This is the final street image I took while still living in Toronto.
May in Toronto is a wonderful time of year; the weather is cool, but not cold; the air quality is manageable; and everyone is happy.
A couple of days before making the move to Ottawa, I took an evening stroll through my neighbourhood to unwind and gather my thoughts while in the midst of the mayhem that is moving. And of course, I took my camera along. The funny thing was, even though I had taken photos all over the city, I had almost no shots of my own neighbourhood. I only took three shots that night, but I came away with one that I really liked… this one. And true to my style, I was a spur of the moment snap.
I’m not sure why, but I like everything about this shot. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of everything we loved about living in that part of town. It was one of the trendiest parts of Toronto, but it was quaint and had a relaxed suburban feel. The streets were wide, there were parks and trees everywhere, and you couldn’t walk five feet without passing a place to eat or grab a coffee.
Next week I am making a return to the old city, and I couldn’t be more excited. Yes, it’ll be a chance for my wife and I to have a couple of days to ourselves, but I am so excited to visit the streets I know so well, see old friends, and take some pictures… obviously! I hope to have some new stories and adventures to share on the blog after the trip, but until then, enjoy a taste of home.
Order has been a very important thing for me from as far back as I can remember. When I was a child in school, I was often the only kid in class with a tidy desk, notebooks stacked largest to smallest, pencils aligned. And because books and papers were always exploding out of the desks of many of my classmates, we always had to turn our desks in toward each other so our teachers didn’t have to see the mess. I’ve always found it calming to have things in order, and I’m not sure if I have been like that from birth, or if it was a learned trait.
However, in photography, I often write about using lines to throw interest points off centre. For me, this technique helps to create interest in my images and help viewers see an otherwise ordinary scene in a different way… hopefully. But on occasion, I find beauty in symmetry…
It can be too easy to get caught up in ourselves, to fall into the trap that is our own little world. In this day and age, we find ourselves being pulled in several directions – family, work, and now online. Computers, tablets, and smart phones are all great tools when used properly, but it’s a rare occasion when I find someone who honestly admits to not being tied to one of these devices… if not all three.
And then I look at my children, with their honesty and curiosity, and I wonder if the things we’er grinding away at really matter. I see how much fun they have and how easy it is to miss it just so I can quickly scroll through a few images of people I don’t even know on Instagram. Why? This year, I have made a concious decision to cut way back. Rather than blogging everyday, I’m choosing to blog only when the mood strikes, or when I think I have content that is of interest to others. I don’t want to waste my time and I definitely don’t want to waste your time. My Twitter account pumps out tweets, but their scheduled and automated. I almost never check it. And my phone sits on the counter a lot more than it did in 2014. It’s hard, and I don’t always follow my new rules, but I’m trying hard. And before long, I won’t give it a second thought.
The driving force behind this is really my kids. The find so many simple pleasures it boggles my mind. So this year I have decided to scale back and live life a little bit like they do. The image above of my younger son learning to ski is the perfect depiction of what I’m trying to achieve. We might not always see the forest for the trees, but we can’t let that stop us from letting life lead us down that path.
Keep your head up, your mind open, and be ready and eager to try new things.
Is a festival really a festival if it doesn’t have a mascot… or family of mythical mascots? These cute, furry creatures are called Ice Hogs. They are some sort of mythical creature family that loves everything to do with the cold and winter and they hibernate in the summer months because they hate the heat. Of course, I snapped a pic of my fam with these cuddly little creatures, but here is a sneaky shot over the shoulder of tourists doing their thing.