merry Christmas to All.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Public Art

This photo is one of the earliest photos I took, in early 2008. I know it has been photographed a million times, but regardless it is one of my favorite pieces of public art. (It stands outside Union Station) The fact it has been photographed so many times by so many people, tells me that it actually causes people to stop, and look, and create an opinion, and perhaps a conversation. It is in my opinion that there is a huge lack of wonderful art pieces such as this in the public realm. Not to say there isn't any, there are some great ones out there. But I would really love to see along with more green spaces, some really great art, sculpture, statues, that would make people stop and look, or converse. Dundas Square for example, cries out to me for a great art piece, (well and some real trees). The failed condo development at Yonge and Bloor would also be a great area for a green space, and public art. ( I believe, another condo developer has taken over...sadly.)

Regardless, I will do my best to show off from time to time the existing art pieces that stand amongst us. Do stop and take a look...

Monday, December 21, 2009

grey days..

Today is one of those grey days. It's almost winter and the amount of daylight is at it's lowest. Bring in the clouds, and it can be downright dark. Some of us let the mood of the day envelope us, and we take on a dark, heavy, even depressed state. I chose this shot to remind us that even on the dullest of days, a little colour, and fun no matter where it comes from can take that day in a totally new direction. So light a bright candle, throw on a red scarf, or grab your multi-colour umbrella and chase those greys away....