Tag Archives: toronto

Cracking Food Code.

I finally got the courage to attempt the food photography – one of the most mysterious and challenging (after portraiture) for me. As I thought, watching those videos where the whole crew of photographers, stylists and painters run around the table with dozen of dishes and props.  Of course, there is still that persistent element of lighting  – and, since I was told dozen times one should avoid by all means flash when working with food — that was in particular tricky. But I’m mainly talking about arrangements. Basically, what stylists are paid to do – for the commercials and fancy tv shows. What I had to improvise on my own.

It is not just about arranging the composition. It is playing with colour and taking into account all the nuances — light, props, table cloth, wrinkles, shadows, color of bowls and color of cups, plates and many more. I do not think in any way I succeeded in cracking even few of those dozen of different layers, but I’m actually satisfied with the result that I got. I thought I would end up with much worse photos.

I’m excited to mention Sushi Couture, that trusted me to play with their food — which was, by the way, exceptional in the taste and presentation. Hopefully next time I’ll bring on something new and jump onto the next level of this mouthwatering photographic experience:)

IMG_9757

It takes around 5 minutes to set up the composition: either chopsticks fall from the plate, meanwhile soup settles down and one has to stir it again, then the lighting changes its angle and… start all over again:)

Cheesecake — I felt it was asking for the plate with interesting color pattern, right? The simplicity is powerful itself, but with just a slight touch up/twist you can emphasize even more the beauty of that simplicity.

And finally, few moments to relax and sip a cup of strong coffee and have a bite of that very cheesecake!

IMG_9742

Advertisements

One Secret Beach

I have a secret beach that is not known to everybody. Well, to put it clearly, people pass by it but a seldom passerby will actually sneak into the beach itself and walk it through.

This secret beach exists only during winter season — as soon as May, no, even April, hits, this beach disappears. All its calamity, its boldness and whiteness is gone. Its silence is swept away along with its unwelcoming winds. Another beach, sunny and noisy, takes its place filling up the whole air with laughter, cries, running-jumping-bathing children and rows of lazily spread naked bodies.

I don’t really know why, but I prefer the first beach. Even though it is unwelcoming, especially in the freezing evenings, it holds some mystery and calming solitude. And even though I do prefer sun and sunshines gently stroke my face, I feel more welcomed and in a way comfortable on my secret beach…

Just another evening I glanced in the window of my apartment and, after seeing a beautiful clear crispy sky and realizing soon-would-be-moment of the beautiful sunset, rushed over to the Woodbine beach. Would make way even further to Scarborough Bluffs, but time was clicking.

So, 10 minutes before the official sunset, I parked the car, grabbed the camera and made my way into the blueish snowy beach..

The cracked path between parking was lit by setting golden sun. Incredible views, especially with reflections in water and snow.

Well, didn’t think I would last long in such freezing cold that eats you inside out. But somehow, more out of amazement before the nature tricks, I made it:)

IMG_7075390

As soon as you step on the crispy snow, the whole city moves away from your sight and — as if from your mind. It’s like pulling a blanket over the head, same perceptions. I hear nothing – except of furious waves and hight pitch of the tiny helicopter model making round after round in the air. Those two who had the remote control, were quite persistent in making it go round after round after round above their heads. And this persistent prrr-prrr-prrr.. This just added surreal touch to the otherwise empty beach.

Empty. I made my way all the way to the beach edge, to the splashing waves which, despite their heavy sound, did not appear accordingly large or in any way profound. The lake is coloured in this dark green cover, bringing vague nostalgia of the ocean.

IMG_7069393

The striking contrast of the colours and the whole state of nature — just minutes earlier the sky was still bright and played with gentle light pink feathers…

I am sure you have your own secret beach. Secret park. Or small trail. When you pass it by next time, take a time and sneak in. Nature is beautiful no matter season, no matter winds and urban presence nearby. I recently stumbled upon narrow trail literally within a city, going for 5 km. In the beginning it did not seem at all pleasant or interesting — however, it brought me unforgettable moments and discoveries. So take a time and step inside — you never know what mysteries this place will hold up that particular moment.

Children’s Manifesto

I wanted to make post about kids. Children. 

Why always so serious? Let’s get bit childish, because as a matter of fact I’m only pretending to be an adult. I am the one, I might be — but, I think, emotionally (and, on special occasion, intellectually) I’m just a child. That being sad, I do not mean anything bad — many children are much smarter and wiser then most of us, spoiled “adults.” And I would like to toast this with my memories of one light-hearted demonstration.

I call it demonstration because of the nature of this event, which was sparkling with flags, signs (something against of, something in support of) and thousand(s) of people, I’m not exaggerating here. The official title was “Walk for Israel”, it was back in 2011, Toronto, and I still remember it vividly… I was amazed not only at the amount of people but rather at the whole participation: all 4 generations passed by me — parents brought their children, their babies, their toddlers, their own parents, their grandparents — yes, the entire families, sometimes with pets (dogs; no parrots on the shoulders spotted) decided to forgo the Sunday sleep and came out on the streets altogether.

Now, this is not a political blog (yaaay…), and I’m not a political commentator. While I was taking pictures of this event, I was mostly interested in a) practicing photo journalistic skills in capturing portraits in motion b) unusual faces and/or moments. And just a couple minutes later I realized who should be the number one subject in my photographs — kids. They do not try to hide their emotions, they are very natural with their feelings and face expressions, their wishes and desires. Sometimes curious and wild, sometimes sleepy and lazy, they definitely made my day back then.

IMG_3324

While adults are busy demonstrating, children are left with classic boredom, longing for the sleep and their comforting plush toys:)

The Walk is few kilometres, no wonder somebody gets tired and impatient while riding dad’s shoulders… ah, miss that time with my dad! Love the last two pictures– these girls are true princesses.

IMG_3381

Although here I managed to capture mostly the hat, I still like that smiling feel the photo gives.

…Seems like the most passion and fire happen in the lower levels of the Walk: the kids get serious with arguments, freeze with astonishment and sometimes become quite pugnacious..

Maybe for somebody this was a happy day, spent with friends and pride — for some it is yet another Sunday spent not exactly they way it was planned earlier…

Flags. They give the sense of pride, purpose, meaning.. and direction. maybe.

Maybe not. Maybe they mislead us. I took pictures of kids, trying to grasp their emotions and feelings during such event. They don’t care about politics, they have their own brother-sister conflicts over things like a toy, popsicle or seat in the rolling bin. Some do have fun, some are getting bored… They don’t understand why they have to carry on that blue and white piece of cloth; they would rather worry about not losing their mom’s hand out of the sight and enjoy their children’s world while adults keep fighting over it. And I’m talking in general, not in particular about the above mentioned event that actually appeared to be very joyful and cheerful in its essence.

When Ice Blanket Wrapped Up the City…

Last night, whole Toronto got covered with huge sparkly and sharp ice blanket. While for some (including me) it seemed beautiful and picturesque, however, for many this turned out to be a real disaster..

one of my favourite corners of the city, with Flatiron building. IMG_6364256

but moreover, the city sinked into heavy smog..

Christmas decorations on the streets got carefully wrapped up in blistery ice.

IMG_6379252

The trees are strikingly beautiful but unfortunately, many did not last through the heavy burden and fell down, smashing cables and near-standing cars..

IMG_6308263

Not the best day to use bikes (or cars). Smashing rain soaked newspaper in ice, too.

You can say anything you want, but there’s nothing more beautiful than black and white photograph of ice.

IMG_6251279

Abstrakziya

I love spotting perfect geometrical shapes and forms in the environment — lines, symmetrical and asymmetrical natural designs.

Once, sipping a wine in a Niagara vineyard under harsh sunlight — one of those that make every photograph look so sharp and clean, almost unreal — beautiful ornaments came out of shadows and patio table..

IMG_4957222

Sometimes, even such ordinary environments like business centres, banks and government buildings offer interesting interior design concepts, which when recycled in photoshop can bring amazing abstracts.

IMG_4842221

IMG_0182

And, finally, I cannot omit one of my favourite filter ‘toys’, whose prism creates new, texturing worlds of four moons and floating traffic lights … 🙂

IMG_4720226

Momentum

Single work of art – be it a visual piece like painting or sculpture, or rather physical like dance or theatre – is not alive till the viewer sees it and, by analysing (often unconsciously) starts interpreting it. The painter might have a certain meaning for his entire work, however, as an audience, we usually only take small, separate details out of it. The more we analyze the painting, the less it stays the whole for us — the more it breaks into pieces, each having its own meaning and interpretation. One could say that a viewer develops the work of art further, into its “life.”

These details and tiny moments worth of second that we notice, sometimes can be discovered in newer works and can show the whole piece in completely new light..

The following represents one such intimate experience of mine with works of art, particularly Henry Moore sculptures and dancer Benjamin Kamino performance of Nudity. Desire – long drawn.

IMG_6098176

IMG_6054207

IMG_6081183

Floating in the Air.

Floating in the Air..  The enormous while balloon slowly raised into the night sky above the grasping crowd, dragging behind a tiny delicate figurine.

Floating in the air.. I thought it would be interesting to visualize the acrobat not hanging under the balloon’s bottom, but rather playfully kicking the ball in front of her, both floating in darkness nowhere and in no time.

IMG_5595158

 

They were clowns in blistering, silky unappealing costumes– rather resembling medusas than snowflakes (which, I’m quite sure, was the intention at the Winter Festival)..

IMG_5500

These snowflakes, or whoever they were, had apparently very difficult relationship– sort of expressing the same old swings “push-pull”. Well, what you can say, flaky creatures, flaky feelings.. ))