Friday, December 17, 2010


I was making a pasta dinner not too long ago, and while the sauce was simmering I picked up my Nikon for dummies book, and decided to learn a new technique. I've always been fascinated by photos that show bokeh, and so was ecstatic when I read a blurb about how to accomplish this little trick. (Which really is nothing more then having an out of focus shot of lights) Needless to say, the next mild night I headed out and thought I would give it a try. There is room for improvement, but it had started to rain so I only got a dozen or so taken.

As for the pasta. It was scrumptious. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Charitable Donation

I have been given the opportunity this holiday season to contribute a piece of my work to help support Eva's Initiative, an organization that help at risk youth develop their skills in order to find meaningful work. My framed image will be for sale at Olivia's at fifty three this Thursday evening. Olivia's at fifty three is the restaurant in Little Italy that I exhibited my first series in last May. (53 Clinton Street)

I thought I would share the image I chose to donate. It is from my new series "Surface Deep". I decided that due to its painterly feel I would print it on watercolour paper. I am quite happy with the result, and hope it sells in order to raise funds for Eva's. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December the first..

December the first. Already. Despite the somewhat mild temperatures, the season is already in full swing. Santa has come and paraded down the street, the decorations are up, and the crowds have begun in the malls. Last year I started a new tradition of making my own photo Christmas cards, so this past week I have gone out with camera in hand to start and capture some of the sights around the city in order to have a selection to chose from. I figured I would share a couple with you....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November walk..

Once again I found myself needing to get outside for some fresh air despite the chill, and constant grey skies. I headed outside not knowing where I was going to go and found myself on the streetcar heading back to High Park. It was already 2 o'clock by the time I got there, and it was almost dark by the time I left. I think I counted maybe 5 people in the entire park the whole time. It felt a little eerie, but then as most people who know me, I relish this type of atmosphere, and love trying to capture the solemn mood. I have broken trend here, and decided to post a couple of images from that walk...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dream like..

This is another shot from my new series Surface Deep which was taken on my last hike through High Park. I was intrigued by the patterns the bare trees and branches made on the creeks surface, and then pushed the pattern a little further by taking the shot with a long exposure. To me, the result almost feels dream like. I also enjoy the moodiness of the browns, charcoal blacks, and greys. I would love to see these shots printed in large scale, say 4 feet by 6, in a simple black frame and hung on stark white wall in a spacious room. Now who is dreaming??

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hanging on..

I managed to get one last walk in at High Park before the remainder of the leaves fell for the season. I was focusing mostly on reflection shots for my new series, but I couldn't help taking a few scenery shots. This is one of them. I believe it is a Japanese Maple. I was drawn to the deep crimson red leaves against the overcast sky. I crawled inside the tree and took this shot looking up towards the top.

I'm always amazed at how these walks invigorate me, and totally relax me after a day or week working in Retail. I've said it before, but I think this park is magnificent, and a true gem for this city. I'm sure as I head into the holiday season I will wish I could escape to the park more and more. At least I have the photos to remind me of days less hectic...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Leaving Tracks..

This shot was taken on my walk of the Lower Don Valley Trail. I had to climb a huge incline to get up over a hill, and once I got up there I discovered these old tracks that clearly do not get used, or if they do it is a rare occasion. These tracks bypassed the Brickworks, and headed south to the lake. The fall colours, I felt, only added to the sense of history, and nostalgia, and for some reason a feeling of comfort, and stories to be to told....

Friday, October 22, 2010

colour burst..

Back to Toronto! This shot believe it or not, is a sample of my new series Surface Deep. It is a reflection off of the pond at Riverdale farm in Cabbagetown. By using a longer shutter speed, I then zoom half way through the exposure to create the burst of colour. The colour of course is coming from natures palette.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Credit Valley

Okay, so I know this blog is Toronto based, but every now and then I happen to get out of the city and explore the countryside. It won't happen often, but I wanted to share a photo or two of a recent day trip Hugh and I made to Belfountain Falls which is part of the Credit Valley River. I wanted to go for a drive in the country to see what kind of shots I could get for my series I'm working on (Surface Deep). I came back with some great reflection shots, but also some rather good (in my mind) shots of the moving water. They feel rather refreshing in my mind.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Yesterday while I was working I was engaged in a conversation with an American visitor and we were discussing the time differences between the American and Canadian Thanksgiving holidays. Apparently their Thanksgiving is in her opinion a bigger event then their Christmas. I've often reflected upon how close the two holidays are in the United States, and how there is barely time to celebrate one, and then the other comes along. To me, both holidays are important and deserve their own time or reflection and traditions. Life moves fast enough as it is.

To life, and to living in Canada. That is what I am thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Island Visit

Last Sunday despite the overcast sky and chill in the air, Hugh and I took the ferry to Centre Island to get some fresh air, and of course to take a few shots. I'm always impressed with the fact that once you are on the island you feel like you are miles away from the city, especially on the south side of the island where it is all sandy beaches, water, and sky forever. Usually packed full of people escaping the city during the summer, it was needless to say pretty desolate on this day. The wind was creating rather large waves which in turn crashed onto the barriers and lake shore. It was rather exhilarating to experience. Once home, I sadly discovered most of the shots did not turn out as I had hoped, but this is one I was okay with...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Surface Deep

For most of you, it is not news that after my two solo shows I went through a period of feeling uninspired, and not sure what to focus on next. I do feel I did the right thing, and took the opportunity to not actually focus on anything, but rather learn, and practice a few new things on the camera. I have been concentrating on using different exposure times and have done what I feel are some nifty practice sessions around the apartment.

                                                                                                                                                                             Recently, I was feeling like I needed to get back outdoors and spend some time with nature, and of course the camera. I went on a couple of hikes and found myself drawn to reflections in the water. Within minutes, I was using my new skills with exposures, and am happy to say I have found my new project. It is a nice transition from my texture series which focused on colour, and patterns, and textures of solid items. The difference is that now the subject is water, but the focus remains on colour and pattern.

Welcome to my new series, my new work. I call it "Surface Deep".

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Made a much needed walk to the Brickworks to get my nature fix last weekend. I'm always amazed at how much work is being done at this former industrial site. It has become another great spot for the community, and this day was no exception. It was full of people out to celebrate the opening day celebrations of this new 'park'. One of the things I noticed was the great pieces of floral art that have been attached to the buildings. This shot is a portion of a black eyed susie mounted way up by the roof line. A great piece of art, and appropriate to the area. Well done!!

Friday, September 24, 2010


I was recently reading one of my many issues of home decorating/furnishing magazines and I came across a small article on a local photographer. The work shown was abstract shots of water, mostly in terms of reflections. I have done some of my own work on this subject, and have given a few out as gifts, and also framed several for my own use. The picture I am posting is one of those shots. It was taken at Riverdale farm in one of the ponds.

In the article there was a photo of hers that was extremely similar, and it was enlarged to 20 inches by 30 inches. The price tag....  $3,000

Time for me to revisit this subject, I think.  :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In Style At Campbell House

A few weekends ago I did a photo shoot for a fantastic group called the Time Nomads Society at the Historic Campbell House in Toronto. I was able to photograph them as they went about their daily lives in the year 1833. Most people who know me, know I love history. My partner and I are addicted to BBC period movies, mini series etc. I volunteer when I can with heritage groups, and of course run a facebook group promoting the preservation of Toronto's Heritage buildings. This past weekend I visited the small village of Salem, Ontario and discovered several generations of my family in the small country cemetery. Since then, I have been able to trace my family all the way back to 1580 on my grandmothers side. History is a fascinating subject, and one I wish more people enjoyed. Without knowing our past, I find it hard to have a vision for the future.

This photo is from Campbell House....

Monday, August 23, 2010

peony in black and white

I just re discovered this photo, and thought I would share it. It is from earlier this spring, and I think it is from Allan Gardens. Not sure why I am drawn to it, but it feels rather elegant to me. It brings to mind gardenias, and also the 1930's, 1940's, and jazz. Isn't it strange how some things remind us of other things and yet there is no true connection. It is after all just a peony.

But my mind wanders like that, and if it can connect to anything with a sense of history, it will often follow that path, and I tend to follow...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Royal York

This shot was taken on a recent outing at night along the lake shore. On our way back I found this view which put me in mind of New York. Not sure why, it just did. I thought it was a good shot of the Royal Lady. She looks majestic compared to the other tall buildings made of glass and steel. I used my tripod for this shot, with a 30 second exposure.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back to Brown...

Another visit back to one of my favorite spots, the Distillery District. This time the purpose was to practice using my camera with manual settings rather then the automatic ones I have been using up to this point. In a way I feel I am starting all over, but yet it feels exciting and new all at once. Most people who know me, know I have the patience of....well...who am I kidding. I have no patience. Which actually amazes me how much I love trying to figure out, and capture a good shot. Of course there are those moments of pure frustration, and disappointment but that comes with anything being newly learned.

But I digress. This shot is part of Toronto's most photographed old trucks at the Distillery. I can see why, the patina on it is simply amazing. My goal is of course to try and capture a less popular view of it. I love the rusty reds, and brown tones. Reminds one that Fall is only a month away....

Monday, August 9, 2010

haunted self...

Again, not really a picture of Toronto but I wanted to share a new technique I discovered. I have been slowly trying to leave the automatic programs on my camera and venture into the manual settings that allow for more creativity. I have been playing around with shutter exposures. Both long ones, and short ones. There is alot of wonderful things you can do with exposures, for example you can create a sense of time, and movement. I'm still trying to work on this outside, but I am particularly proud of the self portrait I took indoors on a 30 second exposure....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cityscape at Night..

I was at a friends condo for a BBQ last weekend and was invited up to his place to see some of his decorating projects. While viewing his balcony, I was captivated by the magnificent view he had. With the sun almost set, and the city lights already on, it was a postcard moment. I did not have my tripod obviously, so the picture is not as clear as I would have liked, but none the less, it is still a great view of Toronto's most identifiable building. (The view however, will soon change as condos are going up around the base and will block half of the tower.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Long may she reign...

Twice in my life I have waited for hours to see a member of the Royal Family. Once when I was very young to see Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York name a square in Cobourg, and now years later to see the Queen on her 22nd visit to Canada. Of course I also witnessed both the marriage and the funeral of Princess Diana on television, and visited both Buckingham and Kensington Palaces during my visit to London in 2007.

Perhaps it is because of my half English background, or perhaps it is just my love of history, but moments like this impact me hugely. I feel like I am watching history unfold right before my eyes. As I watched the Queen do her walk about not 50 feet away from me, all I could think about was the the centuries of time and events that led up to this particular day. Events that have been portrayed in movies, written about in books, and talked about in school.

I am glad I have had the opportunity to document in photos my own 15 minutes of time spent with the Queen. Long may she reign...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Picnic in Queens Park..

This picture was taken at dusk in Queens Park during Pride weekend. I was en route to a free concert given by Cyndi Lauper when I spotted the soft evening sun bathing the people in various activities. I decided to turn it into a black and white shot so that the light became the subject rather then the colours of the surroundings. To me, it is one of those, "Remember that moment.." shots.

Friday, July 9, 2010

new face..

Decided to take my camera to the streets during Pride and once again work on capturing people in various situations. This shot was taken on Church Street. I was drawn to the 'quietness' of the moment, and how the subject seemed oblivious to the noise and crowds around him......

Friday, June 25, 2010

The popular hat..

This shot is from a walk though Toronto's China Town recently. It appeared as if one of them had just shared a funny joke. Of course I had to notice that all three of them were wearing the same hat....This is one of my favorite people shots thus far.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blue sky..

This day has started off cool, windy, and damp so this photo is simply a reminder of the sun and temperatures we were enjoying a week ago. Blue sky against the white pillars and arches of the Sunnyside Pavilion. Almost has a Mediterranean feel to it........

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


This past weekend we made a trip to both the Beaches on the east side of Toronto, and Sunnyside Beach, on the west side side. Both are historical beaches in that they once used to be huge destinations in the early days of the 19th century, complete with amusement parks, pavilions, boathouses, and of course swimmers. After years of neglect, and bad waterfront decisions, both beaches have enjoyed a renaissance and are being restored back to areas of beauty, and recreation. We are having an incredibly warm spring with temperatures already in the 30's so this weekend found both beaches packed with sunbathers, and even swimmers. I managed to find this quiet and still shot at Sunnyside............

Saturday, May 22, 2010

window sill..

Nice to see that even a building owner who is so creative with paint, and allows the building to become a canvas, still finds it necessary to add a touch of nature's artistry. Spotted this fun and colourful little spot on Queen West.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Still life...

Ok, so it is not a picture of  "Toronto" per say, but it is a shot from my apartment which is in Toronto. This photo was from one of those days I just pulled the camera out and started taking random shots. The flowers were left over from Hugh's birthday party, and I had just purchased the mid century piece of 'art' from a shop in Kensington market. (Seems to be my latest craze...mid century motel art!!) It is the moody colours I like in both the art piece and this shot. The daisies add a sense of brightness in my opinion. If I could paint, I would love to try and create this scene.....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

author unknown...

So I finally found a day to blow the dust of the camera and get out there and find some new material. I headed once again to Queen Street West as I was trying to find a frame shop that I knew was there, but because it was closed I decided to spend more time taking photos. I headed into the back alley's which are full of colour, new and old. I found this little 'clip' on the side of an old garage, and thought it was striking, and of course makes one stop and think about the author....but no matter what thoughts I create, or images of the author my brain creates, the fact is the author will remain.......unknown.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Flowering Cherry

It has been a busy, but productive spring. Mother Nature seems to be in a rush as most flowering trees are about 2 weeks ahead of their normal blooming times. Forsythia, Cherry, and Lilac trees all seemed to bloom at once. I wasn't able to get out and get as many shots of the cherry blossoms as I would have liked, but this shot of some great pink blooms is from a recent walk to Riverdale Farm.

On another note, I am happy to report that I just have just had an opening night reception for my first public showing of my textural work. 17 images are currently on display at Freedom Clothing Collective, at 939 Bloor Street West. Hours are from 1 to 7 from Tues to Sat. I also have a second exhibition coming up shortly that will feature 7 images on a different theme, so stay tuned for details.....

Hope to post more often, but I thank you for being so patient!!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I figured since the temperatures plunged back to winter like levels, it was the perfect time to remind us all that it is actually spring, the days are growing longer, and it won't be too long before tulips are actually blooming outdoors.

These purple beauties were blooming indoors at Allan Gardens in early March. It was a cloudy day which created the soft haze behind these blooms.

Enjoy, and stay warm!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


It has been a while since I posted due to the fact my partner and I just moved, and I have been juggling a few small projects. This picture was from my last outing which was early March. We were walking back from visiting the gallery that has offered to show my work and I saw this simple yet striking shot of the red sprinkler on a bright white wall. I thought the shadow added to it, and gives the feeling it was taken on a hot summers day, when in reality it was a cool late winters day.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Beach

Took advantage of the bright sun, fairly mild temperatures, calm winds and headed via streetcar to the Beaches on Queen Street East. The area was full of dog walkers, elderly people out for a stroll on the boardwalk, children collecting pebbles, and people sitting on benches reading. If I was more established at taking people shots, I would have. But the point of the day was to practice on Hugh. (And believe me, he does not mind having his photo taken) This was one of my favorites.....

p.s. My fish, after lying on the bottom of the bowl for 5 days, is now swimming around again. What a trooper!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring colours

So today was a bit of a blue day. We were supposed to move this week into our new apartment, but due to legalities, insurance issues, and unorganized inspectors, it didn't happen. None of it from my end mind you. And my very stunning indigo blue, and scarlet red Betta fish, is dying. He is almost a year old, so he did last a long time. Yes, he is just a silly fish, but still it did not help the mood.

So to fight off the frustration, I suggested a walk to the Junction. This up and coming area is on Dundas Street West. It's a nice area, quiet, seems safe, and the architecture is mostly 1910-20's. Full of little cafes, antique shops, and hair stylists. (????) Not a Starbucks in sight. Yet.

Found this great little texture shot, and was immediately drawn to the cheery colours. Very spring like. Thought I would post it, and chase those blues away.

Monday, March 1, 2010


There are a few days where I feel I need to take my camera with me even though I have no intention of taking photos. This shot was on one of those days. I was doing errands and came across this rusted metal and wood flower in someones front garden. I really liked the colours which remind me of mother-of-pearl, yet it is my typical interest of rust, and weathered wood.

You just never know what you are going to see....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Colour Block

This shot is from last weeks walk on Queen West. I decided to venture down a back alley behind all the stores, and discovered the hub for urban textures. What attracted me to this little piece, was that despite all the different patterns, textures, and variations in colour, there was still an element of structure, or separation of parts.

It puts me in mind of a Rubics cube, and for some reason the 80's.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

paper thin..

It's not too often I find a textile that I can try and capture, but on this walk I was passing a building and noticed an old fabric banner that was flapping in the wind. And what stuck me even more was the combination of the charcoal coloured fabric against the bright orange, and brilliant white of the wall. I tried a few shots, and in hind sight, I think I should have chosen the 'sports' setting to capture the movement, but I think there is still spots you can make out how paper thin this fabric was, and get a feel for the juxtaposition between fabric and concrete wall.